Putting your best foot forward as you begin the new homeschool year.

Put your best foot forward. What a peculiar phrase. Historians tell us it dates to sometime between 1495 and 1613- depending on who you ask. Either way, it’s been around since even before I was born!

It means of course to begin a journey or task with purpose and gusto. If you happened to have, as the idiom suggests, a better foot and a not-so-good foot, then it does make sense that by starting out on your weak or disfigured foot you might fall down before you’ve scarcely begun. By putting your “best foot forward” you’re assured of at the very least a good beginning.

Most of us, do in fact have a “best foot” and a “lame foot” when it comes to homeschooling. Our “best foot” is the one filled with faith, hope and a positive outlook. Our “lame foot” is filled with fear, insecurity or an impending sense of failure.

As you begin the new homeschool year, or perhaps even your new homeschool career- I want to encourage you to move forward in faith. My adorable wife Jane often says that anything born of fear always bears “bitter fruit.” It really doesn’t matter what.

If you’ve decided to homeschool because you’re afraid of what goes on in public schools, or because you’re afraid your child won’t get enough academic challenge to get into a good college, or because you’re afraid they’ll be exposed to a salty sailor’s language- you’re getting started on your “lame foot”.  In the end, you’ll likely not be pleased with the outcome of your journey.

But if you begin your journey for positive reasons- because you’re wanting to enjoy your children’s childhood, go on an adventure as a family, enrich their education by enjoying the freedom to travel and see and experience things first hand, then you’re getting started on your very best foot.

There are 1000 wonderful reasons to homeschool. And there are at least 100 very poor reasons to homeschool. Make sure you’re putting your “best foot forward” as you begin the journey this year. Start out on a sold, healthy, stable footing instead of timidly and awkwardly stumbling forward out of fear and expecting to fail.

Talk with your children about this old phrase. Make a game out of it in your first few weeks of homeschooling. Whenever they grumble or complain about an undertaking ask them if they’re putting their “best foot forward”. Don’t yell. Make it fun. Laugh together.

Take a look at 1 Cor. 13:4-7. Perhaps no other verses in the Bible gives us a better description of our “best foot” in most instances than this text from Paul. It deals of course with “love” which is arguably our “best foot” for most everything we undertake. If fear produces bitter fruit, then love produces the sweetest fruit of all.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

If you and your children could begin ANY project with those 4 short verses in mind you’re already halfway there, aren’t you? Prayerfully ask the Lord to help you begin your homeschool year (or career) with those 4 verses securely anchored in your heart.

Five in a Row’s tagline has always been “loving learning.” It means two things of course. First- it means to teach in a way that helps children develop a lifelong love of learning. But second, it means helping your children experience learning in a loving way. You might even be able to turn 1 Cor. 13:4-7 into a prayer by changing a word or two…

Dear Lord- please help me to remember that a good homeschool teacher is patient, is kind. Help me remember throughout the year this year that a good homeschool teacher does not envy, does not boast, is not proud. Remind me that a good homeschool teacher is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs. Never let me forget that a good homeschool teacher does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. And bring to mind this simple truth: A good homeschool teacher always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Amen.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Jill Spicer said,

    Beautifully written as always! Thank you for the gentle and loving reminder.

  2. 2

    zoodayz said,

    Yes. Nice thank you

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