Why Love Must Be the Heart of the Homeschool




“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”  1 Corinthians 13:1


So begins the famous passage so often read at weddings and so desperately needed in the home and the homeschool.  Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, does not boast… and we can insert the word “Mama” every time we read love for some added effect.  Or guilt.  It depends, doesn’t it?

Mama is patient, kind, not proud, never rude… Mama is not self-seeking, Mama is not easily angered, Mama keeps no records of wrongs…  Mama always protects, always trusts, always hopes…

But does she?

Let me humbly say it- Friends, I’ve been the clanging cymbal.

Oh, yes I have.  And especially with my husband and children, because isn’t it all too often the ones we love most that get the worst of us?

If you’re anything like me, you can spend hours researching books and homeschool curriculum and planning weekly schedules and printing out activities.  We have wonderful ideas for every-which-way to teach.  We post Bible verses on the walls and read our devotions every morning, and we find the best books and the best programs and the best of everything we can get our hands on.

But how many times have we sat down in the quiet and truly considered the reality of 1 Corinthians 13?  Especially in how we relate with our children.

If I have not love…

So, I can plan the most interesting and engaging activities, buy the best books and studies, and teach deep biblical truths – but, if I have not love… I’m just a loud, clattering, annoying cymbal to my children.  Anything positive I’m trying to teach gets completely crowded out and stifled by my lack of love.

I learned this {huge} lesson when my oldest son was younger.  He was (is…) a highly spirited child, and we butted heads for, oh, the first seven years of his life.  There came a season in our homeschool where all ‘school’ (so to speak) had to completely cease.  The reason?  Because the Mommy/son relationship was in shambles.  Completely compromised by weeks of battles for control and flaring tempers.

My words and my ‘teaching’ had become clatter to my son’s little ears.  He was hurting and I had failed him in more ways than I like to remember.  He didn’t need math lessons. He needed heart and soul therapy.  He needed a Mama who was spilling over with true love and understanding.

And I’m the first to stand humbled and admit that I can’t be true LOVE by my own power.  Only through Christ can I honestly reflect that 1 Corinthians authentic love to my children.  And not even close to perfectly.  But consistently, I can show them a humble heart that longs to live love far more than I long to be right.

Only after taking time off of our ‘studies’ and rebuilding our bond and trust did we finally settle into a healthy, fruitful relationship that was the very foundation for the closeness we have today.  When I surrendered myself and grasped instead for the Father of Love – things were set right. When I consistently reflected a heart of love, in time, he began to hear me again.

Eyes and hearts open when love is poured out.  But without love, children shut down.  They turn away.  This is why, as moms, we need to desperately cling to One who can breathe love and light into us daily.  Not only for our own good and for the glory of God but for our children.


Does your homeschool needs a love-makeover?  Have your children shut down or become angry?  Do you know you lack the love you need to truly nurture your children?

Here are some suggestions from one broken mama to another:

  • Pray for the Lord to reveal truth to you.  What is causing this breakdown?  Is there sin in yourself that needs to be dealt with?
  • Pray that God would show you where you are lacking love and grace with your children.  Ask Him to help you reflect His love.
  • Pray your children’s hearts would be softened and you could easily speak to them and begin repairing hurts.
  • Wake up and daily surrender your life, your heart, and your emotions to the Lord.  Ask Him to guide your every step and pray before you react to difficult situations.
  • Remember, grace covers a multitude…

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  1. Thank you! I needed to read this. I have been fighting with my son for weeks to do his school work. He feels that it is boring. Because he knows it pretty well. We had a talk last night and today I thought to make it a bit more fun with spelling baseball and even some math football. We have a football board game not math related but it should work.

  2. I needed to hear all of what you said here. Thank you for the encouraging words and your openness.
    I am exploring lots of information on homeschooling because my youngest child is asking for me to homeschool her.
    I am ready, and so is she. She is almost 10 and is about to finish 4th grade at an all girls Catholic school.
    This year has been a tough one for the school with many issues needing attention. Our plan is to back away from her school
    and take a break from all of the turmoil. I cannot think of a better reason to begin homeschooling now. The circumstances are right.
    Thanks again for your wisdom.

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