Every Tuesday I will be praticipating in the "Ten Weeks of Top Ten Lists." Each week a different top ten list will be posted. Please visit iHomeschool Network for all of the participants' top ten! I am sure you will be blessed by finding many new sites to enjoy. Also visit Angie of Many Little Blessings to link up your own top ten list with her Top Ten Tuesday.
If I knew then what I know now...how many of us think that all the time? I sure do. Many of you know my story about how I was called to homeschool...how I went kicking and screaming. Yet I knew God was calling me. Looking back if I could give myself advice, there would be many, many things I would have done differently. That is part of the reason I feel so compelled to write, speak, and be open about homeschooling...I love being able to share what I have learned with others, espcially to help avoid any of the mistakes I made along the way.
My top 10 words of wisdom for new homeschoolers...
1. Do not look at what anyone else is doing. God did not call you to homeschool like "so-and-so" down the street. He wants your family's homeschool to be unique to your family. Do not covet another family's homeschool.
2. God doesn't care what your homeschool "looks" like on the outside, but on the inside. Sure, I did it-I made a "school" room in our home the first year, complete with a chalkboard. Yet copying a public school classroom does not make a homeschool. And, God doesn't care if you use fancy baskets from Pottery Barn to oraganize or cheap plastic bins from the dollar store. He cares what your kid's hearts look like. Focus on the inside.
3. Do not over plan. With the amount of information out there, it is very easy to become over ambitious. Stop. Take a breath. Find a focus. And stick with it. Don't let yourself become defeated by not getting everything done that you have planned. Instead start small, feel accomplished, and then add more in.
4. Combine as many age groups as possible into learning. Kids thrive when placed in multi-age groups. Rather than only learning alongside those the same age, they can be role models to younger siblings and younger siblings learn to look up to older ones. Let them work together as much as possible.
5. Schedule breaks and use them. During the day we take a nice long break for lunch and other things. Knowing I have this time to read emails, make phone calls, do laundry, etc. eliminates me feeling overwhelmed when we are doing school work. I am not trying to fold laundry while teaching fractions, because I know that I have time scheduled for it.
6. Pray, pray, and pray some more. Pray over your homeschool. Daily, weekly, annually. Pray alone. Pray with friends. I have some dear friends that we get together with weekly to pray with. It is such a blessing. Need help finding scriptures to focus on your homeschool? Download this free printable of 31 Days of Praying For Your Homeschool.
7. Don't let homeschool become an idol. Homeschool is a lifestyle and a way of life. It does not have to become bigger than necessary. Let it naturally become a part of your family. Take every opportunity to learn.
8. Let you children be who God created them to be. Not who you want them to be. His plans are always better than our plans. Maybe college isn't going to be for them. Maybe they will be a missionary overseas. Your job is to guide them, but let Him direct their steps.
9. When you find something that works, stick with it. There will always be something better out there. So if something is working, do not look at other curriculum!
10. PUT GOD FIRST. Seek first His Kingdom and His righteouesness. And all of these things will be given to you.. Matthew 6:33
For more about what I have learned on this journey, you can read my ebook "Simply Homeschool: Having Less Clutter and More Joy in Your Homeschool." It is available for download here or at amazon.com for only $0.99!