Because just like that, we are all homeschooling, 🙂 several questions have been asked recently about my twenty-five years of homeschooling.
Questions like: What was homeschooling like with four children? And how did we survive?
I could tell you about the quail hatching in my living room, or the hamster that was out of the cage and lost in my house for days!!! I could tell you about the endless finger paints on my chairs, and stacks of textbooks on my sticky dining table. I could explain the science projects with chicken bones soaking in vinegar, or the cow tongue on my kitchen counter, (yuck) and eyeballs for dissecting. And oh yes, you might want to hear about the science project gone wrong which caught on fire in the house. Oops!
But I could also tell you about book reading on the front porch, lazy country afternoons, siblings that are best friends, and a love for learning created in the hearts of all four of my amazing children. (Now adults) I could tell you of a close-knit family, and how a love of God rests in the hearts of my children. I could speak of lazy afternoons. I could also mention their hard work ethic and honest attitudes.
Has it been easy? No. Has it been rewarding? Absolutely.
Would I do it over? Without a doubt. It is one thing I will never regret.
Did I feel like a failure and that I was ruining our children? Yes!
I was weak. I was tired. I was drained. Many days, I wanted to quit.
I also remember sitting at my wooden kitchen table and telling the Lord I could not do it any longer. As I told Him, “I quit,” He whispered gently, “when you are weak, I am strong.” “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) I began pouring my questions, fears, and uneasiness into prayers. I was reminded, “He who began a good work in me would complete it.” Philippians 1:6
Friends, He has proven that He is able when I am not. It has been a journey of not only re-learning from textbooks as I train my children but gaining wisdom from my Lord as I seek Him. He gives wisdom when I ask Him.
If you are not teaching your children at home, whether for a short time or maybe for years to come, know that today can be a special treasure. Life may look a little different for a few weeks, but embrace the journey. Just maybe, this is a chance for us to pause and enjoy the loved ones around us.
Honestly, if I could do one thing over in this homeschooling journey, it would be to relax and take pleasure in the moments. I would love to go back in time for just one afternoon with the littles again. Instead of focusing “to getting it all done, I would take the afternoon and play with my children.
How do we do this practically?
My friend, Tracy Phillips, current homeschooling mom of two amazing young men, says it best:
How to survive homeschooling by Tracy:
1. Don’t wake them up early to get started! Seriously-you have all day. Enjoy your coffee in peace.
2. Embrace the best part of homeschooling…literally no one is going to make you put on real clothes. The kids can actually learn in pj’s…I have one graduating with honors proving it can be done.
3. Have an ABSOLUTELY NO screen of any kind (except education) policy until school is completed. Video games in particular alter their thinking. Save that for after school.
4. This is a great time to have them start the day with a devotion. If you do not have a book for them, I can help you with online videos to start the day with a Bible lesson.
5. After 30-35 minutes of instruction/school work, take a 15-20 minute physical break (basketball, walk, ride bike, etc) There are tons of quick exercise videos on YouTube.
6. Write out a daily agenda the night before. Seriously this will keep you sane.
7. Have set snack and lunch times or they will eat you out of house and home.
8. There are thousands of great YouTube videos to go with anything they are studying. Add these to your daily agenda.
9. Plan some small get togethers with another family at the park or somewhere (open air preferably 😷 ) just for some social interaction.
10. Daily chores. Daily Chores. Daily Chores. My kids understand that is just part of their school day. I write it in on the agenda. If you do not do this, your house will for real be a disaster zone.
“You can do this! You may find that you LOVE it! It has been one of the greatest joys of my life.”
I totally agree! 🙂