“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galations 6:9)
It’s easy for a homeschool day to go off the rails.
As must as we would like to blame the toddler or the teen, usually that derailing starts in our own heads, in our own hearts, as the homeschool mom.
Our mood, our demeanor, our responses, make or break the atmosphere of our homeschool. And so our thoughts and our emotions matter.
Do we control them or do they control us?
When our moods and minds are being swayed by false ideals, unrealistic expectations, or discontented grumblings, we need to reject those thoughts and replace them with truth and with gratitude.
We need hand-holds, little grips to return to truth, to remember why we’re doing what we’re doing, to keep moving forward. We need strategies that will help us keep our eyes focused on Christ, on doing these things for His glory instead of our own.
Whatever is true, whatever is right, think on these things.
Having verses or maybe quotes at the ready, easy to grab a hold of, enables us to replace those mutterings and grumbling and stay focused on our aim and our purpose. It’s so easy for our feelings, our emotions, to take over our perception, to look around and have the fact that we didn’t get enough sleep or things didn’t go our way in the morning to skew what we’re seeing happening in our home.
The exact same situation can feel different, look different, when we’re focused on Truth rather than ourselves and our agenda for the day.
Sometimes everyone else seems grumpy when it’s really ourselves with the bad attitude, trying to act like we don’t, so we see it in everyone else because we refuse to acknowledge it in ourselves.
We need easy ways to grab hold of truth so we can turn it around.
Little triggers, good triggers of truth, remind us that this is not about us, this is about God, so we can let go of trying to make this about us and how we want it to be.
One way I make such little truth reminders available and repeated in my own day is with what I call an Attitude Alignment Sheet. I call it an Attitude Alignment Sheet because it helps me prepare, prep, get ready in my mind for my day. I keep mine in my Morning Time Binder so that it’s the first page that I see.
When I review this sheet, I remember at the beginning of the school day why and what I am doing. It helps have that Truth fresh in my mind so that hopefully I can turn it around quickly when I act in a way that’s contrary to what I believe.
One such quote on my sheet is from Charlotte Mason:
“Do not let the endless succession of small things crowd great ideals out of sight and out of mind.”
My attitude alignment sheet is a way for me to do that strategically yet simple. With it I keep those great ideals and truths in sight and in mind because they are in a convenient, easy spot to review and remember.
In this way, with such a small, simple step, we learn how to preach to ourselves, to tell ourselves truths, to fill our mind with truth.
So, leaving yourself notes everywhere may not be the best home décor advice, but it’s the best mental sanity advice that I have found: leave yourself notes of truth in strategic spots. To have the habit of looking at and thinking about Truth, focusing on it for 15 seconds doesn’t really interrupt the day, yet it provides a quick reorientation of our minds.
Seek the things that are above and not on things that are on earth. That’s lifting up our eyes, focusing on Truth, on Jesus, on stewarding rather than grabbing, and it’s really, really helpful.
And then it’s modeling for our children, too. And then those thoughts that we’re feeding on what goes in, comes out. So unless we have ways to put words of truth into ourselves, we can’t speak them to our children, either. Unless we have practiced and have found ways to actually change our own attitude when we don’t want to, we can’t effectively teach our children to do so.
So we must have not only a time set aside for reading the Bible, but also these small pauses built into our days to focus on Truth, to focus on Christ, and to say, “OK, this is what it’s all about, it’s not about me, it’s not about my plans, it’s about me being faithful with right now, what’s in front of me, and not making it look like necessarily what I wanted it to look like, but just loving my people, loving my God. What’s that going to look like right now?”
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This is only an edited, excerpted transcript. Watch the video for more:
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My ecourse, Art of Homeschooling, is not about making a good plan or even following through on your plan. It’s about approaching your real homeschool days with resilience and grace, knowing that good growth often happens after we’ve worked through the messy troubles. Our goal isn’t to eliminate messy troubles, it’s to trust that God’s working them for good and hang tight, responding in love and gratitude and faith.
Art of Homeschooling is about our mindset and attitude, and it might just be the conviction and challenge you need this season. Try it. If it isn’t, I gladly offer full refunds, no questions asked.
We work through relationship dynamics, expectation misalignments, and motivation issues, pairing meaty but brief lessons with actionable steps that will propel you forward in your school day with resilience and resolve.