I Can’t Homeschool: A Series Review!

I_Can't_Homeschoo

Homeschooling 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.

Join us in this series of encouragement, as we share reasons families think they can’t homeschool and offer support for those unsure of the adventure called homeschooling.

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I Lack Self Control
They Won’t Listen
I’m Uneducated

I’m Unorganized
I Need ME Time
I Have Too Many Kids
My Kids Are Too Big
My Family Will Disapprove
I’m A Dad!
My Kids Have Special Needs

God didn’t call us to homeschool because we had it all together or because we were such incredible people. He called us to homeschooling because He wanted this for our children and He asked us to be faithful. He isn’t asking us to be perfect, He’s asking us to be obedient to His call.

Each of us is still a work in progress, being molded by our Creator into something better. Allow God to use your imperfect self to bring Him glory. Step out in faith, knowing He will see you through. You can do all things in Christ!

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:12

Your Turn!: Do you already homeschool? Help motivate other families by sharing previous doubts you may have had about taking on the adventure of homeschooling, and how the Lord helped you overcome for His glory and your family’s benefit!

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

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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.

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: They Won’t Listen

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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Another concern with homeschooling is how our children will accept mom, or dad, as teacher. Will my children receive instruction from me? Will they accept me as teacher? What if my child is rebellious and already has issues with acknowledging our authority?

Of all the fears concerning homeschool, this one is probably the most delicate. When our children won’t listen to us, this is a symptom of a larger issue: a separation in relationship (no matter how slight), both between us and them, and between them and the Lord. Almost any other area can be overcome with organization and planning. When our children won’t listen to us it is a matter of the heart; it will take time, effort, and love to conquer this concern.

The real question ought not to be whether my children could learn from me, but why they wouldn’t. 

In such cases, my advice to these families would be thus: Put your children’s learning on hold and focus on relationships. When discipleship becomes priority, when relationships become priority, learning becomes easier. Here are a few areas to consider working on:

  • Communication – Are they willing to talk to you, discussing their concerns and desires? Do they know they can talk to you about anything?
  • Trust – Does your child know you have their best interests at heart? Do they know what those interests are?
  • Affection – Do your children know you love them? Do you show this often enough?
  • Respect – How does your child speak to you or about you? Do you allow your child to be openly disrespectful?

The best way to work on relationships is by spending quality time together. Pick activities which incorporate the issues you are attempting to work on, making discussions as natural as possible. Through effort and time things will change.

Once relationships have been reaffirmed, learning is accomplished more smoothly. Your children will understand why you want to homeschool, they’ll understand your goals for homeschooling, and they will accept your instruction more readily. Who knows? Not only might they enjoy it, but one day they may even thank you for your decision.

As a side note: For parents who are already homeschooling, this still runs true. If our children are having issues with receiving instruction, it might be time to take a break from formal learning and focus on rebuilding any broken bonds. Then, re-address our schooling.

Does this mean everyday will be a breeze, or that your children will never complain about doing school work? Of course not! Life is not perfect and work is still work. However, when our children know we love them, when we have their respect, teaching our children is much easier.

May this encourage you: We all have hard days. We all have days when our children act out. When we choose to spend time focusing on what’s more important, our relationships with our children and bringing them back into a right relationship with Christ, everything else flows; even homeschooling. Don’t allow this one obstacle to prevent you from a lifetime of memories, and your children the discipleship they so need. Allow the Lord to do a work in your family, and then start your adventure of homeschooling. The books will always be there.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:1-4

🔔Time to Chime In: Readers, share your advice for getting unruly children to listen.

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