Over the past four years of homeschooling my kids, I have grown to understand just how difficult the job of those one-room schoolhouse teachers was. Though we have settled into our homeschool routines, there are many interruptions, many adjustments, many opportunities for growth. There are days when I choose to take the long view of our children’s education, rather than checking all the boxes.
I take a deep breath (or a fresh cup of coffee) and remind myself we have a LOT of days in which to educate and train our little ones. I also remind myself that the older two, for better or worse, are test cases. Hopefully, I have much more figured out once the younger two are walking through the stages we are going through today with the older. I think: “We can make mistakes. We can take breaks. We will have another chance to do these things.”
The concept of the one-room schoolhouse must, as a necessity, be a reality in our home. This year we are homeschooling a 4th grader and a 2nd/3rd-grader, introducing a pre-K/K mash-up student. while trying to keep a busy and quick learning 3-year-old occupied. It’s a lot. The idea of separating these kids and their learning into completely different boxes is just not feasible.
This entry is part 24 of 24 in the series Homeschool
I was talking with some homeschool mama friends the other day about starting homeschool. This year is the year of “considering homeschool” it seems. I mentioned the difficulty with forming a homeschool routine – with finding the routine that works for us.
For us, it took TWO and a HALF years to find our “Homeschool Normal.” I always considered this was too much. I discouraged myself by thinking I must have over-complicated it. And I assuaged myself with the remembrance that we had tiny people to look after when we started…and I got pregnant in the middle of our first year.
It turns out: almost all the moms said it took them at least a couple of years to settle into their homeschools – to figure out routines and feel comfortable.
I say that to say this: if this is your first year homeschooling and you are floundering, if the dishes in the sink from three days ago are almost as stinky as your 2nd grader’s attitude, if you “forgot” to do math last month, if you looked on your favorite homeschool blog’s Instagram and discovered you aren’t measuring up, you are NOT ALONE!
We are all in some state of frustration, floundering around in the vast homeschool ocean, searching for some sort of anchor, or boat, or life raft…something!
Since we got through the foundation of chapter one, we have truly picked up the pace! I can’t believe we were able to get through all of chapter 2 so quickly! The storytelling nature of the Gospel of John helps to simplify the story of Jesus. It is not a theological treatise. Rather it is a persuasive argument utilizing the various signs and miracles Jesus performed to compel the reader to believe on the Lord Jesus.
Can I just pause here for a moment to tell you how rewarding and fulfilling it is to teach my kids the Word of God? Because it is! The time we have spent diligently learning together has been the most valuable thing we have done in our home. And to see my children learning about Jesus? There is nothing better. I find it fitting that John, the author of this gospel, later wrote these words in 3 John 4:
I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
The encouragement I get from seeing my kids learn and know the life of Christ is ineffable. And that I have the privilege of being the one to shepherd them through the word? Beyond words.
Having said that. I wanted to note something really quick regarding this series. I write this for other parents to have tools they can utilize in their family Bible time. I write this as a record of the Holy Spirit’s faithfulness to teach His word through an imperfect leader like me. And I humbly hope it blesses one person. I am not an authority on anything, but I hope to be a blessing, nonetheless.
As a family, we have been working through A Catechism for Boys and Girls during our morning time – I call it Gathering. We started when our girls were very little, so the songs we have learned together have become part of our family culture. I will break out in Catechism songs during mundane moments of our days, even diaper changes. The kids follow right along and know the call and response nature of the catechism very well now.
I wanted my kids to know simple truths from Scriptures and I believe the catechism, done simply and beautifully (with music) is a wonderful way to accomplish this. As I said we have been working on the catechism for years now. And yet, we are not very far along. I prefer to think of our slowness as savoring the truths therein.
This week marks a turning point in the Gospel of John. It is the point where we turn our focus from John (the Baptist) to Jesus (the Light, the Lamb, the Son). It is getting exciting to see just how much our students have learned in the first part of the first chapter of John.
Annnddd….we are finished with chapter 1!! I mean, who would have thought it could take this long to go through ONE chapter? It feels like such an accomplishment to have made it this far. We should be able to pick up the pace a bit for a little while.
We are back after a short hiatus for varied adventures around the country involving more rental vehicles than I care to mention. And what a refreshing passage to come back to!! We were even able to come up with a song to help us remember the testimony of John!
A note about the formatting for this and future posts: I previously created a conversational outline of the teaching time we have for each day. It looked just the way I wanted it to look. Then I went away and my post editor changed; and I cannot figure out how to edit it the way you (and I) are used to seeing it. Please bear with the change. It will hopefully be something simple I can figure out soon.