One of the questions I get asked most often is “How do you homeschool?” This question is usually followed by “I could never do it-I would kill my kids or something like that.
I generally end up feeling like they think I am a saint and that I am perfect.
And that’s far from the truth. I’m just like every other Mom out there. I lose my temper and lack patience, too.
The short answer I usually give the person asking the question is that I homeschool by the grace of God.
I want to share some tips for how I do what I do. I know that everyone will be different, but I think that these are good tips for just about everyone.
My 5 Tips to Homeschool Successfully
- Know Your Why
Why do you homeschool?
Why do you want to homeschool?
My story is that I was homeschooled as a child and thought that I would never do it when I had my own kids. I have always believed strongly in Christian Education but didn’t think I would go the homeschooling route. Because of this, BJ went to a Christian School until the end of Grade 2. Sometime during her last year at the school, the Lord started to speak to me about homeschooling. I remember telling Him that there was no way. I wasn’t interested, but the Holy Spirit kept poking at me. Eventually, I told him I would talk to my husband, Bernd. I thought that would be the end of it because he had never been interested at all. I was blown away by the fact he said: “we should pray about it.” So our why is that God has called us to homeschool our children. Every time I doubt myself, I bring myself back to our why. God has called us to homeschool our kids.
- Have a Plan
I think it’s highly important to have at least some sort of plan. So far we have used a big mix of learning curriculums. Each year, I talk to my kids to see what kind of things they are interested in and add some of those things in during the school year. The idea is that I will have decided before each new school year exactly what curriculum we need for each child for that year. I will also make a plan for each week, look through the school books and decide what needs to happen in order to finish that year. I have found that flying by the seat of my pants is not beneficial for my stress level.
- Joy in the Moments
One major thing I have learned through homeschooling is that we cannot get bogged down by the details. It’s highly important to find joy in everything.
Homeschooling is a lot of work, but half the battle is really finding joy in every moment.
It’s important not to stress about how well your kids are or are not doing and have that be a break in the relationship. So I try to find the joy in moments that are outside of school work. It’s so important to see my kids have individual personalities and interests.
- Trust in the Lord
I have written about my one-word trust in a previous post.
I think the biggest thing that can be learned from homeschooling is you need to always trust in the Lord.
A dear friend often tells me that I need to let the Holy Spirit be the teacher. That has been such a good encouragement for me, so I want to pass it on to you. God already knows exactly what kind of things your kids need to learn in order to be successful in life. He already knows their talents, their dreams, and what they will be someday. It’s our job to hear from the Lord and do what He has called us to do.
- Give Yourself Grace
The most important thing to remember is that you will never do everything right. You are a human being and nothing will ever go exactly as planned. It’s important to remember that God gives us grace as well. It doesn’t make any sense to try to be perfect all the time. The other thing is, that you need to realize that when you do lose your temper and get angry with your kids, you must be able to forgive yourself. After you have asked your kids for forgiveness, move on. Don’t spend the next day beating yourself up over what you didn’t do right. If you didn’t get much sleep at night and need to sleep in, don’t be hard on yourself.
Start school later.
Take a lazier, movie day.
These are some of the ways that I do homeschool. Remember each and every one of you is different. If you take the time to figure out your why for homeschooling, you will always have something to go back to. When you want to give up always remember why you are doing this.
Do you want a better relationship with your kids?
Do you want them to have a Christian Education?
Did you need to bring them home to help with school work?
Take the time to remember. Very important. What about you? How do YOU do homeschool?
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