5 Easy Ways to Improve the Heart of Your Homeschool
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Pat: Hi. This is Pat Fenner from PatAndCandy.com, and I just wanted to share a piece of advice with you that I’ve developed over my years of homeschooling. Now, I have to be honest. This wasn’t a piece of advice that I myself even followed when I was homeschooling our first two older kids, but we do have three kids that are younger, currently 18, 16, and 13, and it has become something that I definitely hearken back on is to recognize and accept and own that homeschooling is really more about the heart than it is about the head.
And the reason I say that, especially this time of year in the middle of the school year, you might find yourself a little frustrated maybe with curriculum. Things might not be going well. You’re in that “maybe we need to change gears, try something different, things aren’t working”. And I’d just like to encourage you before you just throw everything out and start with something new, that you stop for a minute, take a deep breath, and think about what is the state of your children’s hearts, and your own heart, of course. And not to… You know, I really don’t want to give any mommy guilt here, because, of course, I know that you are doing your best, as we all are. But sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in teaching and information and preparing them for their future that we forget about the day-to-day. I know I do do that, as well.
And so, I wanted to give you five easy things that you could do to maybe improve the state of your heart and their hearts: Institute a weekly date with your children. Now, this can be something as simple as just going to the grocery store. “Hey, I’ve got to get gas. Want to come with me?” Or, you know, go out and get an ice cream cone or something like that, too. Just one-on-one time, especially important if you have multiple children. And then especially important if you have teenagers, because they need that time with you.
The second thing you can do is to share YouTube videos that you come across, or songs that you come across with your kids that you like, or that are funny, or that you just thought were interesting. And I kind of think it’s neat, because my kids are doing it with me now, and they… “Oh, Mom. You’ve got to see this video I just saw over lunch.” We were just sharing a really funny YouTube video, and it just helps to kind of grease the wheels around the house.
Ask them how their day went, whether it’s maybe they’re coming home from work, especially when they become teens and they have a part-time job, if they were out on a date. But be prepared to listen, and actively listen, ask questions, and then back off when you see that they’re done sharing.
Thank them for doing their jobs. I know this sounds maybe trite, but think about that. Don’t you appreciate being appreciated? So, thank them when they do their jobs.
And the last thing that you could do is ask them how you can pray for them. And I know sometimes, when I started doing this with my kids, they kind of would mumble or, “Oh, we’re…nothing…” — you know, or things like that. But when they would share something and kind of hold onto that, definitely pray for them, and then follow up with that. “Hey, how is that test going that you wanted? How did that test go that you wanted me to pray for you about the other day.”
Weekly dates, share YouTube videos or songs, ask them about how their day went or their job, thank them for doing their jobs around the house, and then ask them how you can pray for them. I can guarantee you that, as you make an appeal to their heart, that you will find your homeschool and your home life going a little better and be encouraged. Thanks for taking the time to hear, and I hope that my words have not only encouraged but blessed you.
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