This fall marks my eleventh year of homeschooling, and I love the beginning of the year. We technically started in July, and we are going on a two-week vacation in September, but the logistics of our beginnings don’t really matter. We are all starting somewhere at some point.
I love the excitement of the new curriculum (we’re continuing last year’s because we didn’t finish, but I went ahead and bought the next year anyway because I. Love. Books!).
I love opening the boxes and the freshness of the materials. I love cracking the spines of new books and flipping through the glossy pages.
I love the zeal I feel for learning. (Notice I didn’t say the zeal my kids feel for learning because I wouldn’t exactly say they approach schoolwork with zeal. Although, now that I think about it, my younger daughter is eager for our read aloud these days, and that read-aloud is historical fiction which is teaching her about the Revolutionary War. So maybe there is a little zeal on the part of at least one of my kids.)
As the year kicks off, I love the feeling of new routines and the eagerness that I feel in attacking the different forms of learning that I’ve chosen for us.
But the beginning of the year isn’t all sunshine and roses. I don’t love my kids’ attitudes towards anything I label as “schoolwork.” I don’t love how they resist my routines. I don’t love how I have to prompt them and prompt them and prompt them to do their independent work.
The beginning of the year can be hard as we don’t have routines in place yet, and inertia makes us resist building new habits that involve prescribed learning. Discipline is hard.
All that hard is why we need to go to the Lord in prayer at the beginning of our school year. We need to seek Him out as we choose curriculum, as we enroll in classes, as we plan out routines. We need wisdom and guidance that only He can provide.
I have included a prayer below that I have prayed for you, dear friend. You can pray it for yourself, over your homeschool, over your kids, over your family. It applies whether you’re an unschooler or a Charlotte Mason schooler or a classical schooler or a school at home-er or a cyberschooler. They’re all good, and they’re all blessed by God for the betterment of His children.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for taking care of every little detail of my life – homeschooling, homemaking, working, and mothering. I lean on you because I can’t manage any of it on my own. You are my rock and my salvation, and I can do nothing without your help.
Thank you for the freedom to school my children in the best way I can. Thank you for every day I am able to spend at home with them.
Thank you for the roof over our heads and food in our bellies and family that loves us.
Thank you for a husband who supports and challenges me and help me to love and support him as he deserves.
Thank you for helping me to do it all, Lord. I trust you to take care of my life and all its parts.
Help me to find the discipline to plan and teach daily lessons even when it’s inconvenient and I don’t feel like it.
Give me the discernment to know what I need to teach and give me the knowledge to teach it.
Give me the curiosity and enthusiasm of a child so that I can see learning through their eyes and guide me to choose activities for them that will delight and encourage their hearts and minds.
Thank you for the unique gifts of each of my children. Help me to understand each one as the beautiful and one of a kind individuals that they are. Fill them with fresh enthusiasm, Lord, and give them hearts that are excited to learn and grow in knowledge. Cover them with your enduring love, give them confidence and grace, and equip them with the ability to persevere through the trials that are inevitable.
Show me how to reach each of my children as a mother, teacher, and friend, and show me how to love them as you do. When I get frustrated with them, remind me that they, like me, do the very best that they can and need simultaneously grace and discipline to learn and grow.
Give my children an attitude of obedience and perseverance. Make them moldable and willing to work hard and learn and bless them with a lifetime love of learning.
Help me to realize always the great privilege of teaching my children at home and to be thankful for that even when it’s difficult and stressful and doesn’t go how I planned.
Help me to have patience as my learners assert their wills, delay their lessons, and make mistakes. Remind me that I make mistakes, too, and teach me grace to wash over myself and my children.
Be near to us as we transition from a fun summer into a new school year. Give us discipline and faithfulness to start strong and stay the course. Please bless me with wisdom, understanding, and a servant’s heart as I embark on this journey with them.
Father God, fill me with the Holy Spirit that I might speak His words into my children and into the world around us.
Remind me to treat myself kindly. I know I can’t pour into my children unless I myself am filled up, so help me to find space and time for myself during these busy days.
Lord, I know that all things are possible in and through you. I know you hold my life in your hands, and I trust you to show me the way. Thank you for loving me and my children.
In Jesus’ precious name I pray,