Are you a new mom who knows you want to homeschool, but don’t know where to start? Do you know you want to raise your kids in the admonition of the Lord, but feel overwhelmed by all the different homeschool methods out there? Perhaps you are struggling just to keep your head above the water in the sea of burpee cloths, diapers, and around the clock nursing, but you know you need to be giving your older children some of your time and attention.
Do you constantly worry that you are “falling behind” with their schooling and that they won’t be equipped for the real world, college, or real life? If that is you, then you have found your home.
I have had [and sometimes still do have] all of those thoughts and many more, but one thing I know is that the Lord calls parents to raise their children for His glory and He gives us every good thing we need to do so….one day at a time.
It is my hope that all the resources I share as we walk this journey together will give you encouragement you need and restore the joy you seek in serving the Lord as a mother.
Beyond serving the Lord by raising my kids for His glory and seeking to be the wife my husband needs, I take a tremendous amount of joy in encouraging my sisters in Christ. I particularly love to encourage moms of young kids because I have been there and I remember those desperate moments.
The Mother Is Qualified
In Charlotte Mason’s, Home Education, she speaks about a mother’s obligation to give her children a “thinking love”. Quoting a Swiss educational reformer of the 18th century names Pestalozzi, Mason says,
“The mother is qualified…and qualified by the Creator Himself, to become the principal agent in the development of her child…”Charlotte Mason, Home Education p. 2
She goes on to explain that our children are given to us a whole persons with the faculties and nature to take on some service in life, but whose it will be remains the question. Mason explains that maternal love is the first agent whereby the Lord grants authority to educate the child in the way in which he or she should go.
How To Homeschool When You Are Terrified
But, you ask, “How, then shall I homeschool when I am terrified?”
I’ve seen the same question over and over in several Facebook groups and forums in which I participate.
“I really want to homeschool my kid, but I am terrified that I will mess him up.”
“I really want to homeschool my kids, but I am terrified I won’t be able to provide everything they need.”
“I really want to homeschool my kids, but I am terrified I will skip things and they will fall behind”
And the list goes on and on. Many mothers are absolutely terrified of being unable to give their children the education they desperately need. As Christians, however, we have to address these fears from a Biblical perspective. How many times does our Lord tell us to “fear not”? The struggle I have with anxiety often boils down to two things:
- I am overwhelmed by the big picture
- I am not trusting the Lord for TODAY
Homeschooling is a process that takes time. As with parenting, it is precept upon precept, line upon line, and most days you will see very little fruit.
Homeschooling is merely an extension of parenting. The same skills you are acquiring as a parent are the same skills you will need to homeschool.
You have to accept that you won’t have it all figured out today or tomorrow or next week. You have to take it as it comes and learn right alongside your children.
I’m in my 8th year of homeschooling (though I say 13th as I’ve been training my son since he was born) and I’m always still learning, scrapping things, adjusting, starting over, coming back to something, etc. etc.
As your sister in Christ, I urge you, first to repent of the anxiety that is holding you back from homeschooling and ask the Lord to give you the courage and the strength you need.
Secondly, I encourage you to start a journal and write down the following things.
- Reasons you want to homeschool
- Objections to homeschooling
- What fears are holding you back from homeschooling?
- What Scriptures Can you memorize to help overcome these fears?
There are so many wonderful passages the Lord gives us to help in times of fear, but one of my favorites is Matthew 6:34
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.Matthew 6:34
Of course this comes from the chapter where the Lord gives us the Lord’s prayer and admonishes us not to worry, but to trust Him. Walking with the Lord through all the journeys He takes us on requires that we trust Him ONE DAY AT A TIME.
Homeschooling is the same. By all means, I am not advocating that you don’t prepare. In fact, I will have many more practical things to share to help you prepare to homeschool, but this foundational mindset must be established: God will give you what you need as you go!
You must, however, obtain freedom from fear in order to homeschool and to do that, you must lay it at the Lord’s feet and trust HIM. You are the mother He chose to train up your child, and He will equip you for every good work: especially the training and education of your child.
There will be three primary areas focused on to help you homeschool on this site.
Living Books are books that present living ideas. They stir the imagination and bring life to the characters and the reader. They provide the reader with ideas that inspire and are a joy to recall and are usually (though not always) written by one person with a passion for the subject at hand. I will have much more to say on this, but suffice to say for now, Living Books are not text books and they are are not simplistic dumbed down easy reader books that talk to children as though they have no intelligence. There is some debate among homeschoolers over what exactly is and is not a living book, but I trust as we move along, you will gain a further appreciation for how to find them. If you would like to get a jump start on seeing what books would fall into the living books category, check out the following resources:
Nature Study is how this blog really started. We incorporate nature study into every single trip we take. Our passion for visiting the national parks and hiking began because of homeschooling an nature study. However, I fully admit that the word “study” often terrified me and caused me to feel wholly inadequate as a teacher. However, don’t let it intimidate you. In those early years, it really is just being outdoors with the children and letting their curiosity take the lead.
You, will, in time need to read works on nature to assist in answering the many questions that will come from your curious little explorers. As I said above, one day at time, one hike at a time, and one book at a time and you will begin to gain a wealth of knowledge that is rich and will spur you on to further curiosity and awe of our Creator and His magnificent world. Here are a few easy to read resources to inspire you.
- Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study with the Gentle Art of Learning
- List of a few Nature Study resources [this is just for reference, don’t start reading these all at once to your preschooler. ;)]
- The World Is Our Classroom by Cindy Ross
Mother Culture encompasses all the ways in which you “take care of you” so that you can “take care of them.” This isn’t the selfish “me time” that the world tells you to have, however. It is the ordering of your life in ways that can nourish your mind, body, and soul. It encompasses your time with the Lord, your time in church, what you read, what you eat, and how you develop your skills and talents. Here are a few resources to help you begin to understand the necessity of Mother Culture.
- Mother Culture by Karen Andreola
- Lessons at Blackberry Inn by Karen Andreola
- Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins
- A few more of my favorite things to read
I’d like to invite you to join me over on my Facebook page titled, How, Then, Shall We Homeschool based on Francis Schaeffer’s, “How Then Shall We Live?” which greatly influenced my thinking early in my homeschool journey.
Schaeffer and his daughter, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, author of “For the Children’s Sake”, radically challenged me as a young Christian mother.
My journey to where I am today and how I settled on our homeschool philosophy is long and will be told another day, but for now, I invite you to join in the conversation as we discover together from a Christian worldview, “How, then shall we homeschool?”
You Might Also Be Interested In These Other Homeschooling Resources
- A Traveling Homeschooler: Can you really homeschool while traveling?
- A Homeschooler’s Guide To Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains With Kids [and count it as a school day!]
- Christmas Nature Craft Ideas (Great Way To Make Nature Study Fun During The Holidays)