The Family Learning Journal is Born

Welcome to the Family Learning Journal, where life can be counted as school. Like many of you, I pray often about homeschooling my children. During the summer, I look at what each of my children need for the coming year, which curricula to use, and then I faithfully set a schedule to accomplish all that I believe God has placed on my heart. I start off with great enthusiasm and high hopes, trusting God to equip me.

Then life happens. You know, unexpected trips to the doctor, out-of-town guests, financial issues, car repairs, the washer over-flows, tax preparation, pick-ups and drop offs at the airport, not to mention church commitments as well as play dates and activities for the children. As the mother of five, even the stork found a way to interrupt my plans!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

When my plans are thwarted, I take comfort in God’s Word that His ways are best for me. I want to stay flexible and accept God’s plan for my life. But how does one remain confident in the Lord and reconcile that with a school schedule that has me falling behind? In those moments, my heart would sink, and I would begin questioning myself with thoughts of: “Will I be able to accomplish all that God wants me to? If I prayed before choosing the curriculum and setting my schedule, why am I not living up to the task that God has set before me? Will I be able to teach my children all that they need to know? Am I just not cut out for homeschooling?

Each time I sought the Lord, I would be reminded again why I was homeschooling my children, and most importantly, that God was in control of my days. The interruptions were really His way of directing me toward His plans for my children. I needed to rest in His wisdom, recognizing He was teaching my children through the interruptions. I had to humble myself and accept life’s challenges as God’s classroom. When we didn’t get to all of the ‘planned lessons,’ the children were still learning.

“The Lord works out everything for his own ends”  Proverbs 16:4

The Family Learning Journal was created to help ME recognize and record all of the learning that God brought into our days. Being able to show what we were learning made such a difference. No longer did I dread the question, “What did you do today?” No longer did I feel we were behind in our education. No longer did I resent life’s challenges. I found a way to happily take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities that came our way and remain in the Lord’s peace.

Since most interruptions impact the entire family, not just one student, the Family Learning Journal was designed to function primarily as a place to record family learning. It is adaptable to individual subjects, unit studies, purchased lesson plans, do-it your-self curricula, and even un-schooling.  It can be used to plan ahead, record as you go, or even write it all down after the fact.

My prayer is that this Family Learning Journal will reduce your stress, increase your confidence, and provide a simple way of keeping track of all that you do teach your children. May the Family Learning Journal bless your family as you too begin to count life as school.

About the Author

Gwen Devereux is an administrator for American Christian Academy in Northern California, a private school program (PSP). For more than two decades, she has been privately educating her five children. Currently, two are in college and three are schooled at home. In addition to being a busy wife and mother, Gwen has helped hundreds of other families learn the ‘ins and outs’ of homeschooling, including record-keeping, selecting curricula and meeting legal requirements.

Gwen has been an advocate for private home education since 1995 serving in leadership for a support group in Northern California since 2004.

Gwen is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. Prior to starting a family, Gwen was an aerospace engineer designing rocket engine systems. She also spent a year in Germany as a foreign exchange student, where she became fluent in German.