Last week we attended our provincial annual homeschool convention. The main speakers were Reb and Bev Bradley, and youth speaker Daniel Craig.
Mys husband and two oldest sons listened to quite a few sessions by Daniel Craig and were very impressed. Here is his website: http://www.lifelaunch.com, where you can read more about him and the Kickstart program he has set up.
I listened to most of the sessions by both Reb and Bev Bradley. They are the founders of Family Ministries. ‘An outgrowth of his speaking ministry, in 1993 Reb founded FAMILY MINISTRIES, an organization which distributes family-strengthening tapes and books, and coordinates his conference ministry. It is a non-profit ministry supported by donations and proceeds from product sales.’
We always go home with so much we have learned, motivated and re-energized, and this time was no different. I will give a short overview of what I have taken home from the conference and maybe it can challenge, convict and/or encourage you, as it did me. Of course, this does not only apply to home educating parents, but to all parents.
* If our focus is too much on the outward form ( how our children behave, how they dress, what they do etc.), we model behaviour and not relationships. We can desire certain fruit in our children’s lives, but that can only come from the inside out, not just on the outside. We often ask: ‘What can we do to achieve desired results with our children’, instead of ‘what can I be‘? Fruitful Christianity comes from the inside, from who we are, not what we do.
* If we trust in formulas and self-working principles, we lose trust in God. We often want to see ‘what works’ for others, so we can do the same. God requires obedience to Him, and not to certain methods and formulas that we think may give a certain outcome. The more we trust in formulas and ‘how-to’s’, the more we see our children as things.
* Our view of God often determines how we deal with our children. Do we see Him as a God Who checks off every bad thing we do, and is ready to mete out our punishment? Do we see Him as a God Who is gracious, yet just at the same time? Do we give our children grace, or are we ready to punish every sin? If we realize how patient God is with us, we will be more gracious and forgiving to our children.
* We cannot model what we don’t have ourselves. If we miss a living relationship with the Lord, we don’t have the right foundation for a parenting relation with our children. If we desire to raise our children for Him, we will need to know Him personally.
* If we see our children as causes of aggravation, we become stressed, frustrated and angry with our children. Our children are often out of control, because we repeat directions and make threats. (ouch, how true!) Our children resist our leadership, because we follow theirs. Children need boundaries, they need security. If we live for our children’s happiness, it breeds narcissism and unhappiness.
* Our children will often see in our faces what we think about them. They feel our disappointment, if they have failed to meet our expectations. We need to accept our children for who they are. Do not postpone acceptance until they have achieved your standard. Jesus did not condemn the woman at the well, although He did not agree with her lifestyle. (John 4). The quickest way to demoralize our children is to communicate that they do not measure up.
* Do not compare yourself to other homeschool moms. We tend to look at other moms and see what they do, what methods they use, what activities they plan, etc. and think we need to measure up to other moms. You do not need to! You have your own unique family, your circumstances, your limitations, your own gifts, your own season of life. You do not need to bake your own bread, participate in lots of extra activities, have your house spotless etc. Do what you can, but most of all, love your children and spend time with them. Make memories with them!
There was probably much more that has been said, but these are some of the things that come to mind. It has been a time of refreshment and encouragement. May you home educate your children in His strength, day by day!
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Till next time…