We don’t homeschool to make our kids super smart. We don’t homeschool in hopes that they will become a doctor or a lawyer or some super amazing something or another that makes gazillions of dollars. No, we don’t even homeschool with the goal of college being the next logical step in the educational journey. We don’t homeschool to do school at home.
Homeschool in our family has a much different vision, a much different goal, a much different focus.
We focus on character. A lot. We focus on making learning natural and enjoyable. We develop the interests and giftings of our children. We go outside! We learn through real-life experiences and not just with books. We serve our community. We all work together to grow, as a family. God’s word is at the forefront of our schooling.
We are raising our kids to be disciples. We are equipping our kids to be missionaries.
Everything our kids are learning are training tools for their mission field. I couldn’t say it any better than Jenn from Mommy Evangelism:
Are we teaching them to read so they can make good readers OR are we training them to read so they can go and teach children in villages in Africa how to read? Are we teaching them math so they can make change or are we teaching them so they can train women in India how to run a home enterprise, pulling themselves from begging and poverty? Are we training them in science so they can know a lot of cool facts or are we teaching them science so they can go and help farmers grow crops in tough soil or help villages make water purifiers? Are we teaching them history because we should or because we want them to go and reclaim what this country once was?
What a FIRE this puts in my heart! I have a HUGE responsibility and calling to teach my kids and I don’t take it lightly. I don’t teach them to keep up with the local school, or the Jones’s or what any one else thinks they should be doing. We pray. We listen. We teach and learn what God has for us, for our kids, for our family.
We don’t fill up our schedule. One of the worst things we could possibly do is fill our schedule so much that when God brings an opportunity into our day, we are too busy to allow it in. We leave room, a lot of room, for service and training. After all, aren’t we already on the mission field?
Our school day, noses in the books, lasts an average of 3-4 hours a day. That means for about 3 or 4 hours we are in the schoolroom or at the kitchen table, doing some serious learning in the priorities of bible, english, and math. All the rest of the subjects are much more fun and get us moving but these 3-4 are done at the table, and are very focused. Now, we don’t do this every single day, and sometimes we fly through our lessons, and somedays I have snails instead of children and it takes fooooreeeeveeeer, but most days this is our routine, ending the “school day” by lunch time.
We don’t pick only 1, or stick with only 1, or use only 1 curriculum company, or sometimes use a company at all. And you don’t have to either. If you’re just starting out, it is wise to keep things simple, but once you get the hang of what your child likes, how he/she learns, etc, be brave and branch out. Kids all learn differently, at different speeds and have different interests. Be a student of your student and find ways that will help them learn the best. As you will see, we use different curriculums for every subject and it works amazingly well.
We don’t have to spend bookoo money. There are a heck of a lot of online, free homeschool curriculums. A big price tag doesn’t mean that one curriculum is better than another. We do what works for us and pray that God meets our financial needs to do that. With some subjects we go super duper cheap, and with others we go into the “pray, swipe the card, and let’s see God work” category. It can be as cheap-and-creative or as expensive-and-done-for-you as you want to make it.
We leave time to play. Whether we are playing with army guys and princesses or playing an educational board game, we always leave time to play. Some days we go outside, some days we make a mess (I mean art), some days we go to the splash pad, some days we make tents all over the house, some days we play mine craft in real life. Whatever it is, and it is rarely organized, it is important to play and by golly we make it a priority.
We always start with Bible. Not only should us grown-ups start our day in the word, our kids should too. We are training them to be disciples right? This is the most important part right here, knowing the word of God. Reading, knowing, hearing, memorizing, living the word of God everyday. And it starts here, every morning, together.
Want to know EXACTLY what curriculums we use for each of our kiddos? Stay tuned…. that’s coming tomorrow!