I recently read the book, "Teaching From Rest: The Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakeable Peace" by Sarah MacKenzie and it was wonderful. I am so thankful to have found it right at the beginning of our homeschool journey. It held such good insight, wisdom and practical tips to keep anxiety and unrest at bay.
One of the simple challenges the author gave was to imagine our children, 20 years from now, being asked about what it was like to be homeschooled. Next, she asked us to write down the words or phrases that we hoped our children would use to describe their childhood. It didn't take me long to come up with my words: warm, conversational, full of stories and laughter, peace-full, beauty-full, wonder-full, and characterized by grace.
Brian and I can't control how our kids turn out- what their SAT scores will be, what college they will get into, what job they'll choose, what good/bad choices they will make... but one thing we CAN do is to pray for them daily and create a family environment that encourages goodness, truth, beauty and grace.
For the foreseeable future, my short list of words will serve as simple reminders to direct how I interact with my kids; how I speak to them, what we'll study, what activities we engage in, how I set up my home, what books we read and how I love and serve my kids day in and day out. Thinking about my parenting/education goals this way has been much more inspiring and positive than giving in to anxieties that can sometimes take over my thoughts and motivations.
I created this image to place at the beginning of my homeschool binder and to hang in my kitchen as a constant reminder of the type of childhood and education I want to give the precious people God placed in my care. This simple exercise made a huge difference in my approach to schooling and parenting this year and I pray our home environment will live up to these chosen ideals.