Sunday, June 21, 2009

Homeschooling Advice


Scott and I desire to homeschool our children. We believe this is just an extension of "training your child in the way they should go." Why would I want to give the gift of teaching my children to someone else? The article posted below gives great advise on the things we need to succeed in homeschooling: vision, guidance, determination, consistency, patience, positive attitude flexibility and support. Read on:


"When a family decides to homeschool, one of the most common questions people will ask them is, "Why?" For some, the motivation may be educational. For others, spiritual. Whatever the reason, most parents are able to give a solid, well-formed answer to anyone who asks. But often, during the darker seasons of homeschooling, the feelings of frustration and hopelessness may drive the parent to turn and ask themself that same question. The enemy knows that if he strikes the shepherd, the sheep will scatter. This truth applies to homeschool families as well. If he can convince the parent that they don't have what it takes, or they aren't smart enough, or they don't do it just right, then the parent may become too overwhelmed and give up. The results can be devastating for both the parent and the student. It should be understood that the success of a homeschooling parent cannot be guaranteed by a college education. It is not established by a teaching certificate. It cannot be created out of intelligence, prosperity or a spotless reputation. No, the foundation of a successful homeschooling parent comes from a servant's heart and a passion to see their child learn and grow. If a homeschooling parent can read, they can teach. If they love and understand their child, they can provide a positive learning environment. If they are willing to keep trying, they have a continual chance at success. Homeschooling is merely the vehicle by which the Christian parent launches their child into a balanced, victorious life. With humility and the right perspective, the various elements can be set in motion. Vision This is the big picture or the mental image of the end result. The parent envisions a confident, educated, spiritually effective graduate that is ready to fulfill the call God has for their life. Guidance: the Map This represents input and advice that parents receive from other successful homeschooling families, and the prayer and encouragement provided from spiritual leaders. Determination: the Fuel This element motivates the parent to persist in the face of opposition, setbacks and disappointments. These will come, but they do not need to be roadblocks. Consistency: the Rear-View Mirror The purpose of this is for the parent to see what they have already accomplished in order to assess the upcoming course. This will help them make any necessary changes without compromising foundational values. Patience: the Cruise Control This helps set the pace. By doing so, the parent won't rush the child ahead prematurely in their studies, nor become anxious if the child needs more time. Positive Attitude: the Steering Wheel The attitude of both the parent and the student can affect the entire homeschooling environment. A positive attitude will help build and maintain a rewarding and successful educational experience. Flexibility: the Turn Signals No homeschool course is designed to be a one-way street. There is freedom to make changes to promote the highest learning potential for the student. Support: the Tires No parent can take on the homeschooling task alone. For a smoother ride, parents will find security and wisdom in a multitude of counselors. There is also comfort and value in a friend to confide in when things become difficult. Nearly every well-seasoned homeschooling parent has encountered uncertainty at some point during their teaching experience, but the comforting thing is that all have survived. The secret to the Christian parent's persistence is really no secret at all. The most successful homeschooling parents are those who understand where they are going, and who they are in Christ. This motivates them to keep charging ahead despite the questions and doubts that may continue to arise."-written by Amy Miller