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Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Homeschool Mother



I was asked recently from a public school teacher what it is we do
all day long. She just couldn't fathom how a mother could handle
teaching her children at home because she felt that her own children
wouldn't learn as well with her compared to a stranger. It was funny,
 I had a hard time understanding her thinking and she had
a hard time understanding mine. Homeschoolers are often
misunderstood. You can't always completely understand something
you do not do. You might get an idea from someone telling you but really
it's difficult to know until you are there digging in with both hands and
feet to know what it is really like to be a Mother who homeschools.

Right away when we think of the job itself we will look to the children
and rightfully so. We want what is best for our families. We wouldn't be
schooling at home if they weren't a main focus to our family. I've seen
many a photo on different blogs showing a day in the life of the
homeschooler. I got to thinking what if to explain it to a public
school teacher I showed them in away that is more closer to home.
What if I told you what it's like to be a Mother who homeschools.

1. A Child's Heart - If you are a non homeschooling mother this is
of importance to you too. As a homeschool mother my first and foremost
thought is my child's heart. I want my children to have a love for Jesus.
Love God, be gentle, and be careful with others feelings. This is a hard job
for every mother. It requires a lot of prayer, lot of love and a lot of teaching
and correction. The work involved in this is so huge. You must pray and study
yourself so you are equipped to teach them, You must work on your own sin
so that you can calmly discipline. This is where it gets a little bigger. As a
home educator you are with your children 24 hours a day. They look to you
for this guidance and no one else. Their Model is solely you and your husband.
You thought it was big before... Now you are watched 24/7. I say though
do not be discouraged because You are who they are watching. They
will not be lead by this world. They will not be influenced by outside
prodding. It makes your job watchful.


2. Household- The household chores suddenly become two fold.
or in our case with 4 children at home, four fold. We are always in our
home. We spend more time here than anywhere else. We are not bond to
it but at the same time it is our place and it represents us. I look at the running
of our home as a mini business. I complete the same tasks each day so that it
runs smoothly. If someone doesn't do their share than the entire thing
can unravel. As mothers we all know the tasks associated with our home.
They can be endless and unforgiving. These things must be looked upon as
a ministry to your family. Adding little details might not seem important to
anyone but it is and will be remembered later on by your children.


These top two jobs are jobs every mom has but then we get into
homeschooling deeper...


3.  Ordering Curriculum- Now it starts. Homeschooling means that
I am responsible for my child's education or children in my case.  I do
not take this lightly. These are my precious gifts that God has gifted me.
Before I can purchase items for our school time I have to first create
goals for the children. Evaluate where they are and where they need to be.
Then I dig through literally thousands of options to find just the right
choices for may children. Each choice may be different for each child
and each level. It's a lot to learn and fast. You need to be aware of new
publishers and new resources. A homeschool mother is always researching
and reworking their plan. Once you know what you need then you have to
budget it in an already tight  income budget. (or two but we'll get to that)
If you have multiple children then you want to look at the curriculum as
a whole to see if you can possibly reuse this in the future. You also
can look to see if you can find it cheaper somewhere else so there is more
research. Research is big in homeschooling.


4. Planning Time- Once your curriculum arrives it's time to sit down
read and read and plan and plan and write and work and rework and research
and research and plan  and you get the idea. It can be a lot of work especially
with varying ages. My children are most important to me. Their lives are
so special and amazing. I want the whole world for them. I want them
to love and laugh and enjoy it all. I plan to strive to do this. I plan for the love
of learning, for the love of my children. I pray over this plan. I allow
God to enter and work in our lives. I want their lessons to revolve into
who they will become one day. God knows what they need. When I am
finished I have this beautiful work of art. This lovely book of what are year
will look like. My heart is in it. It is filled with my children's future hope.

5. Organizing our space- Now the challenge of having all these supplies
for your children grows. The supplies are needed but where do you place
them. You have to squeeze and puzzle and work and rework. It adds
to the household duty. If your like me thought it doesn't matter one bit.
A pile of paper, a pile of craft supplies it means we are leaning and working
and I love that about homeschooling. PS I love STAPLES they know
me by name.

6. Implementing your Plan- The fun part begins. I get to sit, talk,
and teach them. I get to learn with them and play with them. I know
their hearts inside and out. I don't miss a day of their lives. I'm not
wasting a second of it because I know all to soon they will grow up
and leave the home. My goal it to create productive, loving , Godly
adults. Seriously the implementing is one of the best parts of all.
We have so much fun together. We don't have to rush anywhere .
Sure we plan outings and events with other homeschoolers but for
the most part we get to sit and just be. Learn and love.

I'm going to pause for a minute because as I write this I think that
my love of teaching probably mirrors that teachers I was talking to in
some ways in many ways not too. I know there are some great teachers
out there. I just want you to know that I love what I do. I research and study
teaching techniques just like you do. I work and rework our studies to
find the greatest joy for my learners but the biggest and best difference is
that I get to do this for my blood, my family, and for love. It might seem
like I'm in experienced but I can promise you that I can discuss teaching,
the history of teaching, the ins and outs just like you can. If you do mention
something I'm not aware of then I can guarantee I will be studying to find
out what you are talking about. There is nothing I can't do. God walks with
me in this endeavor. His love is abounding.

7. Know the law- Moms at home must know the law. They must protect
their rights to home educate. It is a parents right to choose how your
child is educated. If you don't home educate. I still suggest you keep up
with the legislature. You need to know what and how your child is going
to be educated. Watch to keep yourself free to choose. Maybe not today
maybe not even tomorrow but one day you might need to bring a child
home and if you do lets hope and pray that choice is still there for you.
If you are home then we have much work to do. Always stay watchful.


It's a big job. Someone has to teach my children. Why not me?
What makes me different than other teachers other than I'm at home.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki





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