Do you have a name and theme verse for your homeschool? For years I’ve been pursuing a Biblically strong spiritual name to reflect our goals in homeschooling. Indecisively, I gave up the venture. Then last spring the idea resurfaced. Ordering books from a new company asking for our school name, I once again took up the challenge. This time I presented some ideas to dh and the children, who unanimously disagreed with my ideas…and unanimously agreed with each other. Our school, they decided, had to be named after me. Flabbergasted, I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting their school named "Laurie Academy." They clarified that it should have something to do with my screen name, lahbluebonnet. Hence, we came up with Bluebonnet Ridge Academy.
Isn’t that an inviting name for a school? Can’t you just imagine a one-room school house in a field of bluebonnets, amongst the live oaks near a rippling brook? Actually, in a semblance of having that flavor, we do have oak trees planted in the last 7 years that are now getting taller than our house. We do have a steep hill in our backyard, perfect for growing bluebonnets. I used to have lots of bluebonnets back there, but I aggressively weeded them out one summer. Although I’ve scattered seeds in the autumn, dry weather and thick mulch has not allowed them opportunity to grow. So this year I am determined to get more seeds, move the mulch and water them myself. Hopefully, our home will look like Bluebonnet Ridge Academy next spring.
Often my neglect in the outdoor garden is a result of my work in the garden of my children’s hearts. (Homeschooling takes a lot of time doesn’t it?) More important than any external appearance, is the planting, watering, nourishing and weeding that I am doing in my children. I am often humbled by the beautiful fruit I see in my children’s lives. Before gardening with them, I must go to the Master Gardener myself. Coming to the garden early each morning to be in His presence nourishes my own soul, so that I can hopefully be His servant throughout the day. Sometimes, the early morning is not available. How wonderful is our God, to be available throughout the day, at any time, to enter His presence. Especially with babies and toddlers, I did not know how I’d find the time. So I’d ask God to provide a quiet time with Him sometime in the day. Amazingly, He always provided a few minutes here or a few minutes there; it was I who was not always faithful to take advantage of those opportunities.
Ultimately, my children are safe in God’s hands. He is always there. I cannot be. My job is to follow God’s leading, to provide for them, to teach them in the way they should go, to love them and nourish them. I pray Luke 2:52 over them daily, praying over each aspect of their lives: mental, physical, spiritual and social. I lay our needs at the feet of Jesus, and ask for wisdom which direction we go whether it be curriculum, what to teach in morning devotions, how to train a weak spot in their lives, how to point them to God, how to choose friends… When I don’t do these things, I am weak, and everything falls apart. Only with God first do we find direction. Then I approach my husband with the things the Lord has impressed me with. Amazingly, because I sought God my heart is changed from what I first thought, and when I present to my husband, sometimes his heart has changed too. God works in powerful ways.
Though I may have been indecisive over the years in regard to our school name, I feel the Lord has consistently impressed me with our theme verse: Philippians 2:14-18. "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."
No complaining or arguing…that’s a good reminder for children…hmmmm, me too! I’ve never been good as a teacher establishing educational goals. What if my goal is too low for that child? My personal goal has been to guide and lead a child to reach for the highest star…so I’ve always found this verse fascinating. Before having my own children, I worked with many students of mixed abilities and it was sheer joy to see them improve over the year. My own children were diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder and received special services until age 3, when they were to be moved to special ed classes in public school. The specialists insisted my children would always struggle and I should never homeschool, only the public school could provide. Well I taught in public school for 6 years and I know what happens to special ed kids, bless their hearts. Our pediatrician, Dr. Habel, was the only one who even suggested that I homeschool. It was like he already knew. I took that encouragement and ran…like Paul mentioned. I am running the race, homeschooling my children, looking to God for guidance. And I am sure you would not be surprised to hear that they have far surpassed anything I saw in the public schools for special ed kids.
In the last week, stars make me laugh as well. Last week a friend of mine visited, who is new to Texas and she commented that she sees stars everywhere! She even found them all over our schoolroom! I laughed and said there are 3 more in a shopping bag. I haven’t hung them in the schoolroom yet because they are buried under the autumn purchases, the unit celebration purchases, and the new bathroom remodel purchases! So how neat, bluebonnets and lone stars are our theme! And they are visual reminders to us of where God is taking us! Trusting Him for an abundant harvest in the work we put into our children…