Back to school! There is something about this time of year that I just love! Our family schools all year-long, but the back to school season still fills me with excitement. I love getting good deals on school supplies and stocking up for the next year, purchasing some curriculum and reading over it. This time of year is a fresh start for educating our children.
When I first started homeschooling my oldest child I was nervous and excited. The thought of my husband and I being responsible for our children’s education was a little overwhelming. Josh and I both grew up in public schools, and we didn’t know anyone who exclusively homeschooled their children. Like many others we were of the mindset that an education was all about the books, facts and figures. When we sat down and the dining room table for the first time to have school my goal was to teach my daughter EVERYTHING in the little booklets we were using. I can laugh at myself now but during our first year of school the feelings of fear and worry were very real. It was almost as if I was afraid that if she did not learn everything in the book, the school police would bust in my door and tell me I am not a competent teacher and take her back to school. This was not a good feeling.
We made it through that first year and headed into the second year with a lighter heart but I was still convinced that we and to learn everything in the little booklets. I was not teaching her skills around the house (with the exception of chores), and I was certainly not teaching her life skills. I so wrapped up in my little booklets that failed to see that there was more she needed to know that I was not teaching her.
When we rolled into our third year of homeschooling the fear melted away. I knew that the school police were only in my head, and not lurking out by the front door. I was trying different curriculum and feeling better about skipping a few pages and adding information I wanted her to know. Slowly it began to dawn on me that the most important things she needs to learn were not in the books, it was in our house, church, community and world.
I need to make sure she knows how to care for her own family one day, how to grow a garden, fix the leaky faucet, bake a cake from scratch, mow the lawn, be a help to others and most important love Christ.
I will always use books, facts, and figures to teach my children but I now know that being an educated person means going beyond the books and learning life.
My husband and I look forward to seeing where the Lord leads our children; it is our job to make sure they are ready for that adventure. I pray that you will find peace and excitement in your home school journey.
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