Formula For Failure
by Tamara Eaton
Flirting with disaster but not quite there yet? Hang on, here are a dozen tips that will turn your mediocre homeschool into a sure failure!
- Look to your own abilities. (After all, we're all inadequate--to be human is to be inadequate!)
- Entertain guilt and wallow in despair often--but don't seek the Lord for help or if you do, don't believe He'll really answer.
- Have a poor attitude--it will surely rub off on the children.
- Dwell on the negative instead of looking for good-- stew over weaknesses and label them hopeless.
- Don't take time to Biblically train and discipline your children--instead play manipulative games with them--bribe them, distract them, yell at them, try to escape from them.
- Be unrealistic in your expectations--then give up instead of adjusting to more reasonable standards.
- Be a martyr-mom (she never enjoys being with her family but just endures it because God has called her to this role).
- Pay more attention to what your critical family members or neighbors think about what you should be doing than what God thinks. After all, you run into them daily, you don't have to answer to the Lord for years! (Or do you?)
- Envy other women who have their children in school and their days to themselves again--they are free to REALLY serve God by participating in Bible studies and many ministry opportunities, as well as have time for their own interests. Resent the fact that the house always looks "lived-in" and you're rarely alone.
- Blame others for your failure in homeschooling--your husband refuses to help with the homeschooling or housework, the curriculum company didn't send the necessary books in time, you bought the wrong material (if the author had done a better job, your homeschooling would flourish!), your children are just too difficult--they refuse to listen or do what they're told.
- Stay busy with "fluff" and outside commitments and activities that look so wonderful on the surface, but neglect the "weightier" matters of substance and enduring value.
- Let the flesh determine what you do every day instead of the Holy Spirit--the children watch all the tv they like, play on the computer all the time, and do whatever they like--after all, learning shouldn't be FORCED upon them--when they're ready to learn, they will. (A perverted, twisted view of "relaxed homeschooling"!) Always put off until tomorrow what should be done today.
Succeeding as a homeschool parent doesn't require academic genius or a certain personality--it does require a whole heart and 100% commitment, as well as the ability to acknowledge our weaknesses and look to the Lord to provide all our needs.
Has He called you to homeschool? Then have you dedicated your homeschool to Him and committed your family to seeking His Holy Spirit for wisdom and instruction daily? Don't begin in the Spirit then try to finish it up in the flesh (Galatians 3:3).
If you're consumed with the fear of failure --surrender it all to the Lord and choose to change your attitude and actions to reflect steadfast faith in the Lord. He never intended for us to make it all on our own--He promises to be there for us every step of the way if we will just trust Him. Believe His Word and act upon it!
In 1 Samuel 12, we see an example of how Israel sinned against the Lord by trying to do things their own way--who among us has not been guilty of this at some time or another? We can take comfort in the words of truth spoken by Samuel:
"Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things He hath done for you." (1 Samuel 12:24)
He has truly done great things for ALL of us and we need to take time to reflect upon this often so we don't lose the proper perspective. He's never failed us before and He never will.
We won't always see great strides taken daily in our children's education--often it will be just as the Word says, "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little..." (Isaiah 28:10)
The Lord has good plans for your family this year, it may be time for a fresh start and a clean slate. I pray that you might be able to say with Paul: "...this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (1 Corinthians 3:13-14)
[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)
© Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.
Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.
We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information, please join us on the Christian Homeschool Fellowship Message Board.
[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email addresses! ]
"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."