by Tamara Eaton
There seems to be a common misconception that only moms with a certain type of personality are best suited to homeschooling. Definitely not true! God can and will use ANY personality to mold and shape into a wonderful, UNIQUE, loving, patient, understanding and creative homeschool mom.
Traits that are useful to homeschooling moms:
- Patient: I hear this all the time, "But you're so PATIENT with the children, I could never be that patient." It's true, I am a very patient mother, but I wasn't born that way! The patience is the result of many trials in which the Lord encouraged me to yield to Him, instead of flesh, and the more I yielded, the easier it got. Now things that used to really bother me, don't bother me at all because they've happened hundreds of times and I don't have to WORK at yielding in that area anymore, it comes naturally. God used the trials to develop the fruit of patience in me!
- Creative: Even if you're not the "creative type", the Lord is available to give you ideas. I've always enjoyed being creative but my best ideas come AFTER I've prayed and asked Him for help! There are also a tremendous amount of resources available so you don't even have to come up with the ideas. (Including online message boards where if you ask a question, you're likely to get lots of helpful ideas!) Yet much of the enjoyment of homeschooling stems from finding creative ways to express ideas and adjust materials to best suit our own families and we can trust the Lord to help us accomplish this task!
- Organized: Oh Boy! Either you're born this way or you're not and if you're not, there are still things you can do to help--
1. Hire a maid.
2. Birth organized children. Many first born are naturally inclined in this direction!
3. Purchase or borrow large numbers of books on organization, read them and then actually follow through with the ideas.
4. Pray that the Lord would help you and any children old enough to help to develop a good system that works for your family.
5. Simplify your lifestyle. There won't be as much stuff to organize or as many places to go so you don't have to juggle as much.
On a personal note-- I was a firstborn organized perfectionist, married a firstborn frustrated perfectionist and we gave birth to six children with vastly varied personalities and hobbies and interests and clothes and toys and papers and books and well, you get the message.
I had two choices-- Plan A: Stress out or Plan B: Lower my standards. I chose plan B, and we are using ideas #2,#3, #4, and #5 from the list above!
- Loving: No problem here! We all really LOVE and appreciate our most precious little (and big) blessings. The more time we spend with our children, the more we love them!
- Disciplined: Another great trait that is developed through trials...we learn to yield to the Lord instead of flesh and crucify our own desires in the process. We do what has to be done whether we feel like it or not. We are faithful to train our children even when it means being interrupted in the midst of an "important" project.
- Joyful: Yet another trait that we don't have to have from birth, but that we can obtain from yielding ourselves to the Holy Spirit and allowing His joy to fill us up and allow it to overflow to others! Joyfulness is a choice, not always a feeling. We must choose to be joyful each day, regardless of the circumstances--no matter what happens in life, we have Jesus and that alone is reason enough to be joyful.
- Love of Learning: We're all born with this to some degree, but it is sometimes quenched by various experiences, especially if a child comes in contact with well-meaning adults who try to force him into a particular mold that doesn't fit! We can ask the Lord to help us in this area--pray that He would make us excited about learning again and that He would enable us to transfer this excitement to our children.
- Flexible: Homeschool moms need to be able to capture the moment and not be locked into a rigid, hyper-structured schedule where they can't take advantage of all the spontaneous learning experiences that naturally occur in the course of the day. Some of our children's best learning experiences and our best discussions occur during these impromptu moments!
- Teachable: We need to be willing to learn ourselves, from the Lord, our spouse, our children, other godly, wise people, as well as from the tremendous homeschooling resources available. We learn just as much or more from homeschooling our children as our children do--we MODEL a lifestyle of learning before them and INSPIRE them in their own studies.
- Confident: True confidence comes from seeking God's will for our family and then acting upon it. If we know that it's His Will for us to homeschool, train our children, minister to our families, we will also have the assurance that He will fully equip us with all of the tools that are necessary and the ability to carry out His work. We will function as an "agent of God" with all boldness and confidence!
- Intimacy with God: This is not a personality trait, but it is the KEY element necessary for a homeschool mom. HE is our number one source for inspiration, wisdom, strength, joy, love, patience, and knowledge. If we allow our relationship with Jesus to become stagnant, it will have an adverse effect not only upon us, but also upon our children and our homeschooling. On the other hand, if we seek Him first and ABIDE in Him, He promises that we will bring forth much fruit! (John 15)
©Copyright 1997 by Tamara Eaton , http://www.chfweb.com/eaton/
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