by Susan K. Stewart

vision glasses in snow

When I was in teacher training in college, one of my professors said, “The time between Christmas vacation and Easter break was the longest time in the school year, even if Easter is early in the year.” I found that to be true in my home school as well.

Weather is one factor. It can be dreary, especially if you live where there is fog, where the sun may not shine for days. This very cold winter has also forced many of us indoors when we might normally be out playing in the snow or going to a co-op class.

For homeschoolers, there may be another factor that effects our thinking this time of year. The school year is half completed, but the lesson plans aren’t. The math book is still in the introductory chapter. History lessons sit idle. You begin to wonder if you can really do this. Can all of the grade level material be completed this year?

Maybe it’s time to take a look at what you really expect from your homeschooling journey. Do you really know why you are homeschooling?

You may think that you know why you decided to teach your own children.  It may be because something bad happened in the traditional school; your best friend is homeschooling; or your child is gifted in music. These all may be valid reasons at the beginning. But they aren’t enough to carry you through month after month, year after year.

What is your homeschooling vision? Put another way, what do you want to gain from educating your children? When your children leave home as adults, what is it you want to leave with?

For some of you, it is admission to an Ivy League university. For others, it is being a useful citizen. Still others are looking for a good job for their child. These are all worthy goals. They do not, however, have eternal value.

My vision has a homeschool parent was to raise godly adults. Above all else, I wanted my children to leave home with the love of Jesus in their hearts and a place firmly in eternity. All else was a bonus.

Take some time off now to ponder and pray about your homeschool vision. I know many of you just had time off during the holidays. I know you are feeling pressure to get that Algebra book completed before June. I know there are co-op classes to run to. I also know taking a little more time now will reap eternal benefits later.

Think again: What is your vision for your child at the end of homeschooling?

Parenting with a Vision Conference – January 18, 2014, Santa Barbara, CA

Developing an Educational Philosophy

Why Am I Doing This? Philosophy of Education in 7 Steps  (audio recording)

Susan and her husband Bob began homeschooling their three children in 1981, graduating all three from high school at home. Susan speaks and writes on homeschooling for CHEA as well as for other organizations and publications. Susan is also the author of Science in the Kitchen: Fearless Science at Home for All Ages and Preschool: At What Cost?. She currently serves as CHEA’s Communication Adviser and CHEA’s Prayer Partner Chair. You may contact Susan at [email protected].