Julie Johnson on Homeschooling

homescool
Sarah and Seth, aren’t they sweet?!
 
        Julie Johnson has written for me before and has been so kind as to write me another piece on homeschooling! Whether you are thinking of homeschooling or not, there are some great points to ponder in regards to parenting. Patrick and I are going to homeschool our children, so for me this is something that is on my mind for the future. Julie is a person who I would love to learn more from in this regard… her children are just so sweet and well-behaved!
 
…plus she manages to do homeschooling in Indonesia, where they have to learn another language! Amazing.
 
Question: Are you thinking of homeschooling your kids but are overwhelmed by the idea of it?
 
        Me, teach my kids to read and write? Me, teach my kids to add, subtract, multiply and divide? Me, teach my kids about history and science? The task might seem overwhelming! Are you thinking of homeschooling your kids but feel anxious about your decision? You can be reassured that you are not alone. I, for one, have been in those same shoes. My husband and I have two children named Sarah and Seth. This year they are in the 6th and 2nd grades. We have been homeschooling for 7 years now. I think that if we can relax, do our research and be self-disciplined we can have an enjoyable and rewarding time teaching our children at home.
 
Point 1: Relax!
 
        God gave you the ability and responsibility to teach your children. You are the best teacher your kids could ever ask for. I love what the Psalmist says concerning children:
 
“Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate” (Psalms 127:3-5).
 
        Something important to remember is that learning begins the day your children were born and not the day you decide to “do school”. If you don’t feel “qualified,” you are fooling yourself. The moment your children were born God gave you your MOM degree! Love it and cherish that blessing. If you feel you are lacking in some skill then pick up a book or take a class to better improve yourself. We are never too old to be a student ourselves.
 
Point 2: Do your research.
 
       Find out as much as you want to know about homeschooling and the materials that are available. Ask other home school moms that you respect. Use the Internet to research materials you are interested in. Choose what works for you and your family. Just because your best friend uses one kind of material doesn’t mean you have to.
 
        Try to remember that while education is important, spiritual education is of primary importance. One of the super great blessings of teaching our children at home is that we are together all day long. This means that we can do just as Moses instructed the Israelites, “(You shall) teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:7). As Christians, and homeschool moms, we have the opportunity to take our children with us when we visit the elderly, make food and take it to the sick, pray with a hurting person, share the gospel with others, and so much more. From young ages they learn that being a Christian is a whole lifestyle and not just a “Sunday” thing!
 
Point 3: Be self-disciplined and responsible.
 
        Your kids are only going to get as much out of home school as you put into it. Yes, having the option to sleep in and do school in your PJ’s is nice, but think about what you are teaching your children! Do you desire to have sloppy unmotivated children or self-motivated and organized children? You need to be their living example. Set your alarm, exercise if you choose, shower, make your bed, and expect the same from them. As a family you will be more productive if you are organized. Share the chores and teach responsibility! There are many Scriptures that teach the ugliness of laziness, here are two:
 
“As a door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man on his bed. The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl, it wearies him to bring it back to his mouth” (Proverbs 26:14-15)
 
“…Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons”(Titus 1:12b).
 
God gave us each precious day to live fully for Him and His glory. Let’s use them wisely.
 
Conclusion
 
        If you have already made the decision to homeschool your children, then I pray that God blesses you and your family, as you grow closer as a family and closer to Him. I think that if we can relax, do our research and be self-disciplined we can have an enjoyable and rewarding time teaching our children at home.
 
Question:What advice can you give to help beginning homeschool families?
 
        If you are looking for a good resource, I would recommend Cindy Colley on Homeschooling: 77 Things You Need to Know. You can purchase a copy here: 
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