Homeschool Ideas: 10 Things Every Homeschooler Should Remember
by Kathie Morrissey
Ten homeschool ideas every parent needs to remember:
- The best teacher God can provide for your children is YOU, their parent – regardless of how unqualified you may feel.
- As parents, we know our children best, and we love them more than any teacher would. We can evaluate their work based on their abilities and assess it based on their effort rather than their intelligence. We know them well enough to know if they are really trying. We can challenge them at their level, but without unnecessary frustration. The best teacher God can provide for your children is you.
- The most important thing you can do is win your children’s hearts. When you have their hearts, you are able to pour into them the truths that God is teaching you; you have a valuable opportunity to influence not just what they do, but who they are.
- Give priorities first place in your day. God’s Word shows us what our priorities should be as parents. In 2 Peter 1:5 it says, “…add to your faith virtue (or character); and to virtue knowledge.” Start your day pointing children to God and His Word, and then train them in character. Training them in godly character is much more important than teaching them academics. The academics are important, but character is what will make a difference in their life. Wisdom is the principal thing—not knowledge.
- You CAN do it! We all have times when we wonder whether we are giving our kids what they need academically, or wonder how we will get through the challenging high school subjects. The key is that we can do it through the strength of Christ. Daily time alone with Christ is essential! Without His help, we will struggle.
- You don’t need to wait until you feel prepared and qualified. You will never totally feel ready or confident that you are as qualified as you should be. However, if you feel God is calling you to teach your kids, and you are willing to obey Him, you are ready. That is the only qualification and preparation you need: a willing heart and spirit. Be teachable, and let God lead you. He will bless your efforts and obedience.Be teachable and let God lead you. He will bless your efforts and obedience.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. As homeschooling parents, we tend to take our responsibility very seriously—and we should; but at the same time, it’s important to lighten up and enjoy the journey. Read together, go to the park, laugh, and have fun. When things are stressful and a child or a subject is frustrating you, switch things up, change your focus for a time, and do something different. Don’t sacrifice the relationship because of a standstill with a subject.
- Your marriage needs to stay at the top of your priority list. Don’t get so caught up in planning and teaching that you don’t have time to nurture your marriage. The kids will be gone one day, and you want that relationship to still be strong. (Plus, you are giving your children the example and vision for a wonderful and godly marriage.)
- You can’t do it all. It’s so easy to get too busy with all the wonderful opportunities we want to give our children. However, if every day is overbooked with activity and rushing about, it leads to fatigue and eventual burnout. There is a limit to our physical energy, so it’s important to make wise choices about how we will use our time. Ask God what HE wants for your family, and make decisions based on His leading, rather than on what you see other homeschooling families doing. We are not all created alike, and God calls each of us to different things.
- We all have bad days. Not all of us want to admit that, and we usually don’t want to talk about them, but they are part of the package. Kids get sick, moms get sick, kids have bad attitudes, and you will wonder what in the world possessed you to ever keep them home! On the other hand, some days will be great. You will love what you are doing and be glad God called you to teach your kids at home. Don’t let the bad days get you down.
Homeschooling is more about discipling and preparing children for life than it is about academics. There are definite academic advantages, but the true value of homeschooling comes in the spiritual and biblical values that we are able to impart.
Kathie Morrissey, founder of the Character Corner/Courtship Connection, is a mother of eight children and a homeschooling mom of twenty-eight years. She is a popular speaker at homeschool events, family seminars, and mother/daughter banquets. Her desire is to help and encourage parents in raising godly children with strong Christian character.
This article was originally published in the 2013 fall edition of the Virginia Home Educator.
Be teachable and let God lead you. He will bless your efforts and obedience.