What you really need for your homeschool year

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A new school year is brimming with possibilities. There's something soul-stirring about fresh starts and new beginnings.

I get excited about gathering the best of the best for my kids in order to plan a fabulous school year. I know there are supplies to get and checklists galore, but what I really need for my homeschool (and I have a suspicion you need it, too) doesn’t stop at curriculum and crayons. I need a checklist for my heart.

As I think about all the things I want to do this year, I need to remember who I want to be.

I've got the shopping list and the to-do list. I need a "make-me-new" list. Because those shiny new pencils aren't what's writing on the hearts of my children.

I really believe that if you want to give your kids a good education, you give them yourself.

If you want to give your kids a good education, give them yourself.

Cuddles with my kiddos as we learn together in the great outdoors.

So join me in scavenging the glory in the mundane. When we use those brand new school supplies, let's think about what we really need for school this year.

  • When I lay out that blank sheet of fresh paper, I’m going to see the possibilities in my children.
  • Every time I use my rubber bands, they’ll remind me to be flexible.
  • An eraser will help me remember to forgive and forget. Everyone needs a clean slate.
  • A ruler will remind me that the only standard I need to measure myself against is what God thinks of me. No comparison games! When I am measured by His love for me, I am more than enough and so are my children.
  • When I wash off sticky little fingers covered in glue, I want to remember that sometimes being stuck together (all day) makes us strong.
  • Modeling clay: to remind me that I am shaping souls. I must be ready to be shaped and molded, too.
  • Permanent marker: to remember that we are making our mark on the world with our daily choices. The investments I make today in my children are lasting.
  • Paper clips: to remember that I can’t hold it all together, but I can give God my best and trust Him. He’s got this.
  • Lunch box: to remember each day to nourish my children and to make my words healthy and sweet.
  • Crayons: to remember to live life in full color. To bring beauty and fun to everyday things and show my children the wonder of being alive.
  • Pencil sharpener: I want my kids not just to be protected at home, but to be prepared as strategic ambassadors for the Kingdom, sharpened and refined and ready to serve effectively in a broken world.
  • A globe: to give me (and my children) a perspective that others matter. To seek to understand, learn about and serve people different from me. To think and act according to the big picture rather than my own “me-first” bubble.
  • Labels: so I can toss ‘em. Those usually aren’t helpful for kids or parents.
  • A calculator and a stopwatch: so I can wisely learn to number my days and feel the brevity of my time. Make it count!

I'm humbly asking for grace for the year ahead, that I can remember what we really need in our homeschool each day. When I forget, I pray that sticky little hands will remind me – and that the clean slate will be waiting each morning.

What do you need for your homeschool this year?
~Laura Lee

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Laura Lee Ellis

About Laura Lee Ellis

Laura Lee Ellis is a writer, speaker, former missionary to Africa, and a second-generation homeschooler. She is passionate about world missions and the potential of motherhood in shaping culture. She has contributed to national magazines and radio and works as a writer for Sonlight Curriculum. She, her husband Nick and their three children have lived in six countries and recently returned to the States from the University of Oxford, England. She believes in the power of stories to bring people together and inspire action.
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2 Responses to What you really need for your homeschool year

  1. Samantha says:

    Very clever reminders! And great values for us to seek to live by in our parenting/home schooling.

    • Laura Lee Ellis says:

      Thanks, Samantha! I am always trying to remember the most simple lessons I've learned. So easy to forget in the throes of the everyday.

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