everyday homeschooling blog


Aug 7, 2012

Improvement, Progress and Pressing On

MaryAnn Gaver

Hi everyone!

Have you seen some of the Olympic Games? I think it's been thrilling to see Michael Phelps compete in the  swimming races and to watch the incredible skill in both women's and men's gymnastics.

The Olympics often stir our competitive spirit and rouse our enthusiasm up for sports and athletic excellence. That's a good thing of course, but sometimes in real life we can misinterpret that perfection in and of itself is the goal. That can be a slippery slope and counter-productive for kids where homeschool is concerned. Sure, many of the ideals that the Olympics stand for are noble and worthy, but it's naive to fall into thinking it's solely about perfection.

Whether it's grades, music achievements or sports - it shouldn't always be about getting the "A", coming in 1st place or winning every competition but rather about progress and challenging oneself to stay the course, make improvements, and compensate for weaknesses.  It's also about pressing on. We live in a culture that sometimes rewards winning at any cost (think of steroids in baseball, etc.). This idea seeps into every aspect of our culture and is one that we don't want to have in our home teaching.

Instead of emphasizing perfection, we can encourage our children to look at the habits of a winner. For students, that can translate into planning specific time for school work, making a calendar of important dates, keeping commitments for sports or music practice, doing one's best, etc. For younger children it might mean completing chores, listening to mom, and working cooperatively with siblings. 

I don't know what it's like being a mom of an Olympic athlete; I only know that no matter what our children achieve in this life, they need to learn that it's most important to make progress in spiritual areas. And who doesn't long to hear the following words of encouragement?  

  • You're definitely improving!
  • You're making progress!
  • Keep pressing on!


Let me encourage you to keep striving to know the Lord better today. Here's a great verse:

"So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.  His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth." -Hosea 6:3

With God's help, keep being the best mom you can be!