Home Schooling Dos and Don'ts

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There are days when home schooling is frustrating or when you want to quit. These four rules keep homeschooling fun.

Home Schooling Rule # 1 – Avoid the Ruse of Perfection

Perfection is a carefully veiled lie. It sounds great, but really it saps your energy and causes you to run in circles. The perfect schedule straps you down. The perfect organization system keeps you from stepping outside the box. The perfect curriculum prevents exploration. Perfection is a sterile imitation of life.

Life is changing. Life requires adjustment. Life breathes and grows and makes messes all around you. If you stumble into perfection, you will not be ready for the next problem life throws your way. You will not be ready to adjust to the new needs of your home schooling family.

Home Schooling Rule # 2 – Do not Let Your Curriculum Trap You

Curriculum can get boring. Curriculum can be great for one child but completely miss the needs of another. Curriculum can be old and stale and stodgy. The great thing about home schooling is that learning is more than just a text book. Instead, learning is about life. Home schooling is about making learning your lifetime endeavor, and curriculum is just a springboard to many interesting topics.

Your job as the teacher is not to force the kids through their text books. Your job is to bring them to the well of learning and show them how wonderful it is to drink from it. The joys of reading, the wonders of science, the mysteries of history, the exclusion of numbers: all these things are naturally a part of childlike wonderment. We just need to fuel it.

Home Schooling Rule # 3 – Remember to Have Fun

"If you are not having fun, most likely the kids are not having fun either," my friend said to me. My favorite learning activity was when we did a unit study on flowers. Sure we read lots of books about the life cycle of the flower and the parts of the flower, but the most fun was when we picked different colored flowers and crushed them on paper. What a colorful mess that was! We added glitter and then cut the paper in the shape of butterflies: Art and science all in one.

Home Schooling Rule # 4 – Do not Be Ruled by Fear

When fear becomes our motivation, we make faulty and unhealthy decisions. Fears of failure could lead to over schooling. Fears of the state requirements could lead to an excess amount of testing. Fears of disability from parents, in-laws, and neighbors could lead to putting your kids achievements on display in a way that is not healthy. Fears of inadequacy could lead to overcompensating with tough curriculum or too much curriculum. Fears of not finding the perfect curriculum could lead to not picking any curriculum.

See my point? Fear twists our behaviors into something that is not healthy and generally causes us to walk either the road of perfection or laziness. A healthier perspective is to let go of all those fears and jump into the fun of learning, much like a child.

Conclusion

Jesus said, "Unless you become like a little child, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Home schooling is the opportunity to learn what it is like to have the faith of a child again: to love learning, to explore without reservation or fear, to trust that all things will work out in the end.