7 Realities of Homeschooling

IMG_4680

We’ve been homeschooling for the past 6 years now and about to start our 7th year soon. It has been a hard but joyful journey. There has been days that I have felt like giving up but through the grace of the Lord, we’re still continuing our homeschool journey and about to embark on a new season soon. To mark the start of our 7th year in a few months, I’m sharing 7 lessons I’ve learned through the years…

Children are not wired the same way. They learn differently and have different personalities. As homeschool parents, we need to know each of our children and communicate with them and teach them via their learning styles. They also progress differently, some have a natural gift for the arts while others think more logically.

Learning takes place even outside a curriculum. We don’t need to be slaves to the curriculum we are using. We don’t need to do the lessons cover to cover – as homeschooling parent, we have the freedom to tweak our curriculum and make it work for our children. If not fit, then try something else. We need to become flexible.

IMG_0457

Learning is a lifestyle. Once you embark on the homeschooling journey, you will realize that homeschooling is actually a lifestyle. We become more intentional in everything we do. Learning to appreciate life and being grateful to God for all that He has done for us becomes more important that memorizing historical information.

As teacher-parents, we become students as well. We need to have a teachable heart and humble spirit because the Lord will definitely use our children to teach us about life and what truly matters.

Expect hard days. When you did you best and your child still can’t understand that math concept, when your patience is running out because of all the chores that needs to be finished while your kids don’t want to “do” school work and you have a deadline to beat, when you think your children will be better off if they are in school, when you feel inadequate and when no one wants to cooperate. These days will come and it is important to remember why you wanted to homeschool your children. Have a mission statement for your homeschooling or better yet, have a vision for your children.

There are different seasons in homeschooling. Because homeschooling is synonymous with life and our children grow, we need to embrace each season. Enjoy playing with them, laughing with them and reading with them. As they move to the next season, converse with them about life issues, know their interests and their hearts. As they pursue their dreams in life, support them and guide them.

Praying for our children and your homeschooling is an important part of preparation for homeschooling. When we realize that homeschooling can only be done through the grace of God, then can we actually become better parent-teachers. We are equipped by the Lord to handle our children and we grow as we serve and love our family.

Read This Before You Give Up!

Today is one of those days. When I seriously consider if what I’m doing is helping my child become the person God has called him to be or am I just causing him to go the other way. When questions like “Am I forcing him to be someone he is not? Or do I see that he just needs that extra push? Am I becoming over bearing already?” fills my mind.

What do you do when your 8 year old son seems undecided, not exhibiting perseverance or diligence? When he seems to lack self-confidence whenever he is faced with unfamiliar situations? When these are the very reasons why we are homeschooling our child, because we want him to grow up with the fear of the Lord and so that he can be what God has called him to be. He will be a person of character and integrity.

But I don’t see any of that today.

My first thought was “I give up.” I immediately doubted that homeschooling is working for him. Maybe he needs to deal with it by himself, in a school setting and he might just find himself and his strength, just as I was raised. I felt like waving that white flag on homeschooling and just send him to a private school and not have to deal with these issues anymore.

After calming down, I realize that this is precisely the time NOT TO GIVE UP. These trials and challenges will one day be triumphs as God changes my son’s heart and my heart along the way.  I just need to develop perseverance myself.

Here are lessons I learned today:

I need to pray more and rely on myself less. Commit my son to Jesus and pray that he will grow up and be the man God has called him to be.  Realize that it is beyond my power to change his heart but I can keep praying for him.

I need to be more sensitive about my children’s emotional needs. Homeschooling is not just teaching, explaining and modeling but it is also empathizing with their weakness and  helping them overcome it and seeing their strengths. Now that my children are 8 years and above, parenting is not just about giving instructions and meeting physical needs but there is a whole new dimension that I need to learn especially in being a coach and a mentor as they face new stages in their life.

I need to adjust as every child develops differently. I should never compare the development of one child to the other. Spend more time understanding each child and appreciate them for who they are now and inspire them to become who they can be.

Don’t make decisions when emotions are running high. Most often than not, the decision you will make is not the right one. This is probably an old lesson and one that I already know well. But I just needed to remind myself of this today.

Have you faced similar situations yourself? I’d love to hear from you today.