Homeschooling in Reverse

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

As a homeschooling parent of young children, I couldn't imagine teaching my children through high school. My days were only focused on reading, writing, and arithmetic skills. Thinking about teaching college-prep courses was mind boggling. When talking with my husband about our children's future, the business manager in him said, "Why don't we start where we want our children to be educationally, spiritually, and emotionally in 12 years and work backwards from there."

"What do you mean?" I asked confused.

"If you wanted to make a cake, how would you go about it?" he asked. "You'd think of all the ingredients you'd need, how much time it would take to mix it together, and then you'd organize everything to bake it. Well, if we want to successfully teach our children everything they need to go to college someday, then we should start at that point and work backwards. Let's find out what subjects they will need to successfully complete and incorporate them into their studies over the next several years."

As Christians, we should also remember our final heavenly goal and work backwards as we live on Earth. With the Bible to guide us, we will find courses to successfully complete until the Lord's return. Living like Christ requires learning the fruit of the Spirit, so we can minister to the lost and hurting people God has placed in our lives. In fact, God has already prepared the good works He has planned for us to do. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).

Are you walking with the Lord in light of His return? This Earth is not your home, and someday soon, Christ will come back for those who love Him and bring us home to the place He has prepared for us (John 14:2-3). Are you prepared to meet Him and hear, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21)?

Father, time is short, and I know this life has only enough moments for me to accomplish Your will. Show me how to live each day for You and share Your love with those around me. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Comments(6 comments)

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EILEEN M 06/12/2010 08:28:52

This is very interesting advice. Can we actually see the course plan you developed for your kids 12 years before arriving at these goals. Too often I hear general advice. There should be more tangible and constructive information for homeschooling the high school years. What were the specific goals you laid out for your children educationally, spiritually, and emotionally for high school? This would be valuable information for the homeschoolers!

Lori R 06/12/2011 04:27:36

i agree.

BARBARA R 06/12/2011 07:39:36

I needed to hear this. I was just told yesterday from somebody very close to me that it would be a mistake homeschooling my 11 year old through all of his high school years. That he should go into regular school in junior or senior so that he could have "socialization" skills in preparation for college. It took me much prayer and time to become solid and resolved by taking the first step to begin my son in the 6th grade and finish what I start through his entire high school years preparing him for college with God's help. I felt like Jesus when he told Peter to "get behind me Satan." To read this particular devotion today really is confirmation for me to stay on the path God has me on and not to listen to the discouragement by others that I will encounter. My son whom I'm beginning homeschooling with this Fall has been in private Christian schools for years but the Lord moved us to an area to where there are no school choices where we live. Not to mention the crime and drugs in the schools runs rampant. Meth is a huge epidemic amongst 13 year olds where I now live. It's just amazing to me how God works. He backs us in a corner to where we finally have no choices but to lean on Him and trust in Him. It took many many years in order to come to a place of peace to where I voluntarily said, "God, it's time. Thanks for Your patience." I'm so full of joy about teaching little Joshua this Fall. He's been begging me for a long time but I would have to say that my attitude was "What about ME? MY life. MY time." I looked at those times after dropping Joshua off at school as time to play and have fun but I realize now that this is what prolonged my decision. I've had my time and now I devote all of it to Joshua through 12th grade regardless of what anybody says. If the Lord called us to something that we ourselves could do, then we wouldn't need Him, would we?!. Yes and amen!

SANDI B 06/12/2011 08:22:35

This is very practical advice. Our children are 12, 10, 7 and 5 and I have sat down with them to find out their interests. My oldest wants to take Chemistry this year and the 10 year old wants to take Biology! Having gone to the University I have a pretty good general idea of what they need to complete to get there. So, I have done just that, counted the years backwards. My oldest son (12) is very strong in math and science, so I would like to see him get through calculus before he graduates. That means Alg 1 & 2, Geometry, Trig and Calculus (we could probably leave out trig if need be). So, this means he would need to start algebra by 8th grade. He will start it next year in 7th, so for that we are on track. The same would go for the sciences. We live in a Spanish speaking country, so they are picking up Spanish by immersion, but I would also like them to learn a critical needs language. My son will start Mandarin this summer and my daughter Arabic. Having this language ability will only serve to open up opportunities for them in the future either in the job market, business and of course, missions. We move to a different country every 2 years, so perhaps we may end up in a country that speaks one of these languages. The children chose these languages to learn and are excited about it. It is part of our global lifestyle. As far as spiritually, our goals for our children have always been that they have a firm grasp of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that they truly be transformed and born again in their hearts. That they not only would live out their faith, but also have a heart to lead others to Jesus and I would really like them to be able to defend their faith and stand up for what they believe. I want them to fulfill the destiny that God has placed in their life! I stay home with our children and this has been a great sacrifice financially, but I think has benefitted them a thousandfold on the emotional standpoint. We move around a lot and it has been a positive experience for them to have a "constant" on the home front. I try to be there for them, talk to them, listen to them, make sure they know that they are valued and what they say and think is important, but at the same time I am raising them to realize that 1) life is not always fair 2) "no" is a perfectly acceptable answer (to their requests for cell phones, ipods, and all the other latest gadgets & gizmos) and 3) just because everyone else has it and we can afford it doesn't mean that it is the best or healthiest thing for you. An example of this is when my daughter (realizing that my husband will always provide me my heart's desires) asked "which new Blackberry would you like Dad to buy for you? BB 1 latest & greatest or BB 2? I said "neither, I want to keep my VERY OLD one, because it's FREE. She didn't quite like that response. But, I have tried very hard to live frugally and to show my children the difference between "needs" and "wants". I hope it all sinks in. My children are very independent. I have never coddled them. I was raised in a family of ten and as much as my Mom would have wanted to coddle each and every one of us (she is a saint with incredible patience!) she just simply couldn't for lack of time. So, we were raised to pretty much take care of ourselves and she met the very basic needs (food, cleanliness, a cozy place to sleep, etc). Each and every one us us siblings are incredibly responsible adults. Most of us found a way to get through college without financial support from them (again, it wasn't that they wouldn't, it was that they couldn't!) We all moved out of the house at 18 and by then most of us had held several jobs while in high school to make our own car pmts, pay our car insurance, buy our own gas, pay for sports and cheerleading uniforms, expenses, etc. So, when we moved out on our own, it was no big deal. We were already making our own money and paying our own bills, now it was time to make more money to pay our rent, etc. None of us had the option, (nor wanted it) to stay at Mom & Dad's till we were 25 like is the current trend. Each of us got married and went on to have children and have thriving families. We were raised Catholic and many of us got born again in our college years thanks to a praying Mother, who happened upon receiving the Holy Spirit pretty much by accident! So, having thought through my upbringing, I did the same "reverse" concept. How can we as parents who have "more" than my parents ever had raise responsible, hard working adults who go on to raise thriving families? Number one is to realize that money is earned and is there to meet our needs, not our wants. So, I am often reminding the kids that "Daddy works very hard every day to make sure we have food to eat and a home to live in and clothes to wear and a working van to drive in." Buying luxury "things" is just that a "luxury" and we have told our kids that if they want the latest ipod or computer then they must figure out a way to purchase it. So, their dog walking and snow shoveling businesses blossom and before you know it they are making money and realizing at the same time how hard it is to make a dollar. Next, I have often reminded them of how blessed we are. Reading through the Bible we see the difference between the blessings and the curses. Reading Job, we realize that we are but a breath. "Look around us," I remind them as we drive around in our air conditioned van, "we must thank the Lord that we are able to have this luxury while others are hot, sweaty and piled up in the bus next to us." I have tried to model compassion and am currently trying to set up orphanage visits with my 2 older ones and seeing how we can help out in the food donation projects. It would please me beyond belief if by 18 our kids were independent, hard working, college ready, responsible, Christ living adults. I pray everyday for their future spouses and that God would give the parents the wisdom to raise them. I have 4 children and more resources than my parents ever had, so I am hoping that we can become a shoulder that our kids can climb up on to rise to even greater places than we ever dreamed. Our children have an opportunity to make a great difference in the world. I know that God is raising up a new generation of young children to make a huge impact. I am excited to see what is in store for our children and yours!

SUSAN W 06/12/2011 16:34:57

By the grace of God, we have just graduated our second child from "Homeschool Highschool". Our state homeschool group holds a Convention for encouragement, curriculum sales, workshops, and yearly grads of homeschool. This year there were 206 graduates, and I'm sure that there are more around the state that just don't feel like making the trek to the state capital. Bottom Line: Don't sweat doing everything perfectly. Whereas it's good to plan, a godly child is our end desire above all else. Our first daughter graduated after being homeschooled every year but kindergarten, and she went on to a Christian college, got her degree, and taught in Christian School until the economy shut things down. But she still has a job and has been married for 5 years to a wonderful, Christian young man that she met at college. Our second child graduated yesterday, and only went thru Alg.II in math, and thru Biology in the sciences, but her English was off the charts, and colleges, both Christian and secular have been beating down the door with offers of scholarships. If your child excels in a given area, nurture that area, expose them to as much as you can in the other areas, and give the rest to God. Your child does not have to be an Einstein to be sought after by the colleges. We still have 2 children to go ~ but it's a relief to not be as nervous as I was 20 years ago when we started this venture! "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL these things will be added unto you." Don't be foolish and fail to plan, but don't get obsessed with college and courses either. Our second daughter may just start her own business and continue to live at home for awhile. That's OK. I didn't expect her to turn out just like the first one!! And who knows what the other two will do! :-) Blessings to you all~

KATHY S 06/12/2012 06:28:10

I hope my child doesn\'t move out of my home until he\'s married!! And even then he\'s welcome to live here with his wife (and hopfully grandchildren one day). My parents never pushed us out of the house. I did move out when I was 18, and it was such a mistake. I moved back in years after. Then when I was situated in a very good job, I moved out at about 25 yrs old. Finacially and mature enough, ready to face the world. My brother after College, lived at home until 27 when he got married, then purchased his first beautiful home, almost all paid for in cash. He paid rent while living at home, very small, but he did. We also both helped out at home, which was a blessing for my parents. We both (getting close to 50 yrs old) still both help out my Mom now, and she really appreciates it. In our case here, I don\'t wan\'t my son to leave, a.) because I love him so very, very much, b.) because he is a \"special child\" and I really don\'t know if God has it in his plan for my son to be alone. So, I am thankful that I am \"joyous\" about the fact that he will not be leaving for a long time. Highschool Homeschool. Wow, the subject has been brought up to me so many times as well. And I get questioned and criticized too. I don\'t care what other people think anymore. I always tell people that my son will be homeschooled until College, and I intend to stick with that, no matter how hard it may be, I would never put my child back into a Horrible Public school envirornment we have here to be picked on again. No way. I pray that God gives me the wisdom and strength to know what I need to know to teach him through those harder years. I think my parents were never in a rush to get us out of the house for a few reasons. My Dad joined the Marines at age 15 yeras old (yep,said he was 16 yrs old to join). Coming back from the Korean War at age 20 years, no jobs available, kind of like our soilders are dealing with now. Then getting int a bad marriage too young. Lessons learned. My Mom, coming from a huge family, well, her parents were both Dead by the time she was 16 yeras old, so she was left to raise herself and her little sister. So, I guess they wanted better for us. I\'m glad they did. Even though we didn\'t always get along perfect back then, we were together. Life and our ways of raising our children are all different. Which is good, I I guess it makes our World more interesting. I like the advice of the lady who wrote above me, whatever your children \"Excel\" in , focus on that. Very good advice, thank you. There are subjects we are weaker in, and even though we continue to do them, I would like to think that focusing on his beat skills would help out when he gets to College. Have a Great Day Everyone!!

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