I love this picture! It depicts a family sitting around the table and learning is taking place with the mom and dad facilitating and enjoying it! We have enjoyed our home schooling journey and I thought I would share with you some things I have learned along the way.
Everyone does it just a little bit different...and that's ok!
Your home school will not look just like Sally's, just as your hair, clothes, house or car doesn't either. Your home school is just that - yours - and that is how God intended it to be. As long as you follow His leading and honor your husband, you will have the best home school you can have! In other words, it's good to get ideas from others, but beware of the" Comparison Game". You will NEVER win and will always come up short. Be willing to tweak things as your family grows and changes, but don't worry about how others are doing it. Do it God's way, not Sally's!
There are zillions of choices in curriculum..some will work for your family and some won't!
I remember feeling overwhelmed my first year to go to a Home School Convention. There were hundred of vendors all proclaiming that their curriculum was the miracle that I had been looking for to fix all the problems I might have had with my children being smarter than Einstein! Right! We have enjoyed trying out different kinds of curricula and figuring out what works for our family and what doesn't. Research is key if you are just starting out. I probably spent over 200 hours (you don't have to spend this long) that first year researching the pros and cons of every curricula I could find. In the end I chose something familiar to start off with and then branched out from there. Going to SHEM (Home School Convention in Springfield, Mo) and listening to seasoned home schoolers was a great encouragement to me.
Home schooling is more than recreating the classroom in your living room...learning is everywhere!
We used to try to recreate the classroom in our home until we learned that learning can be everywhere and is what you make of it. Why try to recreate the classroom in my home when the classroom is trying to create the cozy atmosphere of home in their reading circles and more?
Schedules are hard to implement and keep...but they are so worth the effort!
We have gone from no schedules to very strict schedules and everything in between. A balance in this area is very important. Keep trying. Tweak your schedule often until you find your groove. Start with scheduling one hour and forget the rest. When you have that hour down to a science then add more and go from there. Eventually you will get it. I promise!
You don't get snow days...but plenty of other opportunities to not have school!
Snow days? Nope! They can play after their school work is done. We do get the privilege of having "Daddy Days" in our home so no one misses the "No Snow Days". On "Daddy Days", Daddy has off and we do whatever he does. The whole family enjoys this and it is a highlight of our home schooling experience.
Your children take their cues form you...in every way!
This can be scary, but it is what you make of it. If you are groggy and draggy in the morning, your kids will be, too. If you are a grump, your kids will be, too. If you hate school, guess what? Your kids will, too! I'm not suggesting you can be perfect every single day, but learning is more caught than taught!
What works for one child may not work for another...be wiling to try and meet your children's needs!
Being determined, and having stick-to-it-iveness is commendable and appreciated, but don't be afraid to step out of the box and try new things to help a struggling child or burned out Mommy. If you believe you will harm your children's future education because you tried a new curriculum or learning approach, you may have forgotten that all college professors do not teach alike and neither do all colleges use the same curriculum. It's ok to try new things!
Chores MUST be distributed among the family members...Mommy cannot do it all!
Having a regular, scheduled chore time has been a blessing to our home and how efficiently it runs. Another suggestion is to keep the same chores for longer periods of time. This ensures the child knows how to be thorough at their chore and the result is less whining. They tend to put up less resistance if they know what is expected of them daily.
Instilling God's Word in your child's heart and teaching/living Godly character is more important than the "3 Rs"!
I know that is a shocker! If you will give your children character, they will have what it takes to get the learning they need when the time comes. Enough said!
And last, but not least, I'd like to leave you with my motto:
Tomorrow is a brand new day full of new chances...a clean slate!
This is what keeps me going. If today was a horrible day and I feel like a total failure, I know that we can start all over tomorrow! Just as the Psalmist told us how our wonderful Lord's mercies are new every morning, so is each morning in home schooling! No matter what happened the day before, a good night's rest, a good breakfast, and reading from God's Word around the kitchen table to start our day off gives everything fresh perspective!
If this list of ten things I have learned from 7 years of home schooling has been an encouragement to you or you have anything to add to the list, I'd love to hear from you! Just leave me a comment below and have a blessed day!
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