As a veteran homeschool mom of 18 years, allow me to warn you about three thieves that prey on home schools. These thieves are notorious for creeping into your midst when you’re not looking and carrying off valuables like joy, relationships, harmony, a love of learning, and peace.
The three thieves are:
- Too much stuff
- Too much information
- Too busy of a schedule
The best safeguard you can have against those thieves is to simplify your life in three areas: your schedule, your house, and your child’s education.
First, simplify your schedule.
This can be a tough task; there are so many activities that beckon for you to be involved! New homeschoolers, especially, can be drawn toward overloading their schedules, because they want to make sure their child doesn’t miss out on anything. But veteran homeschoolers can also be pulled into an overloaded schedule by adding one more thing and one more thing over the years, until suddenly they realize that they’re spending all their time in the van and little to none at home.
It’s time to take a good look at this thief known as “a busy schedule” and realize what it’s stealing. In short, a busy schedule can rob you of time for relationships. The more you allow those outside your family to dictate what you must do and when you must do it, the less freedom you will have to flex with real life, to seize moments ripe for discipleship, to work through the sometimes-tough emotions of living in a fallen world, to spend time dealing with conflict in a manner that glorifies God.
Cultivating a good relationship with and between each member of your family takes more time than you think. Simplify your schedule.
Second, simplify your house.
You will collect a lot of stuff as you homeschool. Make room for it by cleaning out and paring down what you own. You see, the thief of too-much-stuff steals your focus. The more stuff you have, the more time and effort it will take to keep track of it all, keep it in good repair, and move it from one place to another. And if you are constantly having to focus on the things, you will have less inclination to focus on what is most important: the people.
Simplifying your house will allow you to view things as tools that help you care for the people in your home. If you get those two switched—if you begin viewing people as tools to help you care for the things in your home,—that’s a red flag that the thief called “too-much-stuff” is at work. Keep your focus where it should be. Simplify your house.
Third, simplify your child’s education.
The brain needs time to process; the heart needs time to ruminate. Our goal is to educate the whole person—cultivating his beliefs, his loyalties and character, the ideas that will rule his life—not just stuffing his head full of facts. Therefore, we must allow time for the child to contemplate and assimilate the ideas he receives.
Beware of overloading your child’s mind and heart, trying to stuff in too much information. There is no way he will be able to learn everything there is to know during the years of his schooling. It’s impossible. Accept that fact and choose his studies wisely. You can thwart the thief of too-much-information by intentionally giving your child plenty of time to digest the truths he is reading about and make them his own possession. Simplify his education.
Look for workshops at the Teach Them Diligently Conventions this spring designed to encourage you in these three areas of homeschool life. Hope to see you there!
If you are just starting out, or if you need some encouragement on your homeschooling journey, check out our Teach Them Diligently course on How to Homeschool with Confidence. You can also join Teach Them Diligently 365 for many more resources to help you in your homeschool.