As you may have read in previous posts, this spring my sister-in-law Renée and I attended a Teach Them Diligently Conference in Omaha that really changed my life. I realized that over the past eight years, I seem to have forgotten our family mission for homeschooling.
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” — Deuteronomy 6:7
When we started out, we named our homeschool “Guardian Academy,” because our last name is Ward, which means guardian or watchman. Our mission is to train “Guardians of the Faith.” Our school verse is taken from Ephesians 6:10-18 (verse 11), which is all about putting on the full armor of God. And yet, this spring I needed to be reminded that we are preparing arrows, warriors, and guardians. I realized that I get so sidetracked with doing “school,” that I often forget the very reason we are homeschooling in the first place.
So the No. 1 change I am looking forward to making this next school year is to center our school days around God and His Word. To keep in the forefront of our minds that we are in training, and we are learning for a purpose — and that is to fight the good fight of Faith.
This will be the first year Joel will have an actual Bible curriculum: The past two years we have done daily devotions and some memory work, which we will keep doing. However I’ve decided that Bible will also now be a school subject. We are going to start out on Mondays by doing a character trait study from author and speaker Rachael Carman’s blog, HisSunflower. Then we can work on developing that trait all week. The rest of the week, we will be using Firmly Planted’s Family Study Guide, The Book of Moses, Part 1.
Another change I plan to make will be the addition of a more Biblically based history curriculum. We love Story of the World and will continue to use it to some degree, but Diana Waring’s History Alive is great, because she always tells history as “His-Story” and shows how God has worked through history. Joel will also be using Apologia Science for the first time.
I have also made a greater commitment to get up in the morning and have a short quiet devotion time for me — which I can already tell is making a huge difference in my attitude every day. I’d like Joel to have his own devotion time apart from school.
Scripture memorization will continue, and I think it is important for all of us — me included. I have created little business cards with scriptures verses, hole punched them and put them on a ring. This makes them easy to keep together, and when we have memorized them, I stamp a corner but keep them on the ring for review. I like to keep mine with me when I am doing my own devotion and/or Bible Study. I need to add some blank ones so that I can add some as I run across verses that speak to me.
Another thing that I do for myself and can’t wait to share with my son is my prayer journal. I want him to develop a strong prayer life of his own, to start his own journal and to feel the joy of looking back over it and seeing all of the prayers God has answered.
What are you planning to change in your upcoming homeschooling year? How does Bible study fit in to your plans? What advice do you have to other homeschooling moms looking for new ways to center their homeschooling agenda around God’s word?
This week NextGen Homeschool is linking up with Teach Them Diligently’s blogger link-up on changes for the 2013-14 homeschooling year. Visit the link-up for more posts on what other veteran homeschoolers are planning to change for the upcoming school year!