Ten Things I’ve Learned - Things I’ve Learned . . . in Ten Years of Homeschooling Marybeth Whalen When I first started homeschooling ten years ago, I quickly learned to depend upon the

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  • TenThingsIveLearned...inTenYearsofHomeschooling

    MarybethWhalen

    WhenIfirststartedhomeschoolingtenyearsago,Iquicklylearnedtodependuponthewisdomofexperiencedhomeschoolingmoms.Theseladiesprovidedmewithalisteningearandwiseadvicethatprovedtruetimeaftertime.ThelongerIvehomeschooled,themoreIveaddedlittlenuggetstomyownrepertoireofwisdom.HerearethetoptenthingsIhavelearnedinmyfirsttenyears.

    10.Investinlesscurriculumandmoreeducationaltoys.Ihaverarelyregrettedbuyingagoodsetofpatternblocksorlinkingcubesorgamesorpuzzles.ButIhaveresoldmorecurriculumthanyoucanshakeastickat!Makeityourgoaltosurroundyourchildrenwitheducationalresourcestocreatealearningrichenvironment.Buygoodqualityartsuppliessotheycancreatewheneverthewhimstrikesthem.Andfillyourhomewithgoodbooks,too!

    9.TurnofftheTV,theInternet,andallotherelectronicdevices.Butleaveyourstereopluggedinsoyoucanturnupsomeclassicalmusicorsillysongsorwhateverputsalittlezinginyourstepandasonginyourheart.Anddontforgettodancewithyourkids!Dosillydancesandlaugh.Dancewhileyoumakelunch.Challengeyourkidstoadanceoffandseewhohasthebestmoves.Thesewillbethetimestheyremember.Dontforgettolaughandseethehumorinthesedays.Alittlelaughteraddsjusttherightseasoningtoanyhomeschoolday.

    8.Dontrushyourchildrentoreadbyacertainage.Justbecausetheneighborschildisreadinginkindergartendoesntmeanthatisnecessarilyagoodthing.Ireadatage4andamconvincedthatiswhyIbecamelegallyblindbythetimeIwasinmyearly20s.RaymondandDorothyMooresresearchbacksthisup.IpushedmyoldesttoreadandheactuallyreadatthesameageastheonesIdidntpush.Formostofmychildren,themagicageforreadingwasaroundage8.Icouldhavesavedmyoldestson(andmyself)manytearshadIjusttrustedmyinstinctsandrelaxedwiththereadinginstruction.

    7.Anytimeyoucanreadaloudtoyourkidsistimewellspent.Notallreadaloudsessions,however,willbepictureperfectandthatisokay.Readingwithkidsofteninvolvesinterruptions,disruption,andmisbehavior.Readingwithtoddlersisparticularlychallenging,Ihavefound!Themainthingistopersevereinyourcommitmenttoreadaloudregularly.

    6.Mathdoesmatter.Whenyourchildrenareyoung,usethetimewhentheyarestilleagertolearntodrillthefactswiththem.Donotskimpinthisarea,asthisisvaluabletimeforinstillingfactstheywilldrawonfortherestoftheirmathexperience.Thisisavaluableinvestmentintheireducation,anditwillmakethingssomucheasierforthemlateronastheyencounterhighermath.

  • 5.Scheduletimeforthethingsthatfallbythewayside.Ifthereissomethingthatyoureallywanttoaccomplishinyourhomeschoollearningmemoryverses,workingonmanners,readingpoetry,playingmoreboardgames,trainingyourkidstoworkaroundthehousewriteitdownandscheduleitintoyourday.Youhavetogetintentionalaboutmakingcertainthingshappenortheyneverwill.

    4.Adayoffwillnotharmyourchildrenseducationforever,anditmightjustbetheonethingthewholefamilyneeds.Sometimesadayofftojustplaywillchangethewholetoneofyourhome.Dontbeafraidtotakeadayoffnowandthen,anddontbesocurriculumdriventhatyoudontallowyourselfthisluxury.

    3.Homeschoolingishard.Itisnormaltowanttoquit,tofeelinadequate,ortojustnotlikebeingwithyourkidsfromtimetotime.Dontbeatyourselfupforfeelingthisway.Allowingguilttocrippleyouwillnothelpyourkidsortheenvironmentofyourhome.Findwaystobeatthoseblues.Gooutsideforawalk.Takeadayoff,orevenaweek.Usesomeconcentratedtimetogetorganizedifyouneedtodoso.Ihavefoundthatsometimesithelpsmetovisitourlocalhomeschoolstoreorflipthroughacatalog.ThishelpsmereconnectwithwhyIdowhatIdoandhelpsmetakemyfocusoffthehereandnow.Also,seeksupportthroughyourchurchoralocalsupportgroup.Onlinesupportisanotherpossibility,andthefolksatHomeschoolBlogger.comareagreatwaytofindthat!

    2.Homeschoolingishuge.Ittakeslotsoftimeandmentalenergy.Dontdiminishthisfactbynotgivingitthespaceinyourlifeitdeserves.Donttrytomerelyfititintothemyriadofthingsyoumayhavedoneinthepast.Ifyoudothis,youareatahigherriskofburnout.Homeschoolingisjustasmuchacallingonyourlifeaschurchworkorministry.Approachthiscallingwiththesameamountofrespectandreverenceyouwouldacallingtothemissionfield.Ifthismeanslettinggoofsocialobligations,volunteerpositions,orvariousotherduties,sobeit.TrustthisasGodscallonyourlifeforthisseasonofyourlifeandliveaccordingly.1.Thereisnoperfectchild,perfecthome,perfectmom,orperfectfamily.Ireadoncethatcomparisonisthedeathofcontentmentandhavetriedtolivemylifeaccordinglyeversince.TherealityiswearealljustdoingthebestwecaneverydayofferingourmeagereffortsuptotheLordandallowingHimtomultiplythembeyondwhatwecanaskorimagine.Whenwelivelifeinthisfashion,Heshowsup,takesourhand,andgentlyleadsusdownthispathHehascalledusto.Eachpathwilllookdifferent,andweallmuststayonourownpath,followingHimeverystepoftheway.

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    BiographicalInformation

    Copyright,2009.Allrightsreservedbyauthorbelow.ContentprovidedbyTheOldSchoolhouse Magazine,LLC .

    http://www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com/http://www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com/

  • MaryBethWhalenisthewifeofCurtandmomofsixchildren,ages14to1.Thefamilyhashomeschooledfor10years.MaryBethistheauthorofFortheWriteReasons,a speakerforProverbs31Ministries,andafreelancewriter.LearnmoreaboutMaryBeththroughherblogathttp://www.HomeschoolBlogger.com/marybeth

    Ten Things Ive Learned . . . in Ten Years of Homeschooling