Successful Homeschooling

Before I begin, I want to re-iterate that I am not trying to persuade anyone to homeschool their kiddies. I am just trying to help some of my friends who are seriously considering this venue of education. Enough bridge building, here goes my waxing eloquent on the topic of successful homeschooling.

I remember when we were making the decision about whether or not to bring our kids home, I had a ton of concerns and questions. A very small sampling would be:

1. Would my boys grow up tied to their mother’s apron strings?

2. Is this just another venue for me to sin against my kids?

3. Is it fair to put my kids in the pressure cooker of being together 24 hours a day and expect them to get along?

4. Will I ruin them academically? I can’t even remember certain math facts!

5. Will I ruin them spiritually? I will be their primary influence day in and day out….yikes!

6. Given my tendencies toward guilt and condemnation with regard to parenting, do I really need another thing to “fail” in?

And in that little four letter word, FAIL, I find the theme of so many of those questions. What if I fail? It’s scary. It’s not my life we’re talking about here. It’s their lives. The responsibility is great indeed. So as I was getting counsel and asking these questions to my friends who homeschooled, one wise counselor said something that has been helpful on the most beautiful and the most ugly of homsechool days.

This person said that maybe I needed to re-define success. Success isn’t always happy children eager to learn from their competent, creative mother. It isn’t a lack of quarrels, complaining, and chaos. The ultimate measure of success is that at the end of the day a mom and her children grew in their love and gratitude for the Savior.  And for some reason, that piece of advice – almost more than all of the others – has comforted me on my hardest days, and directed me on my best days.

What is one piece of advice you received that has been helpful to you veteran homeschool moms? Would you mind sharing any bit of wisdom that has reverberated in your heart over the years? Either comment in my box or tell me you posted so I might link to you.

8 thoughts on “Successful Homeschooling

  1. Waiting eagerly for pearls of wisdom to fill up your comment box. 🙂
    And, I think what you wrote re: loving the Savior more at the end of the day: a great nugget to hold onto.

  2. Laurie,

    That is so helpful and encouraging as I seek to train our little children. They are not of homeschooling age but still I can apply what you wrote as I care for my children. What a helpful gage of what success really is! As I said before, your blog is very edifying and helpful. I appreciate it. It’s fun to see God’s faithfulness in your life. I remember when I first met you through Cindy Beck Hollander. Have a great day.

  3. Can’t wait to read more of your advice. I am having a hard year with a 1 and 3 grader 2 year old and newborn. It’s been hard. Feel like my tiny house is always a mess and baby and toddler make teaching quite hard at times and most days I hit dinner and I am fried. Constantly question and wonder if I am doing enough and if I will stay sane. Been good in that I cry to God for help a lot but I also lose it a lot

  4. Wow, I do like that advice you were given. A few things have helped me:
    1. Don’t always be looking over your shoulder at who is doing what in other homeschools, thinking you’re always behind or ahead. Enjoy what you’re studying in the moment and establish your own pace.
    2. Take a lot of field trips. Let experts in various fields share not just their knowledge, but their enthusiasm, for specific things. You never know when something great might just “infect” your kids in a good way.
    3. Plan Mental Health Days. These are more for mom than anyone, but hey, you know what they say, “Ain’t Momma happy, ain’t nobody happy.” I learned to write IN MY PLANNER: “Day off” so that I could look fwd to it, make it purposeful (whether the purpose was to clean house more deeply, take a long nap, or whatever.)
    4. Stay disciplined. This is not easy for me, but I have grown a lot in it. If you don’t, your children will suffer.

  5. Meant to tell you this afternoon… I cannot get that thought out of my head – are the girls and I growing in love and gratitude for our Savior? And then Jason brought up in his message yesterday the idea that we moms can be working for all the wrong things in homeschooling. Made for some good conviction from the Holy Spirit!

    Although homeschooling is hard (after all, it is WORK), I still wouldn’t trade it at this stage in the game. I love being with my girls. I love taking to them of the Bible around the breakfast table. I love learning along with them (I never knew history before!). I love training them in household duties. I love reading books with them and then watching them pretend they are in the stories, whether they become immigrant children or whalers… I just love it (most of the time!!).

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