Encouragement Homeschool

Lesson Plans from THE Teacher’s Manual

 It was after dinner time and we needed some milk. So, with my four boys happily playing in the backyard with their dad, I slipped away to run this errand alone…in peace. I love these sweet opportunities, as they give me a welcome and always needed moment of silence. Time to spend with my God where it’s quiet. With a house full of boys, finding that time in my home is not easy. I’m guessing it isn’t always easy for you either.

I pulled into a slightly out of the way parking space and just sat. My husband knows these moments are precious to me. He knows that when there aren’t any pressing needs and all is well at home, breaks are a breath of fresh air to this often weary mom and he encourages me to go. Even the shortest trips to the store or a casual walk through the library alone can provide the sweetest refreshing to my soul. I am thankful for these moments. God knows we, often weary, moms need them.

As I sat there, thoughts swirling, ideas brewing, emotions and feelings stirring…I was suddenly struck by the overwhelming need to just pour out to Jesus. Why was I carrying on this one way conversation with myself, when I could (and should) just talk to the One who created me and knows me best? How often do I keep myself from Him? And when I’m in this place, all consumed with ME and my own thoughts, does that ever really work out?

The answer? No.

Truthfully, it’s only when we can first seek God and allow Him into these conversations that true wisdom, knowledge and understanding take place. He knows our every thought anyway.

So, on this day, in the silence of my car, I poured out to God. And on this day, my mind was consumed with homeschooling and my heart was in need of some Peace. Like many of you, we’re settling back in to the groove of school. Let me rephrase that. We’re ever so s.l.o.w.l.y. trying to find our daily rhythm and routine again. Last year’s school routine won’t work for this year because so much has changed. Our kids are a year older. Now we have a very active toddler who is oh-so-very TWO, which is adorable, but also challenging to say the least. Our four year old wants to be a part of school time, but is also distracted easily, so finding the right balance for a preschool aged child needs to be considered. Our first grader, who is six is excited about school, but gets frustrated very easily and our oldest who is eight and in third grade, is able to be a bit more independent, but still craves my focused attention.

And I feel like I’m never enough. Do you ever feel this way? Are there days, weeks or seasons when you wonder why it feels like you’re always spinning your wheels? Do you wonder when or if it might get a little easier? I do.

Each year, along with the new ages of my boys, new attitudes and behaviors (some good and some needing adjustment) and new routines and challenges, there are also all of those new curricula choices I’ve made now sitting before me. I love the lesson planning process of homeschooling. But sometimes, my plans don’t turn out the way I hoped. Sometimes, those plans don’t work out at all and then I begin to panic a bit.

This was one of those moments for me. The curriculum in and of itself, is amazing. The lessons I’ve planned seem fun, engaging, and obviously educational. But, they haven’t been working out well. Somehow, the excitement and love of learning I’m used to seeing from my kids, is missing. There’s a disconnect, but where did I go wrong? Is it the way I’m teaching? The curriculum?

I poured all of these concerns out to God. And then I waited. And then suddenly, the Scripture I had read only days before came rushing back to my mind and heart.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” -Proverbs 16:9

“A man’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?” -Proverbs 20:24

“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” -Psalm 37:23-24

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” -Jeremiah 29:11-14a

Do you hear the theme here? I looked up each verse that came to my mind for further clarification. I have read these verses before, but on this day God spoke His Truth to me by bringing His Word together in a way that gave me a much better perspective about all of my homeschooling plans. It wasn’t the curriculum that was necessarily the problem. It was me.

 You see, somehow with the start of a new school year, I momentarily forgot one very important thing. The good, right and straight path to homeschooling our kids is NOT contained within the pages of those great teacher’s manuals, alone, that come with all that wonderful curriculum. It’s the plans we submit to God first that work according to His good will and purposes for our children’s education that’s most important. Our lesson plans first need to come from THE Teacher’s Manual which is the Word of God, and then He will make our paths straight and order our steps as we delight in Him.

I am so very thankful for the freedom we have to homeschool. And our Teacher’s Manual reminds me that I am not a prisoner to the curriculum we’ve chosen. I can use what we have as a guide, remembering that part of the beauty of homeschooling is the ability to choose what works and set aside what doesn’t. God cares about these details too and longs for us to seek Him first in everything….even our lesson plans.

About the author

Megan

Megan and her amazing husband, along with their four young sons live in Washington state. She is a homeschooling mom after the heart of Jesus and wanting to make Him famous to her boys each and every day. As often as possible, Megan and her boys spend their time away from the table learning with a very hands-on approach. They love unit studies, science experiments, great books and especially the outdoors. One of her sons was born with a significant hearing loss, so her family learned American Sign Language, which has been an amazing blessing to all of them. Megan is passionate about encouraging moms in their faith, is inspired by others willing to share their real-life stories, finds joy in the everyday of Motherhood and loves spending as much time as possible in God’s creation with her family.

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  • JUST BEAUTIFUL!!!! THIS GAVE ME SUCH A LIFT ABOUT HOMESHCOOLING MY 7 YR OLD. THIS IS MY 2ND YEAR HOME SCHOOLING AND LAST YEAR WAS SUCH A TEST OF STRENGTH BECAUSE MY FATHER IN LAW LOST HIS BATTLE WITH CANCER, BUT HE SUFFERED FOR QUITE A FEW MONTHS MY HUSBAND AND I WERE THE ONLY ONES REALLY TAKING CARE OF HIM. HE LIVED ON OUR PROPERTY WITH US IN A MOBILE HOME. HE WAS NOT AN EASY MAN TO DEAL WITH WAS VERY NARCISSISTIC AND STUBBORN WHICH IS ONE OF THE REASONS HE LOST HIS BATTLE WITH CANCER. LONG STORY SHORT LAST YEAR WAS A LOT OF TRIAL AND ERROR AND A TEST OF ONES STRENGTH. I BROKE MY ANKLE IN THE FALL SO NOT ONLY WAS TRYING TO STILL BE A MOM TO 2YR AND HOME SCHOOL A 6YR OLD WE ALSO FOSTER FOR OUR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER AND MY HUSBAND HAD TO LEAVE FOR JOB OUT OF TOWN FOR HE WORKS FOR HIMSELF IN MARBLE AND GRANITE IN CEMETERIES. SO THE STUBBORN WOMAN I CAN BE DECIDED NOT TO GO TO THE ER THE DAY I FELL OFF OUR MOTORIZED SCOOTER IN THE DRIVEWAY BECAUSE MY HUSBAND HAD TO LEAVE FOR WORK THE NEXT DAY AND WAS FULL OF ANXIETY OVER HOW HE WAS GOING TO GET THE JOB DONE. SO IF I WAS IN A CAST AND ON CRUTCHES THERE WAS NO WAY I WOULD BE ABLE TO WALK UP HIS DADS STEPS AT HIS HOUSE AND TAKE CARE OF HIM WHILE MY HUSBAND WAS GONE. TO ME THIS WAS A TEST OF STRENGTH WE MAY FEEL AT THAT MOMENT HOW ARE WE EVER GOING TO GET THROUGH THIS OR HOW MUCH CAN ONE PERSON TAKE, BUT IN REALITY THERE IS ALWAYS A SILVER LINING AND MINE WAS THAT GOD KNOWS THAT I TAKE WHAT SEEMS LIKE A DISASTER AND MAKE IT WORK NOT JUST FOR ME BUT FOR MY WONDERFUL HUSBAND. EVEN THOUGH I FEEL LIKE I DIDN’T TEACH MY 7YR OLD A LOT OF HER CURRICULUM LAST AND THAT I HAD FAILED HER BECAUSE OF ALL THE CHAOS IN OUR LIVES. BUT REALLY SHE WAS LEARNING ALL ALONG , SHE WAS LEARNING TO LOVE FAMILY EVEN MORE, SHE LOVED HER POP-POP VERY MUCH HE TAUGHT HER HOW TO GARDEN, HOW TO COOK, AND MOST IMPORTANT WITHOUT HIM EVEN KNOWING IT SHE TAUGHT HIM THE JOY OF THE SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE, THE BEAUTY OF A BUTTERFLY, CHICK LINGS HATCHING, PICKING STRAWBERRIES RIGHT OFF THE VINE TO GIVE A TASTE TEST!!!!! SO EVEN THOUGH SHE DID NOT DO CURRICULUM WORK EVERYDAY SHE STILL WAS LEARNING, LEARNING THAT THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN JUST SITTING AT A DESK FOR HOURS ON END, WHEN MY FIL PASSED AWAY MAY I THOUGHT WOW I DIDN’T EVEN CRY WHEN I SAW HIS SOUL LEAVE HIS BODY AS STOOD THERE WATCHING THE NURSES TRYING TO REVIVE HIM I DIDN’T FEEL SORROW OR HOPELESSNESS. I FELT A WEIGHT WAS LIFTED OFF ALL OUR SHOULDERS NOT IN A BAD WAY IN A WAY OF HE WAS FREE, FREE OF PAIN, FREE OF BEING DEGRADED EVERYDAY FOR HE NO LONGER HAD THE ABILITY TO GO THE BATHROOM ON HIS OWN WITHOUT A NURSE, FREE FROM PEOPLE TELLING HIM WHAT HE SHOULD BE EATING AND NOT EATING, FREE FROM THE CANCER THAT TORTURED HIS BODY FOR 11 MONTHS. IN THAT MOMENT WAS MY SILVER LINING BECAUSE I HAD THE STRENGTH THAT DAY THAT NO ONE ELSE HAD OR COULD DO “I TOLD HIM IT WAS OK TO LET GO, THAT WE WILL ALL BE ALRIGHT, THAT HE DIDN’T HAVE TO SUFFER OR FIGHT ANY LONGER , HE COULD GO TO THE SOFT WHITE FLUFFY CLOUDS AND SLEEP WITHOUT NURSES POKING AND PRODDING HIM. MANY PEOPLE THINK IT’S NOT RIGHT TO TELL SOMEONE THAT BUT I TRULY BELIEVE THAT SOME WAIT FOR THAT RELIEF THAT THERE LOVE ONES WILL BE OK WHEN THEY PASS ON TO A NEW LIFE WITH NO PAIN AND SUFFERING. SORRY THIS IS SO LONG I JUST FELT I NEEDED TO SHARE THIS. MY THOUGHT IN LIFE ANYMORE IS THAT LIFE GOES WAY TO FAST AND IF YOU DON’T SLOW DOWN TO ENJOY THE MOST SIMPLE THINGS , LIKE A GIGGLE FROM YOUR KIDS, OR THE WAY THE THEY THINK OF THINGS, OR JUST LAUGHING WITH YOUR FAMILY , THEY DO NOT STAY LITTLE FOREVER I DO NOT WANT TO CONSUME WITH THIS IS WHAT YOUR SUPPOSE TO KNOW BASED OFF OF WHAT THE DISTRICT THINKS OR THEY HAVE TO DRESS A CERTAIN WAY TO FIT IN. NOT GONNA HAPPEN IN THIS FAMILY. EVERYONE OF US IS UNIQUE AND WE ALL BRING DIFFERENT QUALITIES TO THE WORLD ITS HOW WE USE THEM AS A SOCIETY AND A WORLD THAT GOD WANTED FROM US. I AM THANKFUL FOR EVERY NEW DAY I GET BREATH FRESH AIR HUG AND KISS MY KIDS, SHOW MY HUSBAND HOW MUCH I LOVE HIM, AND VERY THANKFUL FOR THE LITTLE TRIP TO THE STORE OR JUST A WALK DOWN OUR LONG DRIVEWAY TO THINK………..WE ONLY GET ONE LIFE IT’S HOW YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE IT AND I CHOOSE TO DO IT MY WAY NOT WHAT SOMEONE ELSE THINKS IS BETTER FOR MY KIDS OR ME. YOU ARE THERE LIFE AND YOU KNOW WHAT’S BEST FOR THEM . I NOW KNOW HOW I AM SUPPOSE TO LIVE MY AND I WILL NOT LET BE DICTATED BY WHAT SOME ONE ELSE THINKS IS THE RIGHT WAY. THERE IS NO RULE BOOK OUT SAYING YOU HAVE TO RAISE YOUR KIDS A CERTAIN OR YOU HAVE TO LIVE A CERTAIN. YOU LIVE THE THAT WORKS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!

    WHEW THAT WAS A LOT BUT IT FELT GOOD TO KNOW THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE LIKE ME WHO GET CAUGHT IN WORRYING ARE DOING RIGHT BY OUR KIDS, WHEN OUR KIDS LEARN THE VALUE OF LIFE AND THE SMALLEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE THE TRUE BLESSINGS IN LIFE !!!

    THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL UPLIFTING POST
    WARMEST REGARDS TO YOU ARE YOUR FAMILY
    AMY CONRAD HOME SCHOOL MOM

  • So true! I laugh because I LOVE the planning part of homeschooling but not carrying it out – but I think that is because it never turns out the way I plan. So sometimes I need to just let go! Thanks for the inspiration

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