4 Moms share encouraging verses and stories

4 Moms, 35 Kids

This week the 4 Moms are talking about Scriptures and/or stories we rely on for comfort/encouragement as a homeschooling family.  I saw this subject on our collective spreadsheet months ago and again a few weeks ago when I added it to the list of upcoming topics.  Nonetheless, right now I’m saying, “Huh?  What are we talking about?  Whose idea was this?”

One Bible verse that I think of very often is Proverbs 14:23:

In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty

Although we all want to do things “the right way,” it’s generally not necessary to know and practice the very best method so long as we are working steadily toward a goal.  God will bless our honest imperfect efforts to serve Him.  We can take great comfort in this!  This applies in homeschooling as well as other areas of life.

Another passage that helps us keep our focus is known as the schema in Deuteronomy 6:4-9:

4Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

5And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

6And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

9And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

This defines our goal and our method.  If we are teaching them to evaluate everything they think, do and believe from a Biblical worldview – and giving them the tools to do so –  we are succeeding.

I don’t know if this qualifies or not, but I also have a little anecdote I often share with nervous new homeschoolers who wonder if they should be worried when their children are “behind.”

Deanna was an early talker with a huge vocabulary and an amazing memory.  At 12 months, she knew and used 150 words.  If you doubt me, I can provide the list from her baby book.  She didn’t start putting them together until the thoroughly typical age of 18 months, but by then she had a very nice vocabulary to work with and rapidly became thoroughly conversant.

I thought she was brilliant, and she was.  However, it slipped my attention that while she was accomplishing milestones with great fanfare and expertise, she was still doing them very much on schedule.

Because she was brilliant, we started working on reading early.  I made a set of flashcards, and she learned all the sounds of the letters in 20 quick sessions over the course of 10 days – before she was 20 months old.  She was going to read before she was 3.  I was sure of it!

But when we moved on to putting the sounds together, she just didn’t get it. She wasn’t ready.

I put the reading supplies away for about 6 months to work on other things, and then we tried again.  Still no progress.

We repeated this process many times over the following years.  I didn’t try very long or hard each time; I knew there was no concrete rule that a child must read by age 5, and I didn’t want to push too hard.  We had other ways to learn.  I spent a lot of time reading aloud to Deanna and her sisters.  Her vocabulary and communication skills grew.  Her memory was stunning.  She was highly intelligent, but just couldn’t put the sounds together to read.  The point:

She wasn’t ready until she was ready.

The ability to read is closely tied to certain developmental milestones, and she had to reach them before she could really make progress.  At 6, it finally clicked.  She went from zero to Tolkien in 6 months, and has been a voracious reader ever since.

Sure, the right program and a lot of time and effort on both our parts might have provided the crutch we needed to get her over that hurdle ahead of time, but she was able to cross it with ease when she was ready.  I have heard it said about potty training that you can start early and be finished by 24 months, or you can wait til the baby is 2 and do it in a few days.  Our experience with reading has been much the same.

There.  Are you comforted and/or encouraged?

The other moms are offering encouragement too:


Upcoming topics for 4 Moms:

  • February 9 - note to self: check the schedule. Oh, er…hello!

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About 4 Moms, including a complete list of all past topics

 

Comments

  1. Well said, Kim. So very true….About the reading AND the potty training. EVERY time! :)

  2. Yes! You are an encouragement to me! But, please say that you can wait until ‘three’ and then potty train in a few days! My little boy will be 3 next week, and although he has the desire to go like a big boy, it just isn’t clicking yet. But, I’ll stick with you on this one – just wait till he’s ready! :)

    • April, I had more than one that wasn’t reliably trained until after 3, and they weren’t even boys! In both cases, when they were ready it just happened, and before that it was a losing battle.

  3. I like what you said about you daughter (and children in general!) not being ready until they are ready. My husband was homeschooled and my mother-in-law says that he didn’t read until he was 10. It was challenging for both of them. She was, and still is, so thankful that he wasn’t in traditional school where we he would have been stuck in special ed. and probably ridiculed for it. Today he is a pastor and can read fluently in Hebrew and Greek as well as English!

  4. This was encouraging! I stumbled upon your blog and have been looking through it because I have felt led to have a large family and homeschool for a few years now. My oldest is 2, but I am already feeling overwhelmed. I feel like I should start doing research on curriculum but I don’t know where to start and I wonder if I’ll even be good enough to teach them. I know, though, that the Lord will guide me and I’m trying to rebuke that type of thinking and these scripture were refreshing to read!

  5. Beautiful post! As a newbie homeschooling mom…our oldest started this year, this is encouraging! I am always trying to compare him, and myself (as a teacher) to others. THat is the beauty of homeschool, we can move at his pace!
    I just wrote about my new fav. scripture…Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18…
    http://www.alighterjourney.com/2012/01/26/finding-thankfulness/

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