We moved to the East Mountains in 2004 as part of a military move. While we never thought we would stay here our church family has truly become part of our family and we now call New Mexico home. Each year we pray and seek the Lord's wisdom and guidance regarding the schooling our two girls (Molly & Zoe) and thus far He has led us to homeschool. Homeschooling has been a journey in many ways and has grown us in ways only the Lord can do.
Several years ago we were encouraged by some friends to create a Family Creed. We thought, what a cool idea and immediately decided our family needed one and set about writing it! You might wonder, what is a family creed? For us, it is our family's statement of principles, faith and beliefs. Our family creed helps us stay focused on what our family believes and keeps God in the forefront of our lives.
As we look to another school year we thought it would be good to intentionally compare our schooling against our creed to see if we were still in line with The Palfery Family Creed. Here goes:
We teach our children from a biblical worldview. We use God's own Word to learn about Him in our daily school activities. God's Word is the centerpiece or "hub" of our school wheel & everything we learn about is from Him - including Math!
When schooling at home it's easy to become occupied with...well home and we are certainly capable of falling into this trap. To be diligent and to ensure we are honoring him with our gifts, we have dedicated a room to schooling and attempt to conduct school at a particular time, every day. We want our children to learn to glorify God through their talents and to be diligent in that work.
Schooling your own children every day can be tiresome and frustrating, especially when sin in our relationships with our children goes unacknowledged and unforgiven. We make a daily practice in our home of repenting to one another and giving grace to one another, both to our children and to us as parents. It looks messy on most days because we are fleshly creatures who need reminding, but it brings an unbelievable unity in our home when we can all learn from one another's mistakes, pray for each other as we struggle and hold one another accountable to God's Word. Our family is ultimately stronger because of this daily relationship with one another.
In homeschooling, it is easy to get caught up in home and our own relationships. We try to be actively involved outside the home. We go to the library, the athletic fields, museums and the like because we want to actively seek our community and build relationships. We take opportunities to be part of our larger community to practice worship in this way. Our kids attend bible club at a public school, volunteer with Shine Club (as part of their school day), play competitive soccer and swim year round and take part in music lessons to engage the community and love as Christ did. We interact with our neighbors on a daily basis and school year-round which allows for ample opportunities to engage our community and culture in both our daily activities (i.e. going to the library) as well as our not-so-daily activities (i.e. going to the dentist).
Ultimately our words mean nothing without evidence of the fruit of the Spirit. So as we embark on another year of schooling, we aim to be intentional whether at home or out and about seeking God's will and giving each other grace as we go about His work.
Well there you go! We would encourage you to pray about the vision that God has for your family this coming school year. Consider sitting down with your kids and writing it down so that everyone is pressing forward together. You'll go into the new school year unified & heading in the direction the Spirit leads!
So, what will be the cornerstones of your Family Creed?
("family photo" by Jasmine Mostrom)