Sunday, May 30, 2010

Homeschooling.....My 14 Year Take

This past week I just wrapped-up my 14th year of homeschooling.  If you would of told me 14 years ago that I would still be homeschooling and actually enjoying it, I probably wouldn't of believed you!  Anyway, how God led us to homeschool and how I finally "gave it a try" is another post.  I won't get into a debate about schooling options either, but I love to be with my children (they grow so fast) and homeschooling, while it can be stressful at times, is actually fun and freeing. I just wanted to write some bullet points I have learned in the last 14 years that might actually help someone just getting started or thinking about homeschooling.

1.  Have a schedule and stick with it as much as possible. Make it realistic, but don't be a slave to it.  "Managers of Their Homes" by Teri Maxwell is a great resource for making  schedules.  We get most of our schooling done by lunch time, with them finishing up assignments and "home work" in the afternoon.

2.  Start your schooling day all together with Bible reading and prayer.  We also do literature reading at this time.  This means I read some picture books for the younger ones and then work on a chapter book with all of them.  All my children love this time and look forward to it, so it makes starting school fun and something they want to do.

3.  Take at least one field trip a month.  This is such a wonderful bonus of homeschooling and it's good to take advantage of all the cool things you can take your kids to, basically whenever you want.  We do field trips with friends, HS groups and then sometimes just by ourselves.  When I first started homeschooling and just had kindergarten and younger ones, we took field trips weekly. 

4.  Make sure your husband holds you and the kids accountable.  Many husbands help with the homeschooling, especially if they work at home, but my husband has a very full time job and has never been able to do this.  He is considered the "principal" and checks up on the kids and handles discipline for me.  

5.  Get support. Join a HS group or co-op and take advantage of any HS classes or tutorials that may be in your area.  Also, attend your state's HS conference whenever possible, especially if you are just starting out.  It's so encouraging to see all the other homeschool families and actually get to look at differend curriculum.  The speakers are usually great too.

6.  Be involved in sports.  As a family, we love sports.  As a mother of many boys, I love sports :o) To get my kidos energy out, spend time as a family, have them get some socialization and learn team work and discipline we have been involved in lots of different sports over the years.  We've done homeschool leagues, Christian leagues and community leagues.  We've done tennis, soccer, swimming, football, ballet, running and wrestling.  Tennis is the one sport a basically require all my kids to learn.  I consider it our homeschool PE and they all begin to learn when they are around 5 or 6. This is nice because we can play together as a family and it's a skill they can have all their life. 

7.  Pray! Pray daily for each child.  Take time to pray during schooling time. Pray about what curriculum you use with each child.  I like to change things around some because I like to try new things and each of my children are so different.  I do have some favorites though and I'll post these later on, but I think taking time to pray, set goals and consider with your husband what is best for each child is very important.

Well, these are the first things that came to my mind as I looked back over 14 years of homeschooling.........not how much math we did or what their end of year test's scores were.  Enjoy this precious time with your children.  They will be going off to college before you know it!


  1. Hi! Found you over at Clover Lane! I've been enjoying reading your posts. I am going to try your chore system this summer! I am in NC too. Nice to meet you! I'll be following so I can come back soon!
    :) Jen

  2. Excellent points! You are so right -- they will be going to college before you know it!!


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