I am a pretty relaxed homeschool mom, generally confident in how things are going and where we’re headed in our homeschool. However, that wasn’t always the case. One thing saved it: homeschool prayer.
My first few years of trying to really homeschooling were full of anxiety, to say the least. I bought the things, researched a bunch, and planned beautiful plans. Yet somehow I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough. My attempts at organization and planning bombed hard. I tried in vain to mould myself into the ideal I had formed in my mind: the rockstar Type A homeschool mom who had it all together. Maybe if I just try that new shiny curriculum…
I remember feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. How was I going to pull this off? I knew that we were committed to homeschooling and providing a solid education and biblical worldview for our kids, so giving up wasn’t an option. But I was confused, insecure, and overwhelmed.
Lightbulb Moment: Homeschool Prayer is the Key
One day, I was chatting with a young friend of mine. She was struggling with a lack of direction during a key time of her life. I remember encouraging her to pause her scrambling and truly spend time seeking the Lord in prayer. He cared about her and the details of her life.
Later, during quiet time with with the Lord (which in those days meant nursing a baby in the middle of the night and reading the Bible on my phone) I realized that I hadn’t really been seeking the Lord’s guidance on homeschooling! I was just trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps and perform well. The Lord really nudged me in that moment.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
That night, I decided to stop the lessons and curriculum for a while and just lay it all out before the Lord, seeking Him in prayer and seeing where He would lead me.
Let me tell you, friends, that was a turning point. Prayer saved our homeschool! Over the years, the Lord has continued to show me that He cares deeply about our homeschooling and family discipleship efforts – even the details. When we seek Him, He is faithful to lead us.
Become a Prayerful Homeschooler
If you’re like me, you can determine to pray and start with the best efforts, but kind of fizzle out. Focusing on praying for our homeschool had to involve intentional steps, or I would just forget. Mom brain is real, y’all. 😆
So nowadays whenever I talk about how to start homeschooling or am coaching a homeschool momma through her struggles and doubts, prayer is where I start.
Here are 5 steps you can take to focus on homeschool prayer.
1 – Realize your need for the Lord.
Homeschool moms are intentional women. We are also often fiercely independent. Our natural inclination is to set to researching and planning, figuring out how WE are going to homeschool successfully. Diligence and responsibility are important, for sure. We want to do our best to educate our children and raise them up for the Lord. BUT, the work of homeschooling our children is not all on our shoulders! And we shouldn’t be the ones leading the way.
If we want to homeschool successfully (especially us Type B homeschoolers 😉) we need to be in constant prayer over it. We need to rely on God to lead us in all of it – vision, goals, planning, schedules, curriculum, character training, discipleship… all of it. We NEED the Lord’s direction if we want to homeschool for His glory and not for our own.
2 – Go through 8 areas of homeschool prayer.
When I made that decision to diligently pray for our homeschooling, I identified 8 areas to pray over and identified Scriptures for each area that were meaningful to me. It helped me stay focused, practicing that habit of prayer until it became second nature to me.
Here are the 8 areas of homeschool prayer I focus on:
- Focusing on God in our learning efforts
- Discipleship and character
- Development and learning
- Family relationships
- Running the race with perserverence
- Moving forward when we’re having a hard day
- Comforting and encouraging when the kids are having a hard day
- Making curriculum and schedule choices in our planning
I’ve developed some tools and resources to help other moms pray through these same areas for their homeschool.
- The Homeschool Mom’s Prayer Lifeline Calendar is a simple one-page printable you can post on your fridge or tuck in your planner. It provides a sample prayer for each of the 8 areas.
- This set of Scripture cards covers those same 8 areas of prayer. Post them around the house or laminate them and put them on a book ring to hang by your desk or wherever you’re most likely to need/use them.
3 – Ask God for guidance in specific challenges.
When you hit a roadblock or a challenge in your homeschooling, there are many things you can do that help. There are curriculum guides, blogs, encouraging books, friends to chat with, Facebook groups, and more. Those are all GOOD things, when used with perspective.
However, the most fruitful thing you can do in those moments is to seek the Lord FIRST and follow HIS leading above all. Maybe your child is dealing with a learning challenge, you don’t know which curriculum to choose, your schedule is a mess and everyone is stressed out, or you’re making decisions about a particular opportunity.
Pray and ask the Lord for wisdom and peace. Pray through your decisions and struggles. Ask for insight to craft a homeschool that honors Him and blesses your family. He will give you wisdom when you ask for it!
4 – Invite others to pray with you.
One thing that has really helped me to make homeschool prayer consistent is to invite others to pray with me. Ask your husband to pray for/with you over a decision you you need to make or planning for the coming year. Ask a friend to become prayer partners with you and send each other weekly or monthly text messages with requests. Even invite your children to pray with you!
Here are a couple of tools that can help:
- The Pray for Your Homeschool 31-day calendar is another calendar option I enjoy that goes through 31 Scriptures and prayers. It’s a really good one to do with a friend or your homeschool group.
- Every morning the kids and I recite these Scriptures and the Prayers and Blessings for the day for our homeschool. It not only helps me start the homeschool day in prayer, but models the same for my children and allows them a chance to pray for our homeschool. These pages are from the Rhythms and Routines Homeschool Planning system, which is a planner and course created for a relaxed and prayerful approach to homeschooling.
5 – Rinse and repeat.
Like I said, remembering to pray and staying consistent is a challenge. The tools and tips above will help you make homeschool prayer a regular habit and I know that you will be blessed by it! When you realize that you’ve dropped it and haven’t been praying, don’t worry! Just pick it back up.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Have a blessed homeschool year!