Sep 14, 2016
Homeschool has begun. Learning is fresh, materials new and the promise of learning bright.
I feel the sighs of relief from harried moms. But I, as a retired homeschooling mom of five, want to help you last through the year ahead still confident when the learning and the schedule become a grind.
To begin, answer this question: why do you homeschool?
I would bet that most of your reasons are not rooted in academics but character development and worldview. Emphasizing academics will produce knowledge of facts which can be impressive. But I think your goal is establishing wise children that know how to use a knowledge of facts. Here are three tips to assist you in reaching this goal.
Charlotte Mason spoke of habits as the tracks that enabled the train to run. Habits are helpful in maintaining order and training in self discipline. Cleaning up after oneself, completing work before play, focusing attention, being thorough in carrying out chores, assignments, etc. , being punctual are examples. Decide what habits are important to teach and empasize them one at a time until established. Then add another. Consistency is key.
Focus on Character.
Jesus never told us to learn the world’s ways. He didn’t have to because it is our natural environment. It is home to our basic instincts and natural inclinations. He spent His life teaching against the principles we are born to— like revenge, selfishness, covetousness and rebellion. He told us to seek the kingdom and its ways. It is impossible to build true character without basing the teaching on God’s word. Any other method relies on the principles of the world as Paul writes in Colossians 2:8.
Reading the Bible and obedience to God is more important than any subject in your daily planner.
Make character building a priority by reading stories from books like Tiger and Tom while eating lunch, before bed or while children color. Emphasize the character traits of people in the Bible and the fact that even though we all fail there is a standard written in our hearts of what is right and what is wrong. If you want a curriculum, many are available. Keepers of the Faith is one source.
Insist on Manners.
Courtesy is always appreciated. Saying please and thank you, treating others with respect is laid on the foundation of Biblical values. Secular philosophies give no valid reason to think of others first or to share. They cannot answer the question, “Why?” As Christians, however, we have a rock on which to stand. We have the truth that all are created in the image of God. That mercy, love and forgiveness is expected of us and what we expect of others in relation to ourselves. That a person of character, see above, behaves a certain way. Sibling disputes now become teachable moments instead of the empty words you’ve repeated a hundred times since breakfast. Give courtesy and expect courtesy.
These three tips are the cornerstone on which to build your year. All else will fall into place; I promise.
Do you have comments on the tips above or ones you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you.
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