Three MORE Truths Every New Homeschool Mom Should Know

Last week, I told you about three Homeschool Truths I’ve learned in my six years of homeschooling. Now I want to share three more Homeschool Truths that, had I really known them at the time, would have helped me tremendously when I first started homeschooling:

Three more truths for homeschool moms. The encouragement in this article is amazing!

1) It’s important to offer grace liberally.

You’re going to be making a lot of changes. So will your kids and your husband. While this isn’t an excuse to allow tempers flare or to let the house become a continual state of chaos, it is a reason to extend grace as all of you learn to adjust to the new norm.

Don’t just stop at offering grace to those within your home, though. Chances are that friends and relatives are going to have a ton of questions and concerns about your decision to homeschool.

Answer their questions lovingly and with kindness, but if others won’t relent, simply state, “I understand that you want what’s best for my children. My husband and I want that as well.” Then change the subject and ask how they’re doing. If they still won’t ease up, politely end the conversation and walk away.

2) The first year of homeschooling will be one of your absolute hardest years.

I heard this advice before I started homeschooling. So I decided to start homeschooling when my oldest daughter was four because I assumed that preschool surely couldn’t be very difficult!

I’ve since learned the first year isn’t difficult because of the schoolwork itself. Not at all. For me, that first year was difficult because selfish behaviors I didn’t even realize I had were ripped right out from under me. I was left flailing around, desperately trying not to fall flat on my back.

I also had to work through deep fears that I was going to screw up my children, regardless of that fact that, statistically, homeschool kids consistently outperform their public-school peers academically, socially, and spiritually.

And I needed to learn how to schedule my time and manage my home while still teaching school (I failed miserably in this area; my house was a complete disaster for quite a while).

Encouragement for new homeschool moms - you will get the hang of this!

The good news is that it does get easier and you will find a groove as you become more confident, so don’t give up!

3) It’s important to find support!

If my father-in-law hadn’t given me a little pamphlet he’d seen about a local homeschool support group, I don’t know how I would have survived that first year.

I called the number listed and cried hard as I blubbered to the poor soul on the other end about how stressed out and overwhelmed I was.

I vaguely remember hearing something like, “Oh, she’s in preschool? It’ll be okay, I promise. You can do this. Why don’t you join us for an event next week?”

Bless that woman’s heart, she was so nice and gentle and didn’t tell me I was insane for sobbing over preschool work! I nervously drove to the activity and was immediately put at ease by the wonderful people of all ages who welcomed us into their hearts.

A few of my closest friends are also women I met at various homeschool events. We’ve bonded over stories of homeschool struggles and successes. That support from someone who understands has been invaluable and, as a wonderful bonus, our children have become best friends as well!

And now, beginning our sixth year of homeschooling? I love the fruit and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

“For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7-8 (NKJV)

What would you add to this list of encouraging truths that every homeschool mom should know?

{PS Don’t forget to read three other Truths for new homeschool moms here.}

Davonne (6 Posts)

Davonne Parks is a married Christian homeschool mom who began teaching her children at home in 2009. She blogs about cultivating a heart for motherhood, as well as organization and simplicity, at DavonneParks.com. Davonne believes that some of life’s richest moments happen when we embrace the beauty of imperfection as we extend grace to ourselves and others. She’s written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to her blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”


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Three Truths Every New Homeschool Mom Should Know

This year is my sixth full year of homeschooling my children. Throughout these years, I’ve learned and grown so much. Here are three truths that, had I really known them at the time, would have helped me tremendously when I first started homeschooling:

Three encouraging truths that all homeschool moms need to know! I love the thoughts on # 3!

1) It’s possible to homeschool frugally.

The first year involves a lot of learning about what works for your family, including your teaching style and your children’s learning styles.

So, no matter how excited you are about the books you’re buying and the lessons you’re planning, whatever you’re using now probably will not be what you end up sticking with for the long-haul. And that’s okay!

There are so many free resources, like All In One Homeschool,” which is a complete, free online Christian homeschool curriculum. You can also browse the internet and visit your library for a plethora of information about every subject!

For visual learners (or on days when you just need a little extra ease), Youtube videos are great for science and Netflix can be utilized for educational purposes as well.

Or maybe, for your own peace of mind, you want to go with a relatively inexpensive box curriculum like a basic set from “My Father’s World.” That’s perfectly fine as well – just remember there’s no need to spend an exuberant amount of money homeschooling.

A great bonus to keeping costs down is that if something really isn’t working for your family, you can pitch it, guilt-free.

2) There is time to relax.

I used to think that I was too busy to relax, but the reality is that I have too much going on not to take time to refresh my spirit.

Give your kids a quiet activity each afternoon, set the timer, and take 30-60 minutes to refresh and relax. You could read a few chapters in a great book, take a warm bath, paint your nails, try a new hairstyle, take a catnap, or work on a hobby or fulfilling a dream (for me, that means writing as often as possible!).

A note of caution: If you’re new to quiet times, keep a pleasant attitude when you lay your children back down for the 15th time in 20 minutes. Eventually they’ll catch on and it’ll be worth your initial effort!

Relax

3) It’s okay to be imperfect!

As a recovering perfectionist, this was probably the hardest and most important lesson I’ve had to learn during my homeschool journey.

My job isn’t to be a perfect mom, to have perfect kids, or even to teach my children everything they need to know – my job is to love my children fully, to show them Jesus, and to help them to enjoy learning so they’ll willingly teach themselves anything they need to know as they grow older.

So while we should strive to do our best, we also need to be okay with the fact that our best isn’t perfect.

“And He said to me, ’My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me… For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NKJV)

I’m going to share three more truths next week, but for now feel free to chime in the comments and let us know:

Seasoned homeschoolers: What would you add to this list of encouraging truths that every new homeschool mom should know?

New homeschool moms: What areas do you feel that you need extra encouragement?

Davonne (6 Posts)

Davonne Parks is a married Christian homeschool mom who began teaching her children at home in 2009. She blogs about cultivating a heart for motherhood, as well as organization and simplicity, at DavonneParks.com. Davonne believes that some of life’s richest moments happen when we embrace the beauty of imperfection as we extend grace to ourselves and others. She’s written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to her blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”


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Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART CLASS curriculum: 10% off + 10% off on all other products in order + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code : HSP Offer expires August 31st. www.seethelightshine.com***

Rethinking Achievement Testing

A-Testing

 

As you were growing up and receiving an education, you were taught in certain ways, using systems and procedures that you eventually assumed to be the “correct way” to teach and evaluate students. Public schools teach using the curriculum of the state; that is, subjects that can be evaluated through national achievement testing. As a child, you might have been allowed to pray in school, but Bible or spiritual training was not a part of the state’s curriculum.

This “measurable academics only” approach is based on Greek philosophy. Today’s parents generally believe that achievement testing is the only or the best way to assess a child’s development and educational advancement.

An old story illustrates how easy it is to be conditioned into a wrong thinking pattern. A husband asked his wife why she always cut off the end of the rump roast before roasting it. She replied, “I’m not sure why. I’ve never thought about it. My mother always cut off the end of the rump roast, so there must be a reason.”

A few weeks later Mother visited the family. The man asked his wife’s mother, “We were wondering, why do you always cut off the end of the rump roast before you roast it?” She replied, “I don’t know. I have never thought about it. My mother always cut off the end of the rump roast, so there must be a reason.” This made them all curious.

PrimeRibRoast5They decided to call the wife’s mother’s mother—the grandmother—to ask her. Grandmother answered the phone. The husband asked her, “Your daughter, granddaughter and I were wondering, why do you always cut off the end of the rump roast before you roast it?” Grandmother replied, “Oh, my roasting pan was too small. I had to cut it off it for it to fit in the pan!”

Many of us have been conditioned to believe that “the state” has all the answers and that a staff of very educated people created the state standards. These educated people, chosen by the state, surely know more than parents know concerning what children need to prepare for life.

There are many good home-school books, support groups and workshops available to help re-condition (un-brainwash) parents who realize that the state system does not work. It does not do a good job of educating our children or evaluating our children— there are better ways. It is possible to train and educate our children while maintaining God-honoring perspectives.

Why do I think there are so many misled parents? For many years, I have presented a monthly workshop for parents interested in home education. Each session included a question-and-answer period. Even though the majority of the parents were considering home-education for religious reasons, the questions asked made it easy to determine that most parents have been indoctrinated with a “public school mentality.”

faqThe most frequently asked questions pertaining to teaching and evaluating home-schooled students are:

  1. How do I find out if my child is required to take the achievement test?
  2. How do I know if I am meeting state standards?
  3. How do I know if the curriculum I am using includes everything on the Achievement Tests?
  4. Shouldn’t I use textbooks, such as the schools use?
  5. What about college?
  6. What about algebra, higher math, and lab sciences?
  7. How will Goals 2000, Outcome-Based Education (OBE), or the new national standards affect the achievement tests?
  8. How do I know that the material I am using will prepare my child for life?
  9. How do I motivate my child to learn?
  10. What about grades?
  11. How do I really know if I am doing enough?

It seems that the state has conditioned many parents to fear teaching their own children. Even the parents looking into teaching kindergarten or first grade at home fear they are not qualified to teach simple things such as the alphabet and basic addition.

Of course, we all want our children to do the best they can do in all areas. But, what is the most important thing you can do to prepare your children for life? Teach him algebra, computer skills, writing skills? In all the workshops I have given I have heard the previous questions over and over. But never once has anyone asked:

  1. How can I find out what God’s will is for my child?
  2. How do I determine my child’s God-given gifts?
  3. How will I know if my child is saved?
  4. What does the Bible say we should teach to our children?
  5. How did godly men and women teach their children in Bible times?

Many people tend to view life as quartered: partly religious, partly educational, partly professional, and partly leisure-oriented. Yet, everything we do, regardless of occupation—home-maker, businessman, ditch digger, dentist—we should do unto our King. We should be praising and acknowledging Him in learning, work, recreation, and worship—in all things. In the same way, our children need to see their lives revolving around our King—their writing, reading, daily routine, studies, experiments, and friendships. We need to renew our minds—consider God’s ways first!

Before planning the school year, reflect and pray. The Bible says that no one builds a tower unless they first consider what is necessary (Luke 14:28).

The primary purpose of education should be to train the whole person for lifelong, obedient service, just as it was in Bible times (home was the center for education then). God never changes. He still has the same desire for us to know Him.

Our first goal must be to teach our children God’s ways and His paths. We home schoolers cannot be so worried about fractions or spelling that we skip the one needful thing: sitting at the feet learning from our Master, through Bible study and prayer. We can prepare our children for whatever direction their gifts and talents lie; however, God may take your child in another direction.

A Christian who is striving to find God’s Will for his life will be equipped in the important traits, prepared for anything in life.

Knowing the facts and scoring high on achievement tests is not a formula for success. The education required by the state is not true education. Christians’ questions should not be, “What score did she get on the achievement test?” or “What job or college is he prepared for?” The questions should be, “Is my child prepared to use the gifts and talents God has given her to carry out His Will in her life? Is this child seriously directed toward holiness, right relationships, and fruitfulness?”

SUMMARY

In our achievement-oriented society, significance or importance is equated with intellectualism. Even Christians tend to evaluate worth on the basis of achievement scores instead of who we are in Christ. Is it right to put our children on a performance scale to measure their worth and significance?

We’ve got to give up cookie cutter academic achievement goals and seek God’s standards. We must view each child as a unique individual (with different gifts and talents). God gave us these precious blessings with an instruction Manual —the Bible. The more familiar we are with the Manual, the more effective we will become in our teaching.

God promises to show us the way when we obey Him. F. B. Meyer writes about Abraham’s obedience, “There is nothing that God will not do for a man who dares to step out upon what seems to be the mist; who then finds rock beneath him as he puts his foot down.”

keep-calm-and-seek-ye-first-the-kingdom-of-god-1

This post is an excerpt from What Your Child Needs to Know When: According to the Bible/According to the State

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