Note: Jim Pence is on medical leave. Angie, See the Light team member, will be writing the blog posts in his absence. Angie is a former homeschool mom of two high school graduates. One of her children went on to college and graduated Cum laude in three years. When she isn’t doing the social media posting for See the Light, she is serving as a church secretary.
by Angie McFarren
Moms need many tools to have a full functioning homeschool such as paper, pencils, books, and so forth. The four essential tools I will talk about are unseen and far more important than school supplies. The Homeschool Essentials: Four Tools Every Homeschool Mom Needs will come to you in four parts.
Essential Tool #1 – Prayer
Prayer may seem obvious and you may not necessarily think of it as a tool. In fact, it is the most essential tool a homeschool mom needs. Without it, you struggle when your day goes awry.
Imagine this scenario:
You and your husband awaken an hour late to the sound of your baby crying. Your baby’s bed is wet and requires laundering his sheets. Your toddler decides to be a big girl and help prepare breakfast. Bless her for she wants to do something nice for mommy. In the process, she drops a carton of eggs creating a mess, which is best for you to clean up rather than her. Your husband comes to you in a frenzy wanting to know where his clean shirts are. The shirts are in the washer from yesterday. Your older children begin fighting with one another over something trivial. Your nerves become more and more rattled as you are trying to meet everyone else’s needs.
Your husband is now at work, the baby is taking his morning nap, the toddler is playing quietly, the older children are beginning their studies, and you decide to take a quick shower. While there, you think of all the tasks you have for the day. The baby has a doctor’s appointment. Your oldest child has basketball practice while your second oldest has dance class. Oh, no! You forgot to arrange for another mom to take your son to practice! You also have a sense that something is missing.
The day continues and more things go awry. The older children need items for their science experiment, which you forgot to get. While looking for a book, you remember the library books are overdue and you must return them today. Partway through fixing supper you discover you are out of an important ingredient. Sigh. There is that feeling again… something is missing.
By bedtime, you are exhausted. You begin to think back on your day. There is that feeling again. You ask yourself, “What did I forget?” A gentle voice says, “You forgot Me.”
This scenario reminds me of a children’s story I told at church several years ago. The jar, boiled eggs, and rice story went like this:
“What should we do each morning before anything else? That is right. We should pray and read the Bible. Let us look at what happens when we don’t. Many things keep us busy during the day with some being unplanned. (As I listed off numerous activities, I added the rice to the jar.)
What happens when we try to squeeze God into our day? (As I listed off things, I added the eggs to the jar.) What happened? The eggs do not fit. Why do you think that is?
Let us try this. (I removed the eggs and the rice from the jar.)
What do you think will happen, if we pray to God and read the Bible before doing all the other things we need to do during the day? (I added all the eggs into the jar.)
Do you think you can still do all the other things you need to do? (I began adding the rice to the jar.) The children were amazed to find the rice and the eggs now fit inside the jar when they did not fit earlier.
This example shows we should put God first in our lives and everything else will fall into place.”
I realize when we place God first in our lives, things will not be perfect. However, we will be able to do all things through Him who strengthens us. Philippians 4:13 (paraphrased)
This first post of the Homeschool Essentials: Four Tools Every Homeschool Mom Needs series is not only for you; it is for me as well.