I’ve been homeschooling for 18 years. Where did the time go?
It really is a wonder that my children are doing as well as they are when I consider my abilities or rather, disabilities. In all seriousness though, God has taught me so much about what really matters in my homeschool. Here are eighteen things I have learned in 18 years of homeschooling.
1. Education is more than academics. As a person who was highly prone to making an idol out of education, this is no small statement. Honestly, you can be the most well-educated, even the most intelligent person and yet lack the character to impact the world for good.
2. Parents are more than qualified to teach their children. In fact, research has shown that motivation is more important than education. Think about it. Who is more motivated to ensure that your child receives the best education possible? A teacher of 30 + kids or a parent?
3. God fills in the gaps. I have seen this over and over again. Sweet mamas, trust Him. He is working all of these chapters in your life for good. Breathe and trust!
4. Much can be learned from homeschool parents that have gone before you. Listen, learn and consider other ways of doing things. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
5. Don’t copycat. On the other hand, blindly following isn’t good for anyone. Learn from others and adapt curricula and teaching styles to fit your unique family but don’t copy another family like some algebraic formula. There is no one formula for the perfect homeschool.
6. Just when you think you’ve got this thing…things change. Well, we wouldn’t want to grow complacent or overly self-assured, would we? If something isn’t working, change it. That is what eBay is for, no? Read, learn, pray, grow. If something is clearly not working in your homeschool, it is okay to change things up – even before the end of the semester/year.
7. Learning issues aren’t disabilities, they are differences. God makes no mistakes. People who learn differently were made that way by God. “So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?” Exodus 4:11 Teach to your child’s learning style and keep working on the weaknesses.
8. Character-training is a subject. Make time for it. You’ll be glad you did.
9. Play is a subject for young kids. Kindergarten should take about half an hour. Read, love and play, play, play!
10. Interest-led learning is still learning. Text books are not the only way. Be brave – think outside the box!
11. Prepare for the teen years. Deal with your teens in an understanding way. What were you like when you were that age? A bit of compassion goes a long way. Oh, and the changes of adolescence can begin before the teen years. Be prepared!
12. There is extraordinary power in prayer. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
13. There is extraordinary power in the Word. Too busy for Bible study? Remember your goals – the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1Timothy 1:5) And this, “So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
14. Observe and point out the impact of world views early and often. Teach your kids discernment. If you don’t know what a world view is, find out!
15. Teach apologetics earnestly. The Christian faith is under attack. May I dare to say that we are no longer in a post-modern culture but an anti-Christian one? Teach your kids the reason for their faith. “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord.” Isaiah 1:18
16. Don’t compare. There is always someone that appears to have it all together. Yet, all of us have some trial or tribulation. God is weaving together your unique story for a great purpose.
17. It is unlikely that you will ever ‘get it all done’. What ever that even is! You may, however, get everything that you can done and that is okay!
18. Not to discourage you, but your house will never be clean! <grin>
What wisdom have you gained from your homeschooling years?
For more homeschool encouragement, visit Marianne at her blog Abundant Life.