After 31 years of homeschooling, my youngest son graduated, bringing my homeschooling days to an end. We taught all eight of our kids from kindergarten all the way through to graduation. Was it hard? Yes! But it was also SO worth it, and I would gladly do it again if I had to make that choice. So, giving you 7 tips on how to homeschool was a natural decision.
I learned as I went, and today I want to share some things I learned along the way (usually the hard way!), that I wish someone had told me when we first started teaching our kids.
7 Tips For How To Homeschool
1. Make sure you have goals and prioritize things based on those goals.
Having goals and priorities will guide you on days that are extra busy, or when you feel overwhelmed. Always start your day with what your top priority. If you don’t get EVERYTHING done in a day that you want to, you have at least accomplished the most important ones.
God makes it very easy to know what our priorities are in II Peter 1:6:
….add to your faith, virtue (character); and to character, knowledge.
Start your day with building your kids faith (Bible reading, and memory), next character training, and THEN start on the academics. God will bless your day when you give Him the first part of it, and follow His priorities.
2. Be sure and have a schedule or routine.
Children function much better when their days have a routine, and they know what to expect. You will also accomplish much more, and be in control of your children and home, rather than them being in control of you. A schedule is one of the most important things to learn about how to homeschool.
Don’t stress if your schedule doesn’t follow exact time frames, but rather follow a routine. (Some days Math will take longer than other days, and doesn’t fit in a perfect little 30 or 45-minute time slot.) With a routine, you and your children have a “rut to run in.” The schedule is the frame, but times can be adjusted within that, and a routine followed.
3. Make sure you have your children under control.
If they aren’t under control, and disobedience and bad attitudes are a normal thing, stop the academics for awhile and focus on the character. You can’t teach your children if you don’t have them under control.
I love the following quote about obedience:
A child must learn to obey first, or you can never serve as his teacher. Teaching him to obey, to do his work and stick with it, to follow instructions, not to interrupt, and much more requires your diligent supervision and follow-through. That is the work of parenting really. Unless your children learn to listen to your directions and follow them, it doesn’t matter how great your resources are. The first and foremost subject to teach is good behavior born of self-discipline. (In other words, character!)
4. Don’t compare yourself with other homeschoolers, and what they are doing, or how they are doing it!
Comparison is one of the biggest causes of discouragement. The Bible tells us it’s NOT WISE to compare ourselves among ourselves. (II Corinthians 10:12) Do what God has called YOU to do with your family, and not what He has called someone else to do.
5. Realize that your kids may have different learning styles.
What worked with one child, may not work with the next one. This can be very frustrating if you don’t figure out how that child learns. Some of my kids were great with a textbook; others hated them and learned nothing from them. Find what works for each child, and use it. Learning how to homeschool each child is all about understanding their different learning styles.
6. Have realistic expectations.
Often we set ourselves up for discouragement because we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves, or of our children. Realize you have limitations or you will always be frustrated.
Don’t expect too much from your children. Realize each one is different and may progress differently from each other. It’s okay if one doesn’t read at age 5, like the other one. He WILL learn to read at some point. All of mine did – but not at the same speed as the other. Some were fast and ready; others weren’t ready quite as early.
7. Don’t expect your “rights.”
Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall not be disappointed!
What are the things you think of as your rights? Time to read a book, get on Facebook, talk on the phone with a friend, or just a FEW minutes of peace and quiet? There’s nothing wrong with wanting any of those things. However, if you look at it as your RIGHT, and you don’t get to do it because things don’t go as planned, you’ll be an unhappy mom. Instead, commit your day and needs to God, and when you do get time to do some of those extras, count it as a blessing!
The most important thing you can do is PRAY over your homeschool! Seek God’s wisdom daily as you seek to teach and train your precious children for Him.
As you look at your time as a parent and learn how to homeschool, hopefully, these tips will be perfect for helping you begin your journey. Success in homeschooling is all about how you face the daily challenges and continue on the journey.
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