Unfulfilled Days

Do homeschooling parents ever admit that life is anything but one blissful moment after another with their children? If they're honest, they will. As much as we would like to proclaim homeschooling's benefits and see our children's lives through rose-colored glasses, we must also attest to our children's sinful behavior that causes disruption in the home and unproductive homeschooling days. Children easily demonstrate sinful actions of selfishness, greed, jealousy, and other undesirable characteristics that require daily correction and training in righteousness. Like management in the workplace, wise homeschooling parents must allow for down times in academic productivity to address the more important issue of character building in their children.

Amazingly, there are many similarities between our relationship with our children and God's relationship with us. As His children, we demonstrate actions that disrupt God's family of believers. With selfishness, pride, and rebellion, we fail to be productive in accomplishing God's will. Daily, God must discipline us and provide the instruction in righteousness that develops Christ-like character. Patiently, He continues to perfect the work He has begun in us, so our lives will bear much fruit for His name's sake (Philippians 1:6).

Are the frustrations of homeschooling tempting you to give up teaching your children? Do you find yourself taking one step forward and two steps backward? Just as God gently corrects and teaches you in your spiritual walk, allow the Lord to help you show that same patience toward your children. Although your days may seem unfulfilling, you are giving your children the exact education they need. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Lord, how difficult it is to stay on track in our homeschooling! Remind me that we are learning more than just academics and show me how to deal with my children's true needs. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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LARRY O 06/30/2010 05:58:17

Dear AOP, I enjoy your daily Focus each day. I would like to share a frustration with you however. You provide the biblical quotations from KJV. It is very hard to understand as we just do not talk like that any longer, and have not for centuries. I much prefer a more culturally current translation like the NIV. I feel that reading KJV is almost like a foreign language, and although it may sound beautiful when read, so does Spanish, but if you can not understand what you are reading or hearing, then you ultimately loose. Sincerely, Larry Oslund Missionary in Honduras

JENNIFER M 06/30/2010 11:01:19

agreed!

KIM S 06/30/2010 17:45:27

I'm afraid that I'm just about to unsub from this blog. The reason is that I joined to receive encouragement (and I do get that from time to time) but often times I find that these devotionals are more DIS-couraging then encouraging. I'm new to homeschooling. In fact, I will be starting this fall with my 13 & 10 year old kids. While I know that it is not going to be sunshine and roses all the time, the subject matter of many of these posts seems to make it out like it is a great struggle every day. Am I being naive to think that this will be an enjoyable experience? I just quit my job and am looking forward to spending more time with my kids and focusing on their education. But posts like this make me wonder if it is just going to be a daily drudgery.

JANET T 07/01/2010 08:48:12

Kim S - I'm excited to hear about your commitment and that you have chosen to homeschool your two children. Let me affirm - homeschooling is a wonderful experience! The blessings and joys are endless, but in the words of another fellow veteran homeschool mom, "It will be the toughest job you'll ever love!" Like all worthwhile endeavors, homeschooling does have its challenges. My sincere prayer is that God will sustain you as you face those challenges to discover each homeschooling blessing of your own.

DONNA W 07/01/2010 13:08:09

Hi Kim, I agree with everything that Janet had to say. Like she said the blessings and joys are endless, but it will be a tough job that you will love!!! We have just about finished our first year of Homeschooling, and I never thought I would be able to do it. God helped me through the tough days, and there were many more good, joyful days than tough ones!!! Think about it, I am sure the job you just gave up had its tough days like everything in life. Just hang in there, ask God to help you see the way, I will be praying. Donna W Philippians 4:13

LANA M 06/30/2011 06:56:02

Just recently I subscribed to this and thinking of unsubscribing.... I read this out loud to my kids, and they said \"WHAT?\" &\"You know there is this little stick called a paddle\" and the other comment was \"Are these (kids)public schooled and were taken out at 14?\" Too funny! I have 4 kids from aged 8- 19, and I love being around them. Raising children and homeschooling will have it\'s ups and downs but if you\'re complaining about your kids behavior then discipline them. I read the devotion from an other day about being indoors while it\'s sunny outside-well then put that laundry down & get outside. Life will go on wither there is laundry to do or not, better yet have the kids fold the laundry while you read a book to them or have everyone do laundry to a timer and get outdoors and enjoy each other. p.s. My kids want me to share that they clean house too!

DIANNE G 06/30/2011 07:26:37

Generally, I don\'t comment on articles or devotionals, I just read them and take from them what God wants me to learn that day. I feel the need to respond to Kim and Lana\'s comments, though, because I have been homeschooling for 25 years. The writer of this devotional was being honest and transparent and was very positive in what she said. She is a veteran homeschooler. At times it is necessary to take a break from the education to work on character. God has to disciplines us--again, as she said. I have yet to meet a perfect Christian, at least one that was still breathing. I have yet to meet a perfect homeschooling parent. It has been so fulfilling to be able to educate my children at home. It is more so when I hear that my 28 year old daughter tells her coworkers that she appreciates the sacrifice I made all those years. There will be hard days, if you haven\'t started homeschooling yet and are considering it, but keep the outcome in view (and ask God what you should take away from these devotionals, rather than unsubscribing).

NANCY T 06/30/2011 07:50:14

Thank you for this particular lesson. It is true, we look at other homeschoolers and think,,,,,why aren\'t my kids learning like that, my aren\'t my kids as good as that. But the truth is sIn. It is encouraging to me that my strugglers are other peoples struggles, and that we CAN overcome by God\'s grace, not our own strength, and that most days ARE NOT a bed of roses. BUT with GOD\"S Strengh WE WILL over come, teach our children Character, and we will make it. PRAISE the Lord. Thank you for the reality of REAL not some fake homeschool life. nancyt.

JULIE J 06/30/2011 08:27:17

Lana, I believe you did not take away from the devotional what was intended. I do not believe the writer was complaining about her children\'s behavior rather she was being honest and saying that as humans they do sin. I also do not believe that she was not properly disciplining her children as your comment seemed to imply. The point of what she said about her children\'s behavior is that she was stopping to take the time to discipline her children. Your comment was rather rude and condescending in my point of view. We are supposed to be edifying to one another not to talk down to others we don\'t agree with or to others whose experiences are different tha ours. I love homeschooling. It is what God has called me to do, and I don\'t want to do anything else but that. Yes, my children do misbehave at times and we have to take time out to deal with that, but as she said in the devotioanl, these are character building moments. Our children also are building character by learning to help out around the house. Life in general should and can be character building if we walk with God every step of the way.

TRISHA L 06/30/2011 08:30:00

I\'d have to say that I agree with you. I home school 3 children and we have our good days and our bad days. There are days I have wondered \"O Lord, what did I get myself into?\" but then my little boy will get an \"A\" on his project and I smile and thank God that he did it.

PATTI C 06/30/2011 09:48:14

Thank you for a wonderful devotion. It\'s a blessing to be encouraged. Yes, like anything worthwhile in life, it isn\'t easy and can be hard at times. However, we have a wonderful God who walks with us daily and can lead us through the difficult times. We praise Him always, for good times as well. I suppose we may not mention those praising times as much. I personally apologize for not posting those times. I will say that I am totally blown away at how the Lord is uplifted and shows His work in our family through the hard times. I suppose it keeps me from being prideful and totally dependant on Him for our success in homeschooling. I love my kids, love being with them day in day out. I\'d die if they were sent off daily on a bus. I have one child that is highly distractable, and I mean highly...that just melts me with his innocent blue eyes...reminding me that God made him exactly as he is...and He will be faithful to help me teach him in His way. I must repeatedly put away my pride and give the credit to him. I\'ll be sure to post more of the successful, happy days! Lovin my Lord, lovin my kids through all the days!!

SHERI W 06/30/2011 11:42:27

Thank you for this devotion! I love how God uses others to help us in certain situations or to see things from another\'s perspective. HE is so good to us that way! We are in our 6th year of homeschooling and it has been the hardest year of all. Not only was it the first year with all 3 kids being schooled, but we\'ve had many interruptions to our days with my mother-in-laws diagnosis of cancer and her treatments. There have been many a day this school year that we have learned about serving others by cleaning my in-laws home and taking them meals. These are valuable lessons that my children would have missed if they were in school. Yes, the hardest year, but the most rewarding of all! The point is you adjust and learn and God uses all kinds of situations to teach us as well as our kids. We are an amazingly blessed family that must die to self every single day! Our Sweet Heavenly Father must discipline us in love and we are given the opportunity to do the same to our children in love. Doing what I love and loving what I do!

JUDY P 06/30/2011 15:08:26

Just a curious thought I have had for years: Why is Shakespeare so revered for his mastery of the English Language and the KJV so belittled? I truly am puzzled by this. In our little section of the world, the KJV is the favored version, partly because of its language. PLEASE, I am not trying to start trouble, I am truly confused about this.

ASHLEY O 06/30/2011 15:13:22

i feel like that , pretty much everyday! I\'ll be honest is hard and sucks a lot of the tim, but God reveal that he has a work in me that needs to done!

K M 06/30/2011 21:13:48

Thank you so much for this devotion today. =) I so needed it. May the LORD bless you richly both to the readers and those at AOP. God is good all the time. The KJV complaint ... simply read the scripture quotations in your preferred version. =) Karie M. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7

ANGELICA D 07/01/2011 11:15:20

Thank you for your words of encouragement today :) May the LORD bless you in all that you do.

PATTI C 07/02/2011 05:05:54

Love the KJV, thank you so much.

THANDI N 07/03/2011 07:24:41

I\'ve been having a few days where I think \"Ok, am I not praying enough? Am I not reaching them properly? Is there a mthod to instilling obedience in them?\" Then I recall how we are told to TRAIN them. Training doesn\'t happen over night, we need to keep at it. Going from strength to strength. I appreciate these devotionals because they are real. They are what we go through. Our children are not perfect, there are days you wonder where you\'ve gone wrong, why they don\'t behave the way they know they should. But are we 100% honest? Do we ALWAYS have pure thoughts, pure hearts? Are we quick to \'love our enemies?\' Thank you for this, it was right on time. I had been struggling with a sense of \"What am I doing wrong? Do others have to deal with this type of discouragement at times?\"

KATHY S 06/30/2012 07:36:14

To anyone worried about starting homeschooling; We have different types of days when we homeschool. Some days, we pack up and go to the Library. They have a few cubicals that are all glass that overlook a wooded area. It is beautiful! When we get tired of being in there, we wander over to their \"cafe\" that\'s on the way out from the Library. We order lunch and continue working in the Cafe until we are done. Other days, we just stay at home and do our school work. We enjoy all of our time together. This coming year (when I\'m well again), I look forward to taking a few \"Field Trips\" to our local museum, and hopefully a train ride into Chicago to see their Wonderful Museums. There are so may things I wan\'t to do in our homeschool time together! We just picked out some new books for reading for this coming year. We are going to try to incorporate as much Fun into school as possible!! I am lucky, my child is extremley well behaved, he does have Asperger\'s Syndrome and ADD. So with the ADD I sometimes have to repeat, and with the Asperger\'s, well, he won\'t attend too many social events. Who cares? Not me. God made us and our children just the way we are supposed to be. You have all read how we came to homeschool, so I won\'t repeat it again. Even though it was under very hard circumstances, we are both so thankful that we do homeschool. And aside from some Math glitches, it\'s not that hard to do. We\'ve only been doing this a year, but, I do not forsee any challenges that God cannot help us through, just like he always does. So Moms that are going to start homeschooling this coming year. Don\'t worry, look to Jesus to help you. In Christ, Kathy S.

Tabitha Wiebe 07/01/2013 13:08:53

It's a sad day when a missionary claims that the KJV is harder to read and understand. It's written in 3rd grade English and the words that are changed in the NIV are actually harder to understand then in the KJV. You've been mislead by the devil to believe a huge lie that the KJV is hard to read or understand. It's wonderful that there is still a few places that post and use the KJV 1611 They still have huge blessings on them. Please don't change the direction you are going with your scripture verses. You would turn away a huge number of homeschoolers ACE used to be KJV and they were blessed, they changed, they dropped standards and in the last few years its been a huge decline in good Christian schools and very few of them have any standards left Gods blessing lays on those that follow and read his word Missionary I challenge you to actually study the Bible issue .... There's more to it than you would guess

Dawn LeMay 06/30/2015 13:14:41

AOP - I am thankful for the KJV when you quote the bible. KJV is unchanged because God is unchanged, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I am new to homeschooling and find it a comfort to know that there will be days that will be difficult and know those are the days that I will have to rely even more on my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for my strength!

Lynne Carrier 06/30/2015 13:14:51

Kim S I can not begin to tell you, just how much this daily devotion has helped me in my homeschool endeavors. Nor, can I begin to tell you, of all, of the frustrations (I am going into my 6th yr homeschooling) I have experienced. I can, however, tell you about the growth I have seen in my son, that I have had the absolute privledge and honor to watch him grow in ALL things; his walk with our Lord, his physical stature, his character (in every different situation), the list can go on, and on, and believe me, it is far greater than the frustrations we have endured! What I am trying to say is; I would gladly take the not so pleasant times, because they have helped me (believe it or not:) savor and see the beauty with-in our homeschool adventure(s)! You won't regret your decision...I haven't! God bless you and yours:) Phil.4:13// Psalm 121:2:// Proverbs 22:6// Galatians 6:2// Mark 10:16// 2 Corinthians 9:8 xo Lynne

Amy Jensen 06/30/2015 18:21:02

I would love some advice...I'm new to this blog, but was hoping some veterans might have some advise for me. I'm in my first year of homeschooling my kindergarten boy and I love it. He really struggles with getting motivated to do his schoolwork though. I find myself constantly saying, "Get to work." "Don't mess around." "Do the next problem." I've tried praying with him, reminding him that the more he messes around the less playtime he'll get, giving him more breaks, rewarding him with a special toy or game if he works hard, but I still struggle. At times he shows that he can work so quickly and really knows what he's doing, but at other times he acts as though he doesn't even know his ABCs or get easily frustrated and distracted. I'd love any advise anyone can share. Thank you!

CARL VAN STRYLAND 06/30/2015 20:23:53

Amy, We've posted your question on our Facebook page, and we're hoping some fellow homeschoolers can give you some great answers and suggestions. Here's a link to our post: http://aopho.me/1NsMmwT

Jodi Child 07/01/2015 13:09:30

The writer of this devotion encourages me daily! I have 3 children, two of whom are school age and have been homeschooled from the beginning. I appreciated the open, honest, transparent approach of the writing and the topic which is relevant to each Christian in their daily walk with our Lord! I appreciate this devotion and find it insightful and refreshing! May God bless you in your continued writing!

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