Getting Started (Part I): The Amazing Grace of God
- Debra Bell Columnist, author and conference speaker
- 2001 29 Aug
So you are about to undertake your maiden voyage into home-school waters. Here are some tips for smooth sailing
1. Home schooling, like everything else in our lives, must spring from a foundation of Gods grace. And strengthening our understanding and gratefulness for that grace is always His sovereign plan in whatever He calls us to even home schooling. Remember that, and tell your kids. This is the greatest lesson your family will learn through home schooling.
2. How do we cultivate a deeper understanding and heart of gratefulness? By preaching the gospel to ourselves and our kids daily.
Start each day with a reminder that you have a great need for a Savior; you have a great need for a relationship with a heavenly father; but our sinfulness has disqualified us. We dont deserve to have this great need met. Nor is there anything we can ever do to deserve or earn the right to be in a relationship with God.
Our situation is quite desperate. Home schooling will certainly accentuate this.
A sense of our desperation is a good thing. It will increase our gratefulness and humility in view of what God has done for us.
He has provided that Savior for us. Everyday of our lives we glorify Him by acknowledging to our kids, the world and ourselves our desperate plight, and our gratefulness for the mercy He has shown us.
3. Our humility and gratefulness will position us to receive Gods continuing grace and favor for our home school and family life.
Make the Gospel central in your home school life right from the beginning. Evaluate your foundation often. I know a whole lot about home schooling in my own strength. I put a lot of confidence in my talents, my background, and my own energy in getting things done. But you know what happened ?
I fell flat on my face. My kids got grumpy and resentful. My lesson plans didnt work. We spent more time dealing with spiraling conflicts than mastering our skills. I landed in bed exhausted and discouraged, dreading the endless days ahead. My heart overflowed with self-pity, bitterness, and ungratefulness.
It was all in Gods plan --- even when we hit a wall. I see now, He wasnt going to bless my pitiful efforts. He was using home schooling to teach me about His Gospel His good news of amazing grace available daily to those who trust in His Sons finished work on the Cross.
And in that context, our home school becomes a litany of recognizing and celebrating Gods blessings: the great curriculum found at a used book sale; the math tutor in our church for our child; the field trip opportunities that suddenly appear; the like-minded home schoolers we meet with whom we can share the load.
Home schooling from a foundation of grace, Ive found, has made much of my home-schooling day fall into place with surprisingly little effort.
Sure, there are still days of frustrated efforts, unexpected interruptions, and family conflicts; but weve learned that the grace of God is liberally available for these moments as well. And that grace contains these moments; whereas my previous reactions just expanded upon them. Its a matter of focus.
If this is your first year home schooling, then determine now that no matter what else may lie ahead; your home school will foremost be a home school established upon a foundation of grace and focused on the Cross of Christ. With that as a no compromise position, your school year cant be anything but successful.
In His Sovereign Grace,
Check out Debra's great resources. Kids love to learn with home school mom-tested resources at Debra Bell's Home School Resource Center Online.
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