Finding the Heart of Homeschool

It hit me. The mess on the floor, the grumpy attitudes. Where is the love in all of this? We finished out that homeschool day, we cleaned up the mess and we leaned heavy into the weekend. We just needed a weekend of family time. No agenda. No commitments. No have tos. No school subjects.

Finding the Love in #Homeschool And we did. We went on a long walk on a winding trail in the cool of the fall morning. We played with LEGO® building sets. It was good to have that time to focus on enjoying. But I have also made a purposeful change. I have been asking the Lord to bless us. Because He has shown me in many ways this week “…you do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2

photo I’ve asked him to bless our homeschool. To bless our family. To bless those we are praying for. And I have seen those blessings in abundance. In the small ways. In glimpses of success. In encouragement. In accomplishing much learning.

photo Monday morning we started new. I praised more. I patted backs. I made two ingredient pumpkin muffins for breakfast just for fun!


The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be As long as life endures.

And that afternoon I attended the funeral of an extended family member. My cousins shared how her mother had brought coffee to both her and her sister when they were teenagers. Coffee, on a silver tray, first thing in the morning. They said that their mother would sit and talk over coffee as the day started. My eldest is a new coffee fan so I knew this would speak to her.

picstitch Starting Tuesday morning, I filled a nice, big cup of fresh coffee and I gently woke her. A few mornings, I had to attend to others. But she’s told me that she really appreciates it. That extra bit of love in a mug. And we are using all the favorite cups.

picstitch And that’s truly what the heart of homeschooling is. Loving these children, teaching them His ways. I’ve also made a point this week to ‘catch them’ loving each other. Interested in what a sibling is doing, helping little brother read, helping sister at the piano, working together.

More ways we show love to our children and encourage our homeschool:

  • Me saying I am so thankful we homeschool – saying it out loud where all can hear. (Reminds me of the quote from the movie Elf: “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loudly for all to hear).
  • Reading aloud during lunch.
  • Playing cards after supper.
  • Making someone’s bed in the morning as a surprise.
  • Saying, “I’ll do that!”
  • Hugs – more frequent and abundant.
  • Setting a subject aside when a child is struggling. Doing a favorite for a bit and then coming back and facing the problem together.
  • Saying thank you for all the help around the house.


1. Tapestry of Grace learning about Thomas Jefferson | 2. Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day Marine Biology (she says, “I love this notebook and the copywork!”) | 3. Reading Answers for Kids insert from Answers Magazine

  • Saying I am proud of you! (My brother says he tells his children daily, “you are so smart!”)
  • During prayer time, telling the Lord we are thankful for our Great Hodges Family (showing how very important our family is)
  • Celebrating every day with the You Are Special Plate
  • Using the nice dishes at lunch time (why not?)
  • ‘Catching’ a child doing something nice and telling him or her ‘thank you!’

The incredible gift of the ordinary! Glory comes streaming from the table of daily life. ~ Macrina Wiederkehr

photo Even, at times, ignoring the mess – maybe even celebrating it because it means learning happened. Then pitching in together to clean it.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by Him. Colossians 3:17

EarlyBird250x250 (One of the ways the Lord reminded me of the ‘you do not have because you do not ask’ verse was through the Real Refreshment Retreats Facebook page. The verse was posted there. You should like them on Facebook too, be encouraged and find out more about the retreats. Early bird registration ends October 15!)

Many thanks to our Friday hostesses!

In what ways are you seeing the heart of homeschooling in your home?


  1. 1


    Tricia ~ Thank you for the reminders. I think we too often forget to do those little things for our children because we are too busy “teaching” them, but we are teaching them so much more in performing little acts of love and service for them.

    I love the coffee in the morning for your daughter – what a sweet idea. It cracks me up that she’s into coffee – teens are funny! :-)

    Thanks for always linking, and for your gentle words of wisdom.
    Mary recently posted..Music, Art & More – Collage FridayMy Profile

    • 4


      Thank you Barb! You are such a great example to us all – of those little acts of love for our children. Plus all those things you’ve shared on your blog about balancing homeschool and simply loving and raising children.

  2. 6


    Tricia- Thank you for this gentle reminder. Sometimes our love gets lost too. :) You have encouraged me to ask the Lord to bless our family even more, and to be actively preparing the hearts of our children for when those blessings come. Thank you again for taking the time to share your heart- I am blessed because of you!
    Team Southerland recently posted..Do You Have Insurance?My Profile

  3. 8


    Oh yes “Even, at times, ignoring the mess – maybe even celebrating it because it means learning happened. Then pitching in together to clean it.” That was us this week also!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  4. 9


    It’s so easy to get wrapped up inthe ‘have to’ and forget the beauty and grace God wants us to experience. We have enjoyed our lack of ‘being there’ this year. we have one thing on our calendar – once/month. This past month, my children have not seen me on the computer in the am or in the afternoons – today, I am making an exception – we have a guest and they are enjoying being with their Grandma and me, I’m enjoying the reminder that this life – is not to be lived in fast forward. Thank you, Tricia, for reminding so many that our children’s hearts are more important that any topic we can cram into their minds.
    Rebecca recently posted..Living In Christ is Never Pragmatic nor a Promise of ProsperityMy Profile

    • 10


      Rebecca – I love to hear about the wide open spaces of joy in your life! And agree so with all you shared here. Yes, it is so very easy to get wrapped up in the ‘have to’

  5. 11


    You nailed it one hundred percent. Without that heart in the family, there is no real homeschool, and it all starts with Him. I loved hearing about the coffee cup, because my husband takes my Sam a cup of coffee every morning when we wakes him up. Some would say that this is spoiling, but we think it is a kindness they will never forget, and hopefully, will spread on to others. I really enjoyed this post, and it made me feel happy.
    Phyllis at All Things Beautiful recently posted..Our Homeschool Weekly Report, September 27-October 3, week 5My Profile

    • 12


      I love hearing about the coffee for your Sam! And my cousins sharing that story was a wonderful example to me – how that simple act by my great aunt blessed them so and continues to bless so many! It all starts with Him – thank you Phyllis, my friend!

  6. 13

    Summer says

    Thank you for this honest, heartfelt post. It is a great reminder for me to take the time and bless my boys for the little thugs. This is something the Holy Spirit has been prompting in my heart too. Homeschool is about gaining the heart of your child and leading that heart to Jesus. How can we lead that heart if he is upset because I just got onto him about taking so long to his math? Another example is not being grateful for that child. If he sees that I’m struggling and that I’m stressed because we home educate then he feels like a burden and not a blessing. Thank you, for reminding me.

  7. 14


    Wonderful post filled with wisdom. I’ve been working on these same things with my kids and am also seeing the benefits. I had forgotten the love in focusing on my lists and it’s amazing how focusing on the love makes so much more learning happen–and happily!
    Heidi @ Home Schoolroom recently posted..Moon Nature StudyMy Profile

  8. 15


    Looks like you guys had an amazing week!!! I love all the photos! The muffins look delicious!!!! And, I’m so excited you shared the giveaway – I almost forgot to enter and we love LEGOS around here!
    Jen recently posted..Week in Review: Week 5!My Profile

  9. 21


    This was encouraging!! Thank you for the reminder about what is most important!

    Walking away with this bit,
    ” And that’s truly what the heart of homeschooling is. Loving these children, teaching them His ways”

    Thank you!
    Kara recently posted..HMJ | Week 7 Wrap UpMy Profile

  10. 22


    Thanks, Tricia! Glad to hear that it’s ok to pamper those kids a little! Ever the “tough love” type, I am afraid to “enable” and often forget those loving little gestures in the midst of schedules and chore lists and “have tos.” I have started bringing youngest a little cup of coffee when she has to get up early… she appreciates it!

  11. 24


    Hi Trisha,
    I waned to say to you, I’ve been seeing your Finding the Heart imgae on Instagram/facebook/G+ the last few days and I’ve thought, that is a beautiful image! I’m so glad made my way over hear from Kris’ Weird Unsocialized weekly Wrap-up because your post is as beautiful as the photograph.

    We as homeschool moms need to remember to stop the FOCUS and learn to focus on what is most important. Our Lord, and our family. Thanks for the reminder.
    Renee Brown recently posted..This Week… Homeschool Week CompleteMy Profile

  12. 28


    I just loved reading this post and I especially love the favorite mugs, I think I am going to have to get everyone their own for Christmas! I needed to here the heart part as well, we sometimes we get caught up in the daily scheduled work and sports practices. It’s a great thing too praise God more and I am going to heed that as well.

  13. 30

    Hadley says

    I love this! Thanks for sharing your heart. We have a school room all set up, but a few weeks ago for no reason in particular, I started sitting on the couch to teach. I started being right next to them rather than across the table or room from them. My 4th grader decided she likes me going over her lessons with her (rather than her reading and doing herself, even though she’s capable). At first I didn’t want to (independent learner and all that), but I decided to do it, and it’s helped our relationship tons! She is still independently learning lots of new things every day, but we are having 15-30 minutes time together on the couch each day has been so sweet. I’ve also noticed that letting my kids know that I am so blessed to be able to be home with them each day makes them feel loved.

  14. 33

    Jessica says

    Hi Tricia,
    I just wanted to say thank you for having a blog! I was instructed by the Lord to homeschool, and boy I did NOT want to. But after a looong time battling with it I obeyed :) We had a good year, but it was really really hard on ME. I didn’t want homeschooling to be my life…that was my attitude. We began a second year and it just wasn’t working at all. Our girls returned to public school, and honestly, it truly was of the Lord. He had some things to show me. They have done well, and I got to pursue some interests. But the past few weeks my heart has been longing to go back to homeschooling, and those interests really have not fulfilled me. I am really missing my girls and being the one to teach them- I miss the learning! I am trying to just be in a state of prayer about it, but deep down I’ve already decided we are homeschooling for good next year lol. Anyways, I randomly found your blog when searching for ‘turning a living room into a school room’ ha ha! Your posts are exactly what I needed and really confirmed to me that God has done a work in my heart and now I WANT to make homeschooling my life :) And, also your curriculum, how I never ran across Tapestry of Grace before now I don’t know, but it is exactly what I have been looking for, so thank you thank you thank you! Be blessed!

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