Homeschooling is a gloriously flexible method of education that can adapt to your family’s particular needs!
For example, some of my Floridian friends work through the Summer when it’s too hot to be outside and take the Winter off instead. My best friend uses the Sabbath School method: 6 weeks on, 1 week off, year-round. Some of our kids like to take their school books to bed with them, and try to get all their work done before breakfast. (Most of them take a little longer to get into gear, including Mama.)
Whenever you start, however you start, whether home educating your kids was planned, or dropped into your lap, here are ten wonderful ways to kick off education at home!
10 Wonderful Ways To Kick Off Education At Home
1. Cover your homeschool in prayer and found it on God’s Word.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” (Psalm 127:1). Homeschooling can be used to raise world changers or arrogant egomaniacs. It is a means, not an end, that parents must utilize wisely in the divine task of family discipleship.
If our homeschools do not start and end with the fear of the Lord, at the very best, they will produce nothing more than intellectual fools. Homeschooling can only work when it is being blessed by the Lord and used for His glory. Keep Christ at the center of your endeavor and everything else will fall into place. (Matthew 6:33)
2. Know why you do what you do.
When the hard days come (and they will) and you feel tempted to give up and send your children to school, referring back to a mission statement crafted together with your husband during a time of clearer vision can renew your sense of purpose and help you focus on keeping the main thing the main thing.
3. Cast the vision for your children. Perhaps it’s just my perspective, but it appears that some second generation homeschoolers are growing up without much appreciation for the education that their parents worked and fought so hard for. We can’t assume our children will be naturally inclined to carry on our convictions; we must cast the vision for them.
I’m not talking about guilt-tripping (“I hope you appreciate all I do for you, and homeschool my grandchildren one day!“); I’m talking about stirring a love for homeschooling in their hearts by walking the talk: living sacrificially with joy and involving your children in purposeful activities that underscore the flexibility and freedom home education allows.
Let’s let them know by our words and actions what a privilege it is to have them home, that we care deeply about their souls as well as their personal interests, and that the purpose of our homeschool is to engage in Kingdom work.
4. Organize to optimize.
How many hours of teaching are wasted because too much time is spent hunting for lost pencils, a sharpener, or math manipulatives? Too many in our house! We can optimize and redeem our teaching time with a little organization. Keeping all our workbooks in one place and a table caddy stocked with pencils and erasers helps more than you’ll ever know.
5. Start a great day the night before.
Taking just a few minutes of preparation in the evenings after all the children have gone to bed can transform your homeschool!
- Sort the dirty laundry into lights and darks so you can get a load running first thing in the morning.
- Tidy up the kitchen and set the table for breakfast.
- If you need to leave somewhere in the morning, have any bags you might need (diaper bag, music bag, or purse) packed and ready by the door.
- Lay out your outfit for the next day (you’ll feel so much more productive when you’re fully dressed!) and shower before bed.
- Decide what you’re going to have for dinner the next day and take the meat out of the freezer if necessary. Bonus points if you’re able to do any further prep work!
P.S. I’ve created a 4-week menu plan with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, family favorite recipes! It includes grocery lists for each week and tells you exactly what to eat when. You can purchase The Slim & Satisfied Handbook here for $9.99.
- Spend some time with the Lord thanking Him for the day that has passed and praying for wisdom and guidance for the one to come.
It’s an easy routine to develop and it doesn’t take much time. When we are prepared, we feel calm, and when we are calm, it’s much easier to speak to our husband and children with the law of kindness on our tongue. It takes self-discipline and the Lord will graciously give it to those who ask.
6. Remember which side of Glory you’re on.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the decision to homeschool came with some sort of guarantee that everyday, each child would wake up happy, ambitious, full of for love for their siblings, a desire to obey Mom and Dad, and a heart that wants to serve the Lord?!
That’s our goal, but it’s not promised. The Lord’s directive to parents to train up their children in the way that they should go anticipates the fact that the path of righteousness is not the one we naturally gravitate towards.
We can’t expect our children to act regenerated if they aren’t. Parenting involves constant leading, correcting, disciplining, and shepherding. Aim for direction, not perfection. It’s hard work, but the promised rewards make it worth the effort.
7. Do the hard subjects first.
In this season of our life, this means starting off with math and phonics, then language arts after family devotions, followed by lots of reading and unit studies which cover the rest of our subjects.
Harder subjects are much more enjoyable if they’re tackled in the morning while the mind is bright, fresh and has been fed spiritually and physically.
We end the day with their favorite area of study, which they find rewarding and often get lost in.
8. Go somewhere fun with Dad. A new tradition for us, just because we can, is to take the day off and go some place fun with Dad after all the public schools are back in session! Museums, parks, aquariums, science centers, historical landmarks – there are so many great places to kick off your homeschool year!
Admission rates are usually halved, and September weather where we live is ideal for outdoor activities. No line-ups. No crowds. Johnny can spend all the time in the world ogling over an original Lancaster bomber and no one will rush him along (except maybe his sisters).
9. Focus on teaching your children just two things:
- the fear of the Lord
- how to learn
Diligence in the work place, respect for employers, logic, formation and maintenance of relationships, time and money management, marriage advice, communication skills, what to look for in a spouse, how to raise children, stress management, government, how to learn from failure…these are all life skills that the Scripture speaks to.
If your children learn to love the law of God, consult it daily, and let it guide the choices they make, they will have everything they need for a successful life now and in eternity. (Proverbs 9:10)
Most of homeschooling can be summed up this way: teach your child to read and then give them lots of good books.
Knowing how to find an answer to anything is infinitely more valuable than knowing the answer to a few things.
10. Determine to enjoy the ride! Homeschooling is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that many people are either not afforded or don’t take. The days may seem long, but the years are short. Don’t fritter them away. Use them wisely, and by God’s grace, may your children one day rise to call you blessed (Proverbs 31:28).
When does your new homeschool year start? How do you like to kick it off? I’d love to hear about your family’s traditions!