Join us each Tuesday this month as we share 5 keys to having a successful homeschooling year. We pray that these posts will both encourage and inspire as you endeavor to educate your children this school year.
Find Your Fit
It is easy to look at what other families are doing and get discouraged. Does your friend create fabulous in-depth unit studies for her children that leave you feeling envious? That’s okay, she is not making the adjustment to caring for an elderly parent in your home like you are. Go ahead and purchase the unit study kit you’ve had your eye on and enjoy using it. It really is okay if you never ever write your own curriculum or make a lapbook!
I remember a mom who proudly announced that she never used workbooks – as if workbooks were the lowest form of education. I had just bought a stack of workbooks for my 4th grader and it was very hard not to take her statement personally. I had to remind myself that her conviction was for HER household. I had a newborn baby and was doing what I could handle at the time. If your child is excited at thought of a new workbook, then go ahead and give your child a reason to smile. Don’t forget some new colored pencils to go with the new workbook!
Your household structure, your child’s learning style, the support systems in your area and other factors will all combine to create a your family’s unique homeschool. Prayerfully work towards doing what is best for YOUR family. If you are a square peg, don’t try to fit in a round homeschooling hole.
Remember that your children will follow closely the example that in word and deed you set them. Live lives that will help them to prepare for translation into the courts above, when the last trump shall sound, and Christ shall come to gather his faithful ones to himself. Do not neglect your children. They are your first care. The home is to be their first school. And in this school you yourselves are to learn lessons that will prepare you better to work for their salvation and for the salvation of others. These lessons will be of the highest value to you in your religious experience. As you labor successfully for your children, you are working out your own salvation, and God is working in you, to will and to do of his good pleasure.
The Southern Watchman – January 19, 1904
Parents, help your children to do the will of God by being faithful in the performance of the duties which really belong to them as members of the family. This will give them a most valuable experience. It will teach them that they are not to center their thoughts upon themselves, to do their own pleasure, or to amuse themselves. Patiently educate them to act their part in the family circle, to make a success of their efforts to share the burdens of father and mother and brothers and sisters. Thus they will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are really useful.
Review and Herald, November 17, 1896
Our work for Christ is to begin with the family, in the home…. There is no missionary field more important than this….
Adventist Home, 35
Life is so busy. We have kids to teach, houses to maintain, jobs to go to. We need to make time for our spouse, for our kids, church family and of course God and ourselves. And on top of all that we know we should eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. Phew! I’m feeling exhausted just reading that list.
Thankfully we live in a time when time-saving devices really do save you time and make healthy eating possible, even if we’re flat out. My rice cooker cooks brown rice or quinoa while my pressure cooker cooks a chickpea stew or TVP curry. I can use my V-slicer (mandolin) to quickly slice up tomatoes for burgers, or my strong blender (or Thermomix) to whizz up some homemade raw cashew mayonnaise or a delicious fruit-based ice cream. Being healthy doesn’t have to take up lots of time. Plan ahead and you’ll be amazed what crowd-pleasing meals you can create in a very short amount of time.
For some suggestions, check out my latest video – 7 Kitchen Tools That Make Vegan Cooking Easy.
Read-aloud time is an extra special blessing of homeschooling. Having the ability to set aside extended time during the school day for reading a book together is not only a family bonding time, but a learning time. If your schooling hours are jam-packed, then an evening read aloud time is a perfect way to unwind from a busy day.
We are currently reading the last volume of The Bible Story aloud together. I read the set of ten books straight through to my older children when they were young. When my youngest child came along, I started reading the series all over again, but this time interspersed with the Conflict of the Ages series by Ellen White. As soon as we finish volume 10 of The Bible Story, we’ll finish the Conflict series with Acts of the Apostles.
My 11yo loves to be read to, but what about the 18yo still at home? You might think he’s too old to be read to(or read to us), but he has gained his own special blessings from our read aloud time. When he was asked to prepare and present a sermon at church , he chose to research and expand upon one of the stories we had read together a week earlier. There’s a blessing for everyone!
Our favorite book list is varied, and includes: They Dared for God, by Glenna Barstad, several of the Sam Campbell books, and The Seventh Day Ox by Bradley Booth.
What are you currently reading together with your family? We’d love to hear what you are enjoying. Leave a comment so we can add new books to our reading lists!
We want a spirit of gentleness. We cannot live right in the family circle without it. In order to have the proper control of our children, we must manifest a spirit of gentleness and of meekness and of long-suffering. We do not want to have a faultfinding, fretful, scolding spirit. If we teach them to have a spirit of gentleness, we must have a spirit of gentleness ourselves; … if we would have them manifest a spirit of love toward us, we must manifest a gentle, loving spirit toward them. But at the same time there need be no weakness or unwise indulgence on the part of parents. The mother must have firmness and decision. She must be as firm as a rock, and not swerve from the right. Her laws and rules should be carried out at all times and under all hazards, but she can do this with all gentleness and meekness…. The children will grow up God-fearing men and women.
My Life Today, 53