We have always taught our sons at home. When we moved to New Orleans, our mission field, we couldn’t afford private school and we didn’t even think about public school. The decision also coincided with me quitting my part-time job and staying home full-time. It has been 20 years, we now have two in their Master’s Degree programs, one is a college junior and the other a highschool junior. I have learned a few things along the way but here are my top five.
1. Your marriage is priority. More important than curriculum, more important than extra-curricular activities, more important than your children. Children will learn best in an environment where they are secure. And nothing brings security like a mom and dad loving each other and by God’s grace walking in His direction.
2. You teach, not the curriculum. Curriculum is not as important as you think. Initially everyone spends way too much on it. The fact is you can’t teach everything, that’s why there’s google : ) If money is tight, a library card and a love for learning will get you far. Instill a love for learning, cover the basics, reading, writing and arithmetic, throw in life learning and discipline and you’ve got the start of a future productive citizen.
3. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing. Every family and home is unique. Trust me, everyone struggles trying to get it right. Don’t waste time thinking about how you feel you are failing and falling. Look up, you can do it.
4. Absolutely make them do chores and don’t feel bad. Children want to feel needed. They want to be an integral part of the team. Instilling the idea of teamwork, that it’s not all about them, in turn trains them to be future leaders.
5. Finally, let go. You’ll know when it’s time. You can’t keep them home forever and you shouldn’t want too. Your homeschooling season is just that a season. You are more than a homeschooling mom. It has been a wonderful part of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything but I am also a daughter of the most High King and he has plenty of other opportunities for me.
As I look to this next school year, I am excited and thankful that this journey is not quite yet over but already other areas of ministry are overlapping and I know that He is preparing me for the next season.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, I will do my best to answer honestly and prayerfully.