This was the main topic of discussion at the most recent Mother's Encouragement Night (Wed 26th Oct 2011). The night was led by Annette M she spoke of what and how she overcame her teaching background in order to home educate and what are the fruits of home education. Annette has been home educating for 10 years, has 5 children, one of them at university and another graduating this year.
So back to the question. Here's a comprehensive list of some of the fruits that would be most desirable:
Not a bad list! Do any of these ring true? Did you notice academics haven't even made the list? There is no way we can be or do all at once, these are goals for a lifetime.
What is in a mans heart comes forth through his mouth and his true nature is revealed. The heart is the centre of our intellect, our emotions and our will.
We can understand with our heart - Deuteronomy 8:5,
we can pray with our heart - Isaiah 1:12-13,
we can meditate with our heart - Psalm 19:14,
we can hide God's word in our hearts - Psalm 119:11,
we can doubt in our heart - Mark 11:23,
we can ponder in our heart - Luke 2:19,
we can believe in our heart - Romans 10:19,
we can sing in our heart - Ephesian 5:19,
the heart provides wisdom - 1 Kings 3:12,
we can have joy in our hearts - Deuteronomy 28:47, Acts 2:26,
we can have grief in our hearts - Psalm 13:2,
we can harbour an ill-temper - Deuteronomy 15:10,
we can love - Deuteronomy 6:5, Philippians 1:7,
we can have courage - 2 Samuel 17:10, Psalm 27:14,
we can be fearful - Genesis 42:28,
we can have gladness - Exodus 4:14,
the heart can be yielded to God - Joshua 24:23,
we can discern good and evil with our heart - 1 Kings 2:44,
we can request a pure heart - Psalm 51:10,Matthew 5:8,
the heart can be devoted to seeking God - 1 Chronicles 22:19,
the heart receives from God - Psalm 21:1-2,
the heart can be turned to God's statutes - Psalm 119:36
THE HEART IS A POWERFUL THING
Ministering to the hearts of our children is one of the most important ingredients in an unbeatable home ed lifestyle recipe, US and OUR relationship with God and each other is the most influential ingredient. Like in the story of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt, a family can be delivered from the land of oppression and slavery to a system and led to freedom. If God did it using Moses (who was slow of tongue!) for the slaves in Egypt, surely he can do it for us and our families. Trusting in God produces peace, fear produces only worry and anxiety. Home educating our children in Australia isn't nearly as hard as Moses' task was. God knows what our children will face in the future and He will give you what you need to educate them in the way they need to be educated. After 2 years home educating I finally realise that it is not by my power or understanding but by God's that all will work out. Chase after God and His wisdom.
Proverbs 4:7 says - "Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! And with your wisdom develop common sense and good judgement."
If you want wisdom you must decide to go after it. It takes resolve - a determination not to abandon the search once you begin no matter how difficult the road may become, this is a daily path of choosing what is good. (Proverbs 4:18)
Choosing what is good. Philippians 4:6-9 says - "Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thanks Him for His answers. If you do this you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind scan understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Jesus Christ. ............. . Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about these things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about."
If you were to write down under these headings Relationships, Skills & Academic, what you wish for your children what would you write? Our group did this on the night and it was very easy to fill the Relationships and Skills sections but Academic was the least filled heading, which indicates the first two headings are most important.
To have honest open relationship with family.
To chose to love over selfish desire.
To be a glass half full type of person.
To understand others point of views.
To chase after God, to know Him, not just acknowledge Him
To specialise in their area of interest.
To use passions to be useful with time.
To lead healthy, practical lives.
To communicate clearly.
To be clear, engaging, truthful story tellers.
To live more sustainably, respecting God's provision in nature.
To love reading and learning so as to know God and His wisdom.
To be able to budget.
navigate this ever changing, complex world.
To be inspired by God's people throughout history and learn from human mistakes.
To know how to research any information to learn the above skills.
You might have very different ideas but these were just some of the ideas that came out on the night, there were many more though. It was an interesting exercise to do and it showed most of us that RELATIONSHIPS were at the top of the priority list.
I hope this sheds some light on our last get together. We mums can support each other in prayer and encouragement and living a life guided by the Lord. It was a very real and warm place where those attending were supported in prayer on the night and will continue to be throughout the weeks and months ahead. No judgement, no talking outside of personal things discussed on the night but a place where we mums can love each other by praying for one another as sisters in Jesus Christ.
This post is simply a reflection of mine from the evening and I would love to read others ideas and musings.