The title may be a bit deceiving… you may be reading this so far and thinking, “they must have their homeschool all together!”
Well, you’d be wrong!
Most of the successful parts of our homeschool were failures in our “lesson plans” and a new perspective of what home school should be.
5 Tips for a successful and thriving Christian homeschool are easier than you think.
Success is subjective!
Webster’s defines success as:
1. favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.
2. attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
3. a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors:
Webster’s defines thrive as: verb
1. prosper; be fortunate or successful.
2. to grow or develop vigorously; flourish:
How successful and thriving your homeschool will be is determined by how you define “successful” and “thriving”!
There are no honors or awards for homeschool moms. No one is etching your name on a trophy.
The ultimate satisfaction for a “successful and thriving” homeschool is seeing your children walk in the LORD, step out in their field of interest, and be productive members of society!
Those are worth more than any medal of honor!
What will make your homeschool successful and thriving?
Three questions to ask yourself about homeschooling before you decide on your definition of success and thriving:
● Your goal for homeschooling?
● What is most important for your child/children to learn?
● How do you want to accomplish that goal?
We’ve narrowed down 5 tips that we believe will create both a successful and thriving homeschool experience.
These tips worked for us, and we pray also for you.
1. Keep your homeschool Christ centered!
Raising children in a world so full of distractions is hard.
But raising children in the LORD in a world full of distractions is a never ending -God given duty of shepherding their hearts.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
Our job as their parent and teacher is to guide them to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
As homeschool moms, our roll as parent and teacher is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
The rolls are the same because we are all sheep.
Our children are sheep, but we are momma sheep!
Following the Shepherd is what sheep do. When baby sheep wander off the path, get stuck in the briars and bramble, and the predator is salivating over a prospective lunch there’s not a whole lot a momma sheep can do. But the Shepherd can and will help them both.
Our purpose is to teach our children, our little sheep, to love to the Shepherd.
Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd.
2. You don't have to spend large amounts of money on material to teach affectively.
There is not a single curriculum out there that meets all your homeschool needs.
But you do not need to buy a separate curriculum for each subject taught, for each age or grade level of children. Many ages and subjects can be taught together like the “one room school house” from years ago.
Look for curriculums that are available with this style of teaching in mind. Bible, History, Science, Reading, Literature, Art, and even Writing can be combined with all ages.
Begin at Creation and travel through time including civilizations, geography, rabbit trails of cultures and arts, along with the science of any thing you encounter.
The first 2 chapters of Genesis will teach:
● Physical Science
● Marine life
And the list goes on!
Because all of these subjects do not change over time…. well, except that Pluto is no longer a planet, you can teach them to all the ages of children at once.
Allowing for discussion and assignments for each level of understanding brings new perspectives.
Phonics, Grammar, Spelling and Math build on concepts… these do require more individual assessment for their level or abilities. There are resources available online to aid in your study. Some are even free!
3. Do not compare yourself to other moms or your children to other children.... even siblings!
We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. Individual and unique! Your DNA is not like anyone else, and your finger prints are your own.. No one else has them.
Don’t look at other moms that are teaching their 6 year old Latin, Greek and Hebrew and feel like you are failing your child/children because you are not doing the same!
Goodness!….. she might just be an over achiever!
Some days we felt good if we just accomplished English much less 3 ancient languages.
A homeschool education is important,
but how we love is the greatest verb.
Can your child/children carry on a conversation with another person?
Is your child kind?
Loving to others?
Teach them effective communication and if you can learn more languages, great! Just don’t compare yourself and feel less than or lacking!
Set goals that are best for you and your family and work towards them.
4. Understand how you process information and understand how your child/children do too!
You and your child may not be speaking the same language!
There are 3 basic learning styles, auditory (hearing), visual (seeing and reading) and kinesthetic (hands on).
Let’s take operating a “world remote control” for all your electronic devices as an example.
One person may be a visual learner who reads the instructions manual, maybe highlights key points and then programs the world remotes control to work all the devices in the home with ease.
Another person may be able to do the same by hearing how to do it from a friend.
Still another person may need to watch someone to work through the different steps and press the buttons themselves.
While others may need a combination of two or all three styles before we can ever make the tv come on and watch a movie on the dvd player.
For us, there’s just too many buttons…and do we really care what all those buttons do?
The two of us just want the tv to come on when we press the POWER button!
We all have different learning styles.
If you are someone who wants to tell your child how to do something, but they are a hands on learner…. you may as well be speaking another language.
It will all sound to them like the teacher from Charlie Brown. They’ll hear, “blah blah bllllaaaaah blah blah blah blaaaaaaah!”.
Remember that the style learner you are as the teacher, is probably not the same style for your child. You are guaranteed headaches if you try to teach the way you learned!”
Without understanding learning styles, you’ll become frustrated with one another and feel like you are failing in homeschool.
Homeschooling is a responsibility that comes with high expectations.
We as moms carry the weight of their education! But in other areas of life, you’ve taught them other skills.
How did you teach them to brush their teeth, tie their shoes, how to get dressed or how to eat?
You worked with them in their learning style… and you trained them. Only you know your children’s personalities and learning styles better than anyone else.
Can they see the stove is hot?
Do you have to tell them the stove is hot?
Or do they have to touch the stove to know it’s hot?
Find ways to present subjects and information in all three learning styles!
If I read the manual for the world remote, and you tell me how to program it and then you show me how to operate it, I have a greater chance of retaining the information.
We personally, may need this training every time we want to watch tv or a movie, but that’s us and our inability to work the world remote!
5. Homeschool mom, when you hit a wall of miscommunication in teaching a subject, a conflict about school work, accountability issues or struggling to feel successful.... remember #1!
Take it back to a Christ centered homeschool.
What is your goal?
Calculus is hard and Algebra is abstract to some people even if you present it in their learning styles.
Some subjects come more naturally than others for students.
Occasionally, you will encounter a roadblock in learning. A subject will stop your homeschool in its tracks. It’s okay to set a roadblock down come back to it later or come at it from another direction.
That’s the joy of homeschool….flexibility.
Asking for help is acceptable and advised! You have options!
Homeschooling has options
Try another teaching method or work through their learning styles.
Ask a friend, family member or a friend of a friend who is good at a certain subject or understands how to use Calculus in life!
Find a tutor or a tutorial class in your area.
Look for co-ops in your area!
Some homeschool days you are doing good to get out of pajamas and into decently clean clothes.
Every now and then (more so in our homes) kids want to read a book upside down or have the wiggles when you are pressing to finish an assignment.
Seek the Shepherd!
Distractions in homeschool are real!
Not only the distractions that interrupt your plan, day, or week but there are also life interruptions. Doctor appointments, funerals, wedding, hospital visits, extra curricular activities, unexpected time suckers…… those all add into homeschool life interruptions.
What you are truly trying to do…is to teach your children how to handle life.
That is the successful life teaching you can give them.
In Homeschool, distractions are guaranteed, but how you respond to them is a choice.
There is no better example of how to handle this life than for them to see you…… seeking the Shepherd!
A successful thriving homeschool cannot be defined by any other person. Trusting God for direction and learning on His strength in your life and homeschool is the only way to thrive!