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TO THE POINT: INVESTING TIME
March 25, 2023
This month's ezine is on the importance of understanding that our TIME is the valuable investment we are giving to our children now during their homeschool journey. Giving your time is giving your energy.
How well do you invest your time? Especially in this season of being a homeschool mom. Does it matter now?
Recently I had a few conversations with committed homeschool moms who are considering ‘formal school’ again because they ‘just don’t have enough time to homeschool anymore’. In a way I have a lot of sympathy since time is the limiting factor and when you have multiple kids, different ages, various responsibilities added on top of some insecurities, there will be limited energy and vision and motivation to continue. I am however still of the opinion that the core definition of home education is actually…
an investment of TIME into your children’s wellbeing now for their future.
Since this is a homeschooling forum, let us zoom in a bit and assume that we have a few years left - just enough until your kids are young adults. The question then is:
What are our goals with respect to investing the time you have left, in preparing our kids for the rest of their lives?
In essence (in my opinion), homeschooling is a combination of:
• Helping our kids to explore and discover who they are (identity) and what their unique combination of gifts, passions, genius and talents are.
• Giving them a strong moral and spiritual foundation (integrity, honesty, etc.).
• Equipping them with skills (communication, reading and writing, life skills etc.).
• Facilitating exposure to a variety of knowledge/subject areas so they can discover what their interests are.
• Giving them a broad overview of what is going on in the world especially in terms of worldviews and different perspectives.
• Helping them to explore their ‘place in the world’ deeper as it relates to who they are and where their interests are leading them.
• And finally helping them attain a formal qualification or skill in line with the above.
Can you see how homeschooling is therefore so much more than just the academics?
Can you see that getting just the right ‘system’ is not the answer?
Money cannot buy the above for you or your children.
There is also not one right strategy or answer on how to achieve the above. Often we wish it was as easy as just ‘getting the right curriculum’...but it's not...it's making the best decisions you know how to make, with the information you have at hand and with the guidance you feel you have.
All of the above flows from our relationship with them and as homeschoolers we have the privilege of spending MUCH more time with our kids than in a normal schooling setup. This fact should make us more careful and not careless about how we spend time with them. We should still view time as precious and therefore be intentional in our habits.
These are some of the reasons why homeschooling is such a unique and challenging experience - it is a journey you and your family must navigate for yourselves as you continue forward – with confidence and trust that you are not alone, that you have God at your side helping and leading you in the next steps.
If you agree with the list, then the questions to ask in relation to time, are:
• How much of your current time and effort is invested into these homeschooling pursuits? (or are there other priorities which may cause you to miss the point?)
• Are you satisfied that enough time is invested in your relationships with your children?
• Is enough time invested in achieving your and their goals?
• Can you see your family moving towards achieving these goals or moving away from them?
Sometimes the problem is that the goals are not clear – then attend to that, think it through and define something that makes sense to you. And yes, having good relationships with people are worthwhile pursuits in themselves.
Sometimes the problem is that there are too many goals – sit back and think well about what to focus on for this season of your life, and what should not be a priority for now.
Sometimes the goals are not enough – watch your children and monitor what their real needs are, then develop goals that will challenge/stretch them just a little so they can grow into character.
Let the answers to the above questions guide you to adapt and make changes sooner rather than later, to invest time wisely, now.
(Eph 5:16 Redeem the time / Make the most of every opportunity!)
Only a blind man relies on his eyes only to see.
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