How much are we, as homeschool parents, supposed to do? How do we prepare our kids in homeschool to be successful? How do we know when we have done enough?
These are important questions to consider, but there is an even more significant, foundational question that you need to ask. Are you responsible for teaching your children EVERYTHING THEY NEED TO KNOW?
If you think the answer is, “Yes,” then, break out the books on everything from abacus to zoology, because you have just taken on the Mt. Everest of homeschooling. And, inform your children that they will not graduate until they are fifty-eight years old, because that’s how long it will take to teach them everything … no, better make that seventy-eight years old, given the nature of the rapidity of knowledge growth in genetics, differential equations, multi-dimensional topology, deep ocean marine biology, bathymetry–they don’t leave home without it!
If, on the other hand, you answer, “No,” then take a deep breath of relief as you consider what you actually need to teach them. (And, pass along the great news to your kids that they can graduate at age eighteen!)
First, think about the big picture. What is it that you honestly want for them to have when their years of homeschooling are over?
- Do you want them to be able to get into the college of their choice?
- To find satisfying and interesting careers?
- Do you want them to gladly serve the Lord, wherever and however?
- To be passionate about justice for the oppressed?
- To be equipped for the life God calls them to?
If you have older children, ask them:
- What are your interests, passions, and giftings?
- Do you want to go to college?
- Build your own business?
- Serve overseas for a season?
Second, with these specific goals in mind, make choices. Knowing what you are aiming for will help you to make these choices wisely. And, believe me, you MUST make choices. Being driven to do it all will result in your kids hating school, while sucking you right into the black-hole of exhausted frustration.
Despite the pressure from textbooks, classes, and friends to fill our children’s hours with more and more and more academic demands, there is another way to walk this journey–one that has long been proven to be highly motivational and incredibly successful in helping children learn.
It is so simple that many will scoff. Here’s the secret that early homeschoolers discovered: Find your child’s interest. With that as a starting point, make some wise choices, leave space for free time, and enjoy the journey.
Remember, stay relational!
P.S. If you haven’t had a chance to check out my new Experience History Through Music book/CD sets, this is a GREAT time to do so! American history through American folk music, on sale now through October 14, here.