The Homeschool Minute ~ Stress-free, Spirit-led Homeschooling - The Old Schoolhouse

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The Homeschool Minute ~ Stress-free, Spirit-led Homeschooling

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Stress-free, Spirit-led Homeschooling

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Gena Suarez

Hey, Mama,
 
It is so important to allow the Holy Spirit to lead you as you teach your children and raise your family.
 
“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
Matthew 7:25. If we, like the wise man, build our houses on Jesus Christ, our rock and foundation, we will be able to stand strong during life’s storms.
 
Give up the idea of a perfect curriculum
, and allow the Spirit to lead you.
 
God has not given us a spirit of fear
; He promises the peaceful guidance of the Holy Spirit in all we do–and especially homeschooling.
 
Our kids are always learning. But so are we, as moms. It’s amazing how much the Lord will show us when we ask Him for wisdom. When we stay in His Word and apply it, when we keep our eyes on Him even during the storms, He’s molding us and changing us. Sometimes the deeper the pain and the more difficult the whirlwinds and downpours (which seem to come all at once), the more like Him He makes us … which is the desire. Lord, make me more like You. Whatever it takes, Lord, make me as close to You as You will have me. My gaze is perfectly fixed on Your face.
 
Our children are watching. We’re not perfect. They see the storms and our reactions. They see you, Mama. Get back up and start again. They see you glorify His name, no matter the problem.
 
And do you want to know what the Lord sees that we do not (yet)? He sees the big picture. He sees the reason behind what feels like sheer madness. He sees the reward which comes after the injustices. He sees the growth amidst the pain, and He sees the light around the next corner. Things can change on a dime … and often do. You’ve seen it. You know.
 
So keep walking, Mama. Model Christ to everyone God has sovereignly placed in your path. This is not a stage or a “theatrical” setting; it is just a testing time. It’s short. It’s a blink, as a friend reminded me today. Just over the horizon is the forever place and forever life. God sees it all from beginning to end. And Mama, your end is GOOD.
 

But for now, His hand is on your head tonight.

 
~ gena

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Diana Waring

Dear Friends,
 
I’ll leave it to my colleagues to teach us how to have a stress-free homeschool … I feel a lot more qualified to share with you what I’ve learned about “Spirit-led” homeschooling. 
 
When we started teaching our kids at home, I thought I knew what school was … a desk, an apple, some textbooks, and a schedule. So, I merrily went down this path with my excited, enthusiastic five-year-old son. At first, the newness of filling out a worksheet and looking at pictures in a textbook seemed fun to us both. But, as day after day of monotonous and boring facts droned on, it became harder and harder to work up the enthusiasm to start school. After only a month, it came to the point where he was slumped across his desk, asking, “Mom, do we HAVE to keep doing this?” while I was slumped across the kitchen table, saying to myself, “Oh, I hope not!!”
 
I felt like the problem must be the textbooks I had chosen for the year, but because we didn’t have any budget left for more materials, I was stuck. Rather than force him through something so awful, I quietly put those books away, and we went back to doing the things we had been doing all along–reading interesting books out loud, playing with play dough, taking nature walks, and singing together. He thrived while I felt secretly guilty for failing as a homeschool mom.
 
The next year was a repeat of the first, though I was feeling even more failure and guilt when I tossed the textbooks after only a month. Despite our start-and-stop-approach to “homeschool,” my son was reading, bright, and interested in everything.
 
By the third year, I was determined to succeed. But, to my dismay, it was as boring as it had been in my previous attempts. Feeling like an utter failure, loaded with guilt at my inability to “teach” my son, I went to my husband–the professional school teacher in our home–and told him I had to quit. He listened carefully to all that I shared, and then said something that utterly changed our lives.
 
“Diana, why don’t we pray and ask God to show us how we can homeschool our kids in a way that works?”
 
We had always prayed about all kinds of things, but praying about how to homeschool had never crossed my mind. Now, it was obvious.
 
In just a short time, I came across the book For The Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, and she articulated a way of teaching children that resonated with my mother heart, with things I had naturally done with my kids–but hadn’t known would count as “school.” And, shortly after that, we met a homeschooling family who created such a rich educational environment that their kids found it a delight to learn. From these two events, a door opened into a whole new world of learning that I had never known existed.
 
The Holy Spirit led us step by step into ways of engaging our children in what they were learning, and it was so much better than anything I had ever experienced before. Spirit-led homeschooling is how we not only made it all the way to the finish line of graduation, but enjoyed the journey, as well.
 
Remember, stay relational.
 
Diana


P.S. Be sure to check out my new video blog at www.facebook.com/dianawaring  Today’s topic: Come learn how you can REALLY enjoy your kids as I present “Puppy Paws.”

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Wow, giving advice on how to do stress-free, spirit-led homeschooling is a pretty tall order. I’ll tell you what, I’m not going to give you any trite, ten-step, here’s-the-formula advice, because there is no ten-step, here’s-the-formula answer to complex situations.
 
All I know about stress-free, spirit-led homeschooling is this: when you’re doing it, everyone smiles–you, your kids, and your husband. And when you’re not doing it–there’s not much smiling happening.
 
The biggest obstacle to smiling is YOU and YOUR ideas of what a real homeschool should look like. Instead of doing what comes naturally as a parent and what you FEEL is good and right, you listen to experts and believe their every word, even when they’re wrong. You know what’s best for your children because God’s Spirit points it out to you every day (although it sounds just like your heart), but most of us don’t listen to the Spirit. Instead, we listen to the experts who don’t know diddly about our kids.
 
So if you feel like you need to slack off on a certain subject because your child is upset and frustrated, THAT’S the SPIRIT. If you don’t like unit studies, classical learning, or playing stringed instruments, THAT’S the SPIRIT. If you want to spend just one hour a day doing school because YOU think that’s enough for your children right now, THAT’S the SPIRIT. IF you think what I’m writing right now makes sense, THAT’S the SPIRIT. If you feel like you need to go to the computer and buy one of our
great Christmas products
 right now, that’s the Spirit … or it might just be me.
 
But as a wise old familyman once said, “The Spirit can lead a homeschooler to the happy homeschool, but he can’t make her ‘drink'” or something like that.
 
Mom, homeschool your children the way you want, have been equipped to do, and that meets the needs of your family. I’m telling you that will produce smiles and is a pretty good sign that you’re being Spirit-led.
 
Now, about the stress-free part, my only advice is …
 
Be real,
Todd

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Stress is all around us, every single day. No one knows that better than Jesus. He calls us to come to Him for rest, but what does that look like in practical, everyday life? Three studies on SchoolhouseTeachers.com share thoughts on letting go of stress and going deeper with Christ.
 
  • Spiritual Simplicity by Chip Ingram: If you crave simplicity and yearn for peace and calm, this study is for you. Through Biblical teaching and practical insights, Chip Ingram goes beyond so-called quick fixes. This series speaks to men and women who know what they need to do, want desperately to do it, but find it next to impossible to break free of the “too many good and important things” that flood their lives.
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  • Balancing Life’s Demands by Chip Ingram: Are you busy, tired, stressed out, and stretched to the limit? Does life seem a little out of control? Are you running long on things to do and short on time? In this series you will learn how to put “first things first” and find peace in the midst of pressure and adversity.
 
Each of these studies, plus more than 10,000 more streaming videos, are available free to our members through SchoolhouseTeachers.com’s partnership with RightNow Media.
 
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One membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com serves your entire family, regardless of how many children you are homeschooling or their ages. There are
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I am amazed at the number of times I open my Homeschool Minute newsletter and have the opportunity to read EXACTLY what I need that day! Thank you so much for putting a real face on homeschooling.”

   

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I really enjoy reading all the THM articles. I learn a lot from Todd Wilson’s column. [He’s a] funny guy who speaks the simple truth! Thank you very much!”

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Brandon, FL  

I look forward to THM every Wednesday. I really enjoy Deborah’s articles. For some reason, it must be God, she always writes about what I am needing to hear. Her ability to put scripture and God in the middle of all her articles keeps me coming back. I recently have been enjoying the Youngs’ [articles] because I have a young man (10) in my house. The encouragement of the Youngs is fabulous. I thank God for parents like them that pave the way for parents like myself and my husband.”

 

–Racheal Fowler

 Glen Burnie, Maryland


So love reading TOS on my iPad from cover to cover every month!!!”  

–Leigh Anne McGrady
 Dunwoody, GA

 

What I appreciate most about Todd’s column is that he never assumes he knows what is best for me… but he KNOWS that God knows & encourages me to find that & follow that. Thanks for all the encouragement over the years!”    

CA
Kannapolis, NC 

…I appreciate them both so much. I love Diana’s passion for teaching history in a fun and interesting way. And that she is all about relationships first. I love that about Todd as well, and that he always, always says it is okay to relax about the schooling.

 

Mara Martin 

Everett, WA 


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