Inside Homeschooling

There are so many misconceptions about homeschooling that I thought it would be interesting to share a bit from our homeschooling experience.

Homeschooling begins with a philosophy.  We believe our children are blessings given to us by the Lord.  We do not believe they belong to a school system or to the government.   We also believe that no one cares more for our children and their education than we do.

When our son was homeschooled he would wake up at 7:30 with the intention of starting school at 8.  He had 30 minutes to shower, dress, clean his room and eat.  Eating is last because if he ran out of time he did not get breakfast until his morning break (around 10 AM).

We tried to schedule our classes for about an hour each.  Our son found this very confining so we experimented around to try to find something that worked better for him.

Our son was in high school so most of his lessons were self-taught; meaning he read the books and followed the instructions on his assignment card.  Each Monday I would give him a large index card with all the assignments he needed to complete that week. 

He was given the opportunity to work at his own speed.  He could do each day’s assignment as it was recorded or he could work ahead.  If he was finished all of his assignments by Thursday night, he could sleep in Friday-this was a major incentive to a teenage boy!

We struggled over the years to find the right motivator for our son and different things worked for a short period of time but having Friday off was the best idea we ever had!

This was also a great blessing to me.  I no longer had to stay on my son’s back to get finished.  He wanted to get it done.  He was motivated.

My son is now the father and his children are the ones being homeschooled.  The older children are given an assignment sheet each Monday and expected to get the work done by Friday.  Mom keeps a close watch to keep them on track and to be assured that all is both completed and understood – after all the idea is to educate them, not simply “complete the work”.

The 2 younger children are still being taught by mom and that makes it easier to keep them working.  She teaches a lesson and then gives them seatwork to reinforce the teaching.  Then she is off to check on the older 2 and “encourage” them to complete their work. 

In between teaching, checking seatwork, and prodding, mom must do laundry, housework, cooking and schedule getting 3 kids to baseball practice and 1 to a volunteer job-and, of course, music lessons.  Homeschooling mom’s don’t have a lot of free time.

Homeschooling is not easy and at this time of year everyone is ready for the year to end, but none of us would give up the blessing of training our children for their future because they are truly our greatest treasure.

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