August 31, 2010

Thoughts on Homeschool ~ Pt. 4 (the end)

If you are interested in the previous posts in this series,
you will find links to the Introduction by clicking here,
Part One by clicking here,
Part Two here, and Part Three here.

If homeschool is not for you,
please know that I am not offended and do not wish to offend.
Click here to read a previous post addressing this.
May the LORD help us all to lead our young ones faithfully to HIM!

If you are just beginning to homeschool, are thinking of homeschool,
or are a veteran homeschool family, I would HIGHLY recommend
getting yourself a copy of

"When You Rise Up"
by R.C. Sproul Jr.


This book has been used in a wonderful way in my heart!
I wish I could buy each of you a copy!
It is that good!
(Notice all the sticky notes I have marking mine?)

I found out about it from a young Mom who is just beginning to homeschool.
When I read Tami's post about this book
my heart went out to her.
Her questions spurred on some of the following thoughts...

We cannot get it "ALL" done!
BUT we do seem to get done what is really IMPORTANT to us!
Each individual homeschool Mum
(and non-homschool Mum, for that matter)
makes choices each and every day.

What is IMPORTANT to you?

Is it to have a PERFECT house?
Or make a HOME?
Is it to be able to eat off the floor or
have a semblance of order with the important things relatively clean?

Is it IMPORTANT to get a weekly date at the spa
and have coffee nights out with your friends?

Is it IMPORTANT to exercise exlusively at the gym or
go for a walk or bike ride with your children?

Is it IMPORTANT to maintain a blog at the rate of
a post a day, a week, a month??

Is it IMPORTANT to have time alone with the LORD daily?

What is IMPORTANT to you?
Fill in the blank with whatever the answer is.

The LORD gave us ONLY 24 hours in the day,
and I would submit to you that there is enough time to do all
HE calls us to do in it!

How often I have done what I WANTED
to do rather than what I SHOULD do!

Again, I would say that we make time for the things we
value as PRIORITY.

The World would tell us that WE are the priority.
WE must do something for ourselves or
we will wither up and die!

Is this really TRUE ~
or just another lie that we have embraced?

Our niece was recently in Ghana.
The experiences she had and the things she observed put me to shame.
Those people have no "extra" time.

They SURVIVE.

Yet, in the midst of it all,
they are CONTENT and even JOYFUL!!

If we would view our children as the
BLESSING that they are,
and think Biblically about them,
we may find our PRIORITIES will come into clearer focus.


So, back to the question ~
How do you accomplish "real" life and get it
ALL done while "doing" school?

Each family has a unique mix of children.
Things are always in a state of change when there are children in the home.
While the children are young, they require so much physical care
and contribute very little to the running of the home.

But this situation is short-lived.

They quickly become capable and willing to be a help.
Even a small (3 year old) child can help with simple chores.
"Mummy folds the laundry while you run it to the right location for me!"
Make it FUN.
They WANT to help!

AND before long, they REALLY will be
a help! REALLY! :)

Our eight year old girl LOVES to wash dishes!
That comes in handy right now as our dishwasher is broken. :)
Yes, she takes longer to do it and makes a bit of a mess in the process,
but she is occupied HELPING and is JOYFUL about it!!

Teaching happens ALL DAY LONG.
Yes, there are academics to be tackled,
but there is SO MUCH of life that is just LIVING.
Include the children in the tasks of the day.

When we began homeschool, our children were 10, 8, 6, and 3 years old.
I found that we could work for an hour together on the "essentials" ~
dishes, laundry, vacuuming, etc...
and accomplish in that ONE hour
what would have taken me about THREE hours to do alone.
Essentially, the children "gave back" two hours a day to me,
which I then could use for teaching.
Interesting, isn't it?

I would encourage any young mother just beginning in this journey to
think through a "daily duties" routine, and include the children!

How does that look in our home?
Each child is responsible for at least one specific "daily duty"
and remains in that "office" until such a time as I think it is best
to rotate them into the next job.
(Probably not for at least a year ~
time enough for them to become proficient at it,
and for me to not have to worry about it).

This way, you train one child well in their job and they do it consistently.
If it is not done properly or not at all,
you will know who is responsible.
It is also "ease of operation" for Mum.
No great long explanations or instructions are necessary.

When I say "chore time" they all know what is expected.
As they get older they will be capable of more,
and they will be more efficient at it.

Also, keep in mind that if you begin homeschool at the begining,
you will likely have only ONE child doing academic studies and
it will take a relatively small amount of concentrated time to teach
him or her in the early grades.

As that child grows and the next child is introduced to formal "school",
presumably, the older child will be a little more independent in their studies.
You will be able to assign seat work to him or her
while you work with their younger sibling.




As for what to do with toddlers and babies during the "teaching" time ~
maybe the "formal" academics could take place during nap time
or some other time when the little ones are happiest.
I've also found it to be a blessing to engage the older siblings in
one-on-one time with the younger children.
I have set the timer for 30 minutes while an older child plays with
or reads to a younger child.
And then they "rotate" and another child takes over.

There are so many ways this will play out and each year
(or multiple times throughout the year), tweaking will be necessary,
but the principle remains the same...
you are TRAINING children for the LORD and HIS glory...
not FIRST to be brain surgeons, lawyers, etc...
God will lead your family along as you seek HIM for wisdom.

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,
that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not;
and it shall be given him."
~ James 1:5 ~

Managers of Their Homes
is a fabulous resource to help bring order and
productivity to your home.

It can be done!

AND if you are wondering how to go about it,
I would highly recommend getting your hands on this book!

One more recommendation for you regardless of
the stage you are at in the journey is ~
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.


I have relished each copy that I have received!
The articles are full of encouragement from other Homeschool
families who have "been there" and "done that".
I have not been disappointed in the least with it.
In fact, the only time I was disappointed was when
my subscription ran out!

One last thought...
DO NOT allow yourself to get "bogged down" by the "system's"
objectives for your child.

Your child is, after all,
YOUR child and you must never allow yourself to
believe that "they" know best and are
"better equipped" to do the task!!
Oh...how easy it is to fall into this trap!

It IS a trap!!

WE know our children best.
WE have a love for our children that is God-given.
AND we are called by God to raise them FOR HIM!!

"Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
~ Proverbs 22:6 ~

Be sure to get your own copy of
"When You Rise Up"
for more encouragement in these precious truths!

Blessings to each of you!
In Him,
Camille

**Disclaimer ~ I am in no way compensated for the product
recommendations given in this post.
I only share them because they have been a blessing to me
and I trust they will be of benefit to you as well.

18 comments:

Lady Farmer said...

Thank you, Camille, for this very informative post! Even though I no longer have children at home (and they were not homeschooled ~ They went to private Christian Schools) if I had it to do again I would want to homeschool my children. But, I am so interested in what you are sharing here because I am hoping my daughter will homeschool our two little granddaughters. This is helpful and encouraging information that I can pass along to her.
Be Blessed today!

Patty said...

May God bless you and yours each day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and encouragement with others. Blessings.

Mountain Mama said...

Well, I've certainly been blessed!!! Oh Camille, thank you so much for this post. Your suggestions about how to get it all done...and that we can do what He has called us to do, well this is the kind of thing I like - practical advice. I'm looking for basic info, the kind that mothers pass along to each other on HOW they do things. Oh to be able to sit with you over a cup of coffee and take some notes. So thank you for posting all of this on your blog!
I've wondered about the Managers of Their Homes. Do you use it? Thinking more seriously about getting it now!
And I'm humbled by your link to my part of the blogosphere. One of these days, I just may get back on there more than once a week. Then again, only God knows!
Blessings to you, friend -
Tami

Wanting What I Have said...

Camille,
I feel as though my heart has just been deeply touched by the Lord. I mean that giving honor and glory to God. He has encouraged my heart through what you have shared here. Thank you for boldly and lovingly speaking truth into my life. Again. And. Again. How right and wise you are. I am so thankful to have you in my life and I hope one day, this side of eternity, I get to see you face to face and HUG your neck!

We are continuing to read When You Rise Up together, aloud. And it has been a tremendous blessing to us!

I thank the Lord for you, sweet friend. And I thank you for making time to graciously share the wisdom you've learned on this journey.

Thank you!

With love,
Jenn

Camille said...

Dear Raeann ~ My children were at the local Christian school for a few years before homeschool...the LORD is so gracious as HE gently leads us along! May the LORD give wisdom to you as you seek to encourage your daughter in these ways. :)

Dear Patty ~ Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement! May the LORD bless you and yours each day as well! :)

Dear Tami ~ Thank you for being honest on that post...it reminded me what it was like to just be beginning...I really felt for you! BUT...remember that the LORD never calls us to do something without also giving us the enabling to do it! Continue to look to HIM in everything...HE is FAITHFUL.

I would HIGHLY recommend the "Managers of Their Homes" to anyone who wonders HOW to go about organizing their lives with children and cleaning and schooling...VERY useful! I have borrowed a copy and used their principles over the years...they have much wisdom to share! As with anything, do not allow it to bog you down, take what works and leave the rest. The LORD will give the wisdom you need as you go forward with HIM! :)

Dear Jenn ~ It would be lovely to meet up one day...maybe the LORD will allow it to happen, wouldn't that be something? I am *so* glad you are benefitting from "When You Rise Up"...we surely have! God is so gracious and loving to lead us in HIS Truth, isn't HE? When you have been on this journey for awhile you will find that the LORD will bring others along for you to encourage...it's how it works! I have looked to those older and wiser than me ever since the beginning of our launch into homeschool...they have been such a blessing! May the LORD guide you day by day. :)

In His Love,
Camille

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

Camille - I wholeheartedly agree with everything you have written here. This is a wonderful post and so challenging. We share a similar outlook. I have never been to the gym and I don't get to attend the ladies knitting group at the coffee shop but have I 'missed out? Absolutely not! I have gained far more than what I 'lost'. I also exercise with my children and occasionally take my children with me to a local coffee shop which has wonderful comfy old couches. They sit and read their library books and I enjoy a latte!
When you rise up is one book I have not read yet so I'm putting it on my wish list. I am not from a reformed background and thought this book might be aimed more at those who are but with your recommendation I'm going to check out the Australian Christian book websites now to see if they stock it.
Oh and we also have that timeline!

Camille said...

Dear Ann ~ So precious these days are...and flying by too quickly!! Oh no, we have not "missed out"...lovely to hear that you don't think so either. :) I think that every Christian Homeschool family would benefit from the truth set out in "When You Rise Up"...SO incredibly encouraging and fortifying! I do hope you find it and are blessed by it.

In His Love,
Camille

Jill said...

What a wonderful post! I have always wanted to homeschool but wasn't sure how it would all come together. looking for support as well as many people seem to frown upon it here. But I think it is a wonderful thing to do, and if we were able to financially I would.
I will be looking into these resources and reading back on your other posts about it. Thanks so much for sharing. It is inspirational.

Many Blessings,
Jill

Heather said...

This is such a great post. You have so many insights that new and veteran homeschool moms can learn from. BTW, what is with all the broken dishwashers? Mine too, as well as others I've heard about.
What is it your daughter is looking at in the photo? A time line? Is it Canadian or American?
Have I mentioned that I love how your music on your blog continues to play when I'm commenting? Just another perk :)

Cinnamon said...

What a great end your series. I've enjoyed each one. Such a down home approach to not only schooling your children but enjoying them :-)

We love MOTH too!! So many good things in there.

We too have one older children take the youngest and teach, train and play with him, switching every half hour. Such a lifesaver :-)

~Cinnamon

Camille said...

Dear Jill ~ I understand where you are coming from! It is difficult to do without support! I trust this series will be a blessing to you in your situation and you will not feel discouraged...that is the LAST thing I want it to do! May the LORD give you daily the strength and grace you need to lead your girls to HIM...after all, that is what's MOST important! :)

Dear Heather ~ Ahh yes, the broken dishwasher thing...well, it's all for the good! :) As for the timeline you asked about...it is from Answers in Genesis and it is a reproduction of the timeline for ALL of earth's history from 1871! Here is the link to the one we have, just copy and paste ~

http://www.answersingenesis.org/PublicStore/product/Adams-Chart-of-History,5482,224.aspx

There is also an unbound one that is cheaper, but the same content. It is *SO* good...you will not regret owning it! Maybe I should do a post on it sometime. :)

Dear Cinnamon ~ How encouraging you are to me...thank you! I agree, rotating the children IS a blessing for sure. I have found that it also helps to develop the friendships they have with one another. (There is also sometimes trouble too, but that's what they have parents for, right?) *wink*

Blessings to you each one!
In His Love,
Camille

Jill said...

Thank you Camille,
You are so sweet and kind, and inspiring!
Have a great day!
Blessings,
Jill

Jill said...

Me again, LOL Just wanted to stop by and thank you for the lovely comment you left on my blog. Meant a lot to me and I wanted you to know it. So glad I found your blog and have had the opportunity to get to know you. Have a wonderful day!
Blessings,
Jill

Camille said...

Dear Jill ~ Than YOU for stopping by again and leaving me such encouraging words! AND it has been a blessing to get to know you as well. May the LORD be glorified in all we do! :)

In His Love,
Camille

Renee said...

Thank you for your encouragement and kind words.
Renee

Camille said...

Thank you for stopping by Renee...I'm glad it was an encouraging visit. :)

Blessings,
Camille

Jenn said...

Wonderful post full of great information! Thanks for sharing this.

Camille said...

Thanks for your encouragement Jenn! :)

In His Love,
Camille