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Dust Balls, Standardized Testing, and Grace - Simply Helping Him: Marriage Experience from a Help Meet



Jun 03

Dust Balls, Standardized Testing, and Grace

“This one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward” (Philippians 3:13-14).


Have you ever noticed how the bright spring sunshine streaming in the window brings to light all the dust balls, fur bunnies, fingerprints, smudges, and other evidences of less-than-perfect housekeeping? Have you noticed too, that the ever-advancing calendar brings to light all the untaught chapters, unwritten papers, and unmet academic goals — all evidences of less-than-perfect homeschooling? There’s something about fewer than forty days of school and standardized testing looming on the horizon that can send homeschooling mothers into what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim called a “slough of despond.”


I am the first to call homeschooling mothers to excellence. As children of the King, we should ascribe to a higher standard. We represent the Lord as well as homeschoolers everywhere, and should do everything “as though we were working for God, not for men” (Colossians 3:23).


I’d like to call homeschooling mothers to another standard also, and that is the standard of grace. Grace knows that any step toward a goal is progress, and doesn’t condemn when the highest goal is yet unmet. Grace knows our hearts; hearts that love the Lord and our families and earnestly want to be the best wife/mother/educator that we can be.


Should we strive for excellence? Absolutely. Will we always attain it? Absolutely not. As your school year draws to a close, my prayer is that you will finish well, with excellence and with grace.” This one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is a head, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward.” (Philippians 3:13-14) Let’s meet at the finish line!


Application Questions:


What is the balance between striving for excellence and bestowing grace on yourself and others? What does that look like from day to day?


Action Step for This Week:


Remember that the homeschooling journey is a marathon, not a sprint, and every step toward the goal of educating your children is progress. Extend grace to yourself as you strive to finish the year with excellence.


Prayer of Commitment:


“Lord, help me find the balance between my desire to homeschool with excellence

and the reality that I sometimes fall far short of this goal. When necessary, help me extend grace to myself, my children, and those around me. Send me wisdom and insight to plan the last few weeks of school in order that we might finish this year well. More than anything else, enable our homeschool to glorify You.”


Joy in the Journey


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  1. bluecottonmemory

    One of the things I miss about homeschooling – and my own education in a Christian school – is teaching was priority – testing was a tag on. We’re moving our 2 youngest to a latin school this year – where math process is the focus, not standardized tests questions. It’s a big thing, an answered prayer, a heart moved – and we are so excited! Even when we’re not homeschooling, I need that grace you talk about:)

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      Oh yes, testing is not the focus, and I LOVE that about homeschooling! So many things I love about HS, but that is one of the biggest ones! 🙂 Thanks for stoppin by! Blessings!

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