“Having Christ at the center of our homeschools means more than just isolated Bible lessons. It’s about integrating scripture into every aspect of our day and modeling a Christian life for our children.”Amy Sloan
I recently sat down for a thought-provoking conversation with Amy Sloan, of Humility and Doxology, delving into the significance of making Christ the center of our homeschool. Offering a wealth of wisdom from her personal experiences, Amy shared valuable insights on nurturing faith, cultivating relationships, and embracing the unique journey of homeschooling. In this article, we will explore the key takeaways from this inspiring interview, highlighting a few powerful quotes from Amy that encapsulate the essence of her message.
“What I’m seeing even more clearly now is just what a gift it is to be able to bring the gospel to bear across everything we’re doing. This is our life, this is God’s world.”
A Comprehensive Christ-Centered Education:
Amy emphasizes the importance of nourishing our children’s hearts, minds, and souls in homeschooling. It goes beyond simply having isolated Bible lessons. Instead, integrating the teachings of Christ into every aspect of life lays a firm foundation for children to deeply understand and connect with their Creator and Savior. By making scripture a seamless part of their daily routines, homeschooling families have the opportunity to instill fundamental Christian values, build a sound Biblical worldview, and foster a genuine love for God’s Word in their children’s hearts.
“We need to prioritize Christ as our ultimate goal, rather than viewing homeschooling as an idol. It is a powerful tool, but not the end-all solution.”
Balancing Priorities and Embracing God’s Sovereignty:
Amy reminds us of the danger of placing too much focus on homeschooling, inadvertently turning it into an idol. While homeschooling undoubtedly offers numerous benefits, it is essential to remember that our ultimate goal is to glorify Christ. By prioritizing our relationship with Him, rather than being consumed by the pressure to achieve specific outcomes through homeschooling, we find peace and freedom from fear and anxiety. Trusting in God’s sovereignty, we can rest assured that He is at work in our children’s lives, even when the journey becomes challenging or veers off the expected path.
Homeschooling to Nurture Faith and Family Bonding:
Throughout our conversation, Amy shared her personal experiences as a homeschooling mom (and second-generation homeschooler herself). She and her husband made the decision to homeschool even before they got married, recognizing the immense value in personalized education and the opportunity to prioritize their faith within their home. By homeschooling, they have been able to spend quality time with their children, witness each of their educational milestones, foster deep sibling connections, and integrate their faith into every aspect of learning.
Navigating Challenges and Encouragement for Parents:
Amy compassionately acknowledged the challenges parents may face during difficult seasons with their children, irrespective of age. She encourages parents to create safe spaces for their children to express their emotions, actively listen to their concerns, and nurture understanding rather than always trying to fix their problems. Sharing her personal struggles, Amy underscored the significance of family worship and the non-negotiable daily practice of devotions as a means to seek God’s guidance and strength – but she also recognizes that, ultimately, the outcome of homeschooling and parenting isn’t up to her. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, is the one who helps us understand and apply the Word of God. It is the Spirit who transforms hearts and enables obedience
Hopefully, my conversation with Amy will serve as a guiding light for parents embarking on the homeschooling journey. With a resolute focus on Christ-centered education, Amy encourages parents to cultivate a holistic approach that seamlessly integrates scripture, family relationships, and individual faith growth into their homeschooling experiences. By embracing Christ as the ultimate goal, relinquishing control, and trusting in the work of the Holy Spirit, parents can navigate challenges, nurture their children’s hearts, and create an environment where their faith can flourish.
To listen to the full conversation with Amy Sloan, follow the Schoolhouse Rocked Podcast on your favorite podcast app and embark on an empowering journey toward Christ-centered homeschooling. Also, please take a minute to share this article or Amy’s interview on social media. It is one of the simplest and most effective ways to support the Schoolhouse Rocked Ministry.
Related Podcast Episodes:
1. How can we bring Christ to the center of our homeschooling in comprehensive ways beyond isolated Bible lessons?
2. What are some tangible ways we can integrate scripture into our daily routines and activities?
3. How can we model repentance and humility to our children, showing them the need for Jesus in our own lives?
4. Have you ever struggled with defining your relationship with your child by a challenging season? How can we avoid this tendency?
5. How can we consistently show unconditional love to our children, even in challenging moments?
6. What are some practical ways we can demonstrate love and affection to our children on a daily basis?
7. How can we ensure that we give equal attention and quality time to all of our children, even if some are easier to parent than others?
8. What are some benefits of homeschooling that you have personally experienced or observed?
9. How do you prioritize integrating your faith into your homeschooling, and how has it impacted your children’s understanding of God’s world?
10. How can we combat the misconception that the “right” curriculum or parenting model guarantees specific outcomes for our homeschooled children?
Read the Full Transcript:
Yvette Hampton [00:00:00]:
Hey, everyone, this is Yvette Hampton. Welcome back to the schoolhouse rocked podcast. Thank you for being with us today. I am excited about this week. I am back with Amy Sloan. She was on I don’t I think maybe it’s been about a year ago. I’m not even sure how long ago that was. But she is such an encouragement and I’m excited to have her back with us. She is the author of the the blog in Ministry, Humility and Doxology. She’s got lots of great resources. And we are going to talk this week about homeschool surprise, surprise, because that’s what we talk about on the Schoolhouse Rock podcast. But we’re going to talk about just what does this look like for our kids, spiritually. And Amy is a second generation homeschooler, and so she’s going to just bring some of her experience to this and we know you’re going to be greatly encouraged. Amy, welcome back to the Schoolhouse Rocked podcast. Tell us a little bit about you and your family. Maybe for those who missed our last interview with you, introduce yourself to us and what it is that you do.
Amy Sloan [00:00:58]:
Thank you so much for having me back. I am delighted to get a chance to chat with you again today. So, like you said, my name is Amy Sloan. I’m a second generation homeschool mom of five. Our oldest actually just graduated from our home school this spring, which was really exciting. Praise the Lord for that. Then we have three daughters and then our youngest son is eight, so we sort of run the gamut from the elementary years now to a high school graduate. My husband also is a second generation homeschool and we adventure together in North Carolina. We follow, like, a restfully classical approach to education, which is actually, I believe, what we talked about in our previous conversation. So it’s always exciting to me to get to chat with other homeschoolers and to be on this side of the microphone as a podcast host. Normally, I’m the one asking the questions, so it’s fun to be on this side.
Yvette Hampton [00:01:57]:
Yeah, agreed. It’s so funny because actually, after we’re done recording this podcast, we’re going to record for your podcast as well. And so I agree. I love being on both sides of the mic. Tell us really quickly about your podcast. What is it?
Amy Sloan [00:02:11]:
So the podcast is called Homeschool Conversations with Humility and Doxology It’s Biweekly, generally, although I love a good bonus podcast episode. But I interview all sorts of different homeschool parents on all sorts of different topics. So it’s not just one particular approach to homeschooling, but I seek to really help us see there’s not just one way to homeschool. We can learn a lot from one another. And it has been an absolute delight and encouragement to me and I hope to my audience as well.
Yvette Hampton [00:02:44]:
Yeah, well, it is, and I love that. Similar to the Schoolhouse Rock podcast, you really work to point people to Jesus and help them point their kids to Jesus, because it’s all about the gospel. And we talk about that so often on this podcast. And we’re going to talk about that this week because one of the things that I think we tend to think as Christians and as Christian homeschoolers is if we do all of the right things, our kids will turn out a certain way. And so as you and I were praying through what we were going to discuss today, you sent me some ideas and some thoughts, and you said, homeschooling is an eventing machine and it won’t save our kids. And I was like, I love that analogy. It’s not we can’t just put a coin in and then out pops these perfect kids who will be obedient and who will follow Jesus and who will go on to save the world. That’s just not how it works. But we have a responsibility to help teach our kids in a way that honors the Lord and to point them to Jesus in everything that we do. And so while it won’t save our kids because, of course, homeschooling, it’s not salvation, it’s a way to point them to Jesus. I want you to talk about first why you chose to homeschool, because you are a second generation home schooler, and I know that there are many second generation homeschoolers who are like, no, I would never do that to my kids. But you and your husband have chosen to homeschool your kids, and so why did you make that decision? Walk us through that thought process for you and your husband.
Amy Sloan [00:04:17]:
So the decision for my husband and I actually was very simple, and we didn’t spend a whole lot of time agonizing over it. We had both had very positive experiences with our own home schools growing up. So I was homeschool all the way through high school graduation, my husband through 7th grade. And so even before we got married, we had just sort of talked about our future and any children the Lord would give us. And we were just sort of agreed, oh yeah, of course we’re going to homeschool. Like, it’s just a great option. And it felt very natural for both of us. But when I think about now, after oh, goodness, while 18 years, if you count from birth of my oldest, all of these years of homeschooling our own children, I think my vision for homeschooling and even my why hasn’t changed, but it’s definitely deepened. So as I think about some of the initial reasons why I was choosing to homeschool, I mean, some was just honestly, academic. It’s just a really great option to provide individualized education for your children, to be able to go deeply, to not have to follow the same timeline as everyone else, to be able to work with children with various challenges or giftedness. You can’t find an education like this when done well, you just can’t find it anywhere else, at least not in an affordable way. So that was one thing. And there’s family reasons. Right. I was so excited to get to spend all this time with my own children, to not miss out on the wonder of that first time when they sound out a book, or to hear them making connections between the ideas across the subjects. I didn’t want to miss out on that. And to have the sibling relationships and those bonds formed. Right. These are all good gifts of homeschooling, but I think what I’m seeing even more clearly now is just what a gift it is to be able to bring the gospel to bear across everything we’re doing. That our faith. Learning about the Lord is not just sort of this extra thing we tack on at the end of the day with family devotions or an extra little Bible lesson here and there. But this is our life, this is God’s world. And I think about education a lot of times. People just think about it in terms of making sure our kids know a lot and score well on tests and get good grades and are super smart. Well, if we just know a lot, what does that profit us? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and having wise children really is what I want to come out of my home school. And that has to start with the fear of the Lord.
Yvette Hampton [00:07:25]:
Yeah, that is one thing that we pray about constantly for our girls. And again, the academics are a really important part of homeschool, but wisdom and discernment for us is even more important and their character is even more important. As Rachel Carmen and Davis Carmen say, character over curriculum and relationship over reading. Those things are so much more important than just the academics, though. Those are important, but we need to incorporate all of it together because we’re raising whole people. Right. We’re not just raising scholars, we’re raising adults to go on into the world and to be able to function not just academically, but as people who love Jesus and who will serve Him. So when you decided to homeschool, did you feel like because I think that this is kind of changing somewhat in the world. Did you feel like you were running from something or did you feel like you were running towards something with your kids?
Amy Sloan [00:08:27]:
I definitely had running towards something with my children, I think because I hadn’t had a particularly negative experience in my own home school growing up. I mean, my family was we were sinners. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a positive experience. And so I wanted to continue on with those positive things and just put my own spin on them by God’s grace. So it was definitely an exciting thing. And it’s interesting because I like to let people know this. My website is humility and doxology, but that’s not just the name of my website. Way before I ever started a blog, back when I was never going to start a blog, I would tell my children, the end of your education. The reason why we’re doing this is so that you will be humble and you will praise the Lord. I used humility and doxology as this end. If you think about the tell us, like, where are we going? What’s our vision for this homeschool thing? And I wanted them to more and more see the beauty of God, which will lead to humility of heart and will lead to worship. That’s the end of education. And so for me, it was like running towards this great goal, not trying to escape from anything.
Yvette Hampton [00:09:51]:
As you’re talking about your homeschool journey and how you really were running to something, why does this not guarantee the salvation of our kids? I mean, if you put a quarter in the vending machine, you’re going to pop out a gumball. Most of the time sometimes they malfunction, but most of the time you’re going to get your prize, right? Why is it that if we do all the right things, seemingly it doesn’t guarantee salvation for our kids?
Amy Sloan [00:10:18]:
This is one of the things I am most passionate about talking to other homeschool parents about. Because when we even subconsciously have this idea, okay, if I just pick the right curriculum, push those buttons, right? If I just follow the right parenting model, push those buttons, if we just could somehow do it right, then we would get out this expected outcome. And I see this leading to so much fear, so much anxiety as a parent, right? Because, well, man, what if I picked the wrong curriculum? Does that mean that my kids are doomed? What if I yelled at my kids today? I’m sure none of you who are listening have ever yelled at your children. But just in case some other parent did that, have you now ruined everything? And so we know these are good things. Of course it matters what books we bring into our home. Of course it matters like how we parent. Those things matter. But they are not the Holy Spirit. Homeschool is not the savior of your children and Jesus alone is. So when you take even a good thing like homeschooling and you make it the most important thing, it’s actually become an idol. It’s coming in between you and Jesus Christ. And so it’s really, really important for us to remember that at the end of the day, we can do all these things. But the fruit is from the Lord. It is the Holy Spirit who takes our children’s hearts of stone and gives them a heart of flesh. We can’t somehow lecture enough or be the perfect homeschool parent in such a way to be the savior to our children. And so the more and more we can see Christ as the ultimate goal and homeschool and all these other things as tools. It really frees us up, I think, frees us from a lot of fear and anxiety as parents.
Yvette Hampton [00:12:28]:
Yeah, I agree. And then the great thing about that, which we’ve talked about lots of times, is at the end, we get to say, look what the Lord did not, look what I did. He gets all the glory for it in the end. And I think even if our kids don’t turn out exactly as we think they should turn out, we know that the Lord is still in control, and we know that we’ve still planted those seeds in their lives. We set the foundation for them, and we can just let go and trust the Lord. And so I think there can be fear on that side of, oh, well, if our kids mess up, it’s all my fault, or if they succeed, I’m the one who helped them to succeed, right? Look at me. Look at what a great homeschool mom I am, or homeschool dad I am. And it’s all about Jesus. What I think is interesting is every kid is so different, right? I mean, I only have two, and both my girls are completely opposite. It’s shocking to me how two kids and I guess, again, going back to the vending machine, like, you could get a red gumball or you can get a blue gumball, like they’re totally different in color, right? And our kids are the same way. And so our kids respond differently, oftentimes to the exact same methods. You can have the exact same parenting methods. You can use the exact same curriculum, and they’re all different because God created them so uniquely. And I love that about it. But I think that also makes it a little bit difficult sometimes in homeschooling our kids. And so talk through that because you’ve got five kids. And I find it a challenge for myself to homeschool my girls in a way that caters to them. How do you do that with five different kids and try to meet their needs to where you’re pointing all of them to Jesus at the same time, but in different ways?
Amy Sloan [00:14:17]:
Oh, man, I could go in several directions with this. So I’m going to try to talk about a couple of things and not get us lost in the rabbit trails. So, first, kind of big picture, I think it is really important to remember that we’re not having this monastic idea, right, where, well, if we can just go and go into our homes and keep our children from evil, then they’ll be safe and they’re going to turn out okay. So each of our individual children and we ourselves as parents, we are bringing our own sins and tendencies right into that house with us. And so it ought not to surprise us. I guess that’s the first thing to say. It’s not something that should shock us or I can’t believe you would say something like that sometimes with my children, I’m like, I can’t believe you would do that. Where did that come from? Well, I mean, it came from within. They were born this way. And so first, just not to be shocked that this is natural and it gives us an opportunity to point our children towards the same savior that we all need.
Yvette Hampton [00:15:28]:
Amy Sloan [00:15:29]:
But then when it comes to the realities of that daily practice, whether it’s the academic side of things or the more spiritual, explicitly spiritual side of things, I have to say the most important thing is to first pray as a mom. Like homeschool moms. We’re really good at researching and coming up with lists and plans and thinking about things a lot. And sometimes I’ve thought about something and maybe worried about it so much that I feel like I’ve prayed about it, but I’ve actually just been thinking about it. So to remember to take those things to the Lord who made our children unique and different and knows them and even loves them better and more than we do ourselves, and he promises to give wisdom to those who ask for it. So we know we’re praying in his will when we come and say, I do not know how to parent this particular child in this particular challenge. I do not know how to get through to them about this math challenge, even something even that simple. Oh, Lord, give wisdom by your grace. And he is faithful to do that. So I would say do that first. Pray more than worry and think about things. Pray more than lecturing about things. It’s much more effectual. And then really being willing to listen to our children. I have a lot of things to say to my children and I know it’s so wise and wonderful and if they would just listen to me, their lives would be so much easier. And sometimes I can forget to take the time to be quiet and really listen to what they’re saying. So I think those would be the two things. One, praying to the Lord for wisdom and then being humble enough to listen and really hear what’s going on in the hearts of our kiddos.
Yvette Hampton [00:17:25]:
Yeah, that’s so true. I know with my girls, one of my daughters, she’ll often say, I’ll just know that something is stirring in her. And I’ll say, what’s going on? What’s eating at you right now? And she’ll say, oh, you don’t want to hear it. You don’t want to hear what I have, what I’m thinking about or what’s on my mind. And she thinks it’s going to upset me or whatever. I’m like, talk to me, I’m here. This is my job. It’s in my job description. This is literally why I am hearing why God put me in place as your mom, because I want to hear you. I want to know what’s going on in your heart. And I want to help you work through those things. And I think so often parents, like you said, I love that you talk about listening because so often we want to just jump to, well, let me fix this for you. Let me tell you how to deal with this thing. And yes, there’s a place for that. And yes, we’re here to guide our kids, and we’re praying for wisdom so that we can share that wisdom with our kids. But so oftentimes they just need to be heard, and they need to be hugged and loved and just nurtured and just I understand. I understand why you feel this way about this. And sometimes you’ll say, I don’t think you understand. I’m like. Truly, I do. Believe it or not, I was a teenager once, too, and it wasn’t that long ago. And so, yeah, listening is so important and prayer as well. I mean, I think that sometimes we don’t realize the power of prayer and just going to the Lord, if for nothing else, for our own obedience and just to humble ourselves before the Lord and say, lord, I can’t do this without you. We are desperately in need of his help and of the Holy Spirit coming in and helping to guide us through this journey of parenting and homeschooling and raising up his kids. How do we nurture relationships in the midst of a hard season? Because I feel like every child, we go through a hard season. Sometimes it’s when they’re two or three, sometimes it’s when they’re 16. And that can kind of shake a parent. Right, and so you’ve got your kids from I think you said your youngest is eight, right?
Amy Sloan [00:19:30]:
Yvette Hampton [00:19:31]:
So from eight to 18, certainly, as we have in our family, certainly you’ve had some times in there where you’ve just been in a hard season with a particular child. What have you done to nurture relationships with those kids during those hard times?
Amy Sloan [00:19:45]:
It is really easy when you’re in a challenging season for that to just somehow define the entirety of your relationship with your kid. And if it’s a real challenging, like, interpersonal challenge, not just academic challenge, that can be a really negative space to be in. And so there are a couple of things that I have done that have brought some joy and peace and relationship strengthening in the midst of those hard times. One is to remember the way that God loves us, which is while we were his enemies, he sent Jesus to die for us. And so just that reminder that that’s how we can love our children. We don’t have to wait until they deserve to have a fun time with mom, to give them a fun time with mom. There have been times in seasons when there has been a child, things have been really hard, and I have chosen to do a chore for that child. Something I was like, this is a tangible way I can show them that I love them apart from the way they’re treating me now. I’m not saying enabling them and never making them do their chores, but I mean, like, out of the blue, something that they didn’t deserve, but was a tangible way to show love. Another thing I did most recently with my oldest when he was in the midst of a lot of really stressful, like college, what’s going to happen with my life kind of decisions. It felt like all of our parent child interactions at that point, or parent teen, I guess, were kind of about this stressful, big decisions. And so I decided, hey, can we put this time on the calendar and let’s just go for a walk together? And before we walk, I want you to know the rules for this conversation. You can talk to me about whatever you want to talk about, but mom is not allowed to ask you a single question about anything related to school or your future life. I just want you to know that this is just like, I love you and I want to be with you. And that was like, I could just do this. Like, oh, not okay, what’s mom going to ask me next? But it’s like, oh, wait, we can just be together. I think if you can find ways to just disassociate the challenge sometimes just from, hey, I love you, I just want to be with you, that can be really helpful. And then one last quick practical thing is sometimes you have that kid who’s the real easy kid, and so you’re so busy problem solving with all these other people that you don’t really pay attention to that kid because they’re just doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Be careful with that. Make sure you’re purposeful, even if it’s like, hey, you want to come with me to the grocery store? Hey, can you come and run this errand with me? I have a child who is definitely that kid, real easy to parent, easy to homeschool, and I’m trying to be very aware that I spend as much time with her as I do with some of the more challenging people.
Yvette Hampton [00:22:42]:
What do you see as in your home, school and in your family, what do you see as the role of the Holy Spirit? Because as we’re trying to lead our kids to Jesus, right? And we always talk about this like, we can’t do this on our own. The Holy Spirit is going to help us, the Lord’s going to help us through this. But what does that even mean? I think some homeschool parents might be like, what do you even mean by that? Obviously, the Holy Spirit part of the Trinity. Talk about that, though. Talk through what is the role of the Holy Spirit when it comes to homeschooling and parenting our kids?
Amy Sloan [00:23:14]:
I think one really good thing to remember is that the Holy Spirit is life giving through the Word of God. So through the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, it is living and active. And that is one very important way in which the Holy Spirit comes into our home schools every day as we bring the Word of God into our homes and into our home schools. But if you don’t mind, I have a few Bible verses I printed ahead of time related to this topic. This is from Ezekiel 36, verses 26 and 27. And God says, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will keep my judgments and do them. And so there you see this combination of, okay, a new heart, a love for God’s law, and then the ability to do it right. And so I think that is such a beautiful I mean, I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it. The Holy Spirit is there, not just in our hearts, but working in our children to give them eyes to see and ears to hear, to know it, but then to also be able to walk in it, which is just amazing. In John 663, it is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I and this is Jesus speaking, the words that Jesus speaks to you are Spirit, and they are life. And that reminds me kind of going back to what we talked about on Monday. It’s not just about picking the right curriculum, doing the right checkboxes, following the right formula. That’s the flesh, and it profits nothing. Right, if that’s what we’re just clinging to as our source of hope. But it’s the Spirit who gives life, who takes these laws, these good things that God has given and actually brings life and change. So, I mean, I have more verses, but you probably don’t.
Yvette Hampton [00:25:17]:
Well, feel free to share them. We’ve got time.
Amy Sloan [00:25:20]:
Okay, well, I’ll read one more.
Yvette Hampton [00:25:23]:
We could just read Scripture for the rest of this episode and I would be totally happy with that.
Amy Sloan [00:25:29]:
That would be the Holy Spirit at work, right?
Yvette Hampton [00:25:31]:
Amy Sloan [00:25:32]:
Okay. So Romans eight two says, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ, jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. And I have a Bible song that my kids and I sing to this, and at the end of that, they go praise God. So whenever I read that verse, I want to praise Him because he sets us free. We do not have to be slaves to our sin. We’re not under the burden of having to do it all to earn God’s favor. He loves us because of Jesus. And so if he already loves us for the sake of his Son, we get to walk in freedom and in holiness, that’s freeing that’s life giving, and the Spirit gives us that life.
Yvette Hampton [00:26:20]:
Yeah, I want to park there for just a second because I think that’s such an important point is that we sometimes feel, or maybe people who don’t know the Lord, I should say, feel like if we give our lives to the Lord, if we surrender everything to Him, it’s going to be oppressive somehow, right? And it’s the complete opposite of that. There is so much freedom in Christ, and that’s where true joy and hope comes from. And I feel like as I get older, I learn that more and more and more is that when I try to do things on my own, I just fall apart. You look at our world trying to do things on their own, right? And I just want to be like, if you would just surrender to Jesus, everything would be so much better. If people are looking for happiness in every other way instead of going to the only one who brings joy and hope and freedom. And it’s no different than it is with us as homeschool parents, is that there’s so much more freedom in Christ. That is truly where our joy and our hope comes from. And so I love that. I love that verse. That’s a good one. You’re reading scripture on the Holy Spirit and just the freedom that we have in Christ. And even as we have that freedom in Christ, I feel like as moms, as homeschool moms, especially, because we have so much on our plates, whether we have one kid or ten kids, we can so often just feel tired and we can feel worn out, and we can just feel like we’re at the end of ourselves. Talk about that. Like, how do we find freedom in Christ, but how can we find rest in Christ as well?
Amy Sloan [00:27:50]:
I think a lot of times, as homeschool moms, it’s really easy for us to put our entire identity, who we are, the purpose and meaning and significance of our life in our work as homeschool mom, that’s who we are. And that is so draining because we’re having to constantly strive and work and do more to try to achieve greatness, either in front of other people or even maybe secretly, we think, in order to please God. And I think if we can have our identity truly and who we are in Jesus Christ, it changes everything. As Christians, we talk a lot about how Jesus died for our sins, right? So it’s removed the guilt and the shame and the burden of that sin. But sometimes we forget the other side. Jesus also lived for us. He didn’t just die to pay for the sins, the death that we deserved, but he also lived and fulfilled the law of God for us. The theologians call that the active obedience of Christ, right? And so he has already done all the things for. US. And so when God looks at us, he doesn’t just see that our sins are covered, but he also sees us clothed in this righteousness of Christ. And when you can really start to grasp just how amazing that grace is, that gives you freedom and joy to know that your God already rejoices over you because of Christ. And instead of having to constantly strive and try to perform and do better and be better, you can say, Jesus is perfect. He already did everything necessary. And so then I can walk, enjoy, and in rest in Him.
Yvette Hampton [00:29:44]:
Yeah. And this goes back again to the work of the Holy Spirit in us, right? We’ve got Jesus who came, who sacrificed, who lived among men, and who lived as we do, kind of in human form, but perfect. And, oh, how I wish we could live that way. Could you imagine imagine having Jesus as your son. Imagine homeschool him. It would be amazing. He would literally be the perfect homeschooled student. He would never disobey. He would never throw tantrums. He would always do the things that we’re wanting Him to do. But we are not God, and we’re not little gods, nor will we ever be. And I look forward to the day we get to heaven and get to just glory and perfection with Him alongside of Him. But on this side of heaven, we don’t have that. And so, yeah, it can be so overwhelming. But knowing that our identity really is in Christ is an incredible realization, I think that so many moms need to understand, because we do try to do it all on our own, and we certainly can’t. And it really is only the Gospel that, again, brings that peace and hope into our home school and into our families, other than just living that out in front of our kids. How do we help our kids to see that? How do we help them to see that the Lord is the one who brings hope, that he is the one who brings peace, and that their identity is Him? How do you do that practically with your kids?
Amy Sloan [00:31:16]:
Well, there are a few ways, I think, that we can really bring Christ to the center of our home schools. Again, I think I mentioned this before, not just sort of baptizing a Bible verse on a math page or okay, let’s do a Bible lesson. Really helping our children to see it as comprehensive life, and one is just being faithful to attend worship with a local body of believers, to not look for the perfect church. Because I hate to tell you this, as soon as you get there, it’s not a perfect church anymore. And to make sure that you’re going somewhere where they’re pointing you to Jesus, they’re preaching the Gospel, the whole word of God. Right. That’s the most important thing to see. Our children know this is a non negotiable, like our family worships the Lord with his people every week and then to also throughout the week have family devotions. And I think sometimes this can feel scary to people, like intimidating. I actually did an interview with my husband about getting started with family devotions and it was one of my favorites. It’s something I love about my husband. We had our first family devotions on our wedding night and it’s been a pretty much consistent thing ever since. But we just read the Bible, we just start in Genesis and read to Revelation and then we start back at the beginning. It can be as simple as reading a few verses together, praying together, singing a Bible song or a hymn or a psalm, but just knowing again, our children know this is just what we do. We don’t see if it fits in the schedule tonight or if we’re too busy or too tired. It’s that priority, it’s that first thing. And then along with that would be making sure we’re bringing scripture throughout the whole day as well. So not just on Sundays that’s important. Not just in family devotions, that’s important. But even in our morning routines. Are we memorizing Scripture with our children? Do we have Bible songs that are Scripture set to music? Are they just having their minds saturated in the word of God? Those are three really important things. And I think another thing that’s maybe hard for us sometimes as parents is to make sure we’re repenting in front of our children. We kind of want our kids to look up to us, right? And we’re the source of authority in their home right now, right? And so we think, wow, that means I have to really stand for my own rights and make sure they know to respect me. But it’s really important that we repent to our children when we’ve done wrong and that they see us repent to our spouse when we’ve sinned against our spouse, or just to have that humility. We are modeling for them what it means to live a Christian life, what it means to love and worship God. So are they seeing someone who hides their sin, who pretends like they’re doing it on their own? Or are they seeing someone who needs Jesus? I often tell my kids, mom needs Jesus too. This is not just something I’m telling you to do. Mommy needs Jesus. We all come together on the same level playing field when we’re coming towards our Savior together hand in hand with our children.
Yvette Hampton [00:34:39]:
Yeah, I love that. And so much of what we do with all of these things, with worshipping, with other believers, with the humility of being able to apologize, of family worship, our kids will take that into their homes and into their adult life as well. And again, you know what? They’re going to do things differently than we will. But I hope and our family is exactly the same way. Our family devotions every day that is just a non negotiable. And there are times when our girls will be like, can we just not do it tonight? And we’re like, no, they’ve got something going on. Maybe they’re watching a movie or they’re talking with a friend on the phone. And no, you can call your friend back or you can turn the movie back on when we’re done, but we’re going to spend this time together in God’s Word, and there is nothing better than reading the Word together as a family and just showing your kids how important that is in their daily life. Like, it’s just like brushing your teeth. It’s just what you do. Let’s talk today about the Wayward child, because oftentimes we have kids, right, who we do all the things with them. We homeschool them, we take them to church, we worship with them, we hang out with other Christian families. We check all of the boxes that we think are the right things. And again, it’s that whole vending machine thing, right? We put the quarter in and it’s a good quarter. It’s a really shiny quarter that we put. It’s not just an old, worn out quarter. Like, this is a brand new quarter that we’re putting into the machine, and we want to get out the best gumball that’s in the machine. And maybe we get out a gumball that has just got holes in it and it’s wonky and like, you don’t want to eat this gumball, right? You do not want to do this. Sometimes we have kids like that. We do the things with them, yet they just reject everything that we’ve taught them. And they say, you know what? This isn’t for me. This isn’t the life that I want. This isn’t the God that I want to believe in. I want to do my own thing. I want my own freedom. What encouragement can you give to the parent who is dealing with that?
Amy Sloan [00:36:42]:
I think that that is such a hard, hard place to be in. I know that I have friends who have been there and it is heartbreaking. So I guess first I just want to send a big virtual hug through the microphone, through the screen to you, if that is your personal experience. And so what I am going to share is encouragement is not meant to be glib or a quick and easy fix or answer. I know this is hard and it’s really hurtful. So the Lord sees that hurt and he knows you and he loves you. So I would just want to start there. I think it’s really helpful to think through the gardening imagery of scripture. There’s so much agrarian imagery throughout the whole scripture, and it’s really helpful. We’re not really agrarian society anymore, and I’m not really that much of a gardener, but I do know this and that’s when I put something in the ground, I can try to nurture it and I can do what I can, but I don’t send the rain, I don’t send the sun. Our family has a peach tree and last year we got hundreds and hundreds of peaches. I was really looking forward to those peaches this summer. And we had a late frost and it killed all of the blossoms. We will have no peaches this year. Those are the things that are outside of our control. And so the Bible talks about us planting and others watering, but it being the Lord who gives the increase, who bears that fruit. So I think one encouragement would be to remove that burden from yourself, of having to produce the fruit, to know that mistakes and all the good things you did, the things you didn’t do right, all of those things are covered by the love of Jesus, by the blood of Jesus. And that fruit you can now let leave in the Lord’s hands. That fruit was always going to be his product. So that is one encouragement. And then I think it’s also really helpful to remember the imagery of a sailboat. I remember reading this like years and years ago in a parenting book and it has really stuck with me. And that is a sailboat. I’m also not a sailor, but I know that you can sail with the wind kind of, okay, the wind is pushing the sail and the boat’s going that direction, but you can also turn a sail and sail against the wind. So the wind hasn’t changed, but the direction of that sail has changed. And so to remember that, even if you had and well, none of us can be a perfect parent, but even if you could be a perfect parent, and let’s see, has there ever been a perfect parent? God the Father, he’s a perfect parent. Garden of Eden, perfect atmosphere, everything set up for success. And Adam and Eve. Do what? They sin right? They sin against God, a perfect parent, a perfect environment, and they still choose to go their own way. And so that has been an encouragement to me as well, to remember as a parent that even if I could somehow be perfect, which I can never be, but even if I could, my children’s hearts, they’re still going to set that sail. And that would be another encouragement to remember that God is the perfect parent. We can rest in the work of Christ. We can trust that God knows and loves our children. He knit them together, he knows them and loves them more than we could ever do ourselves. And so we can trust our children to a perfect, loving God.
Yvette Hampton [00:40:25]:
What is one last bit of encouragement for parents across the board? Whether you’ve got kids who are doing great and they’re falling into line, not according to what we want, but according to what God wants. And we’re seeing like, yes, they’re on the right track and praise God for that, or those who like we just talked about. Maybe they’re just struggling and they’re trying to figure it out, right? They’re trying to figure out where they are in this world, who God is. What does God mean in their life? What is their goal for their life? Encourage parents. What is the last bit of encouragement that you can give to us?
Amy Sloan [00:41:02]:
I have two things I would like to share. One are the lyrics to one of my very favorite hymns. And I think it really solidifies all of these themes we’ve been talking about. And so I really encourage you to find a recording of this. There’s many on YouTube and to contemplate the beauties of these words in this hymn. So says, upon a life I have not lived, upon a death I did not die. Another’s life, another’s death, I stake my holy eternity. Not on the tears which I have shed, not on the sorrows I have known. Another’s tears, another’s griefs. On these I rest, on these alone. And then I love this one because how often do we believe? We say, Lord, help my unbelief right. That’s my constant prayer as a mom. And so this last stanza references that. Lord, I believe. Oh, deal with me as one who has thy word believed. I take the gift. Lord, look on me as one who has Thy gift received. And I amy so encouraged by that hymn, which is one of faith and trust and also like, pointing to our own insufficiency like I believe, but please look on me as one who has believed. Like I rest in you. Please look on me as one who has rested in you. And just what a comfort it is to know that Christ has died and lived for us and he equips us as homeschool parents.
Yvette Hampton [00:42:37]:
Yeah. What is that hymn?
Amy Sloan [00:42:39]:
It’s called upon a life I have not lived. I believe it’s horatius bonar is okay.
Yvette Hampton [00:42:44]:
I have not heard that one.
Amy Sloan [00:42:46]:
Oh, it’s beautiful. There’s actually a few more stanzas from the original hymn, but the version I originally learned just had those stanzas. It was recorded by Indelible Grace many years ago.
Yvette Hampton [00:43:01]:
Amy Sloan [00:43:02]:
I wanted to read a scripture passage too. I think this just really pretty much describes my life as a homeschool parent. It’s from first corinthians. So it’s Paul talking about how he has come in as an apostle to the church. But he says, and I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom, declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. That’s what I want my children to remember. If they forget everything else, I want them to remember Jesus Christ. And I love this. And I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. I’m like, Yep, that that sounds like me every day.
Yvette Hampton [00:43:45]:
Yes. Every homeschool mom. Every homeschool mom.
Amy Sloan [00:43:47]:
Says, amen. Right there. Right. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and of power that your faith, that our children’s faith, should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Isn’t that just so beautiful? We don’t want our children to be virtuous pagans. I have no desire to raise virtuous pagans. Those who can discern critical theory a mile away and follow all the rules and get good grades and get good test scores and be the perfect little poster child of adorable homeschool children. If they can do all those things and they do not know Jesus, what does it profit them? What does it profit them to gain the whole world and to lose their soul? I think about one Corinthians 13 where it talks about all these things. If I have this gift and I can do these great things, and I have not loved, I am nothing. And I think if we can simplify almost like, in one sense, that’s so big, we can’t do that, right? Okay, again, let’s repent and go to Jesus. But on another level, it actually really simplifies what we’re doing as homeschool parents if we think, okay, all this other stuff aside, do my children know that I love Jesus and that I need him? And am I just radiating that, just shining that love, reflecting that out to them? So that would be Amy final encouragement.
Yvette Hampton [00:45:20]:
Oh, I love that so much. Yeah. And the way that we do that is by us growing in our relationship with the Lord, by us knowing him personally, by us spending time I mean, we, of course, spend time reading the Word with our kids and as a family. But we need to be digging into God’s word on our own every single day, whether it’s morning or evening or the middle of the day or whenever that is. And there’s not a perfect formula for that either. I read my Bible in the morning. I have to do it in the morning, because if I don’t, if I try to do it when I go to bed, I’m one of those people. I have a gift. As soon as my head hits the pillow, I’m out within like, three minutes, I just fall asleep. My husband will read his Bible at night, every night. He can read it at two or 03:00 in the morning for an hour. And I’m like, how do you even keep your eyes open? Like, I cannot function that way. But he’s a night owl. So whenever it is that you spend time with the Lord when it’s your best time, we’ve got to be growing in our relationship with the Lord, because we cannot pass on what we don’t know and what we don’t have. And I think it’s one of the most important parts of homeschooling.