June 24, 2010

Thoughts on Homeschool ~ Pt. 2


Thinking of beginning?
If not, do not feel the need to read further.
If so, it's of the utmost importance to
get your "house in order" ~
First things first.

We belong to the LORD and our children are given to us for a very short time to teach and train
"in the way that they should go".

How can that best be accomplished?
Oh, the ways and means are many and there are so many options
that shout out for our attention!

What would be my first piece of advice to the propective homeschool family?
First, be sure you have prayed about this and committed it to the LORD.
Next, be sure that you and your spouse are
ON THE SAME PAGE!
DO NOT venture out on your own!!

OH. DEAR. ME.

THAT is a recipe for disaster!
You will need one another to strengthen and encourage when the
"going gets tough"! :)


We wrote out a "pros and cons" list.
VERY helpful in the decision making process.
Once the decision has been made,
it is beneficial to keep that little (or big) piece of paper
for review every so often.
It will be a source of encouragement.
You will be glad you did it.

What is your end goal?
Is the reason for home education primarily so that your child can have a fabulous education? Enter college early? Have less (or no) homework at night? To develop sibling friendships? To open up opportunities for travel? To have control over what is (and is not) taught to your child? To instill a Biblical world view into them from a young age? To protect them from bullying or other difficulties found in schools? To see that they are given a safe environment in which to grow and mature BEFORE venturing out into the "real" world?
This list could go on and on.
Whatever the reason(s)...be sure you know WHY you homeschool.


Do not feel as though you have to
E.X.P.L.A.I.N.
to everyone you meet
(from the grocery clerk to the random people you pass on the street)
W.H.Y. you homeschool.

Only answer this question IN DEPTH
to those who CARE and really WANT to know! ;-)
Figure out a kind and concise way to briefly explain why you homeschool,
and use that reason every time you are asked by a stranger.
And do it with a SMILE!
Usually that will suffice.

If they REALLY want to know more and you have the time,
by all means, answer their questions.
They may look back on YOU as being one of the reasons
they chose to school their own children at home!


Now back to the "HOW DO I BEGIN?" Question...

Once you have established the WHY.
You can work on the HOW.

Be sure you and your children are in a regular routine/rhythm of life ~
spiritual disciplines, sleeping, proper eating, exercise and chores/service.
Bible reading and prayer is paramount and helps us all to focus on
what REALLY matters.
Giving first place to our Creator
in all of life is right and proper.

My dear friend ~ who happens to be a wonderful homeschool mother of
ten children ~ generously gave me precious doses of her time
and shared with me much of her wisdom in the early days of our journey.
She stressed the importance of having discipline and routine in place
FIRST...BEFORE academic pursuits.

SHE. WAS. RIGHT.

A homeschool cannot run smoothly if there is an absence of order and routine.
The children MUST know what is expected of them and they must be obedient.
Even in the "small" things.
It will be chaotic if they are not.
They also need to be contributors
to the overall running of the home.
They need to know that they are NEEDED.
And, believe me, they ARE needed if you are going to do this! :)

She also suggested that we open the school day with Bible reading.
After morning devotions and breakfast and chores were done.
When we would gather for "school".
Remember that this is "over and above" the regular devotional times.
It is a methodical "reading through" of God's Word.
This was very good advice.
But it is very easy to let slip.

After all, we would have already had our devotions ~
Now there is WORK to be done!
Oh the FOOLISHNESS of this type of thinking!
Again, what is it we want to instill in our children?
One of our goals is that they would love the LORD and His Word.
We want them each to live a life of DEVOTION.
This practice gives the Bible preeminance in the school.


Remember in the early days of education that the Bible was primary?
It was held in high esteem.
Even those who were not particularly "religious" had respect for it.
In my early childhood there was Bible reading in the classroom!
Where, if not in the Christian homeschool, should it be most prevalent?
Bring back the Bible reading!

How do we do it?

When this was part of our routine, we would
read through the Bible at the rate of about a chapter or two a day.
My goal is to read through the entire Bible with the children in this format.
We began by reading Genesis and then we read Matthew.
I like to complete one book in the Old Testament and then read one in the New.
Each child takes a turn reading a verse (or a few) and this continues
until the allocated amount of Scripture for that day has been read.
If you have non-readers in your home, then let them sit in and listen...
it won't be long before they can join in.
An "almost reader" could be coached along with his or her
verse by dictating the words to him/her which they then say aloud
for the rest of the children to hear.


If there is NOTHING else you get from this post...
please know that THIS is one of the all time
BEST things we have done in our homeschool.


Oh, I do not take joy in saying that we have let this part of our routine slip.
I am ashamed of that, but how precious that the LORD gives us
new opportunities and "fresh starts".
My plan is to begin this next school year with Bible reading as the
"opening session" priority.
Before Math and English get tackled,
the Bible will be read aloud by us all ~
with the LORD's gracious enabling.
How precious to instill within our children the
importance of God's Word.

**Please do not get me wrong here ~ we are continuing on with Devotional times throughout
the summer, and year-round...
this is the "extra" Bible reading I am speaking of! :)



God is so gracious as He leads us along in this life, isn't He?
We are to be leading our children in His ways as well...I love how my blogging friend Susan has articulated her thoughts in a series of posts entitled Discipling Our Children. I would encourage you to prayerfully read through her articles on this all important subject. I agree with her that we are to be seeking God first and foremost, and then, when we have things in proper perspective, we can effectively guide our children in His paths, with HIS help and grace.

Two books that I can highly recommend for godly parenting advice were written by brothers.
"Shepherding a Child's Heart" was written by Tedd Tripp and it deals with parenting and
nurturing the heart of your child.
"Age of Opportunity" by Paul David Tripp addresses the many issues parents face as they seek to have an influence in the life of their teen. These books offer sound, biblical wisdom that we can implement in our homes and families as the LORD enables us to ~ for HIS glory.

If you are interested in the first posts on this topic,
you will find them by
clicking on this link.

The third installment can be found by
clicking here.

And the fourth and final post can be found by
clicking here.

14 comments:

Cinnamon said...

Thanks for the link to Susan's blog. I love her already but haven't read that far back. Wonderful article~

~Cinnamon

Jenn said...

Camille,
GREAT thoughts and points! Everything you said is absolutely true. We are going into our 9th year of homeschooling and as I read you post I was nodding my head in affirmation the whole way through!

In the past we really struggled with getting our devotion time in. We also had the problem of letting it slip by. So, last year I started doing our Bible readings first thing. I would wake everyone up for the morning. We would gather, in our PJ's, in the living room and we would do our devotions right then before anything else could distract us. It worked marvelously and is still working for us through the summer. Just thought I would share with you what has worked for us.

Thanks for writing an uplifting and positive post about homeschooling!

Mountain Mama said...

Hi Camille -

Love these posts of yours about homeschooling! We will venture into this in the Fall when I start Kindergarten with my daughter. To begin the day with Bible reading...what a beautiful habit to instill in the little ones so young. It's how I start my day now, but before the rest of the family wakes. How are they to know it's important if we don't lead them to do the same? Wise words from you!

Thank you for visiting my little blog where most all I'm doing lately is counting my blessings. You're sweet to encourage!

Blessings to you!
Tami

American Home said...

Your post is perfect! We agree. We have been homeschooling for ten years. My son will be in the 10th grade. Everyday has been worth it. He excells in several subjects and is going to Pre-Med Camp this summer. With God's help we will continue until he graduates.
thanks for taking the time to write this post.
God bless you,
Donna

Camille said...

Dear Cinnamon ~ Oh you will be so blessed by Susan's posts...I know I was! :)

Dear Jenn ~ How wonderful that you are setting Devotions as priority in your home...you will never regret it! The Bible reading I spoke of in this post is separate from the devotional times...it's just reading through the Bible together ~ it is a blessing. Thanks for sharing your testimony with us here...I'm sure it will encourage others who read it as well. :)

Dear Tami ~ It is a blessing to keep a thankfulness journal, isn't it? You will look back and be glad you did it! How exciting that you are thinking of homeschooling your children! I didn't begin at the beginning with all of mine...we started with grades 6, 4, and 2 and a preschooler...it was a bit like being thrown in the deep end! LOL! But oh how thankful we are to have begun this journey! May the LORD bless you as you venture forward WITH HIM! :)

Dear Donna ~ Thanks for sharing your experience with us here! How exciting that you are seeing the "fruits" of your labours! Wow...TEN years!! How wonderful!! You are so right...we go forward with God's help ~ how else could we do it? :)

Blessings,
Camille

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Very good thoughts on homeschooling. The one thing that stuck out is what you wrote on telling people. Sometimes when you tell people you homeschool they feel defensive and judged even though you are not doing that.

Meghan and Molly said...

Thanks for visiting my blog!
Love Mollt @ M.J. (mollysallaboutblue.blogspot.com)

have a great evening.

Camille said...

Dear Stacie ~ I think you are right about people feeling defensive even when we are not on the attack. May the LORD give us the grace to respond in a godly way. Friends of ours just say to people when they ask ~ "It's what God has called our family to do." I think that is so true...it is a calling. Thanks for your input here Stacie...I appreciate it! :)

Dear Molly ~ I am so glad you left me a comment...that was sweet of you! Have a great evening too! :)

Blessings,
Camille

Joyfulmomofmany said...

~Camille,

Fabulous series, friend! Yes... God's Word must be central to all, and it is so easy to get sidetracked.

It was kind of you to link to my Discipling series... thanks!

~susan

Camille said...

Dear Susan ~ I remember being blessed by that series you wrote and I bookmarked it for future reference...never imagining it would take me SOOO long to use the link! :) I'm glad you took the time to write it...I'm sure it will bless others as well.

With Love,
Camille

J said...

Camille,
So encouraging!!! Especially the exhortation to make methodical reading of scripture a foundation in our day. Thank you for carving out time to share your wisdom on homeschooling with those of us taking the first steps of this journey. I am thrilled God has allowed me to glean from your fields. Blessings, dear friend!

Camille said...

Dear J ~ Oh how dependant I am on the LORD...HE is the ONE that gives all the wisdom! (James 1:5) Enjoy the journey...can I stress that too much?? ENJOY it...these days are SO precious! I am thankful for YOU ~ I am glad we are friends. :)

With Love,
Camille

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I tell anyone who is thinking of homeschooling that they better have complete parental control, or it will be a disaster. I learned this the hard way. I've had to reestablish my authority several times with my son. I'm currently teaching him the meaning of "instant obedience". I know it will help a lot in the coming years. Awesome post!

Camille said...

Dear Jackie ~ We all need the LORD's wisdom and grace to be the parents HE has called us to be, don't we? I am SO thankful that HE gives the daily help for the calling HE has placed upon us. Might we always look to HIM each and every day. Thanks for your encouragement Jackie...you are a blessing to me! :)

In Him,
Camille