A Homeschooler's Check List
by Tamara Eaton
Public schools are in session again in our hometown and even though we
homeschool year-round in a relaxed style, our children have been motivated to
create a new fall schedule and get ready for another homeschool year. Perhaps
you're an inexperienced homeschooler and tempted to panic or feel overwhelmed.
Take a look at this check list to see if there is anything you've missed in
preparing for this new year!
- Check your attitudes--both yours and the children's! Attitudes
are catching and we set the atmosphere for our household. Allow time to
work on Biblical child-training principles, if needed. ( See Biblical
Child-Training Tips )
- Simplify your lifestyle. No, we can't control the trials and all
circumstances of life, but that's all the more reason to simplify what we
DO have control over. Don't overschedule--plan a basic
routine with plenty of room for flexibility! Make sure your "Homeschool"
doesn't end up being "Roadschool" because you're over committed
to too many activities. (See Time Management ; Priorities
- EASE into your new routine for this school year. Consider
starting just a couple of your subjects for the first two weeks, gradually
adding the others.
- Make sure your homeschool materials are organized and easily
accessible. Buy LOTS of pencils. (Oh the wasted time of searching for
pencils!) Choose a place for each child to keep his materials so they
don't get lost. A large covered box, shelf or drawer for each child is
- Establish a good routine for keeping the main living areas of your
home relatively neat. Do the children have assigned chores so that all
the responsibility doesn't fall to Mom? (See Homeschool
& Housework )
- Plan to cover the basics first--then enjoy the
"frills". Give your children the tools they need to learn and
don't worry about missing out on the extracurricular activities. You'll
have time for that later.
- Don't forget to ENJOY your children. Take time to read aloud or
research an interest together. (Even for just 15-20 minutes!) Learning is
much more than textbooks and drills. (See Book
- Be prepared to run into some snags. Each year of homeschooling
requires new adjustments--the children are different ages, the
circumstances are different. It takes time to establish a good working
routine. Take a day off when needed to "regroup".
- Don't lose sight of what's most important--nurturing and discipling
your children in the Lord. And to do this, you must not neglect your
own relationship with the Lord! (See In His Presence
"It is the parent, who has himself already experienced the
salvation of God, who is appointed to lead the child to know God. The
knowledge of God is no mere matter of the understanding; it is to love Him, to
live in Him, to experience the power of His presence and His blessing. It is
evident that the man who would teach others to know God must be able to speak
from personal experience of Him, must prove by the warmth of love and devotion
that he loves this God and has his life from Him."
--Andrew Murray (1828-1917)
- Find support! Take advantage of helpful and encouraging materials
available for homeschooling parents today: local support groups;
Internet and online groups; articles and books.
One book I highly recommend for both new and veteran homeschoolers is TEACH
ME LORD THAT I MAY TEACH... (or what we learned thinking we were homeschooling
the kids.) by Barbara and Douglas Smith.
The Smiths share essays of encouragement and exhortation about lessons they
learned while homeschooling. Instead of offering us "human" wisdom,
they point us to the Lord and His Word and challenge us to be willing to be
taught of Him instead of allowing the world's ways to be our standard. How
refreshing to find not just another "how to" book filled with human
opinions! TEACH ME LORD... is full of "quotable
quotes" to inspire and encourage you in your day to day homeschooling.
Here are just a couple:
" Getting our children educated will be a tremendous
accomplishment, but graduation is only the beginning....Are we teaching them
that graduation is not an endpoint? Are we teaching them to learn from the
triumphs and the failures, judging nothing by appearances, but testing by the
plumb line of Scripture? Will they be able to stand on the foundation we are
laying? What will our legacy inspire? Teaching our children to trust the
Master who always brings them through, is the best "education" we
can give them" --Barbara Smith
And these words of encouragement to weary parents:
"If you, too, have failed to utter vibrant prayers because of
viruses, days of cold, wet clothes, or unfinished lessons and chores, then
think about the God to whom you are praying. He sees, hears, thinks, loves and
cares. He knows what delights and pleases you...He is able to redeem the time
that seems to slip away, to renew ebbing spirits, to heal tired bodies, and
fill empty wallets. He can replenish a barn that the locusts have plundered.
He will take time to comfort you, wipe away your tears, and rejoice with you.
If you feel unworthy of His notice, remember He says you are more worthy than
the sparrow whose fall to earth He also notices." --Barbara Smith
"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present
you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only
wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and
for ever. Amen." (Jude 1:24-25)
May the Lord bless your homeschool and fill your lives with His Love,
Wisdom, Peace and Joy!
[ NOTE: You can order TEACH ME LORD... from Third
Floor Publishing, P.O. Box 827, Arnold, MD 21012 or from the chfweb.com
© Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.
Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit
publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the
copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the
publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.
We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high
school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their
homeschooling, parenting and in the Lord! For more help and information,
please join us on the Christian Homeschool
Fellowship Message Board.
[ Please don't forget to include your email address within the body of your
message--we've had some of our responses returned due to insufficient email
"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."