As I begin to put away class materials (for awhile), I also close the book on my seventeenth year of homeschooling.
It boggles my mind! (Has it really been that long?) As I survey the years, I can’t help but sometimes wonder how exactly I came to be here, especially since I never really planned to homeschool my kids in the first place. As I recall, it was really my husband’s idea. I went along with the plan since, at the time, I was pretty sure I could at least teach kindergarten! Little did I know back then that I’d graduate two kids from high school and still be plugging along all these years later.
And while I still have 5 more years to go until we officially close the doors on the Woodall Home Academy, the end of another academic year always gives me the opportunity to reflect on a few of the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Now you may never respond to the siren call to homeschool, or even have kids at all, and it may be that you have packed away your child-rearing years long ago, but be encouraged to read on. You still may discover that a lesson or two from a homeschooling mom are also applicable to you!
- Relationship is more important than outcome.
- The things that are most important rarely show up on tests.
- You often learn as much (or more) from failing as you do from succeeding. And properly channeled, defeat deposits within you what you need to win later on.
- It is not necessary to assign blame. Just deal with the situation without pointing a finger.
- Deal with what the situation is, not what you wish it would be.
- “I’m sorry,” “I was wrong,” and “I forgive you” are amazingly powerful & healing statements. Use them honestly & liberally.
- Don’t be so focused on today’s assignment that you miss the long term goal of the exercise.
- God is faithful and trustworthy even when everything around you seems to shout that He’s not.
- Always find a way to pass along praise. Remember that you didn’t get to where you are by yourself.
- Everyone needs to be valued & appreciated. Make sure you say thank you for the little things. (Remember, too, it won’t matter if you noticed, if you never bother to say it.)
- Stop what you are doing and look up. Focusing on someone’s face is a key way to tell them you think they are important.
- Your faithfulness, diligence and attention to detail matters more than you think it does.
- Never think you are too important, too smart, or too capable to ask for advice.
- Batteries need to be recharged. So do you. Vigilantly schedule & guard your times of rest.
- How you say it is just as important as what you say.
- God loses nothing and wastes nothing. Always be on the lookout for the bigger lesson in everything that comes your way.
- Learn to ‘stick with it.’ Things of worth rarely come about instantly. Most that is truly valuable requires a long term investment.
- Some times the best thing to do is start over.
- Learn to laugh… a lot (especially at yourself) Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Don’t let your fears hold you back. God rarely calls you to do something that requires nothing of you.
- Be someone’s biggest fan, and keep cheering regardless of the score.
- Value criticism more highly than praise. Sometimes even your enemies tell you the truth.
- Learn to distinguish between what is urgent and what is important. They are rarely the same.
- Persistently keep saying what needs to be said, even when no one is listening. You need to hear it too.
- Invest time in knowing God and loving people. In the end, that’s all that really matters.