As we prepare our hearts, minds, and homes for another homeschool year, it is easy to get so caught up with the planning that we neglect the most fundamental aspects of our homeschool journey. Grab a notebook and take a few minutes to answer these questions (OR GRAB YOUR FREE GUIDE AT THE END OF THIS POST):
Why am I homeschooling?
Let’s be real. There are so many easier ways to educate our children than to homeschool. Sometimes I wonder what it would feel like to be able to send my kids on that big yellow bus and enjoy eight uninterrupted hours of bliss. I imagine relaxing days spent cleaning my house, getting all my work done, and enjoying peace and quiet (especially as I shower or use the bathroom BY MYSELF). But then, I remember my why. Why did I choose to homeschool? Why can’t I quit? Why is it so important?
This will likely vary for each of us, but at the end of the day, we understand the value of intentionally discipling and teaching our children. We recognize that no one knows or loves our children better than we do, and therefore, no one can better tailor their education to meet their unique needs than us.
For myself, it’s a calling I clearly felt from God. I homeschool because Jesus is Lord of my life, and He asked me to. Anything else would be disobedience. Also, I homeschool because I love my kids, and they grow up too fast! I don’t want to lose out on the beautiful memories we make each day. I will forever cherish our unhurried morning cuddles with read alouds, our spontaneous trips and playdates, and the joy of watching siblings bond as they play, create, and help each other learn.
The 2nd question every homeschool mama needs to ask herself is:
What am I going to teach?
We have a smorgasbord of amazing curriculum and resources to assist us in educating our kiddos. But where do you begin? Do you have a certain educational philosophy? (Unschooling, Classical, Charlotte Mason, etc.) Are there specific subjects you want or need to teach? Does your state have requirements to follow?
During this time, I also like to think about what I want to have accomplished when I reflect back on this year. What goals do I and my children have for this school year? How will I know when we’ve achieved these goals? These decisions help inform my choices and keep me from going crazy purchasing or downloading and printing a ton of curriculum I don’t need or really even want.
Remember, less usually is best!
The third and final question to ask yourself is:
How are we going to spend our days?
Many mamas plan out their whole year, but I have found yearly planning to be unrealistic. It helps me to have general goals for the year, specific ideas for each month (do I want to do something special for Thanksgiving or Christmas, certain seasons, other holidays or events)? And then I plan on a weekly basis. Before the start of each week I look at what we have going on and build my schedule around those things. For example, if we have a morning playdate, I know we will need to spend the afternoon on our lessons. The other important aspect of my how is:
- How am I going to make this year memorable?
- How am I going to make it fun?
- How am I going to make it impactful?
- How am I going to make sure I enjoy this year and so do my kids?
These are important questions because they cause me to be more intentional in my planning, and more grace-filled in my execution. No one is going to look back at graduation and ask if we got through all our curriculum or finished every worksheet.
When my kids reflect on their homeschool experience, I want them to remember our treasured morning cuddles and read aloud times. I want them to recall baking and experimenting together. I want them to cling to the memories we made and the laughter that filled our home. I want them to see how God molded us to become more Christlike as we worked through our frustrations and failures together. And I want to rest assured knowing they have a solid foundation of faith, along with the character traits to equip them for future success as they commit their lives to advancing the Kingdom of God.
Mama, I want to champion you as you launch into this new year!
Thank you for stepping out in faith and saying YES to homeschooling your children.
May God’s grace overflow in your life as you passionately pursue a deeper relationship with Him.
May He grant you wisdom as you answer these questions, and may His Holy Spirit empower you as you endeavor to disciple the next generation of leaders and innovators.