Spicy Motivation

Developing strategies for motivating your homeschooled child is like being a good cook with the right spices. The basic salt and pepper seasonings of affirmation and discipline need to be added to every homeschooling day, but ingenuity and divine inspiration are required when motivating your child to learn challenging subjects. Although some homeschooling families may disagree, I never felt guilty about motivating my children with the special spices of a well-deserved gift or a day off from school when completing a difficult assignment or lengthy unit study.

God tried to motivate His people with an extra incentive when they faced the difficult challenge of conquering the Promised Land. He instructed Moses to send out spies to survey the land, and the fruits they found proved that it was indeed a land flowing with milk and honey (Numbers 13). In fact, one cluster of grapes was so large it needed to be carried on a pole between two men (vs. 23). However, because the difficulties of this assignment seemed larger than the promises and blessings, the people of Israel shied away from conquest.

God also knows what you need to stay motivated when facing the difficult challenge of homeschooling your children for 12 or more years. Sometimes God's recipe for your homeschooling day will include the basic salt and pepper joys of seeing your children learn and play together as a family. Other times, God will give flavorful opportunities to take unusual field trips or meet unique individuals to inspire both you and your children. Best of all, God will sprinkle the spice of the Holy Spirit into your heart to motivate you to face the major giants of homeschooling, such as mountains of laundry, disorganized school rooms, and a shortage of personal time. However, like the nation of Israel, you have a choice to either respond to God's continued loving motivation or turn away in fear and discouragement. Which will you choose? "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him" (Psalm 34:8).

Lord, only Your sweet love can keep me motivated to face the enormous challenge of homeschooling. Please, let me see Your hand at work again today and whet my appetite to enjoy each of your blessings. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Comments(17 comments)

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LAURA E 01/12/2009 08:29:36

I have been reading your daily focus for a few weeks now. I'm surprised at the encouragment it has been. On mornings when I don't want to get out of bed I remind myself that I have daily focus to look forward to. Thank you for reminding me how common our "problems" of homeschooling are. Laura

CINDY E 01/12/2010 06:02:29

I love reading your daily focus each day. They are encouraging and remind me of thinks I need to be reminded of. I wished that once in a while there was one that had to do with an only child or teaching an only child. I have been reading them for more than 2 years now, and have never come across one that addressed in particular an only child. I know that most things are across the board universal with homeschooling, but just as there are unique challenges with homeschooling 3 or 4 children, there are unique challenges with homeschooling one child.

RYAN E 01/12/2010 06:11:17

Hi Cindy - while I'm not sure about more Daily Focus devotions on the subject, I know that there are Homeschool View articles that speak about issues with an only child - you can find one here: http://www.aophomeschooling.com/blog/homeschool-view/dealing-with-loneliness-in-an-only-child/.

LISA B 01/12/2010 07:58:13

Thanks we needed that. God Bless! Ray & Lisa B

Shaheen I 01/12/2011 01:20:52

I love to read the Daily Focus and get ideas before i start homeschooling my children. i have a challenge of homeschooling triplets which i dont know how. at the moment they are 17 months but need to start. any ideas will be much appreciated. thanks Shaheen

FRED CHINI G 01/12/2011 08:24:52

This is an awesome article.

LETHA T 01/12/2011 08:59:59

I\'ve recently renewed my commitment to my daughter\'s homeschooling as my son is in college and I was really lacking in my dedication to her. This was a great encouragement after thinking last night that I just can\'t do it all and wondering what was going to give.... Thank you!!!

CHRISTINE K 01/12/2011 11:09:10

Rewards work! They are used in the working world too i.e. raises, a paycheck, bonuses, etc. I have no problem using them with my only homeschooled child. Thanks for this encouragement!

LISA A 01/12/2012 05:41:16

I feel so behind in homeschooling, due to sudden deaths (3 of them) in the family 2 years ago, and lack of motivation on the children and my part I feel like i am failing and the ship is sinking fast! My son is supposed to be in 10th grade and he still is in his 8th grade math because he gets lazy and does not do a whole lesson and I feel like I have to pull teeth. I get caught up in that they are not learning what they are learning in the public school, and to tell you the truth I am so tired spending money on curriculum that doesn\'t motivate or just doesn\'t work. I bought sos L ang.A and Science and I don\'t like it. My daughter had a hard time with it and my son does okay, but it is like just read and answer the questions and he hates reports and essays! I am sorry, I am venting and I just feel like I can\'t breath right now. Some days are good, but very few...and even then I feel we just have not done enough.

SANDY S 01/12/2012 07:03:14

I have been homeschooling our 5 boys since 1995. Our youngest are twins who have severe learning disabilities and I often feel inadequate and overwhelmed with the responsibility of their educations. While we have sought out additional help for them I still have to be the one to implement their daily lessons. They have so many learning issues and there are so many programs to choose from to address things like their dyslexia, ADHD, and auditory processing problems that I sometimes feel overwhelmed at what direction to take. Thank you for your reminder that God is worthy of our trust, even when we feel we have been wandering in the desert for 40 years. I can\'t wait to see the promised land that He has in store for my two precious, special learners!

BELINDA D 01/12/2012 07:53:03

at lisa a., do not get discouraged that is only satan putting those thoughts into your head. you have to trust that God has it under control. go back to the reasons you even started homeschooling and let that help motivate you. it does get old when you spend hundreds of dollars on curriculum only to not like or the kids hate it. i know what it is to be \"behind\", my son is the same way but you have to ask for God\'s wisdom, pray for your son that he gets motivated and understands the importance of an education, and then have peace about it and leave it in God\'s hands. They are His children after all, He loves them more than we do and cares about their future. if you do your part, then God will do His part. trust it, believe it, proclaim it! God\'s got awesome plans for your son and daughter. i could tell you all they ways that my kids are \"behind\" according to the world but i won\'t because i know God\'s got them and He will fix where i have messed up, let go and let God! He is bigger than ALL this and He has placed it into your heart to homeschool so you just keep trying, maybe different approaches, and forget about what public school does/doesn\'t do. it will all work out! God\'s got you and He\'s got your kids! hope that helps! :)

KATHY S 01/12/2012 08:02:12

Thank you for the much needed encouragement. Homeschooling for all of 2 months now, I am starting to experience a need for some motivating idea\'s. I am homeschooling an only child as well. So there are no other children to interact with, and he doesn\'t want any either. My child has ADD, a form of Autism, and a load of other special needs both physical and emotional. I Started Homeschooling to keep him safe after he recieved tons of bullying at our Public school system here. He is so happy to be homeschooled now. But I need to \"kick things up a notch\" so to speak. Generally we go to the Library and work 2 to 3 days per week, where we work in their Cafe. Grilled cheese sandwiches are available, and that usually helps with motivation. Yesterday was a bad homeschooling day as I let him work on his math by himself. When I corrected the work, there were so many mistakes, I felt so guilty afterwards. I did keep asking while he was working \"do you need any help?\" and each reply was \"no\". Still, I should have checked midstream. I\'m still learning myself. Usually, I am sitting with him, doing each question, reading along, guiding him. I feel guilty for having him do the Math work alone. A lesson learned on my part. But, Today is a new day. We are starting our much need gym class at the YMCA. Joining was a big thing for us, and a huge motivation for him. Maybe this will be the reward we both needed to excel ! Anyway, your daily writings are a good reminder that God is definatley needed in the homeschooling process ! Thank you !

SANDY S 01/12/2012 08:25:09

I have been homeschooling for one whole month now.I am somewhat to all of this. I\'ve been reading these wonderful devotions daily and have found them to be a great source of encouragement to me. Thank you!!!

LYNN B 01/12/2012 09:03:53

I sometimes use this as a devotional with my children before starting school We all like it!

SENAIT B 01/12/2012 16:31:49

What an encouraging message. I needed to hear this today. Lately my daughter\'s been procrastinating to finish her work , especially if she is working on a hard subject. This morning I asked the Lord to give me the wisdom how to handle this matter, and I believe He led me to read this devotional, Thank you so much!!

SW M 01/12/2013 07:07:45

Lately homeschooling certainly is NOT the joy it used to be! I went to bed last night resolved to meet with our local public school principal on Monday to see about enrolling my only child ASAP! He is sooooo lonely, everyday is a struggle & I\'m exhausted. As I waited for this screen to open this am I thought... if only I could know I\'m not the ONLY homeschooling parent of a single child in this world...I just feel like we don\'t fit ANYWHERE! Anyway I don\'t believe in \"coincidence\" so just a shout out to GOD saying thank you for using this site as an encouragement to me.

Kat Amanti 01/12/2015 15:20:53

I love homeschooling! I am so grateful for the SOS program! It really helps me to be able to focus more attention on my student!! I praise the LORD for leading me to SOS!!!

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