The REVIEW - November 2013 - page 15

Useless VocabularyWords
Moms seem especially vulnerable to that nasty sludge and slime, so I
suspect that we should regularly review our Home Schooling Mom’s
Vocabulary List. No, Moms, not words on our students’ lists. I mean
words on our own
Two words should be absent from your list: shame (noun—a painful emotion
caused by consciousness of shortcoming*) and
(verb—wish undone or
done differently). In what ways do you rehearse those vocabulary words?
Do you criticize yourself often, thinking that your children might have
done better last year if you had used the math curriculum your friend
used? Or maybe you berate yourself because you did not finish a particular
book or course or unit study that you loved, but you just ran out of time
to do it. Eighteen years later, I still occasionally think about a
Language Arts through Literature
book that we never finished!
When you see or hear of another home school student winning an award,
receiving a special honor, or accomplishing some amazing task, do you
turn on yourself to think that your children could do those things if you
did a better job?
Does your mind drift to questions about your ability to teach your children,
thinking you don’t know enough about math, history, science, or whatever
subject you didn’t study well or like in your schooling days? You forget
that learning is a lifelong event and that you can learn right along with
your children, having fun doing it and showing them that no one knows
everything. Child and adult alike are always learning.
Does your home’s disarray embarrass you so much that you dread wel-
coming visitors, robbing you and your family of lessons in service and
hospitality to others? Your children never learn what it means to open a
home (and heart) to others in the “castle” you call home.
Replace Your VocabularyWords
Shame and regret can rear their ugly heads in many ways in a home
schooling mom’s life. If they besiege you, try these five things to replace
your negative vocabulary words with new words:
1. Identify the source of your feelings. Satan certainly loves to tell you
that you can’t accomplish those things that have eternal consequences,
such as raising and teaching your children for God’s glory. Maybe when
you were growing up others told you that you were not capable. Look at
you! You are doing something harder and more impressive than do many
moms who shuffle their kids off to school and go to an outside job some-
where. Consider what you will have in the future with your family that
others might not have. (Ephesians 6:18) Add this new vocabulary word:
(noun—continued or steadfast pursuit or prosecution of an
undertaking or aim)
2. Examine your fears apart from your feelings of inadequacy. Take a clear,
unemotional look and then make a plan for facing those fears. Refuse to
entertain negative thoughts. Enjoy your children now, right where you
and they are. Laugh a lot and know that many who have gone before
you have succeeded. (Philippians 4:8-9) Add this new vocabulary word:
(adjective—worthy to be praised)
3. Consider what you would think of another home school mom who
expressed the same inadequacies. Would you judge her harshly? I
imagine that you would instead understand what she was feeling and
come alongside her to encourage her. Aren’t we usually more inclined
to be easier on other people (especially those we idolize) than on
ourselves? Give yourself the grace that you would offer to a friend, or
even to a stranger, and that God gives you. (2 Corinthians 9:8) Add this
new vocabulary word:
(noun—disposition to kindness, favor,
clemency, or compassion)
4. Talk to someone. Be honest. If you feel shame or you rue something you
have done or are not doing, talking about it robs shame of the power over
you. You will likely find that others feel the same way you feel and you can
encourage each other. Sharing with someone might even give you a new
idea for something useful to solve a problem. (Proverbs 11:14) Add this
new vocabulary word:
(noun—recommendation, especially when
given as a result of consultation; a policy or plan of action or behavior)
5. Separate who you are in Christ from the job of training and teaching
your children. Will you make mistakes? Sure! We all do. However, when
we confess our shortcomings to others and to the Lord, He forgives us
and washes us completely clean. (1 John 1:9, 2 Corinthians 5:17) Add this
new vocabulary word:
(noun—to grant relief from; refrain from
exacting [a price])
You do not have to continue to be ashamed or rue the things you have
orhave not done. Shame and regret are enemies to defeat. Decide what is
important and what will make a difference for your family—and do those
things. A new plan or course of action does wonders to clear away past
mistakes. Then you can add another vocabulary word to your list: rejoice
(intransitive verb—to feel joy or great delight; experience gladness or
pleasurable satisfaction).
Marilyn Rockett is a veteran homeschool
mom of four grown sons, six grandsons, one
granddaughter, and two great-grandsons.
She has mentored moms for almost thirty
years. Her book, Homeschooling at the Speed
of Life, provides organizational helps and en-
You forget that learning is a lifelong event
and that you can learn right along
with your children, having fun doing it
and showing them that no one
knows everything.
Decide what is important and what
will make a difference for your family—
and do those things.
Visit us at
*word definitions courtesy of Merriam-Webster Online
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