Last week, we considered the motto of the Olympic Games: Citius, Altius, Fortius which translated represents Faster, Higher, Stronger. Over the next few weeks, we will look at each of these words individually and consider the applications to our homeschool journey.
Citius translates to “faster” or “swifter.” While this is not usually the description that first comes to mind as we contemplate our homeschool journey, I would like to suggest that there are relevant applications to us as homeschool moms.
Let’s be honest, running the homeschool race is often a marathon and not a sprint. Yet, I would venture to say that there are times when we have to sprint. Sprinting may encompass anything from an extended time teaching phonics to a struggling reader to a concentrated focus on character development in a child in need. The sprint may also be a time of overcoming personal challenges to stay focused on the homeschool call. In 1 Corinthians we are reminded that our ultimate goal is to train and run in such a way that we get the prize, a crown that will last forever.
I Corinthians 9:24-27 reads, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that I after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
Training for a Homeschool Marathon
So how do you train for a homeschool marathon?
First, spend time with the Lord. Through your devotional quiet time, He will strengthen and equip you for the race. Do you need wisdom on teaching phonics or wisdom for dealing with a child’s behavior? Ask God. He cares about each of these situations. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him.”
Second, make your family the priority. If you are new to the home-education lifestyle, you will quickly learn that friends and family who do not homeschool are slow to realize that it truly is your full time job. Oftentimes, others may think you are home and available at a moment’s notice or for additional activities (like volunteer work). You may find it necessary to set boundaries; this is perfectly acceptable and I encourage it.
Third, do not approach the race aimlessly. As a husband and wife, set goals for your family: educational goals, spiritual goals, character goals. While you may find that your goals may be redefined over the years, they are of the utmost importance. I have spoken with many homeschool families who reach the end of the journey and feel an overwhelming sense of purposelessness. If pressed, most of these families openly share that they approached their homeschool with goals and purpose. My heart breaks for these families, as they come to terms with their regrets and “should-haves.” Honestly, I would say many of us reach the end of our homeschool journey and may battle with some regret, but if we have met some (or most) of our goals, we can be reassured that we have achieved success. We are qualified for the prize. Our everlasting crown is secured.
Running the Race,