This weekend I attended The Education Association of Christian Homeschoolers conference. I hadn't been to a homeschool conference in about five years, and back then I went as a vendor. I rarely was able to sit in on any of the workshops as Sam and I were running a booth in the exhibit hall.
This weekend I ended up mostly hearing Rachael Carman speak. She and her husband own the Apologia curriculum company, which is the science curriculum we use and love. It was wonderful! A lot of what I heard reaffirmed what we have been hearing from our Pastor's sermons. It also reaffirmed for me that we are heading in the right direction with our family, we just need to do some tweaking.
The first workshop was Soaring beyond Survival. God's intention for us is to not merely "survive" but to "soar". To do that we must set our focus, set our priorities, and have a vision for where God wants us and our children.
Next was "How to Die to Self and Live to Tell About It". The one thought that really struck home for me was that I need to raise my kids to desire to please God more than they desire to please me. Their loyalty to God must be even greater than their loyalty to me. Again, I heard, "check your priorities".
"Teaching Your Kids to BLESS and not to CURSE Each Other" showed me that how my children speak to each other is a strong indication of what it going on in their heart.
Saturday I sat in on "Mother-More than the Heart of the Home". Rachael Carman made a statement at the beginning that has echoed and resounded in me ever since: "Do whatever He tells you to do." I have to stop saying "yeah, but..." to God. Am I training my children so they are prepared to obey God, once they are out from under our roof? Again I heard, have a vision, check my focus, check my priorities.
I sat in on one workshop with Davis Carman (husband to Rachael) where he gave some statistics about homeschooling and homeschoolers that were staggering. He then equated building homeschool families with building castles. Guess what his conclusion was... yup, get a vision and set eternal priorities.
The last workshop was on teaching truth to our kids. She gave six Truths of Truth and exhorted us to train up world-changers who know the truth and can defend it well.
And so Monday starts our first day of homeschool, but what I have learned this weekend has already taken hold and been applied. Samantha came home from her last day of public school with the results of the Presidential fitness test. She was upset because she felt she didn't do well. Instead of focusing on the parts of the test that she did do well on (which is what I would have done before this weekend), we focused on what is even more important: she knows John 3:16 by heart, she knows that God loves her, she knows that she loves God. I Changed my focus. I changed my priorities. I have a vision of what is eternally important. God gives us just what we need, just when we need it.