Schooling well…

 Posted by on December 15, 2011  Add comments
Dec 152011
 

 As a homeschool mom, I truly want to educate my children well. As a believer in Christ, I desire to do everything for God’s glory, whether it’s schooling my children, keeping the house, or even my least favorite activity… laundry. Sometimes, I think it’s a good idea for homeschooling moms to step back and evaluate their homeschooling journey. Occasionally, we need to ask ourselves if we are educating our children to the best of our ability and really taking homeschooling seriously. Don’t we want educated Christians? …Believers, who can think, defend their faith well through the verbal and written word.

One of my desires as a homeschooling mom is that my children would enjoy their learning experience. I try to provide some fun activities along our homeschooling journey. I want my children to enjoy the learning process as much as possible, but let’s face it school work can’t always be fun there comes a point where it just has to be done.

Over the last fifteen years of homeschooling, I have watched sections of the homeschooling community go through changes, as more families jump on the homeschooling bandwagon.  The majority of homeschoolers I interact with are Christians, which makes the changes I observe even more discouraging. What I have observed over the years is that some of the homeschooling families are not truly preparing their children academically. The shift in homeschooling at least in some segments in my opinion seems to have swung too far. Some methods of homeschooling tend to foster this movement more than others. However, it seems no matter what method of homeschooling chosen many of the families run from clubs, to park days, to this or that. They are also members of multiple homeschool groups, co-ops etc. These are not bad things, but with all the activities and running around going on how much quality academic learning is taking place. In the quest to make sure the children are socialized, too many activities maybe forsaking an emphasis on academics.

A word of caution, there are so many great curriculum choices available for the homeschool community. Many created by homeschooling parents themselves. Some of these are wonderful, but others lack the depth and breadth needed to educate beyond a surface level of understanding especially in the middle and upper grades.

I am not making an argument that homeschooling look like public education. I pray it looks far different than a classroom. I  think there are many wonderful homeschooling methods. There is not one right way to homeschool.  However, whatever method used, at some point, subject matter should be taught if the home school parent is actually going to home school, and from my personal experience, you have to be home sometime to actually homeschool, not running from event to event.

I understand that not all students are college bound, but that does not give me an excuse, if my child is able not to educate them as if they are. One day they may want to attend college and I want the transition to be a smooth one.

My desire is that I would prepare my children for what the Lord has planned for them. I do not want them to have to suffer consequences, and overcome certain obstacles because I did not prepare them well. There are enough things in life they are going to face without me adding to it because I didn’t do my job to the best of my ability.

What I am not talking about is perfection, and having eight children I know too well there will be days with sick children, crying babies. etc. I just want to encourage homeschool moms to find the balance needed, so that we don’t neglect the academic side especially as the children get older.

Finally, we are not guaranteed more than the current moment on this earth. What if something happened to me or something happened in the family and my children had to be placed into a structured school setting. How would they do? Whether we like it or not these are realities that could happen. I pray not, but I must ask myself have I given my children what they need, so that academically the transition would be as easy as possible. Have I lived out the gospel in front of them? Have I taught them the things of God, so that they might stand strong on their own?

What should the goal as Christian homeschooling parents be? I cannot say what that is for your child, or your family, but as for my children, I pray they would live a holy life and bring Glory to God in all areas of their life.  I pray that I would be found faithful… and that I prepared them well.

 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog–it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. James 4:14

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1Corinthians 10:31

 For everything comes from him, exists by his power, and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Romans 11:36

You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.  Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. Psalm73:24-26

Kim has been married for twenty-four years and a minister’s wife for more than twenty years. She has eight children. Their ages range from a twenty year old down to a four year old.  After teaching in public and private school for several years, she has now been homeschooling her own children for the last fifteen years. She would like to say she reads, travels and does all kinds of wonderful things in her spare time, but the truth is she spends her spare time doing laundry.

  19 Responses to “Schooling well…”

  1. Absolutely! Well said :)

  2. do it all for the glory of God! What a timely message right here at the middle of the year. What a powerful charge for all homeschoolers. For all parents. Thank you Kim. So thankful for you!

  3. Kim, This is an excellent post and a point that needs to be made. I just spoke on the very same topic in the “mom’s room” of our homeschool co-op because I, too, am seeing this trend. The subject has been weighing heavily on my heart for quite some time and this post proves that maybe I ought not stop talking about it. Thanks for posting from your heart today. I’m praying lots and lots of people take the time to read it.

  4. Thank you for being bold enough to share your heart! There are so many times that I question my own methods. Do we need to participate in more activities? Do I really need to make the kids sit quietly during school? Am I too structured and strict? But then I think of exactly what you said… what if something happened and home schooling was no longer an option for us? Could my kids handle the public school setting?

    I also fear that the more “unschooled” we become, the more likely we are to lose the freedom that we have. If we prove that we can’t do an adequate job of educating our children and take this wonderful opportunity for granted, we are going to lose it.

  5. Bravo! Having finished my journey, I can say that there were times I was too focused on whether or not my kids could make it in public school if something happened to me and then there were times I was probably too relaxed with things. Now my children would probably say I was never too relaxed. :) I think it is ever important to constantly seek the Lord in everything you do and especially in your homeschooling to make sure that what you’re doing is honoring to Him. What we teach our children and how we teach them to behave and what importance we place on learning will have an effect on them and our grandchildren and the world when we are long gone. There comes a point when school has to be about more than seeing your friends…and I mean the mom’s friends, too.

  6. Thank you for the comments ladies. I hesitated writing a post about this, but the subject came up in a homeschool moms’ meeting and I was asked to turn those comments into a blog post. I have no doubt that most homeschool moms want to do their very best with their children’s education and that will look different for each family. We just need to be careful to find the balance that works for us not neglecting the academics.
    ~ All for His glory

    • and I so appreciate you turing your words into a blog post!! As I said I believe it was words (inspired by the Holy Spirit) that all Home schooling moms need to hear!! Thank YOU so much KIM!!!

  7. this is excellent! thanks for sharing!

  8. Kim, This could not have come at a better time in our journey! I have been pondering over this same thinking of whether we are doing way too much and not concentrating on school more. Struggling really as to what we should not be doing! Thank you for your wisdom and being willing to share!

  9. I have to step back every so often and make sure I am not over committed, and not doing what I was called to do… actually school my children. It is easy to add too many things, but on the other extreme you don’t want to only do academics. Homeschooling should be a good experience. It’s really just a balance.
    The bottom line of the article is prepare them to the best of their ability. That doesn’t mean we need to compare ourselves to the public school. Just do our best, and not over commit ourselves.

  10. Thank you so much for the encouragement and for the reminder. This is timely especially at this time of the year. God bless!

  11. Thank you – I feel like you just answered a question/prayer for me. I was starting to feel like I’m a homeschool scrooge because we only leave our house for (school-related) activities/ extracurricular classes once during the week. I get the opposite message from other moms: relax, they’ll get it eventually, play IS learning, etc. I’ve been thinking “geez, am I really making this too hard?” But, no, I want my children to have strong skills AND the benefit of learning in a way that fits their needs and interests and the opportunity for frequent breaks & extra family time.

  12. I just started homeshchooling “seriously” this year – which means I’m not putting the kids back into school at semester! :) I admit I don’t teach every subject (beyond the 3 Rs and science), but what I do teach I teach fully and well. Although I don’t teach (much) grammar or art (at all) now, I’m gradually adding in the subjects I don’t teach as I can do it all well. I’m hoping next year I’ll have a complete, quality homeschool. I agree, I want to prepare my kids for whatever God has in store for them, in their education just as much as in everything else.

    Thank you for this post. I’m innundated with messages like “letting the kids play with Legos is math!” (really, I’m sure the people who design bridges and skyscrapers did more than play with Legos – like hours upon hours of bookwork!) It’s helpful to hear that education, even when it’s not fun, is a worthy homeschool goal.

    • Laura, Thanks for the comment. I am sure you are doing a great job, and there is plenty of time for fun and play while homeschooling, but sometimes practicing those math problems just isn’t any fun. :)

  13. Such good thoughts, and I agree completely! =)

  14. I wholeheatedly agree! This has been our family’s homeschooling theme verses Colossians 3: 23-24 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

  15. Just found this article link in an old email. I so agree with you! As my daughter has gotten older, I realize the importance of making sure she is “ready” for whatever God has for her. This is partly my job and partly God’s. It is my job to do mine to the best of my ability. The “good” and “fun” things have had to become less as the serious side of school increases. Thank you for writing this and I pray that many parents listen…… even if it is many months later! :)

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