For my 3rd and (maybe) final post on this I'm going to start things a little differently. I'm sitting in a quiet house by myself contemplating things. What would I say to a mom who is thinking about starting homeschooling? What would I say to a mom who is thinking of giving up homeschooling? What would I say to the mom that hates homeschooling but doesn't feel like she can quit? I've been in all 3 positions, trust me NONE of them are easy.
Lets address the mom that is thinking about homeschooling. If this is you let me ask you a few questions (my answers will be from a Biblical perspective). What's stopping you? Is it fear? Is it ridicule? Is it bad experiences with "homeschoolers you know". Is it because it isn't the "norm". Well let me wrap this up for you - all of those questions are rooted in fear. The Bible has a ton of verses on fear, probably because God knew it was the number 1 emotion in people. The verse that I recite quite often is 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Why do we fear anything? It's human nature but its when we let that fear dictate our actions that it becomes a problem. Now I'm not talking about healthy fear of sin or running out into traffic - that we should have. There is a lot of stuff I have never done because of fear and it saddens me now as I get older. So if fear is stopping you from homeschooling and that is the ONLY reason take a moment to reflect. Do you want that fear to run your life? Are you going to regret that you didn't at least try when those babies are grown? If God is telling you to homeschool and you are disobedient what do you think the consequences of that will be? This is not being said out of condemnation but from experience.
To the mom that is thinking of giving up homeschooling. Think about your reasons. Is it because your child and you are at each others throats? The please read the previous 2 installments of this topic - I hope it will help even to a small degree. Are you thinking about quitting because of other people and their pressuring you to do so? I hope the paragraph above will help you. Are you thinking about quitting because you feel that God is telling you to? For me this is the only legitimate reason to quit, the other reasons will fall into place if you are being obedient. What is your reason? Think about it and I would love comments so that I could possibly help you. Again this series is not meant to condemn but to encourage and uplift and maybe reinforce your reasons for homeschooling in the first place.
And to the mom who hates homeschooling. Make a change. Take a break. Choose a different curriculum, unschool for awhile, just don't do school
for awhile at all, go to a homeschooling conference or get some tapes
of sessions for a conference and soak it in. Take school outside in the sunshine. Throw a blanket in the grass, pull out the school books and do school outside. It is utterly amazing how a change of where you are doing school will change your outlook - and of coarse your kids. Take days off. Switch to a 4 day school week making day 5 a life skills day where you teach your kids how to clean the house, do laundry, wash windows, vacuum, cook, do dishes, clean the yard, work on the pool, prune plants - the list goes one. Not only will this make your life easier, but their future spouse will thank you as well. Go on lots and lots of field trips - right now it's spring. Have your kids start field journals or nature journals. Take them on long walks with a camera, a clip board and their journals. There are lots of places to get free print ables for this or you can do like this blogger and just use a blank journal or sketch pad. Here, here, and here are some great print ables that give prompts or not on them for those journals. If you don't like those, do a search there are tons of links to print ables and ideas. I choose to print mine, he has an area where he can sketch what he sees (counts as art), write what he observes (counts as English and science) and observe things in there environment. My rule is simple, he gets 4 pages to do when we go out, 2 must be some kind of plant or tree the other 2 must be some kind of animal or insect. If after making changes and you still don't like it, pray about your next step, it maybe that homeshooling is just not for you.
I'm still not done with this topic so tomorrow I will have a part 4. I'm starting to feel like C.S.Lewis who only meant to write The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe but ended up with a whole series.