I Can’t Homeschool: I’m a Dad!

i_cant_homeschoolHomeschooling can seem like a daunting journey, especially for those who are new to the concept. We are unsure of where to start, overwhelmed by the notion of taking on our children’s education, and feel as if we are not enough. May we offer encouragement for families unsure of the adventure called homeschooling.

Joining us today is Rod Lampard, a fellow homeschooler and blogger. As a stay at home father, he is with us today to share his perspective on being the primary teacher to his homeschooled children. We pray this encourages all fathers wishing to take an active role in their children’s education.

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Placed together, the words mum and home are more familiar terms than dad and home. Homeschooling mums are often on the frontline. Fathers appear more on the peripheral. As a result, fathers who find themselves homeschooling, or fathers who want to help homeschool, may be left with a sense of uncertainty about their role.

Gender role stereotypes reinforced by patriarchy aside, post-modern portrayals of fatherhood, from Al Bundy to Homer Simpson, have created an image of dads as indifferent. They’re depicted as irresponsible, discontent with life and constantly inconvenienced by their families.

These are only caricatures, but they push a narrative of defeat, despair and disempowerment.

Attitudes towards dads that are built on these caricatures can take away from the empowerment a father can add to the homeschooling journey.

Even without the discouragement of popular attitudes towards fatherhood, working out what dad’s role is in the overall task of homeschooling can be difficult.

One good place to start is prayer. Ask for understanding and discernment. Work out what role might best fit the season your family is in. Homeschooling allows a great deal of flexibility in the daily grind. There is plenty of room for a dad to bring his talents to the table and teach his kids. Not only does he have an opportunity to encourage, he has the opportunity to hand down an inheritance that will surpass both dollar and time.

Here are seven ways a homeschooling dad can develop his role in the homeschool journey:

Lead like Jesus:
Take an interest in who is learning what. Pray with your homeschoolers. Take the initiative; be teachable and learn along with your children. Homeschooling is as much about goals and grind, as it is about building relationships and expanding knowledge. Make your kids laugh.  If the day is being obviously rough on mum, help her take a break and retake the high ground.

Bring the rain:
If time is limited due to work, take up a creative, research and development role. Think outside the box, plant then water ideas. Weekend activities might be a better option. For example: Create loopy lunches, write crazy poetry, make some shaving cream art, or gummy bear toothpick construction. All of these would tick boxes in parts of the curriculum.

Teach from what you know:
Reach to expand the gifts, natural talents and interests of your kids. Utilize your own interests and create shared ones. Speak from your field of expertise and work out some way of passing that knowledge on. For example: a passion for history, technology, politics, theology, science, or computer games such as Kerbal Space Program, Age of Empires, Sim City or Stranded Deep.

Teach by example:
Parents teach by word, deed and attitude. Whilst marriage building is not recommended as being the sole reason dads participate in the homeschool process, it is a potential benefit. Working alongside each other and by sharing the duty of care, husband and wife can teach by example.

Aim to bless, not impress:
Do what you can with what you’ve got. Dads can empower homeschooling by helping to keep things grounded. When lag or a fog settles in over the day, a loving, but firm course correction is sometimes needed. Offer a different perspective or kickstart momentum by creatively engaging in solutions.

Wonderment:
Bring the day to life. Find something to wonder at and invite your kids to wonder with you. What can be the better part of our homeschool day for us, is when I break out my “dad” music, a current newspaper or theology text that I’ve been reading. Be spontaneous. Seize the moment. Look for opportunities for lessons. Watch a documentary together and discuss it afterwards. Ignite a discussion about sport, art, music or movies. Include what you liked as a teenager. Discuss athletic talent, the ins and outs of a game, musical instruments, lyrics, acting, story lines or technique.

Review, review, review:
Sit down from time to time and strategize. Look back over where the kids are at. Seek to be on the same page as one another. Openly discuss concerns. Be realistic. Identify strengths and weaknesses, including a cost to benefit rethink of homeschool resources, objectives, and furniture or room layout.

Homeschooling is about life. It’s about empowering holistic education. Homeschooling requires teamwork. It recognizes that every parent is at once a teacher and a student. Dads in their own uniqueness bring an edge to the homeschooling task that cannot be replicated; may we have the strength to stand, taking up both role and task, with honour, perseverance, mercy, joy and gratitude.

‘Let frugality and industry be our virtues, if they are not of any others. And above all cares of this life, let our ardent anxiety be to mould the minds and manners of our children. Let us teach them not only to do virtuously, but to excel.’

– (John Adams, 29th June, 1774 The Letters of John and Abigail Adams)

Rod Lampard, July 25th 2015

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Rod Lampard Bio ImageYou can follow Rod Lampard at Gratia Veritas Lumen, where he writes about Christian theology, art, politics, society, and a little home schooling. If you’d like to stay connected, don’t forget to follow on Twitter and Instagram.

Resources Every Homeschool Family Could Use

Resources_Every_HS_Family_Could_UseIn conjunction with our “I Can’t Homeschool” series, let’s explore a few resources every homeschooling family could use.

In order to get a job done, and done well, you need the right tools. What tools would you find in a homeschooler’s tool box? Here are a few we couldn’t live without!

General Homeschool Resources

  • HSLDA – A legal defense organization willing to defend homeschooling worldwide, and educate families of their rights.
  • Student/Teacher ID’s – If you don’t have one already, make one! ID’s get you discounts all over, ensuring extra savings, and opening doors to awesome homeschool opportunities.
  • Library – We practically live at our library. There is a wealth of resources there.
  • Reference Materials – Grab a good atlas, dictionary, thesaurus, and perhaps a book on idioms. You’ll use them. A lot.
  • Internet – Pinterest, YouTube Kids App, and more are waiting to help your family with homeschooling needs.
  • Planner/Organizer – Whether you prefer printed, online, or a word processor, take time to plan out your year and get your family organized.
  • Patience & A Sense of Humor – These, unfortunately, you cannot buy at the local market. Pray, pray, pray for God to grace you with these resources.

Beginning Homeschool Resources

Junior/High School Resources

In addition to these general resources, our family also has day-to-day resources we highly recommend. Read about more of our family’s must have tools HERE! For printable resources, check out our new Record Keeping and Free Printables pages found at the top of each page!

🔔Time to Chime In: Okay, fellow homeschoolers, time to share your ‘tool box’ with us! What homeschooling resources can you not live without?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter, & Pinterest!

I Can’t Homeschool: My Family Will Disapprove

i_cant_homeschoolHomeschooling can seem like a daunting journey, especially for those who are new to the concept. We are unsure of where to start, overwhelmed by the notion of taking on our children’s education, and feel as if we are not enough. May we offer encouragement for families unsure of the adventure called homeschooling.

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After what seems like months of prayer and searching, you’ve finally accepted the decision to homeschool your children. You’re a little intimidated by the thought of taking on such a momentous task, but excited by the adventure to come. You can’t wait to share the news with your friends and family.

But, what happens when your family is less than encouraging? What if their disapproval boarders on anger, distrust, and hurt. Instead of cheering you on, the attacks begin.

Pray for Them

As hard as it might be, we need to be praying for those who strongly oppose homeschooling. We should be asking the Lord to soften their hearts, open their eyes to the possibilities, and quiet their tongues. No matter how long we homeschool, praying for those who oppose what we stand for should be a daily event.

Understand Them

Often, people oppose homeschooling because they feel it is a personal attack on themselves. They might misconstrue our actions as judgement for not homeschooling their own children, or ourselves when we were younger. (After all, what’s wrong with the education we received? Right?) Others might wrongly assume we are being prideful, or arrogant; thinking we are better than those who’ve been educated to become teachers.

When we understand where our opposition is coming from, we have a greater opportunity to share with them our hearts toward homeschooling, and remove any unfounded ideas.

Educate Them

If they are willing to listen, we need to be open to sharing what homeschooling means for our family and our mission in educating our children. We could share what our children will be learning, how they will be learning, and how family can be involved in the process, if they so desire.

Politely Ask Them to Stop

Unfortunately, some people feel the need to continue expressing their thoughts well after they’re welcome. In fact, some people don’t know when it’s polite to stop sharing and just let things be. If you come across someone who feels the need to express their displeasure regarding your homeschooling every time you see them, kindly ask them to keep their comments to themselves. As nicely as you can, let them know you’ve heard their concerns, but are sure this is the direction the Lord has called you. Ask them to remain silent on this issue in the future, and, if they still have concerns, pray the Lord would be clear about His intentions for your family.

Ignore Them

Just as unfortunate are those people who not only cannot seem to stop complaining, but refuse to stop even when asked. In such cases, the only option is to ignore them. When they choose to incessantly bring up the issue, smile and nod; then walk away without making a comment.

If this proves too difficult, or the person becomes obnoxious, it might time to put a barrier between you until the other person can be more respectful of your family’s choices. You should not be forced to endure such stress, nor should your children be subject to continuous debate and/or ‘testing’ of new skills learned.

The Proof’s in the Pudding

Given a little time, the success of your children’s learning and the strength of your family unit will usually convince people homeschooling is a positive decision for your family. Don’t worry about convincing every person you see of the value in homeschooling. Move forward in the direction God is leading, and allow God to use your family as an example of all He is accomplishing.

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While I’d like to tell you everyone will be leap for joy over your decision to homeschool, this would not be the truth. Some will feel you are in over your head, a few will think you are being prideful and arrogant, and yet more will accuse you of using homeschooling as a means of brainwashing your children with your worldview.

It’s not your job to convince everyone that homeschooling is wonderful, nor should you have to justify your actions to anyone. If the Lord is leading you to homeschool, this is the only approval you need. Pray for those who stand against you, and move forward knowing God stands with you. If you find you need a little encouragement, find a like-minded family and pray for one another. Looking for a friend? You’re always welcome here!

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Galatians 1:10

🔔Time To Chime In: If you’re already homeschooling, how did your families react to this decision?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter, & Pinterest!

I Can’t Homeschool: My Kids Are Too Big

i_cant_homeschoolHomeschooling can seem like a daunting journey, especially for those who are new to the concept. We are unsure of where to start, overwhelmed by the notion of taking on our children’s education, and feel as if we are not enough. May we offer encouragement for families unsure of the adventure called homeschooling.

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Whenever I have the blessing of counseling new homeschooling families, I encourage them to start home education at the earliest opportunity. The transition to viewing home as a learning environment is more smoothly made, and often parents are less overwhelmed by the amount, and level, of work expected of their students.

Does this mean homeschooling junior or senior high kids is out of the question? Absolutely not! It’s never too late to start homeschooling.

Understandably there are a few concerns parents might have when pulling their children from their existing schools and bringing them home. But if the Lord is leading our family to homeschool, we need to step forward in faith, knowing He will see us through.

My Child Has Concerns About Being Homeschooled

I wish I could say all children respond to homeschooling with open enthusiasm. Unfortunately not all children jump for joy at the prospect of mom and dad also being teacher.

Pray for your child, asking the Lord to soften their heart and open their mind.  Pray with your child, asking the Lord to give you both wisdom and patience. Encourage open discussions about their concerns, answering any questions the might have, and working through any difficulties.

My Child Has A Lot of Friends

One of the biggest concerns some have with removing children from their current learning environment is social interaction. The multitude of friends already gained might be lost, and your child might begin to feel distanced.

Friends, true friends, will not be daunted by the fact that your child is no longer attending the same school. Make a point of encouraging your child to set up social visits, keeping in contact via phone and email. Consider making new friends by getting involved in a local homeschooling group.

How Do I Teach Advanced Classes?

Once a child begins junior and senior high classes, parents start worrying about advanced placement courses and classes which might be out of their league. The thought of teaching calculus causes anxiety attacks.

Instead of fretting over how to teach subjects which you might have struggled with, or never took, during your own learning experience, consider the following learning opportunities:

  • Hire a Tutor
  • Online Courses
  • DVD Courses
  • Taking Courses Through a Local College
  • Educational Co-Op Classes with a Local PSP

What About College?

Despite popular belief, homeschooled children have no issue getting into college. In fact, most colleges seek homeschooled students out.

If you’re needing more information about how to help your child make the most of their high school years, which courses they need to get into college, and which college might be the best fit, I would suggest starting your search by reading The High School Handbook. You’ll find everything you need to get the ball rolling.

Starting your homeschool journey in higher grades can be a bit intimidating. But, with a lot of prayer, a few helps, and some encouragement, it can be done. Remember, if God called you to this, He will be faithful to see you through. Let worry take a backseat, and enjoy the adventure called homeschooling!

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

🔔Time To Chime In: Is there a high school course which has you worried?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter, & Pinterest!

10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Homeschooling

10_ThingsIn conjunction with our “I Can’t Homeschool” series, I’d like to take a step back and ponder things I wish I had known before homeschooling. Little pieces of wisdom I didn’t yet know, lessons I’ve learned along the way, and tips for making my own life easier.

Here are 10 things I wish I had known before we started homeschooling:

  1. This isn’t a one-man show. I wish someone had told me at the very beginning that I wouldn’t need to stress over every decision being made about my children’s education. My husband has a great deal of input and the Lord does the leading. I’m not in this alone, and I’m not expected to complete the task single-handedly.
  2. Believe in the gap theory. Every student has some gaps in their learning, every single one. I need to stop stressing over this and just accept it as fact. Does this mean we don’t give it our best and pursue as far as we can? Absolutely not! We firmly believe in mastering our studies. However, it also means we understand that I can only do my best, my kids can only do their best. Gaps are bound to happen.
  3. Plan routines, not schedules. I love schedules, really I do. The danger with schedules, however, is that they tend to be rigid. Instead of a set schedule, I need to have a routine, which changes and flows with the family unit. It’s okay to have a plan in place, as long as it’s not set in stone.
  4. Being a good teacher does not mean I’ll always be treated well. I used to equate my teaching with how well my kids treated me. The Lord had to teach me a lesson. My kids are sinners, too. They make mistakes, they are unkind at times, and they are still learning patience. I can be the best teacher there is (I wish I was) and they might still have an off day. This is not a personal reflection on me as a teacher or parent, it’s just human nature.
  5. One bad moment does not a bad day make. Sometimes I can get caught up in the moment. A stressful situation can cause a shadow to be cast on the entire day. I need to take each moment as it comes. I should extend grace, accept repentance, and move forward as if the day was new. Often that one moment passes with the remainder of the day being lovely.
  6. Repetition is not a bad thing. It can be disheartening to teach a particular lesson again, and again, and again, and again, only to have our child still not understand. We can often mistake this for poor teaching on our part or a problem with our child. In truth, it might not be either. Our child might be easily distracted, this could be a difficult concept to grasp, or a change in approach might be needed. Instead of losing heart over how long it’s taking to teach the lesson, I need to be encouraged that my child still wants to learn and remain focused on the objective. Repetition is a good thing. i_cant_homeschool
  7. Finding friends can be hard. I wish I could say we are surrounded by tons of close friends. While we do have some friends we are blessed to fellowship with, this hasn’t always been the case, nor has it always been easy finding them. Through prayer, time, and many group outings, this area is improving.
  8. Sometimes it’s okay to spend money. I tend to be a penny pincher. If I can make it, why buy it? However, I only have so much time in my day and so much patience. If I have the option of buying something for a reasonable price, saving myself time and energy which could be better spent with my kids, I’m going for it. It’s okay to be frugal. It’s also okay to see the greater good, more time spent with my family.
  9. I need to take care of myself. While I’m a firm believer in taking care of my family and serving in ministry, I also need to make sure I’m not neglecting myself. I tend to eat last, hardly drink anything, sleep very little, and do too much. It’s okay to admit I need help with various tasks, take a moment for myself, and restrict my volunteer work. Being a good keeper of my home does not mean I need to run myself into the ground.
  10. There are days I will feel lost. No matter how long I do this, the enemy is still going to creep up on me, whispering in my ear, “You can’t do this. What were you thinking? You’re in over your head.” It’s in these moments the Lord reminds me of the truth: cannot do this. On my own I am over my head. The beauty of the situation is that I am not alone; He is my strength. While I cannot do this, God can do all things. He is my compass, my True North. With Him, this is possible.

While I’ve learned a lot through homeschooling thus far, I’m sure the lessons the Lord has for me are not yet over. I look forward to all He has in store, knowing it is for the greater good.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

🔔Time to Chime In: Share the top five things you wish you’d known before homeschooling! We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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I Can’t Homeschool: I Have Too Many Kids

i_cant_homeschoolHomeschooling can seem like a daunting journey, especially for those who are new to the concept. We are unsure of where to start, overwhelmed by the notion of taking on our children’s education, and feel as if we are not enough. May we offer encouragement for families unsure of the adventure called homeschooling.

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There are times I think four kids is no big deal. They’re all relatively close in age, they entertain each other, they work at almost the same pace, and we’ve adjust to the changes of a growing family gradually. However, there are also times when having four kids is madness. Four kids needing to be fed, four kids wanting to be involved in separate activities, four kids needing to be educated, four kids needing help, four kids needing attention.

If God is calling you to homeschool, but the thought of organizing and teaching a multitude of children sends shivers up your spine, you’re not alone. Here are a few lessons we’ve learned along the way, which make homeschooling all the little people in our house easier.

Pray – Before we do anything, the first thing we ought to do is pray. We ask the Lord to show us ways to move forward in this area, giving us wisdom in how we use our time, and resources. We pray the Lord would give us peace and patience to homeschool our children.

Organize Yourself – Having a large family often requires a bit of extra planning. Before we even begin tackling the notion of homeschool, we should start by organizing ourselves. Are we managing our time well? Are we using our resources to the best of our ability? Are there areas which could use personal improvement?

Organize The Home – Once we’ve organized ourselves, the next step is to look at our homes. Having a clean, organized working environment makes all the difference within a large family. The better organized we are, the smoother things will function. We ought to organize our resources, taking stock of what we might need, and organize our daily routines (such as chores and household needs).

Put a Plan in Place – With our lives better organized, it’s time to turn our attention to Homeschooling 101; this will help us better plan our year, our weeks, and our days. We’ll organize our curriculum, figure out how we can teach to a multitude of ages, and schedule a routine for our learning. Keep in mind no two family plans are the same; allow the Lord to lead your family as He sees fit. But, having a plan is half the battle. When we Fail to Plan, We Plan to Fail.

Be Realistic – No matter how well we plan, life is always going to hand us curve balls. We need to be realistic in our expectations and open to the Lord’s leading. There are days when our routines are going to work perfectly. There will also be days when our routines go flying out the window. Take each day as it comes, enjoy the adventure.

Having a large family doesn’t mean homeschooling is impossible, it just means we have to be a little more creative and pray for tons of patience. With the Lord help, we can homeschool our children, no matter how many we have.

“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.”
Psalm 127:3-5

🔔Time to Chime In: What do you consider a large family; four kids, five, or ten? Share your thoughts with us!

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter, & Pinterest!

I Can’t Homeschool: I Need ‘ME’ Time

i_cant_homeschoolHomeschooling can seem like a daunting journey, especially for those who are new to the concept. We are unsure of where to start, overwhelmed by the notion of taking on our children’s education, and feel as if we are not enough. May we offer encouragement for families unsure of the adventure called homeschooling.

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Our day starts pretty early. From the minute I get out of the shower, till the minute my kids’ heads hit their pillows, I am on my toes. There are days I feel like I’m rushing from one activity to the next, constantly feeding hungry mouths, cleaning up endless messes, and running a myriad of errands. If I’m not careful, I can easily run myself into the ground. Taking personal time is not only recommended, it’s a must.

One of the arguments often heard against homeschooling is the lack of personal time afforded parents. With kids in public or private school during the day, parents have the ability to get more done in a limited amount of time. There are fewer distractions, you are able to move swiftly without little bodies surrounding you, and you can breathe for more than five minutes without hearing your name bellowed through the house. Let’s face it, having a few minutes of free time each day is a genuine concern.

With a little thought and a smidgen of planning, finding free time is not only obtainable, but completely within reach!

Pray About Your Time – May all things start in prayer. We need to ask the Lord to show us how our time ought to be structured and allow Him to show us ways in which we could be using our time more wisely, making space for much-needed down time.

Restructure Your Thinking – During our prayer and devotion time, we need to ask the Lord to help us focus on the greater good. We might like having several hours to ourselves each day, but the Lord knows best. We should ask the Lord to help us focus on what’s most important, removing any selfishness on our part.

Focus on Your Goals – While we all need moments of downtime, what are our overall goals? When we focus on the end goal, the day-to-day struggles become less important.

Find Practical Ways to Have ‘Me’ Time – 

  • Wake up a little earlier.
  • Stay up a little later.
  • Schedule in downtime. (Who days quiet time can’t be planned into each day?)
  • Teach the kids to play/work independently.
  • Schedule playdates with a friend. (One day we get free time, the next day they do. Each of us get a little time to yourselves, and our kids get to have fun.)

Still Too Busy? Consider Reorganizing Your Day – Hard as it might be, if we just can’t seem to find time to enjoy a quiet cup of tea, much less enjoy an hour of free time, it might be time to start looking at our weekly routine. Everyone’s life goes through busy seasons, but constant busyness might be a sign that we’re overdoing it. It all goes back to praying about how we use our time and allowing the Lord to lead our days.

Let’s face it, even machines need a break now and again. Being a homeschool parent does not mean we have to work from the minute we get up ’til the minute we go to bed. If having a little time to yourself is desired, start by praying about your concerns and then moving toward organizing your day with free time in mind.

May I leave you with this thought: We only have our children for a very short time, too short a time. Take a few moments each day to allow the Lord to fill you, refreshing your heart and spirit. But, remember, you’ll have plenty of free time when your kiddos are adults. You can always catch up on your reading then.

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.”
Psalm 62:1

🔔Time to Chime In: Homeschooling parents, how do you find time to relax amidst all of life’s challenges and learning fun?

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3 Square Meals

In the KitchenIn conjunction with our “I Can’t Homeschool” series, let’s take a look at the fine art of cooking. Not every parent likes to cook and not everyone is ready to make three square meals a day. But, when you homeschool, food seems to be at the center of every learning table.

I don’t know about anyone else’s kids, but mine eat all day long! No sooner do they eat breakfast, but they are looking for a snack. They are ‘starving’ when lunch time comes around, always willing to indulge in an afternoon snack (if not two), and begging me to make dinner long before I’m usually ready to make it. Kids eat a lot.

I’m better at cooking now that I used to be. (My poor husband had to show me how to boil water when we first got married.) However, it took me quite a while to finally learn the art of cooking.

i_cant_homeschool

I imagine I’m not the only parent who is learning ‘on the job’. Not all of us came into marriage and parenting knowing how to cook a great dinner, much less breakfast or lunch. The thought of having to cook three square meals, and handle constant snacking can be a bit unnerving for some parents, especially if they’ve gotten used to someone else (their child’s school) doing some of the thinking for them.

If you’re new to the adventure of homeschooling and unsure of meal planning, or just looking for a few new ideas on how to make three square meals a day, here are few helps to get you started:

Pinterest
Food Network
Eating Well
TasteSpotting

When it comes to meal planning, I find it helpful to just talk to the kids. They usually know what they want and are even willing to help me in the kitchen. We’ve created a collection of recipe ideas they like to see on a regular basis, making meal planning even more easy. And, in a pinch, pb&j is a classic for a reason!

Meal planning doesn’t have to be a burdensome chore. With the kids help, and few colorful pictures to inspire, cooking can be a joy. Embrace this fun activity and make it part of your learning adventure!

“Give us this day our daily bread.”
Matthew 6:11

🔔Time to Chime In: For those who like to cook, where do you find new recipe ideas?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagram, & Pinterest!

I Can’t Homeschool: I’m Unorganized

i_cant_homeschoolHomeschooling can seem like a daunting journey, especially for those who are new to the concept. We are unsure of where to start, overwhelmed by the notion of taking on our children’s education, and feel as if we are not enough. May we offer encouragement for families unsure of the adventure called homeschooling.

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We’re already waking up at the crack of dawn, rushing to get several kids out the door for school, moving quickly all day long to get things done before the kids get home, helping the kids get homework done, and then bustling to get dinner on the table at a decent hour. We’re barely getting it all done as it is, and now the Lord is asking us to homeschool. How are we supposed to do it all when organization isn’t our strong suit?

As parents, our job is quite full. From the moment we get up to the moment we go to bed, we are active, busy people. However, if we’re truly honest with ourselves, how we spend our time is the key. Sure, we bustle around, but is half of what we do necessary? How much free time are we spending on fruitless pursuits which could be better spent?

One of the first ways to overcome the obstacle of disorganization is to take a look at our routines and start carving out free time. If you are considering homeschooling, take into account you will be able to cut out a few areas which are currently eating into your time:

  • No more rushing to get the kids off to school; they school at home now!
  • No more packing sack lunches, and making sure they have everything they need. Everything is right at home.
  • No more dropping off and picking kids up from school.
  • No more homework! (That alone saves hours of time.)

Once you’ve taken your time into account and determined how much time you really have available each day. Then it’s time to start organizing your year, months, weeks, and days. You don’t need anything concrete, just a general plan to get you started and help get the ball rolling. (If I’m going to homeschool, when are we going to start; when are we going to take breaks; and when are holidays? Do I want to school four days a week or five?) Keep in mind, no two homes function in the same way. Pray about how the Lord would have you establish your family’s routine, and then plan accordingly.

With the task of organizing time behind you, take an opportunity to look at your resources and simplify those things you already have. Find what works for you and make it happen. If you’re looking to better organize life in general, and create a more manageable home, THIS might be perfect place to start!

Being organized isn’t easy for everyone, but if the Lord is calling you to homeschool, He will provide both the helps and the resources you need to manage your time. Pray about your desire to homeschool, asking the Lord to help you in this area. Set a plan in place, without a plan you are guaranteed to fail. Then, prayerfully move forward with the understanding that routines and good organization change with your growing needs.

Again, no two families are going to organize their homes and homeschooling in the same manner. Don’t allow this to discourage you from establishing your own routine. With God’s help, you can move past this concern and start enjoying the adventure of homeschooling. It’s summer time, start planning now and embrace the coming year!

“But all things should be done decently and in order.”
I Corinthians 14:40

🔔Time to Chime In: What is the hardest aspect of life for you to organize?

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I Can’t Homeschool: I’m Uneducated

i_cant_homeschoolHomeschooling can seem like a daunting journey, especially for those who are new to the concept. We are unsure of where to start, overwhelmed by the notion of taking on our children’s education, and feel as if we are not enough. May we offer encouragement for families unsure of the adventure called homeschooling.

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The assumption often made with homeschooling is that you must be extremely intelligent in order to teach your own children. No mere parent could possibly oversee their children’s education, a PhD or Masters is required to be a fully prepared, adequate teacher! Let me assure you, this is not the case.

While I am sure there are many doctors, engineers, teachers, and other working professionals, all with degrees, who do homeschool, having a college diploma does not a great teacher make. Nor does not having one make you a bad teacher.

Before you allow a lack of college education, or poor high school education, to prevent you from experiencing the joy of homeschooling, let me ask you something. What is your purpose in homeschooling your children? Are you merely looking for an advanced learning program, allowing your children to get into college at an early age, or an opportunity to spend more time with your children, discipling them in the ways of the Lord?

For those who doubt my motives, please allow me to explain. It is not that I don’t believe in giving children a well-rounded education. I do. In fact, if we are going to pull our kids out of public school, and take on the responsibility of their learning, we ought to be doing as good a job as our local school, if not better! However, if our sole purpose is to give them a great education, we are missing an even greater opportunity to reach our children’s hearts. The purpose in educating our children isn’t to make them knowledgeable droids, but wise adults who can go out into the world prepared to do God’s work.

Perhaps you might not have a college degree, high school might have been a real struggle, but you have a heart to help your children and give them the best opportunities available to them. What more could you ask for in a teacher?

As for the practical side of homeschooling, there are many ways to overcome this obstacle.

  • If your children are very young, you are more than capable of helping them through their lessons. At this stage, their learning is very basic. You can do it! Even the more seemingly difficult areas, such as teaching reading, can be accomplished with the right materials and dedication.
  • Student/teacher guides are often available through curriculum companies to help parents who are unsure of how to teach various subjects or are unsure of how to provide corresponding activities.
  • DVD courses are extremely helpful. Depending on which curriculum you purchase, every class, every problem, in every book can be found in various DVD courses. If you are clueless as to how to teach Biology, buy the DVD course and allow your child to proceed at their own pace. You might even consider sitting with them and learning as well!
  • Online learning is also available. Perhaps you don’t know where to start, what to buy, or how to teach. Consider online learning, which provides everything. Your child logs in each day, proceeds at their own pace, and the program checks all their work. It’s simple, fairly inexpensive, and requires little work on your part.
  • Tutors are a huge help. There might be only one or two areas of learning that feel out of your depth. Consider a tutor for those few subjects and take advantage of someone else’s expertise.
  • Co-ops are another fun way to homeschool. You might be comfortable with teaching science, but not language arts. Another parent might love arithmetic. Think about joining a local homeschool support group and participate in a co-op. Your children can learn various subjects with other homeschooled children, and you can remove some of the pressure of teaching that difficult subject you’d prefer to avoid.
  • Google, YouTube, and Pinterest are wonderful! Let us not discount the amazing helps that social media can provide. While I don’t recommend being on a device all day long, I would be lost without these tools. Use the tools available to help you and make learning easier. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to Google an algebra problem. These can be life savers!

Remember, every teacher has gaps in their teaching. Every student has gaps in their learning. You cannot possible do everything, nor should you be expected to. Focus on the purpose for homeschooling your children and allow the Lord to direct your learning. No matter how you choose to homeschool, your children will be blessed by their experience and your family will be blessed by the memories.

If the Lord is leading in this direction, you can homeschool. Step out in faith, believing God will provide all you need to succeed.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

🔔Time to Chime In: For those already homeschooling, is there a subject you’re ‘scared’ of teaching? Share your thoughts with us!

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