I was recently asked what it takes to homeschool. A dear friend of mine has decided to homeschool her kids and as with anything new, it can look a bit overwhelming. These are just a few things that I recommend that have helped me all of these years to stay on track and not become burdened.
First, I would definitely have a scripture from the Bible that is your “key” verse. Ours was Deuteronomy 6:5-9. A key scripture is great to remind you of the big picture when things look bleak at the current moment.
Next, have fun with learning! Remember learning is an adventure and doesn’t have to be dull and boring. One of my favorite memories was reading Sacagawea to our kids in a teepee that we made on our land. We also took a hike and pretended to cross the Platt River re-enacting the journey of Lewis and Clark.
Third, it’s okay to modify curriculum to suit your needs. To some, this seems easy to do. To others (like me), this thought is out of the norm and can be overwhelming. One thing I have learned is that there is no perfect homeschool curriculum. I have spent thousands of dollars on trying to find the perfect curriculum to fit each individual’s need and it doesn’t exist. I finally have created my own ideas and used many free library resources, resulting in lots of saved money.
Slow and Steady is all that is needed. Our human nature tends to compare ourselves to others. This is true in the homeschool world as well. I have seen many parents compare their teaching style, kids academic progress, and how well they keep their house clean to other homeschoolers. God created us different, which is a blessing. Our home school is not going to look and feel like someone else’s home school. That is okay! Some people homeschool year round. Others, school for three months and take a month off; repeating the process throughout the year. For us, we worked hard on school in the fall, winter, and spring. Then in summer, we stopped formal school and worked on the homestead chopping wood, working on the cabin, and repairing chicken fences, etc.
At times if our kids were struggling with a particular subject, I would stop teaching all other subjects and only focus on the subject they needed more practice with. Granted, I was always reading living history stories aloud as a family, so they were constantly getting history and a little geography worked in.
Finally, homeschooling is ultimately about the relationship you are building with your children. Spending so much time one on one with the kids is a wonderful experience and I am seeing the fruit of all the labor that we put in come to fruition. My kids are nearing the end of our homeschool journey and I love the friendship that is growing between us. My 19 year old son, Aaron, gave me a huge hug the other day and looked into my eyes and said, “Mom, I love you so much. Thank you for teaching me the way you did.” Music to a mom’s ears. Especially when we had a rough couple years when he was in 4th to 6th grade.
Please know that these are just suggestions and there are many great resources out there to help with the task of schooling your kids at home. One of my favorites is www.simplycharlottemason.com. Remember have fun! Your kids will learn and what they lack, they can always learn later. I haven’t stopped learning just because I am not in school. I learn something new everyday!
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills-from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1,2