Happy Back-to-School Season, SHIELD families!

I want to challenge you as the year kicks off! Are you ready?

Take some time to write a letter to yourself about your goals for this year. Put it in an envelope, tuck it away someplace special, or give it to a friend to hold onto for you. Then read it again in May, at the end of the school year. I’m going to share mine. Hope it blesses you and encourages you.

Holly Winters

Dear Mom of May 2021,

Well, you did it! Another homeschool year gone by! And boy, I know you’re tired. Exhausted, really. But you did it.... How many years has it been now? I’ve lost count.

I wrote this note to myself back in September, beginning of the year, when I had such high hopes for a fresh new start; anticipation of the end of this NEVERENDING pandemic; much more energy after a summer of swimming and rest. I wanted to capture how I felt now, here at the beginning, and remind myself why I chose this path. What made me say YES to God all those years ago when he put it in my heart and mind? At the end of the year, what do I want to have accomplished with my children?

First of all, I want my children to be people who love Jesus with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength. I want to teach them that Jesus isn’t just for Sunday, but for every day, every hour, every second, every season, every problem, every solution, every new idea, every everything. I want them to see me do my best to live out my faith in a genuine way, prayerfully and in obedience. I asked God to use me as a vessel to reveal His character to my precious children.

I want to learn alongside them. I want them to know that learning is a way of life, not something we do during certain hours or certain days. I want them to have inquiring lives and be curious and ask questions. I want to learn with them.

I want them to be good citizens. I want them to know how to be respectful to any and all; to look someone in the eye, to shake a hand, to invite the lonely to play. To challenge the status quo if needed. To show the world love in the way we respect nature.

I want them to be well-rounded. I want them to read lots of things: poetry, drama, stories, information. I want them to read about a variety of subjects. I want them to know about art and beauty and truth. I want to show them that there is much the world has to offer. I want them to explore these things: to draw, paint, and photograph. I want them to listen to beautiful music and let it influence them. I want them to cook and serve, to learn to take care of a house and one another, to take care of themselves.

So mama, it’s the end of the year.... Did these things happen? Did you look for Jesus in all things? Did you show your children? Or did you finish the math book, drill in the conjugations, and memorize the maps? Both are important, but which is the WHY? Mama, remember your why.

Remember Mary and Martha. “The Lord said to her in reply, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” Luke 10:41-42

“Math, handwriting, and spelling are all necessary subjects. Like Martha’s kitchen preparations, they must be done regularly. But are they more important than forming souls? ... Jesus loves the children, messy loudness and all. The key here, though, is that we have to take our children to Jesus in order for them to receive His blessing.”
From Better Together by Pam Barnhill
SHIELD Kick-off Packet 2020-2021
Please download the SHIELD kick-off packet by clicking this link.
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