The past three or so weeks have been designated as “project weeks”. Instead of the usual lessons and individual work they have to do, project week is when we slow down to just dwell on those topics they would want to spend more time on and make outputs for. Ideally, the kids have to come up with an output at the end of every theme or topic– If not for all, at least for most of the topics we cover. Ideally. But because of how life is for us generally, wherein the days go by without us really noticing it, we have learned to be more realistic and flexible with regards to our expectations of ourselves and our schoolwork. (I realize I said we “slow down” our homeschool pace– as if we’re keen on keeping our routines and schedules. I don’t want to deceive you. We’re not. We are actually way slower than how I’d hoped we would do school!)
Anyway, the kids and I are just about to enter our fourth quarter stretch for this homeschool year. I have been attempting to start jotting down lists of work they had to accomplish and pages they had to read and fill, but somehow, something seems to be stopping me. Somehow, there’s something in me that still does not want to give them their usual “schoolwork”.
I have been thinking about these verses from Deuteronomy 6: 6-9:
“These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, and you and your children and grandchildren must fear theLord your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life. Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you, and you will have many children in the land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
My ultimate goal in raising my children is to reveal Jesus and the power of the Gospel to them. I want them to encounter and be overwhelmed by the grace and the love of God, and to point them to the One who loves unconditionally and saves mightily. I want to see them love the Lord their God with all their heart, all their soul, and all their strength.
Yes, I would love for my kids to be really smart and talented. But even if they weren’t, if I see them love God with all that they’ve got, I can still rest assured that they will fulfill God’s purposes for their lives. Yes, I would love for my kids to learn their manners and people skills as early as possible. God knows how tempted I am every day to point out and correct flaws that I see in how they behave– especially around people. I couldn’t wait to just see them get things right, right away! But even if they’re not there yet– if I see them grow in their love for God and in the things of God, then I can be patient and know that they’d get there, eventually.
But while they are not “there” yet (while I am not there yet, either!)….
“And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.”
Have I been faithful in my commitment to teach God’s Word wholeheartedly to my children?
Have I been spending more time in teaching them God’s Word or in teaching them new words?
“Repeat them again and again to your children.”
What do my children hear from me again and again? Word to correct to words to connect?
“Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”
When we are at home, what takes up a bulk of our time?
When we are on the road (which would be a long time here in Metro Manila), am I more connected to Waze or am I using the time to connect with my kids and talk to them about God’s ways?
When they wake up and before they go to bed, what do they hear me say?
“Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
What do I always remind them about?
Have I been helping them fix their eyes on Jesus and what He has done for them? Or have I been more preoccupied with getting them to “do” more work?
As we are all about to enter the last stretch of our academic years, I think it would be good to remind ourselves of what our main objectives are.
As we remember to use scope and sequence and developmental checklists to see what else we need to cover for the grade level our children are in, let us also remember to check and make sure that God’s Word has the greatest scope in the development of their hearts and minds, and that it’s His Word that covers every area of their lives.
So yes, I think there might be some changes in our lesson plan for the next couple of months. Good changes. 🙂