This is the first question to consider whether you are just starting to contemplate the idea of homeschooling, or you are a seasoned veteran. The WHY of homeschool changes and informs everything else we do. So we had better know why we are doing it. If you are just considering homeschooling I suggest you figure out WHY you would homeschool first. The HOW part of homeschooling will then fall into place much easier.
Begin with the end in mind. We are not raising children. We are raising adults. Now I know that statement is not original, but Renee Ellison was the first person I have heard that applied that idea to homeschooling or parenting in general. And it has revolutionized my homeschool. What am I preparing my kids for? Because if my curriculum does not revolve around whatever those goals are, I am wasting my time. Or worse. I am a fool.
I would much rather fly by the seat of my pants. That is the kind of free spirit I am (or at least imagine myself to be in my daydreams). But as fun as that sounds, what it creates, applied to child rearing, is not so attractive: disorganized, unprepared, and ultimately disappointed. That is why I created a Long Term Planning Worksheet for myself and offer it to you:
As your children’s teacher, your heart has to be right with God. Do we harbor anger, unforgiveness, false guilt? You will inadvertently teach it to your kids? Are you lazy? Rude? A poor steward of the time and money God has entrusted to you? They will definitely pick that up. More time with you means becoming more like you.
We keep asking ourselves: What has happened to this faithless generation? Let’s not have them walk away from faith because we are hyprocrites – because we serve Jesus with our lips and deny him with our behavior. The battle for our culture, and the battle against a failing educational system is really a battle for our children’s souls. The church of God appears to be losing. The good news is that God is at work. Back in the 1990s Henry Blackaby taught me to find where God is working and join Him. And He is at work in the homeschooling movement.
Everyone sees our homeschooled kids as different. The world thinks that it is homeschooling that has made the only difference, but it is Christ in them that they are attracted to. And homeschooling has been the vehicle to saturate them in it. I have seen homeschool trends come and go, and the most damaging trend was a pervasive legalism that is thankfully on its way out. Homeschooling won’t save your kids. Teaching them to rely on a loving Savior will.
On the other hand, keeping your children home, away from worldly influences, while you indulge yourself in soap operas, pop them in front of a computer for virtual school all day without supervision, and never start a meaningful discussion, will not bring about the results you desire either. NEVER parent out of fear. Because you are afraid of what might happen in public school is not a good enough reason to homeschool. That reason, if it can hold up to the name reason, will not sustain you when teaching is difficult. And if you are doing it right, at some point it will be difficult.
Examine the assumptions behind everything we do in education. Test the spirits (1 John 4:1). And if you don’t think there are spirits at work in our education system, you are naïve. Maybe the traditional way of doing it is great, maybe it is based on outdated research, but at least know WHY you are doing whatever you are doing, when you take the time and thought to examine it.
Sign up to hang out at Never a Doll Moment each week! I never share your information with anyone. Plus, you will receive my free Long Term Homeschool Planning Worksheet to get you started on an amazing homeschool journey!