Sometimes it's not the words you say, but how you say them that can encourage or dishearten your children. Proverbs 12:18 says, "There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health." We as parents must guard the words we choose to say as we homeschool our children. Phrases like "good job" or "I really like the way you did that" are great motivating tools to use with your children.

Unfortunately, we get lazy in our attitudes and think we can say whatever we want to our children and not affect them. My son brought this to my attention one day while I was speaking to a friend on the phone. I overheard him say to his sister, "I wish Mom would use her telephone voice when she is talking to us!" Ouch, that hurt! I realized my son noticed a difference in the choice of words I used and the kindness inflected in the tone of my voice when talking with someone other than him.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. If our families are the ones we love the most, we need to talk with the loving words that bless instead of discourage them. When our children do not understand a new concept being taught, correction needs to be done in a gentle and loving manner. Using words that make them feel inferior or slow is something we must avoid at all costs. Allow them the dignity to be wrong.

Don't ruin the atmosphere in your home with thoughtless remarks. Nothing will destroy your success in homeschooling quicker than phrases like "Are you still working on that?" or "I don't know why you do not understand this. Your brother learned this right away." Ask for God's grace each day to fill your speech with His words and show the love that will help your children be successful in their studies. Proverbs 16:24 says, "Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."

Lord, help me to choose my words today as if I was speaking to You. Show me how to encourage my children during our homeschooling day in all I say and do. In Jesus' name, Amen.