Monday, March 12, 2012

Relaxed Homeschooling - Why Are You Teaching Your Children at Home?

 When it comes to homeschooling, I'm learning to relax.  Learning this one thing has helped me the most as a home school mom.

God has given us everything we need to teach our children and to do the job well.

Women say to me all the time, " I could never home school my children".  Whether they know it or not they already are!  All moms are teaching moms.  It is you, the mom, who teaches your child to eat with a fork and spoon.  You are the one who teaches your child to talk, and you teach them to use the potty.  Parents teach their children from the very minute they are born.  When it comes time to teach that baby to read and write you can do that too.  You just need to pray... and relax!  Children, (and moms too), do best when the home school is a relaxing learning environment.  That is why I want to share with you some steps to developing a relaxed home school.

Step one is to take a look at your reasons for teaching your children at home.  Why have you made this education choice?  Write these things down and really look at them.  For example, some of our reasons are we want to spend time with our children, living out our faith in front of them and teaching them to love the Lord Jesus with all their hearts.  We want our children to develop a biblical worldview.  We want our children to be close to their siblings, and to us.  We desire to keep our children innocent of evil.  We want to fill their days with wholesome books and hands on learning and lots and lots of encouragement and love.  Why have you chosen to home school?  Being clear on why you've made this choice is step one.

Once you have determined your own reasons for teaching your children at home you will need to set goals for your children's education.  These goals may be the same for each child, or more likely, you may have different goals for different children depending on their bent.  (More on the bent later!)  Some of our goals for our children are that they would love the Bible and know it well, we want each child to read well, and write well, and be proficient in math.  We want each of our children to be adequately prepared for whatever the Lord calls them to do.  We want the children to learn to serve others.  We want them to know real life skills and we want to develop an entrepreneurial spirit in them. 

Now that you have looked at your reasons and set your goals you need to evaluate each and every subject or activity in light of those reasons and goals.  You simply decide which subjects or activities are going to help you achieve your goals and which will deter you.  By looking at your goals you can decide if a subject should be taught, and if so, how.  Everything you do is based on the reasons you home school and your goals for your children.  Make a reading list for your child based on what will help move your child in the direction of your goals.  His/her reading list may include books on missionaries or Christian martyrs.  In deciding on memorization projects for your children you will again look at your goals.  Is one of your goals for your children to know the Bible well?  Assign memorization of passages of scripture.  Knowing why you are homeschooling and what your goals are will help you to relax.

 Stay tuned.  There's much more to come.  :)

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