Nearly two decades ago, I began homeschooling. That might put me in the ranks of a seasoned expert, but in all honesty, I’m simply experienced.
I took each day as it came, asked the Lord for wisdom, and did the best I knew how. I was a very impatient kindergarten mom but loved teaching concepts through food and cooking. I did well with teaching and explaining biblical stories and concepts but dreaded science, and the kids knew it.
So, what am I going to share with my daughters as they begin having their own families?
I recently heard a pastor say that to be a successful Christian, you need three ingredients: the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the community of God’s people. I began wondering what ingredients you need to be a successful homeschooler. Here’s what I’ve experienced.
I have to be careful when I begin to plan a school year. It’s easy to over plan or expect too much from myself or my children. I’m quick to get caught up in every new elective, subject, or curriculum. Instead, I need to focus on the basics, plan realistically, and allow time to just be. I’d rather my children have beautiful memories of homeschooling than a constant image of mom being burnt out!
We live in a day of distractions. Between text message alerts, phone calls, enrichment activity opportunities, play dates, and more, it’s hard to stay consistent with homeschooling. However, understanding the gravity of my responsibility for the educational success of little one forces me to set a school day plan and keep to it.
Saying no to outside distractions and staying focused on getting a good day’s work in pays off in the long run. A word to the wise: When it comes to homeschooling, I find it much harder to play catch up than to maintain consistency.
Long Term Vision
Success goes beyond the details of what is taught when educating your little one. Success is the relationship you have with your children at the end of the journey. Having a long term vision for your homeschooling helps with the day to day frustration or exasperation one might experience occasionally. It also helps in making directional decisions for how time is spent.
Very early in our homeschooling journey, I learned the value of sitting on the couch and enjoying read-aloud time. Comprehension was being learned, and perhaps some grammar too. But more than that, a relationship was forming that was priceless.
As we plan, whether for a full year or simply the next week, I hope to keep these three pointers in the forefront of my mind. Enjoy the Journey.