I am excited today to be sharing a guest post by my friends, Hal & Melanie Young, authors of the book Raising Real Men. Sincet they have graciously contributed a valuable gift package as a prize for our Facebook party this Thursday, I asked them to also share some encouraging words for our Back to School Blast. I know you’ll be blessed by this post, as I was!
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One of the very best things about starting a new school year at home is you get to start all over again! I love the smell of new books, the crayons in the box all neat and pointed, stacks of pencils all the same length and rulers right there where we need them. It’s fun to start again with new unused workbooks and textbooks and stacks of books to read. Do you make promises to yourselves about the new year? Here are ours:
Don’t answer check email or social media before lunchtime. Don’t answer the phone unless it’s your mate. School is not just hard work, it’s spiritual warfare. It’s amazing how many emergencies that need your attention right now can really wait until afternoon! When Melanie breaks this one, school often doesn’t get done.
Do the most important things first. That doesn’t mean start with the hardest subject, it means start with the Word of God. Hal always says, “If you don’t have time for devotions, you don’t have time for school.”
Time spent on character at the expense of schoolwork is not wasted time. It’s those maddening days when you go from disciplining one child to counseling another that will make the biggest difference in who they turn out to be.
See, when we first started homeschooling, yes, we wanted to pass on our faith, but we thought the real strength of homeschooling was in the fantastic education we would give our children. As the years have passed and trials have come, as children have grown up and left home, we’ve learned differently. Sure, our children have gotten a good education. Far more important than that, though, is the time we’ve spent with them. There is just no substitute for time.
Time with our children is time to disciple them. It’s time to live Christ in front of them. It’s time to correct them and guide them when they do wrong. It’s time to impact their lives. It’s time that can never be regained when it’s lost.
When your children are all grown up, all those days of frustration will fade in wonder at what God has wrought from our pitiful efforts. So, when you pull out all those new supplies and your heart rejoices that you can start again fresh this year, don’t forget this: the heart of homeschooling is discipleship. It’s what matters. Make it the heart of your homeschool this year.
Hal & Melanie Young
Hal & Melanie Young are the authors of Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys, Christian Small Publishers 2011 Book of the Year, and the new My Beloved and My Friend: How to be Married to Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses (Now accepting pre-orders!). They are also the parents of six boys and two girls, who’ve been homeschooled from the beginning. Find them at the Raising Real Men blog [ http://raisingrealmen.com ] and on the Raising Real Men Facebook page [http://facebook.com/raisingrealmen ] and their own. [http://facebook.com/halandmelanie ]