Some homeschool milestones feel huge. There's nothing quite like the joy of watching a child learn to read. But most milestones are a bit quieter than that. And they often go unnoticed.
As you go along day by day faithfully raising and educating your children, I suggest you take a step back and periodically look at some of those quieter forms of growth. They can be so encouraging.
You may find this a great year-end activity, or a way to shore up your motivation as you plod along. Looking back can also be a huge testament to God's work in our lives.
Think back to the beginning of this school year and what your children were like then. Where were they academically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically? Now think about how they've grown and changed this year. Take a sheet of paper and complete the following sentences at least five times for each child.
Let's say you have a child named Sam:
"At the beginning of the school year, Sam ______________. Now, Sam ______________."
Keep writing until you are rejoicing in how Sam has grown this year.
- Perhaps he learned to ride a bike or how to share with his sister.
- Maybe he finally grasped long division.
You could think about specific subjects, character issues, major accomplishments, relational growth, etc.
If you captured photos of your child’s first day, be sure to take one on the last day of school, too. Then you can compare the physical changes that have taken place as well. (They grow so fast, don’t they?)
Use this paper as a keepsake to review in the years to follow. In addition, a Sonlight Memory Book is a great tool to document your children’s growth throughout the year. After you have captured how much your children have grown, why not celebrate your own growth as well? Sometimes it may feel as if our struggles never bring change, but as we follow Christ, he does work in our hearts.
Taking the long view can be a true act of praise to see how God has grown us over the past decade. Try to write ten statements like this:
"Ten years ago, I _________________. Now, I ________________."
Keep it positive, and thank God for the ways he has grown you into someone a little more loving, a little more mature, a little more Christ-like. Although everything from academic growth to spiritual growth can seem painfully slow sometimes, when we take a longer view we can see that we are in fact growing up.
To paraphrase John Newton, may we all say, "I am not the person I ought to be, I am not the person I wish to be, and I am not the person I hope to be. But I am not the person I used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am."
Praise the Lord for that!
Blessings to you and yours,