Getting Started in the Beginning.
I can hear my younger self now. “Oh, I could never homeschool!” Yes, I really said that, upon hearing a mom say during a church bible study that she homeschooled her children. I couldn’t imagine having the patience to teach my two children, who were just 2 and 4 at the time.
Fast forward 12 years, and you’ll see that today I am homeschooling all 5 of our children. They run the gamut from pre-k all the way up to a junior in high school. It doesn’t seem possible, does it? Well, I’m here to tell you that it is!
Getting Started – so what changed? Lots of things!
My idea about what homeschooling really is. Once I got home with my children, it did not take me long to realize that learning takes place all the time! Of course, I have taught my children math, science, and grammar, and we have read many books out loud together and discussed the plot and defined words we heard. We have also gone on field trips, traveled to spend time with family, cleaned and cooked together in our home, and we have served together. Every single thing we have done has been a learning experience. The pursuits we currently follow are filled with learning, too. Some are academic, but many teach us life lessons that will not soon be forgotten.
I realized that my homeschool does not need to look like a classroom. Some families like and do very well with an organized and structured classroom-like environment. However, simply coming to the understanding that, while that type of environment is fine and works for some, I don’t have to follow that path in my homeschool gave me a completely new way to look at education for my children. We discovered the freedom to spend hours at the library researching ladybugs or poring over how-to-draw books. And we did! Taking an entire day off of academics to spend time with family when they visit or to travel a couple of hours away to visit a favorite museum can be a wonderful time of exploration and is to be valued just as much as any day spent in ‘the books’.
Our home is not a school; we are a family. All parents teach. We do not need a special degree to impart knowledge to our own children. I have been teaching my children since the day they were born, and so have you. That does not change simply because your child celebrates her 5th birthday. We are free to continue teaching our children just as we did before they arrived at the compulsory age for school attendance. Living out our lives before them, teaching them to know and love God, and to love and serve others, these are the most important tasks in any homeschool family. Continue on as a family unit, serving and loving God, serving and loving others, and disciplining your children along the way. That, to me, is the picture of a successful education for children!