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Priorities in Homeschooling Classically

by Christine Miller

Finding Time to Educate Ourselves

If, as parents, we determine to homeschool our children classically, then we obligate ourselves to educate ourselves as well. While it may seem difficult to find the time to spend on our own education, it is of primary importance if we decide to homeschool classically. Fritz Hinrichs of Escondido Tutorial Service writes:

“Where will you find the time for all this educating? Let me see. First, we dump any sports activity that requires scheduled practices. Second, stop any church activities outside of Sunday. Then goes the TV. Then we learn to say no to the friend who is in the habit of calling ‘just to talk’. If you are in business for yourself, you learn to work a regular day. All this may sound brutal, however, being ‘busy’ is the natural punishment that comes upon those who cannot discern the significant from the urgent.”

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That Overwhelming Feeling

Even if we have our priorities in place as Mr. Hinrichs encourages us to do, it all sounds overwhelming at times. If we look at our responsibilities, we must not only study and educate ourselves, and our children; but also make time for mothering and fathering them, as well as husbanding our wives and being wives to our husbands; then we are bound before the Lord to not neglect the more mundane aspects of life: providing for our families and housekeeping; as well as caring for our aging parents.

The feeling of incompetence in our own classical education can sometimes cause us to feel driven to study at the expense of our other responsibilites, and the feeling of being overwhelmed with it all, even if we manage to juggle our responsibilities well, can sometimes cause us to be discouraged at our own inadequacy. But let me encourage you to adopt neither of these two extremes.

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Help from Above

We are the first generation recovering classical education. We are starting from a public school education (most of us). We have a double job to do. Will we do it perfectly? Possibly not; probably not. I know already that the classical education of my children is imperfect. While we strive for perfection, we cannot escape the reality that we will be weak somewhere, most probably; we will fail at times; we will not perfectly do all. But remember that “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9.) Lean on the Lord, listen to His voice; have faith and trust in Him, our Teacher and Shepherd, to help us in all He has called us to do.

The task is bigger than us, but not bigger than our God. We can take our children as far as we can humanly take them, with the help and grace of the Lord, and then with that let us be content. Our children will be starting with their own children farther down the road than us; they will have the opportunity to recover even more. Our children will be farther down the road than if we had not tried, no matter how imperfectly we complete the task; every little bit of truth in their lives will help, every progress we can help them make will more solidly place them on a foundation of rock. Rather than be discouraged at the enormity of the job in front of us and our inadequate preparation for it, let us give thanks to the Lord for all that He enables us to accomplish for Him in our children’s lives.

Let us let our rest be in Jesus, and let us labor to enter into that rest. Our rest from our labors in this life is not in this life, but in the life to come. This is not the time to give ourselves R & R, as the world would have us do. Let us joyfully spend ourselves for the sake of our Lord in service to our husbands, wives, and children. Let us lay down our lives for the love that we have for our families. Let us not mourn if our physical (temporal) beauty is already fading; if our hands are work-worn; if our hair is streaked with gray. These outward badges which the world despises are the signs of our honest labor; and our content husbands and godly children will be our jewels, just as Cornelia’s sons were hers.

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Cross and crown of thorns, the symbols of our Lord’s suffering for our sakes

Classical Christian Homeschooling / Christine Miller / Last revised November 1999
Copyright 1997-1999