Developing strategies for motivating your homeschooled child is like being a good cook with the right spices. The basic salt and pepper seasonings of affirmation and discipline need to be added to every homeschooling day, but ingenuity and divine inspiration are required when motivating your child to learn challenging subjects. Although some homeschooling families may disagree, I never felt guilty about motivating my children with the special spices of a well-deserved gift or a day off from school when completing a difficult assignment or lengthy unit study.

God tried to motivate His people with an extra incentive when they faced the difficult challenge of conquering the Promised Land. He instructed Moses to send out spies to survey the land, and the fruits they found proved that it was indeed a land flowing with milk and honey (Numbers 13). In fact, one cluster of grapes was so large it needed to be carried on a pole between two men (vs. 23). However, because the difficulties of this assignment seemed larger than the promises and blessings, the people of Israel shied away from conquest.

God also knows what you need to stay motivated when facing the difficult challenge of homeschooling your children for 12 or more years. Sometimes God's recipe for your homeschooling day will include the basic salt and pepper joys of seeing your children learn and play together as a family. Other times, God will give flavorful opportunities to take unusual field trips or meet unique individuals to inspire both you and your children. Best of all, God will sprinkle the spice of the Holy Spirit into your heart to motivate you to face the major giants of homeschooling, such as mountains of laundry, disorganized school rooms, and a shortage of personal time. However, like the nation of Israel, you have a choice to either respond to God's continued loving motivation or turn away in fear and discouragement. Which will you choose? "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him" (Psalm 34:8).

Lord, only Your sweet love can keep me motivated to face the enormous challenge of homeschooling. Please, let me see Your hand at work again today and whet my appetite to enjoy each of your blessings. In the name of Jesus, Amen.