Would you like to know the best back-to-school item for a profitable year of homeschooling? No, it's not a new computer, and it's not a new microscope, math manipulative, or the latest educational game. In fact, you may be surprised to learn the most effective tool you have is simply the positive words you use to encourage your child. No high-tech gadget or apparatus can ever leave as profound an effect on your child's education as saying things like, "Wow, you did a great job on that test!" and "How did you learn that so quickly?" Though it seems too good to be true, affirming your child with words of praise is the quickest way to motivate him to higher academic achievement.

As Christians, God also knows how encouraging words will help us achieve success in our spiritual lives. Repeatedly, His Word provides the words we need to hear to encourage us through life's hardest lessons of fear, frustration, and failure. Just read a few of His promises to those who are in Christ Jesus:

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Romans 8:37).

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).

"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Do you find yourself apprehensive as you face a new homeschooling year? Don't despair. The same back-to-school tool that helps your child achieve academic success is the instrument God will use to help you. As you pray and read His Word each day, listen to the Holy Spirit speak to your heart with encouraging words. The King of the universe loves you and wants you to accomplish even more than you dream possible in your homeschooling. "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7).

Lord,

Thank You for Your encouraging words that motivate me with hope and joy. How desperately I need to hear them each day! Show me again how to stay disciplined in seeking Your face, so I can achieve everything You have planned this year for our homeschooling family. In the name of Jesus, Amen.