Thursday, February 25, 2016

Do These 3 Things to Guarantee Homeschool Success!

After reading my title, you're thinking, "Riiiiight!" These types of tip posts abound on the Internet, and I can't believe I am even reading this. I will be on my knees apologizing later for being so trendy. For now, just hear me out. These tips apply to those new to homeschooling and those who have been in the trenches far longer than I have. It's not rocket science.

1. Pray about whether or not you should homeschool and then decide to homeschool. --- I am not one who thinks everyone should homeschool. In an ideal utopian world, maybe, but that doesn't exist in this world. Some families are in a situation where homeschooling is most beneficial to the family and some are not. Every family is as uniquely created by God as every uniquely-created child. Pray, with your husband, and make the decision for your family, for right now. And then, actually decide to homeschool and do it for at least a semester without waffling on that decision. On day three of homeschooling, every school year (semester? month? week?), you will want to quit. Pray some more every year and keep going if you feel homeschooling is what God is asking of you. Sarah has some fantastic advice for when she feels like quitting!

2. Pray about what style of homeschooling and curricula to use, do your research, and just pick something already. --- Almost everything out there for homeschoolers these days is fantastic. There are so many options that it is overwhelming to consider and even test each one. Choose the method that seems like it will work best for your children and you for now, and do not change fifty times in the first year. Start slowly if you feel like you can't go all hog wild. Just trust God to guide your decisions and have confidence that learning is much more about the relationship you have with your children than which math curriculum you use. Over the years you will change things up, but you will not scar your children for life or ruin their futures if you start out classical and end up unschooling, or vice versa. Pam's is my favorite post out there on methods!

3. On tough days, pray your way through. And on good days, pray your way through. --- It has taken me too many years to be committed to reading Scripture daily. God speaks to us in His Word. We need to tune our ears to His voice every day, so we can do this daily grind. We don't need to surf the Internet to solve all the problems. We don't need to turn to Facebook to only post the near-perfect days. First, we need to get on our knees and praise God for our children and the opportunity to homeschool them. We need to beg the Holy Spirit to guide our words and actions and to give us the grace and confidence to raise these precious children. And we need to trust that He will provide all that we need. Mary Ellen has fantastic ideas to pray your way through each day!

As you can tell, my definition of success, for the purposes of this list, is not to get your kids into Harvard or meet some set level of educational standards (or even to get our kids to Heaven, because that's not quite our job anyway; it's theirs, darn free will!). Success is when you do the thing God wants you to do all day every day. And to do that, you simply have to grow close enough to Him through prayer to know what that is, or at least to trust Him to work good out of whatever choices we make.

Have you done or neglected to do any of the above? What was the result?

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