Greetings Peoria area homeschoolers! I hope the learning that is taking place in your home has been full of joy and wonder. Few things are more satisfying than watching a child learn something new and get excited about it. That kind of excitement is contagious and can be very motivating. On the flip side of this coin, it can be very frustrating and even disheartening when those same children struggle to understand a new idea. I hope to encourage you today in two areas. First, I want to address how important that it is to handle both our successes and our failures well. Second, I want to remind you of the importance of community and encourage you to connect with other homeschoolers. 1 Peter 4:8 can guide us in both of these areas: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” (NIV)
Let me start by reminding you that failure is an opportunity for learning. One of the most important questions I have learned to ask is “What can I learn from this?” This question can be applied to any situation, in success or in failure. The importance of learning to handle both our successes and our failures well can be learned from the examples of those throughout history who have handled one or the other poorly and caused a great deal of damage to themselves and others. Remember also that we are not just educating our children for the sake of meeting someone’s requirements. Rather we are training them for life. Our children will have both successes and failures, and they need to learn how to handle both wisely. We all have flaws and weaknesses that cause us to stumble and struggle in our walk as Christians. Our imperfections make failures more likely and happen more frequently that we like to admit, but Paul reminds us in Romans 5 that we stand in grace (v. 2) and that those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through Jesus Christ (v. 17). When we fail, grace abounds (v. 20) and even reigns (v.21) as we continue to place our faith in Him. God’s grace is an amazing benefit of being His child and we want our children to experience that same grace through our interactions with them. What a wonderful opportunity we have not only to walk in the grace shown by God in our lives every day, but to share that grace with our children so they may “taste and see” His goodness (Psalm 34:8).
But how can we do this through such difficulties and struggles? That is a good question. Peter’s admonition to love each other is key. We are all sinners who need our sins covered. This should keep us humble when dealing with others, especially our children. My pastor spoke recently on the importance of humility. In 1 Peter 5:5, Peter urges us to “clothe ourselves with humility toward one another… because God gives grace to the humble.” Like clothing covers our nakedness, so can humility cover us with grace. We must remain humble as we lead our children. Remember that our job is not to perfect our children, that is an unattainably high expectation. Instead we are better prepared to help them when we anticipate their failures and lovingly help them get back up and prepare for the next attempt. The eventual successes in each small victory can then be felt and celebrated together with joy and gratitude. Our ultimate goal should be to teach them who God is and help nurture them into a personal relationship with Him. Since it is His loving kindness that drew us to Him, we can be a part of that draw for our children as well.
Moving to a slightly bigger picture, we can also apply these things to our community. We are designed for relationship, which means we all have that innate desire to connect with others in meaningful ways. What if we apply the same ideas about love, grace, and humility towards others in the homeschool community? I want to encourage you to reach out to other homeschoolers because we need each other. If you are new, look for those who are seasoned and share your excitement for your new adventure. Learn as much as you can from their failures and successes. If you are a seasoned homeschooler, then look for someone new to take under your wing and walk with them sharing the wisdom you have gained from your experiences over the years. This is what we are told to do in church community, and it should be the same within the homeschooling community. Paul charges us in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 to “encourage one another and build each other up.” Why? Because life is hard, especially the Christian life. And homeschooling life is hard too. We need regular encouragement, and fellowship opens us up to other perspectives and inspires fresh ideas.
Your homeschooling journey doesn’t have to be your own personal nightmare, rather it can be an incredible adventure and a dream come true when done well. At APACHE, we hope and pray for your family to experience all of the life-giving benefits of a job well done. We strive to help you in any way we can by providing the support, tools, and opportunities that will grow and encourage you. We are currently in the process of making many exciting changes and upgrades to our organization. The latest upgrade has been our very outdated website at apachecentralillinois.org. It is new and fresh, so go check it out!
I hope you have been blessed, refreshed, and encouraged as you seek the blessings that God has in store for your family.
For questions regarding newsletter submissions, the Homeschool Convention or home education in general, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A Board member will respond as soon as possible.
Mailing Address: APACHE | P.O. Box 5203 | Peoria, IL 61601