Today, we are wrapping up Ten Days of Ruling Your Curriculum with a Homeschool Mom…who, like most of us…wears many hats. Honey and her husband run a business out of their home, homeschool 5 children and have decided to let God Rule their Curriculum.
When we first started homeschooling seven years ago, I had big dreams. I had all these amazing ideas of what I wanted my homeschool environment to be like. I knew what I wanted and I ran after it.
A few years went by and we added twins to the mix, lost two great-grandparents and many nights of sleep. We struggled to find order amidst the chaos and homeschooling lost its enjoyment and became just something we checked off the list each day.
Over the past few years I have learned a lot about my children, my family, and how we all learn best. I have also learned that God nudges me in certain directions and I need to follow His leading. I need to close my ears to anything that will lead me away from what I know He wants us to do. That does not mean that I am unwilling to listen to wisdom and guidance from others, but it means I am more selective about who and what I listen to.
While different methods of homeschooling have sounded beautiful and we have run after them on occasion, the only thing that will truly work for our family is following the path that God has set for “US.” The key for me is learning what that path is and following it.
In our family of seven (5 children) we have a child with autism/adhd, another with dysgraphia, a few with sensory issues, one struggling to read, one diagnosed genius, and many allergies. All of these things affect the ways my husband and I parent and the way that we choose to educate in our home.
Peaking in the windows of someone else’s homeschool can give you great ideas, but unless the ideas are God’s plan for your family, they simply won’t work. And peaking in those windows can often make you long for things that simply were never meant to be for your family. I have had that feeling on more than one occasion.
At this point, none of my children can work independently. This is a goal that we are working towards, but it has not happened yet. I would love to hand out workbooks and tell the kids to go at it, at least for some of the subjects, but for the foreseeable future that is not happening.
I have been thinking about next year and planning and preparing and getting excited. I have been praying that God would truly lead and guide me and He is (why am I surprised?). I am really excited with the materials that are on the table for this coming year (starting in June). I am diving in head first and doing school the way I dreamed, way back at the beginning.
I am excited. I am nervous. I am looking forward to a good year.
When planning for next year, I looked first at what doesn’t work for us. In accessing whether something works for us or not, I think about a few things. Does it teach the material in a way most of the kids can understand? Will someone freak out or fall apart while we are doing it? Can everyone participate? Is it easy to set up/clean up?
In a nutshell, this is what doesn’t work for us:
- a rigid schedule
- oodles of writing (pen to paper)
Here is just a short list of some things that usually work for us:
- flexible schedule
- studying as a family
- group activities
- small amounts of writing
- hands on activities
- educational dvd’s
- educational software
- family reading
- anything creative
- plenty of breaks
- arts and crafts
- long walks
- games (store bought and hand made)
- custom printed worksheets (with SPACE)
- geography related activities
- multi sensory approach to everything
Here are some of the most important things I have learned over the last 7 years of homeschooling:
- I need to let God lead me to the materials we need.
- I need to trust my instincts.
- I need to listen to the wisdom of my husband.
- What we use may be very different from what other families use (and that is okay).
- It does not matter what materials we use as long as they work for our family (there is no perfect curricula).
- We can make anything fun, but not everything has to be fun.
- Teaching God’s Word is more important than academic studies because it has eternal effects.
What things work for your family?
I have been so incredibly blessed by having you here during the 10 Day series. It will be available on my blog via the 10 Day Series Button on the Right Corner of my page… Thank you for all of your questions, comments and emails. I will be working to pull something together…in the near future…to continue to encourage and support you in the near future!
Enjoy All of the 10 Days of Ruling Your Curriculum series..
- Day 1: Rule Your Curriculum With a Plan
- Day 2: Keeping Curriculum As Servant
- Day 3: Individualize Your Curriculum
- Day 4: Who’s In Charge
- Day 5: Now, I’m In Charge! (Ruling Curriculum for children with Learning/Health Issues)
- Day 6: Rule Curriculum For Your Advanced Learner
- Day 7: Use Notebooking to Rule Your Curriculum
- Day 8: Rule Your Curriculum With Wise Counsel
- Day 9: How to Put a Bad Curriculum In Its Place
- Day 10: Let God Rule Your Curriculum