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It’s that evaluating time of year.

Testing at Woodrow Wilson High School, October 1943.
Photo by Esther Bubley, Courtesy Library of Congress.

Some mamas plan to take their children for achievement testing soon. Some are looking forward to meeting with an evaluator who will tell them what a good job they did this school year. Others are dreading that meeting. Some mamas are evaluating themselves and their children. Some are pretty well pleased with what has happened this year. Others—perhaps lots of others including you—are feeling woefully inadequate.

The truth is that each of us is inadequate. That’s why we need Jesus.

I was once a worried homeschooling mama. However, something wonderful happened in 1994. We decided to quit strapping homeschooling on our backs like a big sack of rocks and instead make it who we were. That decision wasn’t a permanent cure for the worries, but it was a wonderful turning point.

That same summer I made a list of objectives. I have shared these before, but I’d like to share them again. Ray and I decided that we wanted our children to:

  • Be faithful to Jesus.
  • Care about others and show it in concrete ways.
  • Be responsible adults.
  • Love the church and build it up.
  • Have good etiquette and manners.
  • Help others come to know Jesus.
  • Know how to have fun.
  • Have good character.
  • Learn as a lifestyle.
  • Marry strong Christians.
  • Have personal holiness and purity.
  • Raise Christian children.
  • Have good marriage and parenting skills.
  • Be uniquely God’s man or woman.
  • Know about God’s creation.
  • Learn about the cultures of the world.
  • Know history.
  • Love reading.
  • Appreciate art and music.
  • Learn to communicate.
  • Be interesting.
  • Take care of their bodies.
  • Learn the math they needed to know.

As we continued to homeschool with defined purpose and freedom, we met our state course requirements, but meeting those was not our primary purpose. There had to be a why behind what we did. The why made all the difference.

 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened,
so that you will know what is the hope of His calling,
what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
Ephesians 1:18-19


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