Encourage One Another
Happy New Year! Isn't it wonderful to be gifted with a fresh new year stretched out in front of you? As you are diving back into the rigors of teaching high school classes and corralling your teens from all those days of vacation, remember I Thessalonians 5:24: "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass" (NASB). Let's trust God in this new year to provide the wisdom, strength, and resources necessary to teach and mentor your children.
Homeschooling through high school is a big job--but it is manageable. Some practical ways to remain committed to the task and remain sane while doing so are:
- Make a New Year's resolution to schedule a regular time alone or with friends. This will reorder your perspective to see that your circumstances are similar to others'; your child's behavior is "normal"; your teaching challenges are understood by others. How refreshing to know you aren't the only one experiencing these feelings and fears!
- Develop telephone friends. Many times you can't have lunch or tea with others because of your time constraints, but a short telephone conversation with a friend renews your spirit and energizes you to finish the day.
- Involve your children in household tasks. Yes, you can do these chores quicker and more efficiently on your own, but this is part of their education. Their spouses will bless you for it!
- Renew your mind daily. Scripture, of course, is our primary source for truth. Spend time in the Word daily and receive a spiritual cleansing to keep discouraging thoughts at bay. Do not listen to those doubts about your abilities to actually provide your children with a quality education. Even when you wake up in the morning thinking, "Who am I to be doing this? Little ole me? I can't measure up!" Yes, you can! "Will the benefits of keeping my children home outweigh the perceived positives offered by other educational options? Will my children be well prepared?" Yes, they will!
- Make it a yearly habit to read at least one inspiring book--definitely not a textbook! You may also want to start a simple quote box, filling it with sayings/verses that will lift you up on days when you are down. (An easy way to do this is to write the quotes on index cards and store them in a small recipe box.)
Here are a few quotes/verses to get you started:
When you are dealing with a rebellious or unmotivated teen:
- "Never despair of a child. The one you weep the most for at the mercy seat may fill your heart with the sweetest joys." --"God's Little Devotional Book for Moms," Honor Books, Inc.
- "Now you are deep in what seems to me a peculiarly selfless service. The spiritual training of children must be that. You work for the years you will not see. You work for the Invisible all the time, but you work for the Eternal. So it is all worthwhile." --Amy Carmichael, "A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael," by Elisabeth Elliot
- "We pray that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power, according to the might of His glory, (to exercise) every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God's holy people) in the Light." --Colossians 1:11-12, (Amplified Bible)
When you are feeling inadequate to homeschool through high school or afraid that you don't measure up:
- "Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing yet has been done." --C. S. Lewis
- "Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared." --Eddie Rickenbacker
- "Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you." --Psalm 9:10 (NIV)
When you are weary, exhausted, or overwhelmed:
- "Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary." --Isaiah 40:30-31 (NASB)
- "Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed--that exhilarating finish in and with God--he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!" --Hebrews 12:2-3 (The Message, Bible paraphrase)
When you just need to laugh and keep everything in perspective:
- "Children certainly brighten up a home. Did you ever see a child under 12 turn off an electric light?" -- "God's Little Devotional Book for Moms," Honor Books, Inc.
- "The quickest way for a parent to get a child's attention is to sit down and look comfortable." -- "God's Little Devotional Book for Moms," Honor Books, Inc.
- "A cheerful heart is good medicine . . . ." -- Proverbs 17:22a (NIV)
- "Courage is being afraid, yet saddling up anyway." --John Wayne
- "A mother is a person who sees that there are only four pieces of pie for five persons and promptly remarks that she's never cared for pie." --"God's Little Devotional Book for Moms," Honor Books, Inc.
For More Verses to Encourage Your Heart go to http://www.hslda.org/highschool/verses.asp. For More Quotes to Encourage Your Heart go to http://www.hslda.org/highschool/quotes.asp. Take a short break today and read some refreshing "Stories from the Home Front."
For our HSLDA members, we are here to cheer and root for you; we are your fan club. Call or email us so we can listen with a mother's heart, and then encourage you along the path that God has called you to walk.
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh . . . ." --Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4a (NIV)
Sometimes weeping, other times laughing, but always rejoicing with you,
Becky and Diane
HSLDA High School Coordinators
This resource is an article from the Homeschooling Thru Highschool newsletter (1/6/2006), and is provided by the Home School Legal Defense Association as a service to the homeschooling community.