Do you realize how many homeschooling lessons can be learned from gardening? From biology to Bible, gardening provided our family more opportunities to learn truths than any other activity. Such was the case the year my son prepared to win the grand champion purple ribbon at the county fair with his homegrown vegetables.

Earlier that spring, my son and I had carefully planned and planted our garden. Throughout the growing season, his thriving tomatoes were the best of all his vegetables. Deciding to focus his attention on their care, he applied exact amounts of fertilizer and built cages to protect the vines from the wind. As the tomatoes began to form, we knew the timing for harvesting them would perfectly match the date of the fair. Filled with excitement, he could already see the purple ribbon hanging on his bedroom wall.

Two weeks before the fair, our garden received a mysterious nighttime visitor. Some four-legged fiend ransacked my son's tomatoes and broke off most of the vines. In hopes that we could save my son's tomatoes, we attempted to repair the remaining damaged vines. However, only a few days passed before we noticed the life-giving nutrients were not reaching the tomatoes. My son was devastated when he realized his dreams for that year's prize had been thwarted. He had learned the hard lesson of John 15:5, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

Have you considered planting a garden this year with your homeschoolers? Whether you grow one for fun or for feeding your family, the blessings God will give and the lessons God will teach will make all the work worth the effort. After all, gardens have been the best place to learn God's lessons since He first placed man in one when He created the world! "For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations" (Isaiah 61:11).

Lord, what an awesome God You are and how dependent we are on You for everything! Teach me the lessons from Your creation and Your Word that will make me more like You. In Jesus' name, Amen.