All Posts By

Karen DeBeus

homeschool life skills
Simply...Living For Him

The Most Important Life Skill To Teach Your Child

Homeschoolers are notorious for teaching life skills. Along with math, reading, and writing, we focus on many of the necessary life skills- balancing a budget, managing a home, cooking a meal, and so on.

But I have found the most important life skill we will teach. Because from it all of the others will fall into place.

Seek God first.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 ESV

Truly. We get so caught up in preparing for life and teaching for a test and making a transcript. But if we teach our children to seek God first, then all that they do will come from keeping God at the center of everything.

What does it mean to seek God first? It means not seeking after self-satisfaction. Not serving oneself. But seeking after what God has laid out in His word- the truth. It means following after God and living out His purposes for our lives. It means building His Kingdom and not our own self-serving little kingdoms.

It means striving for righteousness. Living a life that glorifies God. It means choosing holiness above happiness. Because ultimately our happiness is found in our holiness. It is truly living for God.

If we teach our children to seek after God, we can rest assured that everything else will fall into its proper place. God is ultimately in control of our children’s lives, and we must teach them to depend on Him. Not on us. Not on schoolbooks. Not on achievements. Nope. None of it. Depend on God first and He will order everything else.

Academics fall into place when we are living a life with God at the center. Because ultimately our children will work hard and be diligent because they want to please God. And ultimately God will lead them in all areas of their lives, including academics.

Society has it backward. They say teach your children to be self-sufficient and self-motivated and pursue happiness. But God says, He is sufficient, He is what drives us, and we are to pursue holiness.

Teach your children that only what God says matters. Measure everything against His Word. That is truly the most important “life skill” they can have.

Biblical discernment. A life that is lived for God. Those things matter. And ultimately they will recognize every breath they take comes from God.

Teaching our children life skills are important, but without this life skill, it is all for naught. Follow God. And everything else in life will be an outflow of that relationship. And everything else will be in its proper place.

To learn more about my Homeschool Consulting and Mentoring visit: Homeschool Consulting and Mentoring. Don’t walk this journey alone.

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Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool: Updated, Revised, and Expanded with Journal Section

 

Simply...Living For Him

My Perspective on Homeschooling Has Changed Now That My Daughter is in College

Bringing my daughter to college has changed everything in so many ways. First, our daily life has changed. The whole family dynamic has changed. It is different. And hard sometimes. But oh, so good too. She is where God has led her to be and we are excited about that! (that makes the hard times easier to handle.) 

But something else changed that I didn’t expect. My perspective on this whole homeschooling journey. Well, there are some regrets-or shall I say, lessons learned. Nothing huge, but things I realize I could have done differently. That’s always the case with the firstborn in anything I am sure…you learn from your mistakes.

But, my perspective on what truly mattered has really shifted. I look at my boys that I am schooling now and realize, these truly are the greatest years. And I want to live out this calling with joy instead of fear that crippled me many times early on.  I want to keep it simple more than ever because I don’t want to be distracted. Time is short…why waste it on things that don’t matter?

I think fear is why I got caught up in so much of the “homeschool stuff” over the years. Yes, fear. Instead of faith.

Homeschooling moms…I know it seems overwhelming and you want to do it all. You want to keep up with what everyone is doing. You want to succeed. You want the best for your kids. You feel the responsibility of educating your child.

I get it. I truly get it.

But looking back in the rearview mirror, it is like everything came into focus.

The time spent around the table, on the couch, on the porch…in the yard…it mattered.

The time spent worrying over all the little details. Did not.

The time we spent together…our inside jokes, our fun moments…and even our arguments and hard times…it all mattered. It was shaping our relationship.

The time spent shopping for school room decor, or researching methods…not so much.

We learned together, and ultimately we raised a young woman…we didn’t just build a transcript. 

Life is about so much more than academics.

She ended up learning math, and science, and history…but most importantly she learned about life.

I see homeschool mamas chasing after so many things- the right curriculum, the right plans, the right stuff…

And I want to tell them…

STOP!

Stop. God called you to this journey and He already knows what you need to walk through it and do it well.

God called you to this journey and He already knows what your kids need.

So why are you looking everywhere else?

In the end, so much of the stuff I stressed over is just a memory now. It seemed SO so big at the moment. But now…I get it.

The year of the workboxes. Oh, finding just “the right” plastic little boxes and the right cards to insert. That was the homeschooling trend of the time, I suppose.

Or the year I wanted to make sure our little office was transformed into a proper schoolroom. It just had to be the “right atmosphere…” Otherwise, how would they learn? (Ha!)

The right planner. The right system. The discipline chart. The chore chart. The meal plan. The hacks everyone said would make my life easier. You name it. I chased it.

In the end, they seemed to complicate things more. I relied on all these things. Expecting them to make me successful. And if I wasn’t, then on to the next one…Always a new trend to follow. Always a new thing to research.

And all along, my kids’ hearts and my own heart were needing tending to most.

I have talked over the years about the homeschoolers of years ago…how they didn’t have ALL the STUFF we have today and they did just fine. Well, I know now more than ever how much I want to be like them! Not relying on stuff, but on God. Keeping it simple. Focusing on my kids. Getting off the screens (that just make me feel so inadequate anyway) and stop searching for answers there, and start searching for answers in the Word.

They say your babies don’t keep. Well, neither do your teens. In my mind, I just hadn’t really realized that. But when your daughter starts a new life two hours away…no matter how good of a life it is, that is just HARD. You are faced with the fact that those childhood years are done. They are over. It doesn’t go forever.

 

But they were the foundation for that has built her into who she is now. And thankfully we built mostly the right things…even though we may have fussed over things that we didn’t need to at times.

So I am telling all the homeschool mamas today…your babies don’t keep. Your teens don’t keep. Picture yourself here like me someday, when it’s all done…and ask yourself…is what I’m focusing on right now really going to matter in the end?

I want to tell every homeschool mom reading this…yes, the transcript is important. Yes, the curriculum is important. But truly, what matters is a mom that points them to Jesus. Not to the things of this world.

I am thankful I learned some of these lessons along the way. Some were painful lessons, but I am thankful that I tried to keep it simple. And to my surprise, it seems there is still room to simplify even more.

I recently started a Personalized Homeschool Consulting and Mentorship Program for these very reasons. How I wish easly on I had someone to walk alongside me, that was seasoned, and could have gently told me…”Keep your eyes on Jesus.” or someone to say, “Stop looking for the perfect curriculum. You’ve got one that works. Look at your kids instead.”

I have just started appointments and I am so thrilled to be able to do this for the homeschooling community. If you are interested in my consulting or mentorship click here or email me any time! karen@simpylivingforhim.com

This journey is such a blessing. It doesn’t have to be filled with fear when walked in faith…

Babies don’t keep. Teens don’t keep. But thankfully, by the Lord’s grace they grow into adults you will adore and be blessed by each day.

To learn more about my Homeschool Consulting and Mentoring visit: Homeschool Consulting and Mentoring. Don’t walk this journey alone.

Get My Book!

Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool: Updated, Revised, and Expanded with Journal Section

 

cease striving
Podcast

Surrender Instead of Striving//ep149

this podcast is sponsored by Apologia

I have learned many lessons lately and one that stands out is how important it is to maintain a posture of surrender rather than striving. Surrender doesn’t mean sit back and do nothing, in fact, you will get more done (in God’s strength) than you ever imagined.

In a world of planners and to-do lists and folks always trying to control their lives and strive for greater achievement, it is actually comforting to know every detail is controlled by God and ordained before time began. Simple living is much easier to reach in a life surrendered to God.

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homeschool to college
Podcast

Homeschool to College • ep 148

this podcast sponsored by Apologia

We have officially dropped my daughter off at college after homeschooling grades from K-12. What a surreal experience! And I have learned so much! I was also blindsided by some things, however. So grab your coffee and sit down with me today, as I want to share with you as a girlfriend- the good, the bad, and everything in between…to encourage you to feel all the feels and to walk through it all in God’ strength. There is so much going on at this time that is exciting, scary, happy, sad, and all of it is ok! It gives us more of an opportunity to lean on the Lord.

I also want to share with you how my perspective has changed and I am even more laser-focused to simplify my life than ever! 

Whether you are walking this journey now or will be someday, I hope you will be encouraged!

Post I mentioned in this episode:

New Seasons, Cleansing Tears, and Perspective Changes

Mac and Cheese and Life Changes

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