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10 Things Every Parent Should Know BEFORE Homeschooling (Part 1)

10 Things Every Parent Should Know BEFORE Homeschooling (Part 1)

August is here and the start of the school year is vastly approaching.  Lesson planning, semester mapping, last minute curriculum shopping are on our to do lists.  So I thought I’d do the only logical thing… procrastinate by writing about it.

I rarely write about homeschooling and this by no means is a homeschooling website.

But I know there is a Mama out there who is equal parts excited and scared and maybe a little crazy.  I know this, because not so long ago, I was her.  So if that is you, flip on an episode of Wild Kratts and read on…

These are a few things I put together that I learned the hard way. This is by no means an all encompassing list, but it will get you started and I have begun with the one that I think I would have needed to hear the most:

1. You’re going to want to quit.  Like every day.

Especially at around 11:30am when there is crap all over your house and all you’ve had to eat is coffee and if one more person tells you they are too tired-hungry-bored or dumb to learn mathematics you might just slip into a rage-induced coma.  All you’ll want to do is hide in your closet with a chocolate bar or some chips and guac. (Totally acceptable coping mechanism, by the way.)

DSCF1704Can I just tell you; it’s ok to want to quit? There are days when I fantasize about getting up early, putting on makeup and cute clothes, dropping my kids off at school and heading into an office filled with all adult people.

Although I loathe the need for pretense, please know that I know that the Lord doesn’t call everyone to homeschool.  It isn’t the only right way.  But if He does, it takes radical obedience…every time. Jesus modeled radical obedience – and He didn’t always want to. So if God has called you to homeschool any one or all of your children, do it.  It’s ok to not want to.  As long as you do it anyway. “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

But please for everyone’s sake, keep the chocolate handy.


2.  Homeschooled kids are sheltered.  (Or should be, anyway.)  Don’t fight it.

If someone asks you if you are worried they will be sheltered, you can honestly say, “no”.  Because OF COURSE they are sheltered – that is your job.  My kids are sheltered and that doesn’t worry me even a tiny bit. They are sheltered from knowing things too early. From their worldview being shifted away from a biblical perspective. From drugs and violence and pornography and all those things that they will learn and experience soon enough, but not before they have a foundation on which to discern them.

At some point throughout recent history, someone decided that sheltering your children was a bad thing.  Sorry, no – that’s bunk.  You better believe I’m going to shelter them.  They will eventually know all the things, but guess who gets to tell them…me.  The right way.  (Well, actually, mostly my husband because they are all boys – bullet dodged).

3.  Watching an episode of “How it’s made” does not suffice for science class.

Every once in a while, when the flu has hit the house or it’s Mama’s “time of the month”, this may be acceptable. But this is the exception, not the rule.

Be diligent, be intentional, be responsible. You are their source of knowledge. Don’t get all freaked out about this, but know that homeschooling is a BIG responsibility.DSCF1686

It’s ok to mess up and to make mistakes.  (Like the one time ok, couple times I scrapped curriculum in November and started over.)  But learn from those mistakes.  Don’t take it lightly. But don’t take it too heavily, either. Aaaannnd that leads me to #4…

4.  You can push too hard. 

I know parents on both ends of the spectrum and let me tell you, both are equally tragic to your child’s learning.  Listen, kids are smart.  Know your kid and their learning style.  Be a student of your student.  Learn their needs.  Be ok with trial and error.

I have three different kids and three different curriculums.  Some things work for one or two of my kids and not the others and some things work for all of them (ok, that’s never happened to me, but I’m sure it has happened to some lucky mama out there.)

The point is, you are educating your own child.  Not any others, don’t compare.  Challenge your child, but set them up for success.  Keep the end goal in mind – to raise kids who grow up to be adults who love the Lord their God with all of their heart, soul, MIND and strength and love their neighbor as themselves. (Mark 12:30 emphasis added)

5.  Know why you are homeschooling.  If it is simply out of DSCF1670fear – you might as well pack it in now.  Fear is not nearly a strong enough motivator. I don’t care what you are afraid of; bullies, separation anxiety, “big brother”, whatever it is that you are afraid of, it isn’t going to keep you going through fractions or the Cold War. Ask God for peace.  My God is bigger than a punk on the playground or even (gasp) Common Core.

Homeschooling is hard, and it isn’t for the faint of heart.  It also doesn’t take a rocket scientist.  It just takes a parent submitted to Jesus.  (See #1 – Luke 22:42)

Because this is already more words than I would care to read in any blog post, I’m gonna save the 2nd half for my next post on Monday.  If you thought 1-5 were brutal, stay tuned for 6-10…

Continue Reading 6-10 at “10 Things Every Parent Should Know BEFORE Homeschooling (Part 2)”



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