I LOVED that idea, and then made the embarrassing, ridiculous decision to start the challenge today, October 1st.
So, I guess I was giving myself permission to disobey God’s word for several weeks, and complain as much as I wanted to until a random day I selected on the calendar????
I know better. God himself told un NOT to complain in Phil 2:14 Our whole family memorized it, “Do everything without complaining or arguing”, (I added whining to the verse).
We recited the verse and discussed it’s implications MANY times. We took turns being the Complaining Police. It just was NOT allowed in our home.
My husband and children have remained obedient, but I have I been slipping. I say things like, “I love the idea but it would have been so much better if they would have listened to me when…….” and “I like preparing the homeschooling lesson but it takes me so long, and I’m sure that I do more work than……”
When I start complaining I get grouchy, and knit picky, and become a very half-empty kind of person.
I taught the children to express their emotions and opinions with complaining, arguing, or whining.
Now, for the next 30 days I will do the same.
What will happen on Day 31?
Well, I’ve asked my youngest son to keep me accountable from today through the next couple of months.
I can do this!
Would you like to join me in the challenge?
Instead of giving tips, I thought that I would share what has helped ME the most in the form of a personal letter that I would write to my daughter if she decides to homeschool her children.
After prayer, you and your hubby have decided to homeschool your children. It’s vitally important that your husband be in agreement with the decision. You will be much busier as a mom, which could take time away from you as a wife. And, as you well know, being together, (Mom and children), 24/7 brings out the best and worst in a family. But, now looking back at my 23 years of homeschooling you and your siblings, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Here are some tips that I wish someone had shared with me before I started:
–Create a mission statement before you start. What are your goals? Mine were four -fold. Homeschool with excellence, instill a love of learning, teach my children how to read, and make sure everyone understood basic math concepts, including tithing, and God’s idea of wealth. On especially hard days, you will want to review your mission statement.
–Make sure your schedule, curriculum, school room and supplies work for YOU. Everything should revolve around YOU. It doesn’t sound very Christian, but it is very important. If you don’t like the resources you are using, change them, no matter what they cost. You may change resources several times within a year. If you work best in the morning, wake up the school aged children and get started early, like we did. If the school room idea doesn’t work, find a place that does. I chose our large kitchen table so that everyone was in one place, and I was is the kitchen, the hub of our home.
–Understand that homeschooling is very hard work. It’s like motherhood. There is no how-to manual, and in a matter of minutes the serene and calm can turn into the chaotic and stressful. Try to keep smiling. Keep praise music playing softly in the background, or whatever creates a peaceful atmosphere in your home. Pray every day for wisdom for that day.
–Be open to change with very little notice. Be flexible. It all works out in the end. I promise.
– Remember to keep the big things the big things, and the small things the small things. Read the Bible together. Memorize verses. Have devotions. Teach godly character. Encourage selflessness and discourage sibling rivalry. Relationships are fragile. Don’t jeopardize relationships over math facts or grammar rules, or anything else that can be taught in a different way or on another day. Our goal as parents, the bottom line, is to equip our children with the tools that they need to fulfill the destiny for which they were created.
–Babies and preschoolers shouldn’t be ignored. Work around the baby, and have special toys for the toddlers that only appear when you are working with the older children. Even 15 minutes with an older child can get them started and you can check back with them after you tend to a younger child.
-Have resources like educational DVDs and CDs for THOSE days when you just can’t……..
-If you’d like others involved in your family’s educational process, share teaching with other families, join a homeschooling cooperative or a cyber school, or enroll in your local public or private school for a season or the long haul as you see fit. We did each of them at one time or another. I DID NOT like teaching children to read, so I sent 3 of your siblings to school for kindergarten, and had 3 others learn to read in cyber school. Then, I pulled them out to homeschool them. Do what you feel is best.
-Sometimes consumable workbooks are the best resources for very busy times. K Mart, Walmart, office supple stores, and some drug stores sell a variety of interesting math, science, history, and english workbooks for the younger grades.
–An effective homeschooling day for elementary aged children does not have to be 5-6 hours long. Working one on one is a lot different than teaching 20 -25 students in a classroom. I generally taught phonics, reading comprehension, spelling, and math skills daily for kindergarten through third grade. I didn’t use textbooks to teach history, science, music, art, or health for those grades. I didn’t have the time or energy. We would watch DVDs, listen to CDs, and I would read books aloud to the children that dealt with those subjects. For 4th – 6th grades I concentrated on meaningful devotions, and math and english every day. Other subjects like science, history, health, geography, music and art were explored 2 or 3 days a week. I worked with this age group about 2 hours a day. After our one on one time, they would read, work on projects, finish worksheets, review flash cards, and practice their musical instruments. MANY times, they helped with their younger siblings when the majority of their school work was finished for the day.
– It’s OK in an emergency to take a day off. In our home that included a day to make a months worth of meals to freeze, or seeing a doctor when children are ill, or a day to declutter and give the house a thorough cleaning, or just a day for ME to regroup, if life just got too crazy. There will be another day to make up the work.
–Decipher your child’s learning style and your teaching style. Find homeschooling resources that address them.
–Pray for direction before you or your child becomes involved with extracurricular activities. Your time and routines at home with the children are precious and important. If you or a child need to be out of the home during the day, it disrupts the flow. We limited our children’s participation in activities on weekdays. Be intentional about protecting your time.
–Remember that you are never alone. God’s wisdom and strength are just a prayer away and are available 24/7. The Bible says that we are like clay vessels. We are not strong in ourselves, but God in us provides the strength that we need. Lean on Him. He has you covered.
I think that’s all for now.
I love you and am so very proud of you,
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