Character Over Grades
I want to encourage you in parenting, whether you're homeschooling or just going through the motions, or fighting the comparison battle, or wondering if you're doing a good enough job, here's some bitesize truth: Show them they are loved, and the rest will follow.
Character and faith can’t be taught the same as ABC or 123. But I’m more convinced now than ever that the reason I’m a mother, the reason I am a home educator, is not to help my children achieve the curricular or academic standards, but rather to teach them who they are.
Children belong to God, and we want to teach them that they can BE themselves with Him and others, that they are LOVED and have a future in God’s big plan.
ABC and 123 can surely help them on their way, but what I want them to remember and be remembered for is not how they learnt well, or read well, or how many times tables they can recite, but how loved they are by God first. I want them to be remembered for how they loved well, and how they learnt to hear his voice amongst the fractions and painting.
Too much of my homeschooling journey has been about keeping them on target, and comparing them to others. Too much of my approach has been about my fear of failure and judgement - “if they fail I fail”. I take part responsibility for believing that lie, while also recognising it’s our culture, our social structure that fosters it. Why?!
The parental pride is too often built on academic achievement, being ”ahead” or “advanced” or in comparison to the standard we set or to others around. For too long we’ve believed that if they can do X or Y than we have succeeded as parents. And if they haven’t or can’t, it reflects on us as a failure.
What if we placed character above academics. What if we focused on raising up children who know the unconditional approval and acceptance of God? What if we placed higher emphasis on our children knowing they are worthy of the LOVE of the Father, that they were the reason why Jesus died, they were the ones just like us that He came to bring into his kingdom.
Imagine if I taught from a place of security in God’s approval and pride of me, as a woman and a mother.
Imagine if my kids learnt from a position of security in God’s love and pride in who they are.
Imagine if they heard his well done, his encouragement and comfort in playgrounds, at desks, as they wrestled with periodic tables and pie charts, and vowels.
How will they hear it if we don’t tell them?
So let's not look at what they're doing, but rather look at who they're becoming.
See the heart of God shaping them in love.
If you get it, if you get the compassion and the love that generously overspills for you, they will get it too.