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.
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!
**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.