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homeschool, Simply...Living For Him

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…” ūüėČ

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

FIND ALL MY HOMESCHOOL POSTS HERE

Get My Best-Selling Homeschooling Books:

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.

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

Join the Community!~(FOR ALL WOMEN)

Listen to my podcast here

homeschool

Externals Vs. Eternals

I just returned from speaking at the Teach Them Diligently Convention in Arkansas this weekend and it was a blessed time! I cherish these trips and the opportunities to speak to so many families that are investing in their families by homeschooling their children.

As I  spoke to families of all walks on their journey, one thing became so clear. Everyone wants to do the best job they can. Everyone wants that perfect curriculum or setup. Everyone wants to succeed. And that is a good thing!

And as I walked the vendor halls with so many amazing resources and so many different choices, I was however struck how we need to be so very careful to not measure our success in those externals. It is all about the eternals.

I truly believe the most important book you can teach in your homeschool is the Bible. Without it, everything else is for naught. You children’s core should be shaped by God’s truths.

So while curriculum and resources and all that stuff are important, do not let it take place of the truly important.

The Bible teaches your children who God is, who they are in Christ, godly wisdom, moral laws, and more. It will shape them with God as their center. It is without a doubt, the most important book in your homeschool.

I have seen the Bible and God transform my life. I know without a doubt that my life is built upon the truths found in that book…which is more than a book…it is living Truth.

I must pass that down to the next generation. They must be equipped in this world that is so upside down, with the absolute truths of God’s Word. There really is no better way to equip them for life, than to follow God.

Once they are following Him and His truths, they will be ready for all that comes their way in life.

Academics are important, but life isn’t live based on them alone. And I believe when we are following God, they will naturally fall into place because we will want to do well, work hard, and be a good steward of our learning.

God alone is what we live for. And when we forget that and start to live for the temporary things of this world, we will struggle to keep our focus.

So remember, above anything you can do, teach your child who God is, and teach from His Word. You can’t go wrong.

My new e-course is NOW available! Join many others who have signed up to make the Bible the foundation of their homeschool!

 

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All the Things I Worried About Never Came True

As we near the end of this homeschooling journey for my oldest (don’t worry I still have three more kids to go and many more years of homeschooling!) I can’t help but think about all of the worries I had early on. There were so many things that kept me awake at night…that almost stopped me from even starting this journey.

But God.

 Thankfully, He led me to press on and here we are. 

Yet, I wanted to address the major concerns I had, and to show you how they never really were an issue…because I know many of you out there may be in just the place I was 13 years ago…a scared mom feeling the calling to take this step but unsure of where it would lead.

And really…you will never know the outcome in the beginning. In fact, you aren’t supposed to. It is a journey that has to unfold as you go, and you need to trust God.

However, some of the most common fears I had, I can only imagine you might have as well…
  • Socialization.¬†I know, even typing that makes me cringe because we all know it is NOT even an issue‚Ķyet, there are still many who think it is. Bottom line after 13 years‚Ķmy kids are beyond well socialized. And the kind of socialization that I would want for them. They are friends with all age groups (and not peer-dependent) and not just those their age/grade. They have relationships with little ones all the way up to adults. In fact, I have realized that the kind of socialization that takes place in a school setting isn‚Äôt really ideal, but the kind that has taken place because we homeschool is actually more fitting for ‚Äúreal life.‚ÄĚ
  • What will people think?¬†This one for me was big, but I realize¬†for many, it is a non-issue. But truly, my own stinkin‚Äô pride got in the way early on. I didn‚Äôt want to be questioned about my decision or feel the need to ‚Äúdefend‚ÄĚ it. Over the years though, I really do not rely on what people think, only what God thinks. I am answering to Him and not to man. But, truly, I¬† have also found that most people do not think I am crazy or weird, but are intrigued and generally interested in homeschooling (and if they do think it is weird, so be it! ūüėČ )
  • Am I really capable to teach my children?¬†Yes and no. I say that because am I really capable¬†of anything in life? Not on my own, but with God of course. If He calls you to something, He will equip you. And NO you do not need a college degree or teaching certificate to teach your own children. The myriad of curriculum choices available these days and the world we live in where anyone can learn anything with all of the information available to us has changed that thinking. I want my children to ultimately become independent¬†learners anyway. Our world has changed in that if you are able to research, you can learn anything. So absolutely, we are all able to teach our children¬†and to teach them to teach themselves.
  • Will I teach them enough?¬†What is enough really? K-12 and then learning stops? Nope. I have taught them as much as I could as best as I could, knowing there will always be gaps. We never stop learning on this earth and the gaps will only ever be filled in heaven.

So, these are some of the bigger things that kept me awake at night early on. How about you? I would love to hear what worried you and if you still worry or how God has relieved those worries. Share in the comments below!

My new e-course is NOW available! Join many others who have signed up to make the Bible the foundation of their homeschool!

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

Join the Community!~

Listen to my podcast here