I am again participating in the Blog Cruise for the TOS Homeschool Crew. This week’s question is:
“What advice do you have for those considering homeschooling or just starting out?”
That’s a great question. I have lots of advice and opinions, and as this is my blog I get to say them any way I want to (consider yourself warned!).
First, homeschooling is one of the biggest blessings God has given our family. It is worth any effort to make it possible for a mother to stay at home to teach, train, and nurture her children through homeschooling. It is not easy. I’ll be the first one to admit there are days when I just want to talk to an adult or go a few minutes without little hands touching me and needing my help or attention. Living on one income is a challenge, to say the least, but it can be done.
Homeschooling also takes time - lots of time. However, in Deutoronomy chapter 6 God has directed us to teach our children “when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up”. Homeschooling makes it possible to live out that scripture in a very real way. Yes, it is a full time job, but it is one God has made the responsibility of the parents. He will bless and magnify your efforts to be enough, as he promises in Phillipians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Pray. Pray about what to teach your children. Ask God how best to reach each child’s mind and heart. He knows them better than you, He created them! While parenting does not come with a manual, per se, scripture and personal revelation – those answers to prayer – will help you through. God is waiting anxiously for you to just ask.
Once you have begun homeschooling, assuming this is something you have prayed and sought God’s leading on, my advice is to never give up. This is not a sprint, quickly started and quickly finished. Homeschooling is a marathon. You are to run the race set before you one day and one step at a time. The weather will not always be sunny. There will be winds and rain, times when the very ground you run on will seem to be shaking beneath your feet. There will be times when you cannot run and must walk. Do not give up! Satan will attack your efforts to teach your children at home because he knows how much it will strengthen your family. Cry out to God to bless your efforts, to straighten the path under your feet as you run the race.
“1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” - Hebrews 12:1-2
The other advice I have for those beginning this homeschool journey is to do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. If something is not working for your family, even if it works for every other homeschool family you know, stop doing it and try something else! There is no one right way to homeschool. Repeat after me: There is no one right way to homeschool. While we use unit studies right now, what works for you may be classical education, Charlotte Mason, workbooks and textbooks, or some combination of things. What works for us this year may not work next year as our family and children grow and develop. That’s okay!
One last secret – you will find joy in the journey. It is not all hard work and toil, nor is it all easy going. Joy comes in small bits along the homeschooling path if you just look for it. I promise you can do this with God’s help. He’s your leader and your backup. He will never leave you or forsake you.