The first time I heard about homeschooling was when my mom mentioned hearing something about it on the radio. At the time, I had one child, a two-year-old daughter. I clearly remember telling my mom “I could NEVER do that!” I seriously didn’t think I would ever be qualified to do such a thing. At the time, I didn’t know anything about homeschooling, and that made it seem overwhelming to me.
Over time God used people and resources to change my mind, and with a bit of trepidation mixed with excitement, I began kindergarten at home with my daughter. Over the last 31 years I have learned many things that I wish I had known when I first started teaching our kids at home.
1. Commitment is the key to success.
There have been many times when I would have rather skipped school, and just read a book or slept in. Other times, I wanted to put ALL the kids in the Christian school. But my husband and I felt God had called us to teach them at home, and we made a commitment to do that. Commitment keeps you consistent, AND keeps you from quitting on those rough days, or acting on your feelings.
2. You ARE qualified to teach your kids.
If you love to read to your kids, spend time with them, and watch them as they learn new things, you are qualified to homeschool them! Nobody loves them like you do, or knows them as well as you do.
3. It is normal to be afraid.
We want to give our kids the best education and do all we can to prepare them for life and God’s purpose. It’s a big responsibility. But God promises to give us wisdom if we just ask! You WILL question yourself – A LOT – especially in the beginning. That’s normal and okay. Find other homeschoolers to encourage and support you.
4. It doesn’t take ALL day to homeschool your kids.
Much of the time that children spend at school is spent in waiting, recess, and lunch. Even though kids are at school for about 8 hours a day, they aren’t actually doing SCHOOL WORK that whole time.
Make a schedule/routine that works for your family, realizing that you will need to adjust it often to meet the needs of your family. Don’t try to copy the schools, or another family’s homeschool. Don’t worry if someone else spends six-plus hours a day, and your kids are done in two or three hours! Keep in mind that kids are learning ALL the time, even though it may not be through sitting down and working in books.
5. You don’t need to worry about high school.
Probably one of the things I hear most often when people are afraid to homeschool is that they don’t think they can teach their kids high school. If God has called you to homeschool, don’t worry about how you will handle it eight or nine years down the road. God just asks that you be faithful today. He will help you with high school when the time comes, or provide you with the help you need. God doesn’t call us to something, and then not provide the help we need!
6. Home school will reveal your character flaws, and help you grow.
It was probably on the very FIRST day of our home school that my lack of patience was revealed! God used my difficult children to help me grow in the areas of self-control on a daily basis.
Homeschooling also gives you the opportunity to see the character flaws in your kids, and work on them daily as you are teaching them. If they are having a bad attitude, it’s much better to stop the work and deal with it than let them get two lessons done with a BAD attitude. When there is a problem with obedience, address it right away. Having the kids there gives us a definite OPPORTUNITY to work on their character. Don’t look at it as a disturbance, but rather take advantage of those chances to train them in Godly behavior and character.
What you know or don’t know as you begin to home school, or continue to home school, isn’t the big issue. The most important thing you need to know is that you need to rely on God. Don’t start a day of your school without first seeking Him in prayer for direction and wisdom for the day.
“If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God…..”