Wrote this 5 years ago. Wrote for other magazines.
© Daneille Snowden
REVIVAL OF THE JOY IN HOMESCHOOLING
By Daneille Snowden
Do we define joy in homeschooing as….
When we measure out the success of our teaching abilities=resulting in really smart kids?
Your lesson planners when the school year is done?
Or could it be Your
Nonetheless, we all need the Joy and long for it in us, to pour out into the Hearts of our children, lasting for eternity. Joy means: “feelings of great happiness or pleasure, especially of an elevated or spiritual kind, or something that is seen as a source of happiness.”
Truly, real Joy is our only source of Joy and that is JESUS! I love that old chorus we sung in church; “Without Him, I could do nothing…without Him, I’d surely fail, without Him, I would be drifting…like a ship without a sail.” Isn’t that so true? When we try to go about life’s daily duties, without seeking Him first: we just don’t seem to get much done that really matters.
Mary B. Puplava of Handmaiden.org said this about her study on Joy; “Quite surprisingly, there are 15 different Hebrew words and 8 Greek words to describe joy which is used both as a noun and as a verb. To me this relates to the fact that JOY constitutes something that it tangible as well as intangible.” Examples of the Hebrew & Greek definitions of Joy are fun, listen to some: rejoice, dance, cry, shout, good cheer, to glory, to be useful, to profit and to leap.
Now that summer is half over and I still yet need to finish purchasing my entire curriculum for this up-coming school year: the thought of doing this all over again just drains my brains as well as my soul! Hey, I am being bluntly truthful here, I have been home schooling now for over 12 years; and I am just not all that excited about teaching my chitlins. I know also that I am not alone; I have dear friends of whom I have chatted with that concur with this same sentiment. Yet, our true desire is to be joyous about teaching our babies once again by giving them the Word of God, using the three R’s and the extra curricula. When a dear friend and I were talking the other day, she was sharing her heart on this matter and I felt her burden…yes her BURDEN, not being excited about teaching her children and just purely WORE OUT! I felt her burden, because I identify. Burden defined is: “a load being carried; a difficult or worrying responsibility or duty.” We as home school moms (and or dads), feel that weight of responsibility; especially when our children become older and in high school. The weight just gets to be too much for us all to bear. So, where do I go…where do we all go when we get to this place of being overwhelmed and loosing our Joy to school our children? Jesus said; “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11.:28) Beyond a doubt do I believe that Jesus does care about this heavy laden burden of schooling and He wants to provide us His Rest! Rest here in the Greek means to: take ease and be refreshed! This is why the title of this article is called; ‘Revival of the Joy of Homeschooling.’ Because one of the definitions to revival is to be refreshed, ahhhh just the word itself is exhilarating!
I've been praying for myself and all my home school buddies; to have God's Joy of Homeschooling back in our hearts. As I was praying, I began meditating on this and the Lord brought this to my heart and mind.
When we all first began home schooling, we started off with this as a calling. Answering it, with a devotion to our Lord to nurture and teach our children at home. That calling stayed strong, especially with our guinea pigs (the first borns). Also, with the help of others who had this fresh zeal (referring to the awesome Moms Night Outs we had for hours on end).
As the years have passed; the zeal, the call waned away and home schooling has become more controlled and led by me (the home school mom) other than God controlled and led. Thus, it has become more and more a drudgery; to the point that it is also confusing trying to decide on the entire curriculum the children need. Perhaps, it is good to get into the closet of prayer; and surrender our call of being a home school teacher back to the One who willed this in the first place. In so doing, with that Joy and the Presence of God in complete control; I am confident He will guide myself and my fellow home school moms to the subjects, books and so much the more He desires our children to learn from. Isn’t the Lord just wonderful on how He reveals just what we need at the hour of distress? All we need is Jesus, in complete control!
I was reading ‘The Old School House Magazine’ weekly newsletter and this week was about lesson planners, Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor wrote this; “God can use all these methods as they are yielded to His input first. Seek Him FIRST, and God will give you wisdom for each child.” See, from a wise home school mom herself…SEEK HIM FIRST! Maybe it’s time to shut the curriculum magazines and shut the doors to our bedrooms, climb on our beds, open up the Word of God and the door to our hearts and truly seek God’s heart for the right schooling of our children! Amen? "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)
Read what Denise Walmsley of Broad Room web site in her article, The Real Joy of Home schooling (A study on Ps.51); “With this Psalm God graciously and gently opened my eyes to see that because He has cleansed my heart and renewed my spirit, I am then able to teach His commands to my children. He has put me in a family in the honorable position of mother in a Christian home. He hasn't burdened or demanded of me; He has honored me, and blessed me. I can also hold onto the promise of Psalm 51, which promises that those I teach will turn back to God. The thing I am working for WILL happen. My children will turn to the Lord And along with this fresh insight I see that the Lord has also "restored to me the joy of thy salvation". The Lord really answered the prayer in Psalm 51 for me, and I praise Him.” Doesn’t this sum it all up; it’s all about Jesus and impressing His love, His Character into the lives of our children. The only way this can happen is to allow Him to have complete control of what all we teach, say and do with them everyday.
Please know, I pray daily for my fellow home school moms out in this world and I ask that you will in turn pray for me too.
"Create in me a new heart, Oh Lord,
And renew a right spirit within me
Cast me not away from thy presence Oh Lord,
Take not thy Holy Spirit from me
Restore to me the JOY of thy salvation,
And renew a right spirit within me."
BIO: Daneille Snowden (from Morganton, North Carolina) is wife to Rev. Brad Snowden, and a home school mom of three children; Nathan (15), Felecia (8) and Tabitha (4). Daneille has a degree in missions and also is an ordained minister. Most importantly she is a daughter to her Lord Jesus Christ.
NOW: Abides in IL. Married 24 yrs. Homeschooled 15 1/2 yrs./ Children 9-20 yrs. old.