There have been a million moments where I have looked at my bursting-with-energy oldest daughter and did a mental countdown of the day she would start kindergarten. In those moments, I equated her going to school all day as a much needed break for me. I mean, for her entire life, I have basically been her personal Cruise Director... keeping her and all my children engaged in one activity after another.
Then came time for me to officially sign her up.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand....... I panicked!
My brain became bombarded with thought after thought of everything I felt still needed to be instilled in her, passed down to her. There were so many bible verses, so many endearing children's book, and so many important manners issues that had gone untouched thus far in my mommying.
I took a deep breath and over the next few days considered what I wanted my children to learn- not just in a school setting- but for LIFE. What did I want for them?
To read? Be a math whiz? Learn social skills? To get a good job one day? Be a good citizen? Have good opportunities?
What do I want for them? What is the goal? What is my dream for my kids?
I researched all the schools in our community: public, private, faith-based, and transitional pre-schools. I started researching homeschooling curriculum and styles.
I basically went a little crazy.
So I shut off Pinterest and did what I should have done from the start..... I prayed about it. My prayer was beautiful and perfect and should be printed off and framed. Just kidding. It was literally, "God, I'm listening- what should I do?"
That week, God did not answer my prayer- He did NOT tell me where to send AB to school this fall. Instead, He completely changed my heart and my perspective about the entire matter.
The Lord kept putting the verse Matthew 10:7 on my mind, which calls us all to be missionaries "as you go." Meaning that whatever profession you choose, that is your mission field.
If the Lord calls us to be missionaries as we go, then I need to be teaching my kids how to do that - how to proclaim the love of the Lord in all they do. Which makes their classroom their first mission field.
But what does that look like for a 5 year old to be a missionary in the classroom? That's how Dove Academy was created.
My sister and I (creators of the Christmas Dove) created a summer study focusing on the fruits of the spirit and how they can be lived out in situations children regularly encounter. This 10-week study highlights one fruit of the spirit each week, with the last week focusing on Acts 1:8 and what it looks like to be a missionary locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.
There are easy, inexpensive, intentional crafts for each week to help kids understand each fruit of the spirit, as well as supplemental activities that work on actual grade-level skills.
There is a devotional for each day, and much like the Christmas Dove devotional, it is so sweet and easy for kiddos to grasp.
Included in the workbook is a guide on how to have a Commissioning Service for your child after the summer study is finished. This is meant to be a special rite of passage moment for your child and there are several ideas in the guide to help parents make this a memorable and supportive time for your child.
I know as a mom, there is this natural tendency to do everything I can for my kids to be the best. I want to set them up for success in every way. I want them to win every race, make the top grades, be popular and so on.
I realized I don't want them to BE the best, but to DO their best.