Are You Missing An Important Ingredient In Your Homeschooling?

I’ve confessed before but will reiterate here- I’m not a good cook. Really. My children and husband can testify that no matter how simple a meal may seem, I can probably mess it up somehow. I am most successful when I can follow a very specific recipe. In that case I read and reread the instructions multiple times as I’m preparing the dish. And sometimes, if I’m very careful in doing this, we end up with something edible.

Despite my series lack of cooking skills, I’ve managed to produce at least one child who’s a pretty good cook. She especially excels at baking, and I’ve been known to ask her to whip up something sweet because I want it but am too lazy to make it at the moment. Recently we found a recipe on Pinterest for these awesome applesauce muffins. They are super easy to make, taste good even with my gluten free all purpose flour, and have large amounts of cinnamon and sugar as the primary ingredients. They really do fit every need imaginable.

Key ingredient in homeschooling

One afternoon I was really in the mood for these cinnamon sugar delights, so I got out the recipe and called for the baking child. A little over thirty minutes later, I helped her open up the oven door to see if the yummies were ready. And we both stared with unease. Our muffins, instead of looking light and fluffy and ready to cover with the cinnamon and sugar mixture- have I mentioned that I love the cinnamon sugar part?- were small, dense masses in the bottoms of the muffin cups. Uh oh. At least they can’t blame this one on me.

Both of us were puzzled. We couldn’t think of what had happened. We went back to the recipe and began reading it slowly. Soon we noticed the problem. Baking soda was listed in the ingredients list. But in the instructions, when the creator of the recipe was describing the step of mixing dry ingredients, she didn’t list baking soda again. Ashlyne, in following the instructions, had left out the baking soda.

We ate some of the muffins, or tried to anyway. They were very heavy and not very good at all. I was amazed at the difference one little teaspoon of baking soda made. It seems like such a small thing, but leaving it out caused big problems.

As we cleaned up and threw away many of the muffins, I started thinking about ingredients and how important it is to include the right ingredients- even if they sometimes seem like such a small part of the whole. I thought about our homeschooling and everything that goes in to our decision making about what curriculum to use, what extracurricular activities to choose, what co-ops to join. What is the key ingredient there that can cause everything else to go wrong if we leave it out.

For our family, I think the key ingredient is prayer, seeking God’s will. And it’s extremely easy to leave out that important ingredient or to forget that it matters so much.

We want our family and our homeschooling to glorify God. That means that we want to be seeking His will when it comes to decisions we’re making. If we keep prayer as a focus- even in small decisions- we can be sure that we’re being guided by God.

Does this mean that God tells me out loud what curriculum to use. No. But when I’m faithfully seeking His will through prayer, I do believe that He will guide me- through great books I discover “by accident”, through the results when I try something new with a child, by a review product I get through the TOS Review Crew. Faithfully praying about our homeschooling helps me to be open to the guidance that God sends- however He sends it.

Prayer and homeschooling

I confess that I overlook this ingredient too often. I make decisions based on what other people think, on my desire to look organized, on what is easy for me. And I leave out the most important ingredient- prayer. Psalm 127:1 says- “Unless the Lord build the house, the builders labor in vain.” If I leave out the most important ingredient- prayer- my homeschooling isn’t going to serve the purpose I want it to serve- to prepare my kids to love and serve God.

Do you struggle with forgetting this very important ingredient? I’m working this year on being more deliberate about remembering it.

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