Homeschooling? You Have to Be Kidding!

Let me boldly suggest that this may not be the time to send your children to the local school—or make any major changes, for that matter! For the children's sake especially, I tried to keep things as stable and unchanged as possible. I felt that it was important to give my children all the love and stability I could after my husband left our home.

I love Skeet Savage's book, Homeschooling for Eternity. If you are wavering in your decision to homeschool your children, I highly recommend her book, which will encourage you and strengthen your convictions. Skeet has had a very rough go of things herself, and has homeschooled her six children through times of intense marital strife, divorce, and homelessness! As a single-parent homeschooler, her book definitely spoke to my need. You can find this book at www.WisdomsGate.com.

Consider Your Teaching Method and Philosophy

In my opinion, the self-teaching or self-learning method is an ideal way to free up your time as a mother and create an environment that promotes student-led motivation and accountability. If you have not thought about this and are knee-deep in curriculum that you have to individually spoon-feed to your children, you may benefit from switching to this method.

The basic premise of this educational philosophy is that your children can do a better job of learning what they need to learn without you having to personally teach them everything. Let each child (fourth-grade and older) set their own goals using the curriculum you already have as their guide for each nine-week period. Have them keep a record of work done, thereby eliminating much busywork for you. When students set their own goals, ownership provides a built-in motivator for achievement. This is huge!

Whether it is a death in the family, job transfer for your husband, illness or marriage issues, many trials cause stress and necessitate that your time and attention be directed to other things. My heartfelt advice to anyone is to refrain from buying curriculum that you have to spoon-feed your children! Home School Enrichment published a series by Joanne Calderwood about the self-teaching method, and you can learn more on her Web site at URthemom.com. You can download Joanne's series on self-teaching as a free PDF report at www.HomeSchoolEnrichment.com/freedom.

Take Every Thought Captive

Fears and emotions have a way of running your thought life if you are not careful. I found it necessary to express my feelings and cry or pray with a friend often. Once I got those feelings out and processed, it helped me not to dwell on them as much during the day. This was an absolutely necessary thing. If I allowed myself to dwell on thoughts that had not been made obedient to Christ, I would soon find myself slipping into the pit of despair and hopelessness, exactly where the enemy wanted me.

2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Notice that we need to take our thoughts captive. This is not something that came naturally, and it needed to happen through concerted effort on my part as I sought to continually examine my thinking.

In her book The Excellent Wife, Martha Peace has a wonderful section on negative thoughts and how to re-frame them biblically so as to not be a "pit dweller." The idea is to think about what you are thinking, examine your thoughts from a biblical standpoint, and re-frame them to bring them into agreement with the truth of God's Word.

Allowing your thoughts, fears, and emotions to sit on the throne of your heart and mind is to give them a place reserved only for Christ. Make them obedient to Him who alone deserves that place. Easier said than done, I know, but it can be done! Recognizing the lies in your thought life is an essential step to winning the battlefield in your mind and  will help you respond in a godly way to your pain and hurt instead of repaying evil for evil. I cannot emphasize this point enough. Godly sorrow is one thing; ungodly sorrow can lead to sin and much unnecessary misery.