The school room is coming together.  Books are being sorted, cheerful labels organizing, pencils being sharpened.

The new school year is just a breath away.  Stage is set, house lights are down, and there is a hush of anticipation.

I’m ready.

I’m ready, in a way I’ve never been before.  Oh, I’m always eager, always looking forward to the new things they will learn, the changing subjects and experiences to be had.

But this year, there is more.

My eyes have been opened to the calling that homeschooling is for me.  I really see it now, that this is not about education.  This is not about curriculum, field trips, science projects… this is about discipleship.  This is about the few, precious years that I have to teach them what’s important.  How to love God, how to love each other, how to navigate this tricky world.

Education will happen, but it isn’t why we’re doing what we’re doing.  We are working on their character, on their hearts.  We’re preparing them, equipping them to be kingdom builders, light-bearers.  Not spelling bee champions.

Not that they’ll be bad spellers… but that’s not the motivation.  It’s not the point.  Hooray if they can spell “pneumonia.”  But if they can’t love the way He loves, then they have nothing, no matter what they can spell.

 If I speak in the tonguesof men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

So this year, we will still study math, and language, and literature.  We will expand their vocabulary, we will copy spelling words, we will practice handwriting.  But as we do these things, I will be looking to their hearts.  I will be looking for the opportunities to give them more than the 3 r’s.  We will shift our focus onto the Scripture, on learning it, and hiding it on our hearts.  We will study those who have loved God in mighty ways. We will be purposeful in pursuing Him with all the tools at our disposal.

We go into training.

This for me, will be the turning point.  I will remember this moment, this sweet day that God revealed the possibilities in our family as we homeschool.  I’ve had a glimpse of it, and I want it.  I am filled with longing for children who will grow up to be arrows in His Hands.

Let it begin at my table, Lord.