Do NOT Try Homeschool – Part 3

homeschooling afternoonOkay, how about a look at what success in home schooling really IS? The first axiom is:

The commitment is to your child, in obedience to the Lord.

Forget excuses about having tried; it is about your child and God. It is a sober-minded decision to do the right thing with the children He has given you. No matter what, you will blaze past trying, to continuing, which is the best way to prevent becoming a quitter.

Just as you would not think of quitting on the commitment with your spouse, do not do so regarding your children.

Another very obvious help to success in home school is this:

Be at home.

Yes, there are exceptions, such as my friend who managed the very first semester of her home school in hospital waiting rooms because of a tragic accident in her family. Still, that is not the goal, as my friend would assure you.

We do not want to plan to home school on the run. When we home school, we must change our lifestyle so we can be at home.

So many parents self-prescribe home school like a capsule for the remedy of problems in their children. Rather, it is you, Mom–your scent, your voice, the feel of your skin, something no other woman on earth can provide–you are the medicine that your child needs. (Did you know that hugged children are healthier, grow more, and learn faster than abandoned ones?)

The most important motto that I would suggest is:

Listen to God and follow what you know.

The world of home school advice is overflowing with counsel that is very good, but most of it is for someone else. You must mature to the place of knowing, instead of wondering or doubting.

How can we stand if we do not know what to do or even what we are doing? No matter if your whole support group is doing differently from you—or if they are doing the same—you must do what you know is perfect for you and your children, because you received it from the hand of God. There is a lot that I cannot tell you, but He can. Learn to hear Him.

The main subject and the main goal in all home schools should be Godliness. Many of us realize that. The trouble is that most folks do not realize this truth:

When we model Godliness, then we teach it.

The reverse, sadly, also is true. You must model Godliness even when you are teaching something as seemingly neutral as math. If you fret or yell to teach math, you are mostly teaching impatience, not math. Oh, they may also learn the math that you are presenting (just about anyone can) and with many reviews will probably retain a lot of it.

They will learn the impatience that we are modeling, though, in just one easy lesson and they will remember it a long time.

Modeling Godliness is the main ingredient in the successful home school. Without it, there is little benefit from teaching the rest.

So, I would hang a few mottoes on my walls, after all, I suppose. You can use them, too, if you want:

  • Commit, for your children’s sakes.
  • Be at home.
  • Listen to God.
  • Model Godliness.

Determine to obey Him and He will give you success in teaching your children.

Then you can quit trying to homeschool.

Do NOT Try Homeschooling. Part 2

Homeschooling - Gustoff family in Des Moines 020

Homeschooling – Gustoff family in Des Moines

If “trying” really means aiming at success, then, how to succeed really is the question. Let’s consider some of the sayings that belong to real success in home schooling. You may be surprised.

First, we do not want to do what some moms do, which is merely to take a stab at it. For these moms, it is not well-thought-out at all.

They just “give it a whirl”.

They do not pray.

They do not ask their husbands.

They do not research.

Remember this maxim:

Education is preparing your child for life.

It is not a hobby. It is more important than a new nail polish color, not something you try out and then abandon. It is nothing less than a life decision. In these days, many are beginning to call it a life-and-death decision.

Another:

Home schooling is not about curriculum.

Yes, you probably need curriculum, (although some do fine without), but you can visit with hundreds of families at any home school convention, and you will find thousands of folks succeeding, while using every imaginable curriculum made.

For instance, any child who is ready to learn to read can do so with almost any decent phonics curriculum.

Sure, there may be only one company “out there” perfectly able to meet your needs or style.

Yes, you probably need to shop with an unbiased veteran a time or two.

Still, as far as all the proven curriculum companies go, they are proven. Do not continually put on and take off curriculum until it is too late to accomplish anything. That is not trying to succeed at home schooling; it is merely trying, and at the wrong goal, at that.

I repeat, it is not about curriculum; trying on curriculum is not the same as home schooling.

One other surprising truth about home schooling is:

Usually, it is easy to do well without trying very hard.

For many, it is a little like falling out of bed, actually. The simple fact that the children are at home, instead of out on their own, will make them smarter. Yes, the act of being at home, by itself, will make your children smarter.

Of course, we want them to learn as much as possible, and we will take every opportunity to ensure that this is happening, but bringing them home, in and of itself, makes worlds of difference. They will no longer feel forced to waste mental energy on peer pressure, self-preservation, and competitiveness. They will be able to relax and the elimination of great stress will free them to excel.

Then there is the other side of it: they will have much, much less to un-learn.

Often our children at home seem accidentally to learn more than we expected, solely because they are in a more learning-conducive setting. It is much like osmosis.

This is, I admit, a lot of re-arranging to wrap our thinking around.

Do think about it, though.

More mottos, tomorrow.

_____________________

Photo credit: IowaPolitics.com

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Do NOT Try Homeschooling.

English: Source: http://historyproject.ucdavis...I often get asked about the one piece of advice I would give to all home schoolers. Probably folks want some type of motto that fits all situations and clears the air about many problems. I have thought and thought about this, and—for now, anyway—I think the best I can do is to say: “DO NOT TRY HOME SCHOOLING.” Surely, you think, this advice does not belong on a blogsite dedicated to the advancement of the home school experience. However, it is enlightening to look at what happens when we try home schooling.

First, a definition.

“Try” is a worn out word. An example of good usage is in the old saying, “If you don’t at once succeed, try, try, again.” We can learn a lot from this adage. For instance, we can learn that the purpose of trying is succeeding.

Imagine.

How many folks say they have tried the idea of home schooling, when actually, they only dropped the H-bomb at the dinner table and met with opposition from some child who is badly in need of it? Or maybe they bought an inane, dime-store book or two, and someone worked the first few pages and became disenchanted. Who wouldn’t.

Encountering resistance is not the same as trying.

Pressing against the resistance, with the determination to overcome it, is what trying really is. If a child balks, a relative whines, or a neighbor threatens, what makes us think it’s suddenly time to stop? We must see that type of trying is really just letting those around us dictate our convictions to us. If we are not trying to succeed, we have missed the whole idea.

The goal is not to try; the goal is to succeed.

Once I realized that, I could think of several great sayings that belong to real success in home schooling. Come back tomorrow for a few surprises.

All Children Home School: A True Story

English: Don't waste your time and do your hom...

Don’t waste your time and do your homework!

Once, a dear friend was explaining to me how the State school experience was better, and how her children were receiving the best education available.

Have you ever noticed how State institution school parents think they must educate us to this “fact” and we must bear it patiently, but the reverse seldom holds?

She was striving to explain her children’s bright future and perhaps she could not hear herself speaking. As I listened and tried to grasp what she was saying, I was astonished at the obvious conclusion.

Maybe it would be instructive to share it all with you.

Granted, her children were in the best State schools available in our small city. They were a wealthy family and had moved into a wealthy neighborhood for the expressed purpose of better State schooling.

That this fact was possible should be enough, alone, to terminate State education.

She wanted her children to be lawyers and she wanted them in the best colleges in the nation. I will also grant that she was a very dedicated mom, committed to performing whatever activity (except home schooling) necessary to raising up successful children.

She was misinformed, though, and not thinking about the entire scope of the picture.

To prove to me her commitment, she began itemizing the duties she undertook for her children’s education. This was a typical day:

  1. She drove her children to school, herself, to prevent teen driving troubles in their lives. They did not enjoy being the only ones arriving with Mom, but she was dedicated enough to insist.
  2. She was careful to deposit them at the school early, to give them free time to form friendships of their own choosing, so they would not be relying on whomever might sit nearby in class. This also allowed time for composing themselves before facing the day.
  3. She signed them up for sports, although they were not athletic, to help them overcome the sitting they must do daily, and to improve their chances for scholarships.
  4. After school, they had sport obligations, of course. She went to every practice and every game, with a video camera. She recorded every pertinent happening at these gatherings.
  5. During the day, she edited these videos, juxtaposing the skills of opponents and her child and his teammates, to show where more effort would benefit.
  6. After school, her children had oceans of homework. She was strict about it, allowing no play until all work was done. Since supper was prepared in advance, she helped with their homework, explaining things they could not get the teachers to answer adequately. She was their cheerleader, greeting them with encouraging one-liners, such as, “You can do it; one more hour ought to get it!”
  7. She showed them the sports videos, explaining her thinking in detail, so they could discuss how more effort would cause more success. Again, she cheered them on. (I do not know where their coach was.)
  8. Since homework reigned supreme in their home, except for a break for supper, the children labored until midnight or beyond, at which point Mom simply conked out. (She did ask me if I thought she was wrong to require them to continue until two a.m. or later, when she, herself, was unable to do so.)
  9. The next day they began again.

It was true that her children were doing well in school. They did not have as many friends as they might have liked, but they were receiving high grades in difficult subjects, and they were often on the first sports teams.

They were tired . . .

More tomorrow.

______________________

Photo credit: Wikipedia

For a friend . . .

This one’s free:

I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When sorrow walked with me.

-Robert Browning Hamilton