If I suddenly had to show up at your place of employment and do the work you do every day, I would be overwhelmed. I would need you to take me under your wing and give me the big picture of what was going on. I’d need you to offer some tips, tricks, and insights so that I could jump right in and give it my best effort.
That’s what I want to do for you regarding homeschooling. I’ve been homeschooling for twelve years and have six children ranging in age from one to fourteen years old. When it comes to homeschooling, I certainly don’t have all of the answers, but I’ll tell you what I know.
Today, I’m sharing a vision for homeschooling that will set you up for immediate success.
This vision will help you to cherish the good days and value the bad days. It’ll solve some of your problems and help you to feel better about your ability to homeschool. You may be thinking, “I don’t have time for philosophy! Just tell me what I need to do!” But here’s the thing: homeschooling is the type of work that needs a Big Picture Vision. I believe that when you grab hold of these key aspects of homeschooling, you’re going to hit the ball out of the park. 😉
THE BIG PICTURE:
You are an important part of your child’s education.
You may be searching for projects and curriculum that will keep your child up to speed, but trust me on this: YOU are your child’s best homeschool resource. No book, website, or STEAM project can take your place. I’m not just saying this to make you feel warm and fuzzy; it’s the truth. You will teach your child that they are cherished. You will teach your child valuable content simply through your unique personality, skills, background, and hobbies.
Maybe you could teach your child a skill that you have? Maybe you could look at photos from a country you’ve visited or read your favorite picture book together. Maybe you could tell them about your career and let them look over your shoulder as you work from home. Or share stories about “When I was your age…”
Your child will learn more from YOU than from anything else they do while they are homeschooling. And I bet that’s going to be their favorite part.
Homeschooling is different than traditional school. Embrace the differences.
I encourage you to embrace homeschooling’s unique benefits. For example, children can pursue their interests without the boundaries of time, schedule, or grade level. They learn for the sake of learning, unhindered by peers or grades. Once your child experiences the joy of digging into their natural interest – whatever it may be – fashion, chemistry, Shakespeare, dolls, jazz, Pokemon – they’ll learn so very much. You’ll be their sidekick, providing helpful resources when necessary, cheering them on, and listening to their enthusiastic stories.
Veteran tip: This may feel too easy and you’ll worry, “Does this really count as school??” Sneak over to your phone and look up the name of a respected expert in your child’s interest area. This will reassure you that your child is in good company, is learning something useful, and is headed somewhere great.
Another benefit of homeschooling is that it is literally “learning in the context of home”. It’s organic, relational, and complex. Children learn while preparing, eating, and cleaning up meals. They learn while listening to an audio book. They learn while building LEGOS, playing outside, and listening to music. They learn while talking to Mom or Dad. Of course, there’s plenty of traditional schoolwork, but also plenty of time to savor the beauty of home, the heart of civilization.
Homeschooling is hard work, but it produces growth.
If you feel like homeschooling is hard, you’re doing it right! So, at least there’s that. 😉
Here’s what I mean: homeschooling requires a ton of sacrifice and selflessness. It can be messy, distracting, and overwhelming. If you’re experiencing those things, you’re normal. In the days ahead, I’ll share strategies that will help you to feel more orderly and sane, but for today, I want you to know that your sacrifices will produce growth. Maybe you’ll see growth in character, relationship, or creativity?
Like a seed that goes down into the soil to die, you will give up a lot during this season of homeschooling. But, like a plant that flourishes in the sunshine, you and your child are going to grow in beautiful ways. Keep your eye open for the good things that are happening as you home school.
And finally, remember that when all is said and done…
Your child will remember how you made them feel.
When our children look back on this particular time in history, they won’t remember the worksheets, STEAM projects, podcasts, or documentaries that we planned for them, but they will remember how we made them feel.
- Your child will remember that you made them feel loved.
- Your child will remember that you made them feel strong.
- Your child will remember if you trusted in God when it felt like the world was falling apart.
- Your child will remember that you made them feel like your home was a haven in the midst of a storm.
If you asked my kids how I made them feel last week, they’d probably say, “STRESSED OUT!” I was working hard to understand the headlines and take appropriate steps forward. It was stressful. I was distracted. But in the weeks to come, I want to help my children to feel cherished. I want them to feel like we can do hard things, serve one another, and choose joy in the midst of a storm.
So, here we go! We’ve got kids to love.
If you’re new to homeschooling and would like more practical help like this, click here:
What are your questions about homeschooling?
Leave your question in the comment section or email me at [email protected]
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting helpful tips for new homeschoolers and I don’t want you to miss them! I’m not on social media, so email is the best way for me to let you know what’s happening at LauraBooz.com. I cherish your trust and I’ll work hard to respect your time and attention. 🙂