Everyone a Homeschooler

It has little to do with academics. The three ‘R’s of reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic may never be discussed. Scheduling is variable, sometimes nonexistent, curriculum often ignored, college degrees are irrelevant, and lesson prep is the furthest thing from your mind. Nevertheless,

 

You are a homeschooler. Every parent is.

 

When one discusses a child’s education, questions like the following are asked: … (more…)

Don’t Forget to Remember

“The church at large…never has learnt, and never can learn, this truth in such a way as to be beyond the danger of forgetting it…” (C.K. Barrett)

It is always shocking to me how quickly I forget the details in a Bible story, or the reference for a well-known Scripture. …how is this possible? Haven’t I heard the stories enough to remember them?

But consider the meaning of “remember.”

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Planting the Word

Yay for Spring! I have dirt under my fingernails and I’m not sorry for it. 🙂

I love the thrill of a new shoot peeking upward, announcing its humble, miraculous presence. My daughter and I just planted bush beans last week, and now a few little pale proofs of life have pushed their way to the surface.

I’m pretty sure that each little plant has emerged because we put the seed there last week, and because we watered it. And I’m also thinking it will survive if we keep watering it and making sure it’s got enough light.

On that note…

The Word of God is spoken of as seed in the Gospels. In the lives of my children (cute little plots of earth), I am a sower. It is my crucial task to sow the seed of the Word of God into their hearts with fervor and care.

I try to care for the ‘soil,’ removing rocks and weeds (discipline), shooing away the fowls of the air (praying God’s protection for them, and shielding them as best I can from unGodly influence), and ensuring that the seeds fall on the dirt rather than the sidewalk (well-placed direction and criticism).

But I must remember that without the Seed, my fussing with the ‘soil’ is pointless.

It seems that most parents are very concerned about keeping the ‘soil’ tilled and weeded (keeping ‘bad influences’ out), but are often scant with the sowing (getting the good stuff IN). This is usually not intentional; most people are simply overwhelmed with the prospect of teaching their children the Scripture, especially when none of us are perfect.

For instance, It can feel a bit hypocritical teaching the following verse:

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city”(Prov 16:32)

…when I just bit someone’s head off. I say this from experience. Eek.

But let me encourage you (and myself, please): these flaws and faults confronted in Scripture offer perfect opportunities to show humility in the presence of our children. We all pale in comparison to the glorious standards set forth in the Bible; it’s OK to admit this to our children:

“We all need the grace of God, and we all are trying every day to be more like Jesus. This verse tells us how/why…”

So, back to the seed…If I don’t diligently sow, what will I do with an empty garden bed? Is it not effort wasted, weeding and watering nothing but dirt? Thinning the plants comes later (rightly dividing the word of truth), but there will be nothing to thin if I don’t liberally sow now.

How exactly do I do this, you ask?

In my next post, I will be addressing the practical side: How to begin planting the Word in a child’s heart. See you then! 🙂

 

Homeschooling Tips from Gospelmom

First things first. Always start with prayer, Bible reading, and Scripture memorization, no matter what. This has a huge impact on the rest of your day, and shows your children what matters most. We use the One Year Bible for Children and learn one verse per week (of my choosing).

Cover the basics. Bible, Math, Language Arts. That’s it. Don’t worry too much–at least at first–about all the electives. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed about all you could teach your children. Just get the “Three R’s” covered, and supplement with ‘living books’ to peak their interest in further subjects.

Follow the rules (state laws). Every state has different laws that pertain to homeschooling: you may need only to select a church-related school, or you may have to jump through flaming hoops on roller skates (hopefully the former). Go to the HSLDA website to find out what your state requires.

Have a plan. Decide now how much of each subject you want to accomplish per week, and estimate how long it will take. Think about how this will fit into your day. A great book to help find a schedule that works is Managers of Their Homes by Steve and Teri Maxwell. I use this, and love it.

Find a network. Google your city and “home school support group” and see what comes up. You may also consider an online support group or email loop, where you can ask questions and partake in discussions about everything homeschool-related. Yahoo groups are a good resource. I can’t stress enough how much it helps me to bounce things off other homeschooling moms. We’re all in this together!

Study. To put it in perspective, people spend years studying how to teach one age group–even one class! You will be teaching your child every subject, and if you’re like most homeschool families, multiple levels at the same time. Research what’s out there and available to help you teach, and to inspire your kids to learn. You can do it!

Housework is schoolwork. Don’t underestimate the power of a chore done right! Your children will learn the pleasure of consistency and neatness by doing laundry, math/measuring by helping you cook, physics by vacuuming and biology by disinfecting toilets…;)

You’re in control. Too much too soon? Slow down. Are your kids bored to death? Speed up. It’s your foot on the gas.

It’s OK to quit. If you decide a certain curriculum isn’t working for you, stop using it and find what works. This is why you homeschool!

Foot off the brake! There are lots of ‘right’ ways to teach a given concept, and there are innumerable online resources to tell you how. Decide which direction you’re going, and hit the gas. Just do it!

Pat yourself on the back. You’re doing a good work, and though it’s not easy, it’s worth it!