One of my favorite homeschool speakers has been Renee Ellison. She speaks my language – practicality, efficiency, economy. Sounds like a good school logo. What is it in Latin, I wonder? Assignment for my oldest!
Mrs. Ellison, a gifted educator, said many wise things, many practical things, and one or two I disagreed with. But the one thing that has really stuck with me is this: Begin with the end in mind. We are not raising children. We are raising adults. Now I know that statement is not original, but that was the first person I have heard that applied that idea to homeschooling or parenting in general.
So I mapped out, when my oldest was five, a one page plan of the basic things I wanted to cover with her and approximately when in her development. I based it in on Charlotte Mason method and the classical model of learning stages. It has served as a great guide. I have tweaked it here and there, but it looks fairly similar to the original and children are growing into lovely young ladies. Thank you, Jesus for that! I say so very cautiously, since we are just venturing into teen years. But I know whom I have believed in and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day!
We begin each school year with a plan that takes us to about May. How much more powerful to sketch out the remaining years we have with our children with a vision of what kind of adults we want to raise and the steps we need to take to get them there. I know what you are thinking. “That’s great, Donielle! But, I am absolutely intimidated by idea. Where do I start?” You start by asking for wisdom. And God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, will grant your request. What a great promise for less than perfect parents in a fallen world! I ask for more nearly every day.
The next thing to do is take pen to paper and just start writing. Write words or subjects that come to mind. Dream about you kid as a teen and an adult, about their gifts and talents, about what you want them to see and do, and then start writing down how to get there and what steps to take, who to ask for advice and even written prayers for divine assistance. The prayers of a righteous parent are powerful and effective.
That is what the name of today’s post means: BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND. This can apply to parenting, to our spiritual walk, to work, to any project or ministry we are involved in. Take a brief break from the now, from the tyranny of the urgent, and think about the end. Now start over and begin with the end in mind!
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