Next in the Series : The Nightmare of Choosing Resources; And Ways to Simplify
Followed by: Creating an Individualized Home Education for Unique Individuals
If I had one child, I would believe there was just one way to homeschool.
I know when you are in the thick of homeschooling – teaching little ones to read and write with young ones hanging on your knee and over your shoulder, it is hard to step back and trust that God has all this in hand and has a plan.
As homeschooling families we like to have a plan; When we first began ‘official’ homeschooling, as I have said before, I tried to have it all worked out - what we were doing for every year of homeschooling even before my eldest was 6. But as the years unfold, you realize that God’s plan also unfolds before us.
We don’t need to have the total plan worked out – and even if we have it all written down, God will most likely break through and change it before the time we get to the end.
Homeschooling is a process for both the children and the parents. Your fundamental desires and goals for your children may stay the same, but exactly how you focus on these goals will most likely change. Even the sub- goals can change from child to child.
We need to see that our job as parents is to educate the children God has given us, but that we should not rely on our plans and goals to do it It is God’s work – yes, we are called to be faithful to the task, but God’s ways are higher than our ways, and it is God’s plans that will come to pass. If the Lord does not build the house, the workers labour in vain.
How do we trust in Him?
On my website, I help to move you through these steps.
Once you have considered where you are going – you will need to consider what you would like to teach. However, don’t become frantic with that idea. The goals you have set don’t need to be completed in 1 year – you have time to pursue and develop them.
Firstly, be the family God wants you to be, create calm in the home by not placing too many demands on your time, stay at home, enjoy walks, create a family bond, read together. Don’t place a set of textbooks in front of a 6 year old expecting them to be at the maturity level of a 11 year old. Allow them to take on tasks, chores, academic requirements according to their ability. Extend them, but do not de-moralize them. See life through their eyes and enjoy their triumphs. Enjoy what they love – encourage them to pursue what their passions. Help them to develop their gifts by providing resources – have library visits and let them borrow and soak up books.
And let God be God.
All the time, we are being family, walking the road together, sharing our ideas, pursuing what we love, working as a family in keeping things neat, in place and with a sense of calm, God is moulding all our children.
As time moves on, He reveals more of who our children are – and as we chip away at the block of marble, we discover the person, the unique individual our creator has given us. His/her difficulty with math is part of who they are; His/her love for creative writing – is part of who they are; His love of reading, his love of pulling things apart – are all part of who they are. We do not need to undo this, or temper it, or sedate them to become what we want them to be – rather we need to work with them, encourage them in their strengths and help them to pursue their natural talents, and patiently work with them through their struggles to help them to become the best that they can be. Why? For Him who made us.
I am thankful to God for giving me six children each with very distinct and unique personalities and gifts. Some struggle in academics, some excel, some are quick thinkers, some take a long time, some love to write, some fall to pieces at the idea of writing, some are detailed thinkers, some have a big picture mindset.
If I had one child, I would believe there was just one way to homeschool. However, having had six and still in the middle of homeschooling them, I realize more and more that there are many designs to education – a mix of approaches, a mix of resources , a mix of subject areas. One size does not fit all - each family has their unqiue design.
Individual Learning Program
One way to encourage self directed learning in your homeschool is to set up independent or individualized learning programs. These can also be called self directed learning contracts.
Read more about self directed learning.