Recently my days are filled with catching up lessons for the first quarter of our homeschool (add to that, the recent Typhoons Labuyo and Maring that hit our country and a minor head injury of our youngest, 8yr-old Boj). With our home transfer, we were delayed for a good 3 weeks. Being a first-time homeschooling mom, I was panicky at first when the cut-off for the 1Q was announced a few days ago! I now realized I must have worn out my 7th and 3rd grader kids who expect mom to be kinder than their teachers when they were enrolled in regular school. Sigh… But that of course, was the other part of the story. Homeschool allowed them to have a “more” relaxed schedule – meaning – they can wake up as late as 9am( yes, their body clocks were timed differently the moment we transferred !), master a subject (like Math) or do experiments in a day, and swim and/or attend MAPE (Music, Arts ,PE ) and HELE (Home Economics and Livelihood Education) once a week. As we progress, I am also learning and so is my character being tested. One time I asked my husband, “Tell me again,why did we decide to homeschool our kids?” in exasperation. I felt short of knowledge and patience. Good thing that he reminded me not of the why’s but of what God can do as I entrust my limited skills and knowledge to Him. And of course, that ” You’re doing a great job, Mom!” always works!
Today, I attended my 1st Parent Training organized by our provider, ENLI Homeschool. To be surrounded with parents who homeschool their children for the past 3, 10 or 14 years, is AMAZING! I realized I was never alone in my struggles – from waking up the kids (yes, even at 8 or 9am!), completing the worksheets, planning lessons, and doing house chores and/or part-time work alongside, rising tempers, etc .. – everything I am going through are normal occurrences! The topic was as timely ” Development Goals for High School Students”. Goals that are backed with biblical truths and are useful not only for homeschooling parents. Let me share a few.
Our resource speaker , Ms. Catherine “Cathy” Borja, a homeschooling mom of 3 boys, outlined the Focus Points based on Luke 2:52 ( Developmental Model Verse):
” And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
Key words/ phrases are : Wisdom, Stature, in Favor with God, in Favor with Men
- we teach them to be wise according to the Word of God – to make them more Christlike
- Character – “heart change” over “behavior modification”
- Life skills – stewardship, house chores , safety & first aid, driving/ commuting
- Academics and Arts – excellence vs. mediocrity , appreciation of God’s creation, discover / develop God-given skills and talents ( yes even at age 10 or 13)
- Health and physical development – regarding our bodies as temples of the Holy Spririt, not as our own . ; engage into sports, eat a balanced diet, routine check-ups ( I just learned that check-ups with the Pediatrician or Family Doctor is recommended until they reach 19yrs. old , and also a visit to an eye doctor is commendable, especially for homeschooled kids who are engaged with books on their own and are in a one-on-one setting most of the time), enough rest and sleep , discussion of addiction to vices/ excesses
- personal hygiene
- Biblical sex education – who are the first teachers? parents or school or media? who should be teaching them? what are the truths about it? This includes explaining God’s purpose of sex, the sanctity of marriage, personal holiness ( being set apart from the world), purity in mind and body, vigilance in exposure to media, internet and other influences ( practical examples like not having FB accounts at a certain age, using the K9 web protection or allowing the children to use the computer/internet at a limited time and with monitors easily seen by parent or guardian ; not being hidden from us). “Innocence lost is lost forever.” Only by the grace of God can we all be redeemed, so do our children.
III. In Favor with God
- Intentional Discipleship – we are the first teachers. we do not delegate discipleship of our children to the youth pastor!
- making it a lifestyle/an attitude of worship
- leading by example – example in the matter of obedience vs. willfulness, even as adults we still at times wrestle with God in obeying His will for us. Or in the area of forgiveness, as parents, we can model to our children how we are able to handle conflicts and resolutions in our family or relationships
IV. In Favor with Men
Why (gain the favor with men)?
- to point everything back to God. Our children’s glorious moments are for God’s glory. They will shine bright so that others will see and glorify our Father in heaven. ( I will elaborate on this in a future post).
- to have an entry point for the Gospel! The good news is ought to be shared! When our children are “puffed up” with all the praises in the world, it is our responsibility as parents to “bring them back to earth” and to let them acknowledge that God is behind all the big production and glory
How (to gain favor with men)?
- build/ value personal relationships
- understand other cultures/ ethnicity – maybe expose them to travels even in our own country
- practice good manners & proper etiquette – example, if the budget allows, bring them to fancy restaurants where they can dress up and behave properly.
Other Practical Points:
- start exploring / discussing undergraduate courses
- take exams that will show strengths & aptitude
- find out requirements of Colleges / Universities (scholarships, etc.)
- proper documentation of files , report cards, transcripts , for easy reference
In the end, I am reminded with the following truths:
1. Our children are not ours, they are the Lord’s.
2. Our children are a gift, a reward, blessing. They are never a curse nor a burden!
3. Our standard for success is by feeding our children (and us!) with the Word of God.
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” – Joshua 1:8