Kim Ford has graciously offered to let us share her homeschooling tips, especially for those of you thrust into homeschooling for the first time. Kim is a long-time veteran homeschool mom and is currently serving as an Area Manager for the Classical Conversations homeschooling community.
Tip 1: Make a Schedule
Find a schedule that fits you and your family. Let your kids sleep in especially if you had a late night. Get them up in the morning if you want a good start on the day (it has always been difficult for me to wake a sleeping child). Sleep is important!! Your schedule should serve you and your family. Not reverse. It’s yours.
Be flexible with your people and yourself. Change your schedule to fit your family, and then look to find a rhythm. Give grace to your children to adjust to their new way of life. I have found that we all work better and are more productive if I have a plan. As the parent, my goal is to set the schedule and then to know when to abort it! Make your schedule with short goals and lots of outdoor, exercise and snack breaks (depending on the age of your kids).
Tip 2: Enjoy Your Children
Those of you who are starting homeschooling because of Coronavirus were not planning on your children finishing up their school year at home. Yet here you are, smack dab in the middle of curriculums, lesson plans with multiple grade levels, and unique needs of each of your children. To top it all off, you are all suddenly home together all day, every day. This unexpected togetherness brings its own adjustments.
Let me just say this: God knew you would be here. He chose you as the parent to your children. He gave you your children. Believe it or not, He has also equipped you to teach them and train them. No one loves your child more than you. No one wants more for them than you. He trusts you with them. He really does.
So Tip #2: Enjoy your children. You do not have to be NOR can you be the expert in all subjects and all things. You may feel equipped in one area and ill-equipped in another. And if you’re like me, it’s been a while since I learned the Pythagorean theorem or the Laws of Thermodynamics. (Yeah for the ability to search the internet!) It’s okay. Because you love your children. Decide now to enjoy this experience with them.
Whether you are any good at logarithms or not…Learn to love to learn. This is what they will remember long after they have learned how to do long division. After all the math lessons, they will remember your love and joy more than anything else… and I am sure they will remember what a whiz you are on Google!!
Tip #3: Pray
Before I launch into a new thing, I love to research and read the reviews and interview everyone I know for their opinions. I will throw a prayer in and ask the Lord to help me, but there is such a difference when we begin our day with prayer as a family. Keep it simple. Have your kids join you with something like this: “God, show Yourself to us today through our school.”
There is something about that prayer that gets us all looking for Him. He is not the enemy of science, He is science. He invented languages and time. He created the most amazing creatures that each gives us lessons about His world and His very nature. The human body is fascinating. What do we learn about Him when we study its intricate functions and incredible beauty? Is there any artistic feat more magnificent than our ever-changing Oklahoma skies? The heavens declare His beauty and wonder. And let’s talk about math. It’s no struggle for Him. In fact, He wrote a book called Numbers.
Education is not a fight to find God, but a discovery of Him: His personality, His awesomeness. His precision, His love for His creation. Open up your prayers to God. Ask Him to show you and your children who He is. And from everything I know about God, that is His favorite prayer to answer.