Tonight I really enjoyed reading to my boys. I mean really enjoyed it, on purpose.
I read slowly like I had nowhere else I’d rather be, no one else I had to tuck in. The story was alive and so were we. Fully present for each other.
Two freshly bathed boys, hair spiky and damp, PJ bottoms and no shirts, window fan humming along with my voice. Lamp lit and the faint sound of all the wild things that come out at night in our neck of the woods.
What is homeschooling to me?
It’s a lot like life.
A lot like bedtime tonight with my boys when listening ears were trained enough to tune into my unashamed read aloud voice and hearts and bodies were settled, secure and still, eager to pray to the God who takes care.
What is home schooling to me?
It’s a lot like that walk we took when the quarter moon rose between the dimming sunlight and a double rainbow. That moment we stood in the middle of the stone road looking up at God’s governing lights mingling together with His colorful promise, bidding us a good nights sleep.
Homeschooling doesn’t always look like systems in place, though I’m a fan and avid creator of grand schemes to make things flow through our home. Oftentimes the best home teaching happens when life is abundantly noticed, when our hearts are fully aware of all that’s around us.
I didn’t set out to home teach, it wasn’t a well drafted plan in my portfolio. I had assumed public school was best for our family and even enrolled our first child in Kindergarten way back in 2010. Two weeks of kindergarten and I wasn’t convinced anymore. We pulled her out and began the adventure.
This is my 11th year homeschooling, now with four children around the dining room table, or to be perfectly honest they could be anywhere in the house plugging away at their studies.
I’m not at all a professional at this even after a decade of trying. I tend to consider myself far less an expert than that of my faithful friends home teaching their own tribes.
So what holds me to this homeschool thing day in and year out?
Its a driving desire to raise up godly women and men, to seek truth myself and share it with those entrusted to my care, and to cultivate richness and mercy into the lives blossoming under our red roof. It’s the biblical instruction I read of in Deuteronomy that tells me to discuss the goodness of God at least four times per day.
“Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 11:19
And it’s the protective nature I’ve been given to keep them under the shade of truth while they’re still with me and so tenderly moldable. That's what keeps me in the game school year by school year.
But with all of the beauty and depth of a home taught living there’s practical applications to keep in mind as well. So with that I’ll share some simple and functional tips, tips I’ve learned over the past 10 years and a bit of our curriculum choices for this coming school year.
The Three P’s of Homeschooling.
Ponytails, Pencils and Play-doh.
Yes, it’s true. Though I’m sure prayer should be added to the list of important P words (along with patience and perseverance!)
Sharp pencils, hair pulled back and out of the way, and play-doh to occupy the non school aged children is quite important as well.
If I could redeem the time I’ve spent mulling over what to prepare while shuffling through the fridge and cupboards I’d likely add weeks to my life!
A simple meal plan and a few dozen muffins in the freezer leaves a little extra breathing room needed to answer those tricky algebra questions.
And a menu listed for all to see opens the option of an older child grabbing ahold of the task of serving the others. It’s a win win in my book!
A well thought out chore system that includes everyone. We continue with the “Zone” system where each child’s task is focused in one area of our home for up to a full year.
And don’t forget, a structured laundry method goes a long way!
Lastly, here are some of our choices for the upcoming school year in pictures.
If you’re a fellow homeschooling Mama with any questions about how the gears in our home stay well oiled and turning or if you have some ideas for me, please reach out! I’d love to converse!
"My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass." Psalm 102:11