Monday, February 6, 2012

Measuring Success God's Way

Rather than tell you specifically how our family evaluates the progress of each of our individual children (as every family may be and should be different, as guided by the Lord), I thought that sharing examples of scriptures that have guided us would better illustrate our ultimate goals as parents and home educators: to raise children who walk with the Lord, who seek His will for their lives, and are guided by the eternal truths shown to us in His word, the Bible.

Each child is an individual, crafted by the Lord's hand to fulfill a special purpose. It is up to us, as parents, to train and teach them, to the best of our abilities, in how to discover that purpose and follow God's leading. Every road may be just a little bit different, or a lot, and the flexibility to assist each child along their unique path is one of the greatest blessings of homeschooling. 

In our hearts, we find that we feel our children are successful in our home education program if their hearts are eager to learn about Jesus, if they are willingly under our authority (at younger ages, as this prepares them to be under God's authority as they mature), and if they are exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, along with other virtues such as diligence, perseverance, wisdom, obedience, respect, responsibility, generosity, attentivenes, orderliness, and humility. Each child will have his or her own strengths and grow at different rates. The overall intention is to do our best to help them do their best so they can experience God's best in their lives.

Below you will find some of the verses that guide us in how we measure success in our homeschool. I pray they will bless you as they have blessed us.

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."   3 John 1-4

"Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other...yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life,: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." 1 Thessalonians 4: 9-12

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself." Luke 10:27

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3: 14-17

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." Psalm 127: 3-5

"Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children..." Deuteronomy 4:9

"But from everlasting to everlasting, the Lord's love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children's children--with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts." Psalm 103: 17-18

"Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and your mother'--which is the first commandment with a promise--'so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life upon the earth.'" Ephesians 6: 1-3

"Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise." Proverbs 19:20

"Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ..." 2 Peter 3:18a

  "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. All who follow His precepts have good understanding. To Him belongs eternal praise." Psalm 111:10

"A wise heart shall acquire knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks instruction." Proverbs 18:15

"Truly I say to you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." Matthew 18:3-5

"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:2-3

"Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord our God is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I command you today shall be on your hearts. You shall teach them diligently to your children. You shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall tie them as symbols on your hands, and bind them on your foreheads. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:4-9

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
 I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.
 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.
Proverbs 4:10-13

"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15

"Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land. The generation of the upright will be blessed." Psalm 112:1-2

 "Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.Proverbs 24:3-4

"Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 
2 Peter 1:2-8

"Hear my son your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck." Proverbs 1: 8-9

 "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." Titus 2:3-5

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A three-fold strand is not easily broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-20  

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:10-18

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalms 139:13-16 

"A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need." Proverbs 17:17

"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God." Philippians 1:9-11

 "'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'Plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.'" Jeremiah 29:11

"My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right." Proverbs 23:15-16

"As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." Proverbs 27:17

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10

"Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature." 1 Corinthians 14:20

LORD, our Lord, 
   how majestic is your name in all the earth!
   You have set your glory 
   in the heavens. 

Through the praise of children and infants 
   you have established a stronghold against your enemies, 
   to silence the foe and the avenger. 

When I consider your heavens, 
 the work of your fingers, 
the moon and the stars, 
   which you have set in place, 

what is mankind that you are mindful of them, 
   human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
   and crowned them with glory and honor. 

You made them rulers over the works of your hands; 
   you put everything under their feet: 

all flocks and herds, 
   and the animals of the wild, 

the birds in the sky, 
   and the fish in the sea, 
   all that swim the paths of the seas.
LORD, our Lord, 
   how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8: 1-9

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