The New Year brings much time for contemplation for me. Maybe it is because everyone is tired from the holidays and the letdown from the hustle and bustle gets to me. I like looking back and having quiet moments to ponder the hope for the New Year, a fresh start of sorts.
This past year has been eventful to say the least. Welcoming a new life in our home, moving and getting connected into a new community. But honestly, I have let school slack. Yes, my kids are learning but we need to buckle down and plow through the next few months before summer comes.
I have been a part of an online community of women who share a love for the Five in a Row curriculum and it never fails to bless me in ways I never knew I needed! Well, it didn't disappoint me today as this was shared. Even if you don't homeschool, it is a good quick read as I am sure you might know someone who does!
Ten Ways to Simplify Homeschooling
1. Keep everything as simple as you can. Jesus wrote with a stick in the dirt, and He was the greatest teacher that ever lived. He used no curriculum or flannel graphs or lesson plans. Homeschooling can be made far more complicated than it should be. A simpler approach is much more effective.
2. Stick to the 3 R's. They form the foundation of life-long learning in every field because they are the tools of study. There will be no need to formalize any other subject if the children are doing their best in these 3, because people who are well grounded in reading, writing and math will approach other subjects boldly, independently and confidently.
3. Let the children teach themselves as much as they are able to. This teaches them responsibility, intellectual independence, and builds confidence. It's also better for the parent/child relationship because you can focus on parenting instead of playing schoolteacher.
4. Use the most direct method available. For reading, read. For writing, write, for math, do it, and for Bible, read it. Don't fall for catchy curriculum's or methods that are really just something else for you and your child to learn.
5. Don't worry about your child's age or grade. Just let him do the best he can each day. Children grow intellectually like they do physically: in spurts. Although we may have an audience of skeptical relatives, homeschooling is not a circus, and we refuse to train our children to do tricks for people.
6. Minimize distractions in the home. Watch for excessiveness in entertainments, snacking, outings, phone conversations and the like. These sorts of things can easily get out of hand and compete with the effectiveness of a homeschool and sap the family of time and energy.
7. Seek quality over quantity. A few tapes of great music, a small case of carefully chosen books, a few special play mates, and an occasional outing is better than a large, but poor quality collection.
8. If you must document your school activities, do it after the fact. This way you will not make promises you cannot keep. If you are required to make lesson plans, be as vague as permissible. Don't let transcripts, diplomas, records and tests determine your academic plans. Focus on learning and the rest will follow.
9. Put the needs of your youngest, most vulnerable children first. If an older child gets a little behind in school, I'm sure you can forgive yourself. But if something happened to the toddler while you were busy homeschooling, I don't think you would be able to say the same.
10. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul and don't neglect to seek him early...giving him the first fruits of your day and teach your children to do the same. I know that you are tired and that there aren't enough hours in your day, but we serve a God who can make the sun stand still.
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matt. 11:28-30