Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Homeschooling that Bears Fruit

"Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit"
(John 15:2 TAB).

I like to think about simplifying the homeschooling process whenever possible. It seems to me this scripture can serve as an encouragement to us to prune every area of our lives-including our approach to education.

Pruning means to trim by cutting away dead or overgrown branches;or to improve by removing unwanted parts. The first one seems obvious. No one wants "dead things" in their life. These could be activities that have long lost their joy for you...something you are doing purely out of habit or obligation. Church or service activities aren't exempt from pruning either; maybe it's time to let go and let someone else move into these areas. HOw about tim...perhaps you need to prune something that is stealing your time or your child's.

Consider the next part of our definition: cutting out the overgrown. Is there something in your life that has become beyond your ability to manage...that causes constant strife? Are you thinking...homeschooling? Homeschooling can be a monumental task and during the process we must continually prune.

How can we "prune" our schooling? The first is to simplify any area you can. Cut out extra subjects. Attend only those events that are beneficial to your kids. Don't go just to socialize. (I apologize if I am stepping on toes...not my intention. Remember I am speaking from experience!) Learn to say no. Pruning is not always a major project. Sometimes just a few branches need clipping; your life may just need a little tweak in a few places to become fruitful again.

Realize that pruning not only denies our own flesh; it sometimes disappoints others. Just this week, I had to prune out a trip that left some family members quite perturbed with me. I should not have made the plans to begin with; however against my better judgment, and to make them happy I went along. The realization came that this was not the thing for us to do and I had to cut it out. It did hurt. However peace was restored, and now that time will be used for what God originally intended.

If our goal really is to improve the quality of our lives, and to "bear more and richer and more excellent fruit," pruning is a necessary step. "But, It hurts!" Yes, it does. However the rewards are so worth it! You will develop other fruit in your life; usually the first one is peace. You will find more joy, more time, more contentment, when you are living a trimmed-down life, doing only those things God has called you to do.

Prayer: Lord, I want to bear fruit for You! Help me to prune, and weed, and cut away those things, which are influencing my time, home, family, and relationship with You in a negative way. Restore peace and joy to my day and help me to be continually mindful of this principle. Thank you Jesus, amen.


Blogger Hannah Im said...

Amen! Prune away. This principle can carry over to many activities including homeschooling. I was homeschooled from K-12 and have found that I was at my best (and still am) when I am allowed to study one thing for an extended period in greater depth rather than follow the usual 7+ subjects a day approach. I think that kind of goes along with your principle.

10:06 PM, April 27, 2005  
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