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After two days of heavier technicalities of homeschooling, I thought I’d use today as a break from that particular thread. Not that today’s post won’t pack a bit of a punch! Today I’m sharing about a homeschooling essential I could not live without…prayer.
As Christians, we are instructed to
pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17 )
and incorporate prayer into all aspects of our lives. However, it can be a challenge at times to remember to do it.
Prayer Over the Decision to Homeschool
Prayer became a part of our homeschool journey right at the beginning when making the decision to homeschool. Our eldest son was struggling in school during 3rd grade and I was questioning if God wanted me to continue sending him there. If it had been strictly academic worries, I would have been more likely to continue on that track and hope for a better experience the next year with a new teacher. However, he was having some emotional issues which included numerous sick days from anxiety and stress. You know there is something wrong when a child wakes up in the middle of the night throwing up, but is then fine by 9 a.m. as he’s home and not at school.
I’d had the seed planted by numerous friends that homeschooling was a viable alternative to sending a child to school. However, I knew that I needed to research the option of homeschooling and bring it to God in prayer. One Friday, P brought home a project he’d worked hard on and received a failing grade even though he’d asked for clarification on the instructions. Initially, I could feel my blood pressure start to rise in a knee jerk reaction of being upset that the teacher had not even followed the rubric she’d sent home. Shortly thereafter, I sensed God’s response through an intense feeling of peace when I glanced over at the pile of catalogs and homeschooling books.
Prayer Over How to Approach Homeschooling
After hearing and heading God’s call to begin homeschooling my sons, I began to pray over how to approach our new homeschooling venture. For that first year, we used materials from Catholic Heritage Curricula which were set up to be easy to implement and do a wonderful job weaving aspects of our faith into the work. I know that God used conversations with a few homeschooling friends and my research to lead me to that choice so that our first year might go a bit smoother.
Over time, though, I have been led to use different programs with each of the boys. And, I do my best to pray over the options for the subjects the boys need to be studying. Beyond asking God to help lead me towards the materials to use, I also bring my struggles with aspects of homeschooling to Him for guidance. Lately, I have been making a few changes in approach for assigning work after bringing my frustration with boys not being as accountable as I’d like them to be. I brought it to God in prayer and heard him telling me to set firm expectations and hold them accountable for meeting them. So, I am now adopting a different approach with that aspect of homeschooling.
Incorporating Prayer into Homeschooling
From the beginning of our homeschooling adventures, we have usually incorporated a time for prayer. Some mornings it is rather simple with us saying the Our Father and each boy offering up an intention for the day. Many a day the boys’ intentions have been centered around needing God to help them get their school work done and not bug each other in the process. Other mornings, we have had time to read from Scripture or learn more about a Saint.
This year we’ve had a shift in routine as I am driving my 5th grader to school around the same time that the boys are beginning their school work for the day. By the time I get home, I often am in a rush to get moving on teacher assisted work or my own tasks. I’ve started adding daily Mass for a few days each week which helps me with prayer, but the boys aren’t as eager to get up and leave the house with me.
Is Prayer a Homeschooling Essential for Your Family?
Do you have a routine for incorporating prayer into your homeschool day?
This post is part of the 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials with the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Take some time to visit a few of my fellow ‘crewmates’ and see what they are saying:
Julie @ Nurturing Learning
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
DaLynn @ For the Display of His Splendor
Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Nicole @ Journey to Excellence
Adriana @ Homeschool Ways
Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Meg @ Adventures with Jude
Sarah @ Delivering Grace