“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 Home schooling your children is, in many ways, very similar to cross country running. As educating our children can be compared to running, remember too that our Lord compares the Christian life to running a race as well.
Endurance is imperative when it comes to teaching our children day in and day out, month after month, and year after year. Without it we run the risk of burnout.
While browsing online for tips on running long distances, I was further convinced that this information was quite valuable to the home educating mom.
Tip #1: When racing, don’t worry about the times and spectators. You’re running at a pace suited to you [and your children].
Oh how I needed to hear that! I feel a bit humbled that I had to learn this from a site focused merely on running for the sake of running, however, the principle is outstanding! When teaching our children the three R’s, as well as teaching them to love the Lord their God with all their mind, soul, and strength, we need to remember to not look at other families and to not worry about the time it takes.
So your five year old didn’t read until he was nine? That’s okay! He’s seventeen now and can read just as well as any child that read at age four.
Tip #2: Most Cross Country runners take off too fast.
Guilty as charged! Don’t most of us do that? We start the year off with a bang, and by Christmas (Thanksgiving?) our children don’t even know where they last saw their math book. Slow and steady is just as good advice for cross country racing as it is with homeschooling.
Tip #3: If your legs start to hurt, DON’T slow down, it will make them hurt more.
I love this one! When it starts to get tough, when we feel discouraged, remember that tip. DON’T give up. I’m all for slowing down for a season (new baby, illness in the family, etc) but don’t throw in the towel when difficulties arise.
Tip #4: NEVER slow down before you get to the finish line.
Finish well! Require your older children to keep up on their school work. I know it’s a temptation to skip school often when they are at the age of being able to work along side you as an equal. And isn’t that what we have spent so much time training them for? Life in the real world? There are many home schooled children in their late teens that never really finished their book work. They never officially graduated. They need that completion and satisfaction of finishing the race.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
Fellow homeschooling mother, friend, be steadfast and joyful this coming year as you teach and train the next generation.