Six Ways To Nurture Our Kids’ Hearts



6 Ways to nurture Our Kids’ Hearts!  These won’t be a formula guaranteeing that the soil of your kids’ hearts will produce an amazing harvest, but they are six principles to guide your homeschooling journey.

  1. Integrity: say what you mean and mean what you say


I can still hear the threat: “If you don’t stop fighting, I’m going to pull this car over and you can just walk home.”  The problem with that? The car was in the middle of nowhere and wasn’t going to happen. Make sure you can follow through on your words because our actions influence the power of our words, which leads us to number 2.



  1. Authority: be the boss


Our words and actions contribute to the effect our authority has on our children. If we’re characterized by saying what we mean and meaning what we say, our authority will be respected.


It’s easy to let my kids run things, but can I just tell you some truth? Letting four little “tyrants” try and run one kingdom called the “Van Roekel’s” is a recipe for disaster. Parents, it’s okay to be the boss. The boss who is motivated out of love and what is best for your family as a whole.


Set boundaries and watch your kids thrive.



  1. Love: accept, applaud, and show compassion


Ah. I’ll confess: there are moments I struggle with this one.  I love my children, but sometimes I find it difficult to accept them, applaud them, and show them compassion.


I need to express my acceptance of the child who’s hesitancy drives me to the brink of insanity. Then I need to applaud the attempt at trying new things even if it is four years later, and then show compassion when the fear influences.


This is a kind of love that is only possible because God’s love flows through me. And I cling to him on a daily basis.


  1. Forgiveness: relationally and spiritually


I have lots of practice with this one. First, I’ve sought God’s forgiveness because my attitude stank and secondly, I’ve needed my kids forgiveness for the times I’ve overreacted, not followed through on a consequence, or failed to love them in a way that grows them.


I’ve also had to teach my children how to seek forgiveness from each other and God as well. A quick “sorry” thrown at an offended brother or sister is not sufficient in our home because it doesn’t allow for forgiveness to be requested and received.

  1. Honor: respect each other (sibling to sibling and parent to child)


Honor. It’s the bedrock for a successful homeschooling experience, whether you’re just starting at the beginning or somewhere in between their school years. Many struggles find their root in a lack of honor.


I’ve had to learn to honor my children’s different learning styles, pace (still a struggle for this speedy mama and her meandering turtle), and their time.


Honor amongst siblings is just as important as honor between parent and child. Siblings will quarrel and compete, but it’s still possible for them to honor one another and it’s up to us to teach them.


  1. Establish a rhythm: but do not rush


We don’t rush, but neither do we dawdle. We work through the material—sometimes quickly or slowly, depending on the concept—but progress, growth, and understanding take place.


I stay aware of the time, but the clock has been banished from our school area because it brings out the irritable mother that lives inside me. Our school days flow better because the clock is not staring at me.


So there you have it! Six tips for nurturing the heart soil of your kiddos. I haven’t executed these perfectly, but they have guided me on the journey to till the soil of my kids’ hearts so that the seeds I plant can grow.


God does the growing and we get to partner with him—let’s do our best to till the soil so our kids can be beacons of light in a weary world.



Jessica Van Roekel
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Jessica Van Roekel

Jessica Van Roekel is a woman on the journey to wholeness through brokenness. She believes that through Christ our personal histories don’t have to define our present or determine our future. Her greatest desire is to see people live this ‘God-life’ with all the power and grace that God provides. Jessica lives in a rural community with her husband and four children. She leads worship on Sundays, but seeks to be a worshiper every day. You can connect with her at and on Facebook.
Jessica Van Roekel
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