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Fifteen Years of Homeschooling// ep 191

this podcast is sponsored by Apologia

Here we are on our 15th year of homeschooling. It’s been a journey and this year it will look a bit different. Listen in as I catch you up on our 15th year of homeschool and how we are changing things up this year.

Previous episodes:

No Fear Of the Future

The Myth of Finding Yourself: Be Found in Christ. // ep188

We Are Not Supposed to Know it All//ep 187

Who Are You Letting in Your Home? // ep 186

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Previous episodes:

You Can’t Grow Your Own Fruit//190

No More Fear of the Future// ep 189

What Are You Seeking? The Things of Earth or the Things

The Cure for All Our Messes

Teach Us to Number Our Days// ep 179

Less Clutter & More Joy. Lessons From Quarantine // ep 178

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15th Year of Homeschool

It was noticeably dark at 6:00 this morning. And eerily quiet. Gone are the light-filled early mornings, when the sun was up at 5 am. Gone are the symphony of birds that awoke me in early spring and summer. Their songs in the morning were so loud they often woke me before my alarm. Mama birds fluttering about tending their new nest full of babes. Hungry babies tweeting about. It was such a splendid and comforting sound.

Yet, this morning the alarm went off and it was still dark. I lay there listening to the quiet. It was deafening. And I thought about how just a few short months ago, this time of day was so busy and bright…and loud.

I couldn’t help but think it was a picture of the season of life I am heading toward. As those mama birds now have empty nests and quiet mornings, so will I.

We began our 15th year of homeschool today. One has graduated and is on her second year of college and full-fledged adulthood. Another, is readying to do the same.

My second oldest child, and oldest boy, is embarking on his senior year. I can fill this space with the cliches of, “…it goes by so fast…” (it does) but you know the drill. And if you don’t, you will.

Today I just kept thinking of the quiet morning. It was a sobering reminder that for all the times I just wished for some quiet around here…be careful what you wish for.

Like those mama birds, my mornings will turn to quiet for good some day.

I am so thankful for the gift of homeschool. I am truly aware that it is a gift to spend each day with my kids. To enjoy their company. To learn with them. To grow with them. To build our family.

We spent a few hours this morning around the kitchen table. We had a special breakfast, discussed our history and the Bible and literature. But it was about so much more. These babes of mine will leave this nest one day. I hope they will look back and remember a home that was secure and a home that even though was so imperfect, we ultimately built our family on the foundation of God and His Word.

I am savoring this last year of homeschool for my oldest. I won’t rush through the lessons. I will take each day as God gives, knowing that each moment will quickly become a memory. May they be beautiful memories though.

I am excited about this upcoming school year. I have learned over the years what homeschooling is really about. And very little of it has to do with academics. Fifteen homeschool years ago, I was a scared mom who had no idea what she was doing. And look what God has done!

And now we await all that He will do this year and beyond…

We chose this verse for our upcoming homeschool year:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Philippians 3:12 NIV

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Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool

Real Homeschool: Letting Go of the Pinterest-Perfect and Instagram Ideal Homeschool

Simply Living for Him Devotional: Less Clutter and More Joy

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Tried and True Homeschooling Tips

This year we begin our 15th year of homeschooling. Having successfully graduated one that is off at college, and still homeschooling three more, I can clearly look back now at the things I wished I had known sooner! But my mistakes can hopefully be someone’s help!

Hear my story- An Unlikely Homeschooler

So, here are my biggest tips to homeschooling! (for more homeschooling encouragement, click here)

Homeschool is not school at home.

Early on I tried to recreate the schoolroom in my house. It took a few years until I realized,  homeschooling is completely different than just doing school at home. It is a lifestyle and a way of life. It provides the freedom to learn without being confined to four walls. You do not need a classroom in your home to teach. In fact, the best learning took place in our yard, on the couch, and at the kitchen table.

Real-life is really the teacher.

Most of the best lessons we learned over the years were never in a plan book or a textbook. They took place in real life. After all, we are preparing our children for life, not a test.

It’s okay to not finish a book.

Learning doesn’t take place when we cram. That may store knowledge into our minds, but true learning takes place when it is paced according to the learner’s needs. Don’t stress about finishing every book. I learned that schools rarely gets through a whole text in a year. And if you don’t finish during the school year, but you really want or need to, you have time. Finish it over the summer or even next school year. The beauty of homeschooling is that you are on your own schedule.

Stick with what works.

Let’s face it. These days there is so much available to homeschoolers and most if it is really good! We have endless options. But if you find something you like, stick with it. Don’t let the new and latest curriculum tempt you from what is already tried and true. Otherwise, we play the game of curriculum swap every year and we never really get into a good routine. So stick with what works, even when your friend says, “Oh, I saw this new math book…” 😉

Keep it simple.

My mantra. In all things. Simple is best and when you weed out all of the distractions, it is truly beneficial for everyone. Homeschooling does NOT have to be complicated. In fact, it is glorious when it isn’t! Too often we left the distractions drown us. Be free of all the extras. Keep God at the center. Love on your family. Enjoy learning together. Build your family. Not just a transcript.

Listen to the podcast- Simple Homeschool

Relationships trump academics every time.

One of the greatest blessings that have been a result of homeschooling is our family and the relationships we have built. We are a close-knit family. And I believe because we invested our time and energy into that, it has paid off. Was it always easy? NO. But nothing worth doing ever is. When attitudes were poor, instead of pushing books more, those were the times we focused on character and discipleship. Because when the relationship between you and your child is solid, it makes academic issues easier to conquer- together.

Never, by any means, compare.

The comparison trap will steal all the joy from your homeschool. Your homeschool is not supposed to look like anyone else’s. God created YOUR family for a unique purpose and He will accomplish those purposes uniquely to your family. When you look at what everyone else is doing, it is coveting someone else’s life. Keep your eyes on God. Don’t think the grass is greener elsewhere. Tend to your own. And remember, you answer to God alone. We work for an audience of one.

Keep God at the Center.

Want to be “successful” in your homeschool? Pray. Let God lead you. Don’t take your eyes off of HIm. Seek Him all things. That’s the key. Read all about this in my book Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead YourHomeschool.

Get the e-course to show you how to teach using the Bible as your core–>Bible Based Homeschooling course

Read all about our journey from Kindergarten through High School on my NEW BOOK!

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To learn more about my Homeschool Consulting and Mentoring visit: Homeschool Consulting and Mentoring. Don’t walk this journey alone.

Read–>My Perspective Changed About Homeschooling When My Daughter Went to College

FIND ALL MY HOMESCHOOL POSTS HERE

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Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead YourHomeschool

Real Homeschool: Letting Go of the Pinterest-Perfect and Instagram-Ideal Homeschool

Get My e-course: Bible Based Homeschooling: Learn how YOU can teach all subjects using the Bible!

Homeschool Consulting Appointment—>Book Now!

homeschool, Simply...Living For Him

Homeschool: More Than Books

As we approach the end of this journey for our oldest child, I have learned that homeschooling is more than books. Homeschooling is more than tests. Our kids are more than a curriculum.

From the early years on, I pored over curriculum catalogs, dreamed big dreams of what our days would look like, spent hours researching the best methods, and ultimately life proved much different than those early dreams.

Homeschooling is a way of life, and education is not limited to the quantification of a test grade. My kids have learned far beyond walls of a classroom.

That time we bought a house, sold our house, and then it all fell through? They learned about some real life there- mortgages, inspections, attorney reviews. All things I never knew about until I was an adult!

Those times learning how to raise animals here on our little hobby farm- building coops and barn stalls, planting and harvesting a garden, milking goats? Not just skills that involved science and math, but skills you can’t just learn about in a book. Caring for living creatures, showing compassion, responsibility, and dedication.

The times that we walked through deep sorrow and grief as tragedy struck in lives close to us? Difficult times, but life lessons for sure. Attending funerals, handling grief, being there for friends, and dealing with emotions as they drove us to our Savior’s arms. Lessons that can never be taught in a book.

The joys, the excitement, the highs…all experiences that must be lived. Not taught in a book.

Relationships that have been built. Bonds that have formed. Our family is a so tight-knit and close, all because we have lived each day together.

So while I remember those early years of thinking I need that perfect curriculum, that perfect set up, that perfect room, that perfect method. I see that the only perfect was really the life God was creating for us to live…and the learning as we went. Experience has after all been, the best teacher.

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Read about our journey in my best-selling books:

Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool

Real Homeschool: Letting Go of the Pinterest-Perfect and Instagram- Ideal Homeschool

Get my devotional

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