Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Defining Your Homeschool

One of the most important aspects of homeschooling is to be able to define your homeschool. Why have you made this choice? (click here for Why I Homeschool)  In your opinion, what is the most important part of homeschooling?

One of the speakers this weekend was Todd Wilson, from Family Man Ministries. He posed a really great question in one of his sessions: If you left their school because you didn't like their school, then why do you want your school to be like their school? I know I am guilty of this. I have tried my hardest to get our school to match up to the public school system. That's when it hit me. Besides adhering to our state requirements, I have freedom. I have freedom that I have not been utilizing! Yet, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, "With freedom comes responsibility." You have the responsibility to organize your homeschool to meet the responsibilities before you - keeping in mind your child's spiritual welfare, their educational advancements, their social abilities. But all of these must come in their proper place, in the order of importance that they are to you!

You must define your homeschool. What is the most important part (and I would challenge you that the most important part is your relationship with your child.)? Whatever the most important part is, your homeschool schedule and organization and set-up should reflect this.

Above all else, I want my children to find a real relationship with Jesus Christ and desire to serve Him wholeheartedly. Secondly, I want my children to love learning and to be challenged to go as far as they possibly can in their pursuit of learning! Confession time. Last year, I was so focused on the amount of work we were accomplishing in a set amount of time that I was not showing the joy of the Lord or many of the other fruits of the Spirit that I was claiming I wanted to cultivate in my children. I was so busy with all the other areas of my life that I was pushing school through, not taking time to do extra projects or discuss what they were learning. Basically, I was sucking all the life out of our learning time. In an effort to deconstruct our homeschool and rebuild, I asked Princess Buttercup what changes she thought we should make. The dear, sweet girl replied that she liked everything about school except for me "pushing" her and making her hurry. I was so close to ruining her love for learning, which is one of my most important purposes of homeschooling! As I begin to make plans for next year, I will keep in mind our purpose, the most important parts of homeschooling, so that I can make sure that all my plans reflect this purpose.
My commitment for next year:

I vow to display the joy of Christ within me and to demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit, no matter how many times we have to review our addition problems.

I vow to do lots of hands on, engaging projects.

I vow to be silly, laugh and giggle as we explore the amazing world God has placed us into!

I vow to not say "hurry up" even once all year!

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. --Ephesians 6:4
What are your primary purposes for homeschooling? How does your homeschool reflect this purpose? Share with us!

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