Teaching Your Homeschooler To Embrace His or Her Calling
by: Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
Last year one of our former students from our physical education program stopped attending our classes because we were now “too big”. When we started Gifted Athletes it was to meet a need here in our homeschool community, and clearly that need has been met.
We had searched for a structured physical education program for our own children. We would bounce around to everything that read “homeschool physical education”, only to discover it was simply children running around a gym with very little supervision and no instructions. So – we decided to start a homeschool physical education program ourselves.
We had no idea what we were doing! Yet, right away we realized we were meeting a great need in our community. Our first class was in August 2015. We had nine students. (Three were our children, four were from another family, and two from another family). Our program quickly gained popularity. By the end of the school year we were averaging 25 students. Our second year we added a class and had a few more students, but last year was unbelievable! We ended the year teaching 200 homeschool students per week!
To us that’s incredible! But to others – growth is a problem. Why?
Speaking for Myself
Our family attends Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN. Bellevue is a very big church. We were in the city four years before ever visiting. We were adamant that we would “never step foot” in such a “big church” where we would “never make any friends”. Plus, with it being so big, “we wouldn’t matter”. We would be just another “face in the crowd.”
Isn’t it amazing how we give “people” so much credit over God!?
We matter to God.
Luke 12:7 “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Yes, Bellevue is a big church, but we learned right away that the more “we” made an effort to meet people, it became easier to make friends – and that makes Bellevue feel smaller. The more “we” made the effort to serve and stay involved, it made Bellevue feels smaller. We’ve been members a few years now, and the more “we” make an effort to live out Bellevue’s mission statement in our community, it makes Bellevue feel smaller. The more “we” live out our calling for God – “big” Bellevue is no longer the focus – God is the focus.
I understand being turned away from something big that has no purpose or organization behind it. Although our athletic program, Gifted Athletes, is now bigger, there are still so many things we do to keep ourselves on a personal level with our families. For example; I almost joined an emailing company to send our families scheduled emails, but I declined. I felt it was too impersonal. Instead, I type and send all emails to our families. That includes every single registration we receive. I send a welcome email to every new student. I type their name in the email. I look over the spelling of names three or four times to make sure I have spelled names correctly. I also personally respond to all emails. (Usually right away!) When students are not in class, I follow-up with parents to make sure they are okay. I try to make myself available to talk with parents who have questions.
In addition to Gifted Athletes, we now lead a homeschool support group called Proverbs Twenty-Two Six Homeschoolers. Again, we started this support group to meet a need in our homeschool community. Last year we had 30 families the entire school year. We started accepting new families for the 2018-2019 school year and we already have 49 families. (As I am typing this that number literally went up to 50 families).
We have wonderful field trips scheduled, plus exciting workshops, prayer gatherings, and family fellowships.
Something most people do not know is, me and Omar wake up every single day and pray for our parents and our students in Gifted Athletes and the parents and children in Proverbs Twenty-Two Six Homeschoolers. We pray for their safety. We pray that our parents will be godly examples to their children and godly leaders in their community. We pray over the children in our program(s), that they will grow to be godly men and women who will lead their families with integrity, become godly leaders through public service, and live in obedience to God.
On the surface, everything that is big – is not always something we need to run away from.
Last week our family had the honor and privilege of visiting the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was remarkable to learn about the life of Billy Graham. The most important element we took from the visit was Billy Graham’s obedience to share the Gospel. I never knew that Billy Graham was approached by Hollywood many years ago, as his influence grew, to be in movies, which he turned down. He also turned down offers to run for politics. He said in an interview we watched at the library, God called him to preach the Gospel – and that’s what he was going to do until he could not do it anymore – preach the Gospel! This picture was one of the pictures inside the library. It is a picture of Billy Graham in South Korea. He is sharing the Gospel to over a million people! I stood in the library staring at this picture. It was astounding to see that many people with a desire to hear the Gospel. I could not believe my eyes.
What if Billy Graham told God, “No, God, this is now too many people. My ministry is getting too big.”
Or, what if the one million people who went to hear the Gospel decided “I’m not going. I won’t matter to Billy Graham!”
I wonder how many people reading this had their lives touched in some way by the obedient life of Billy Graham?
Your Homeschooler Might Be…
Your homeschooler might one day have a library in his or her honor for their remarkable obedience to God. They cannot be afraid of growth. They cannot be afraid to achieve what God is calling them to.
Here is a short list of homeschoolers who’ve made an impact in our world:
- Condoleeza Rice
- Dwight L. Moody
- Alexander Graham Bell
- George Washington Carver
- President John Adams (One of many former U.S. Presidents Homeschooled)
- Bethany Hamilton
I’ll admit, at first I allowed that one family walking away from our program to bother me. I thought, “Maybe I’m too aggressive?”and “Maybe I’m too ambitious?”
Maybe I’m obedient to the call God has on our lives.
Maybe our program(s) are less about us and more about God.
Maybe God will answer our prayers for the homeschool students we pray over every single day…
…And they will impact millions of lives with the Gospel message.
Deuteronomy 13:4 “It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.”
-Saleama A. Ruvalcaba