Ok... You Accepted The Call to Educate your child at Home, now what? Today I'm am Sharing the next letter in my ABC's of Homeschooling Series.
B is for the Basics1. Bible- The first and most important thing to remind yourself everyday is that God called you to do this for your family. He spoke to your heart to share Gods love . This is one of the most important things you will ever do and I don't want you to forget God in all the shuffle of school books and pencils. If you do nothing else in that particular day and there will be days like that, take time to sit with God alone. Take time to share a story or verse with your kids and talk about it. Make sure these two things are separate. You will need to rejuvenate with God every day to help you make right decisions with your spouse and with your children's academics and character training. Home education isn't as easy as it sounds. Some days it will be perfect and feel wonderful and other days... not so much. This was your CALL. So lets make sure we don't forget to embrace his Word .
2. Connection- The next thing you want to hang tight to the relationship you have with your child. If your child was previously in public school you might need to take some time to relax a little and regroup your relationship. Spend time with your kids listening and playing with them. That is the best way to connect. I have learned the hard way that the best way to get the results I desire is to allow them to talk it out. Allow them to explore their feelings. They do that best when they trust me. When they know I will be here to listen and won't judge them. So moms keep your thoughts to yourself. Choose your battles wisely. You are not perfect and neither are your kids. Leave space for growth and grace.
3. Create a Space- If you have kids you might find that you already have space set up to be kid friendly. Pay attention to where your books are located so that little hands can reach. Decide if you are going to school at your kitchen table, the living room or in a arranged classroom in your home. Some people use a variation of each. I started out schooling in a tiny kitchen . Then we moved to a bigger home and I had a small school room. As our family grew we moved to a new home and now we school in our dining area. We are always changing and evolving and so will your environment. Be flexible to moving around. We often school in our dining room but my son will go off to read passages in his room or our summer house. Sometimes when it is warm we take a blanket and go read under our big maple tree. Changing things up helps keep things fresh.
4. Gather the Essentials- Lets not talk Curriculum just yet. (that will be next weeks by the way) Just gather the basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, pens, highlighters, staplers, crayons, makers, rulers, and other office type supplies that you will need for schooling purposes. Also don't forget the paints and art supplies. If you are having an off day digging out art supplies might help the mood. Allowing them to create will elevate stress for everyone.
5. The Three R's- Being new to home education I would suggest sticking to the three Rs' Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. All of the other subjects will come. Lets get the basics done each day and that is accomplishing something. Once you get a feel for homeschooling you can begin adding in the things that you think your kids will love in addition to these basics. It will be more manageable for you to research these subject to start out and get a feel for your child's learning style and abilities . I started out by reading Ruth BeeChick , You can Teach your Child Successfully. If you click on Ruths name there you will find other books that are available as well that touch on just this subject.
6. Schedule- When you first start you might feel a bit overwhelmed because frankly you are adding a new job to your life. So on top of managing your home, things for your husband, Your bible time, Church activities and possibly even a part time job , Now you have another full time job to complete. My first year I really struggled. I thought I should be able to do it all. What I learned is that what I needed was a schedule for everything to have its time and place. Of course you should be flexible with that schedule but it really helps to have it in place and have a routine. You might also be surprised to find that you have more cooperation with the kids as well.
These are the basics. That is it. Don't complicate things. Make it all about God and your kids. This list may seem to basic but as we go through the Alphabet we will learn a lot more along the way and we will add things in a little at a time.
I am joining in with the Blogging through the Alphabet with Ben and Me.