As the final installment of this little Top 10 list of mine, here are the final top three things I’ve learned homeschooling my 16-year old daughter the past three years:

#3. I am more patient than I realized. Three years ago, the idea that I was a patient person was almost comical. I’m okay with admitting it wasn’t a personality trait high on my list. But then I started homeschooling and I discovered how much capacity for patience I really had. Or perhaps more accurately put, God was so kind to give me many opportunities to exercise and grow patience within me. So don’t think that you could never do something, it just might be the exact opportunity God desires for you to do, so he can grow a specific characteristic in you!

#2. God’s plans are far bigger and far reaching than mine. When we decided to homeschool, it was to serve a few purposes and with the understanding it was for a season – a minimum of two years, possibly three and we would reassess. Little did we know, God had planned all along to use our choice to homeschool to prepare our daughter to move 2,000 miles away three years later. Not one who liked change, our daughter nervously ventured into a whole new realm and group of people in the homeschool community. Very soon, she began to see that change wasn’t the enemy. She tried new things. She made new friends. God even used her to be the first to bring to light His future desires for us to move cross country. Rather than be fearful to leave the only place she knew, she was energized. Fast forward two years now that we’ve just moved cross country–we are blown away by how she’s freely stepped out without hesitation into unknown territories that we never dreamed she would. God knew what was needed three years ago in preparation for what He had in store for her this year. Never underestimate God’s purposes when he nudges you to do something!

#1. Time is limited and I need to make the most of every moment. I have been blessed to have a close relationship with my daughter, but I had no idea how much closer we would become through the homeschooling process. Due to our extra time together, I had even more opportunities to speak into her life to help her grow and learn through some difficult situations and challenges. What a blessing it has been to have the opportunity to closely watch her grow tremendously these past three years. I continually thought about how soon the day she leaves for college will come. I kept in the forefront of my mind daily that my window of time to speak into her life and help her soar in the safety net of our home was dwindling. I strive to make every day count!

Whatever your day entails with your children, make every moment matter. Our job as parents is critical — don’t let a day go by without speaking into your child’s life!