March 31, 2008

Many mothers seem to struggle with homeschooling. They obviously have the desire to be a help to their husband in this area, but as the family grows, they can’t figure out how to “fit it all in.” I hope these tips can help someone (1 Corinthians 14:40).

1. Have time with the Lord

Lamentations 3:23

Get up at the scheduled time, before the children wake. This is an absolute necessity if you are going to have a successful day. If you examine your “good” days versus your “bad” days, you’ll find that you started your “good” days communicating with the Lord. Honor the Lord first of all, then put your first load of clothes in the washing machine.

2. Don’t teach your children slothfulness

Proverbs 19:15

Get the children up at the scheduled time. There is no place for “sleeping in.” There may be a cause for an “hour delay” due to an unforeseen late night the night before. This should be the exception and not the rule. The earlier you start school, the earlier you finish.

3. Reward good behavior

Psalm 18:20

Offer incentives for chores done promptly. We use a sticker system. Twenty-five stickers earn a tool for the boys. The girls combine theirs for a DVD that Dad and Mom approve of.

4. Approach school time with purpose

Isaiah 46:11b

Start school with prayer and Bible, and work on school only at the scheduled time. Use a family-friendly curriculum. Many subjects can be taught together. Older children should be disciplined enough to do their schoolwork alone, with occasional help. When older children have a schedule to go by for chores and schoolwork, they shouldn’t have to interrupt Mom while she is teaching and helping the little ones. Don’t answer the phone during school time. Invest in an answering machine if you do not have one.

5. Bring order through discipline

Proverbs 13:24

Keep the schooling environment orderly. Limit the activity of little ones during school time. For example, don’t allow drinks except at break time. If there are two or three floors, everyone should stay on same floor (a gate is helpful). Children should know their boundaries. Yes, little ones like to be with Mom. They can play with blocks at your feet or sit on your lap and play quietly while you teach.

6. Finish what you start

Acts 20:24

On your scheduled break, you can have chore inspection and catch-up time.

  1. Unfinished chores can be completed at the loss of break time.
  2. When nursing a baby, schedule breaks at nursing time, or nurse the baby before school and after school.
  3. Many nursing babies can take a nap during school time.
  4. Provide a snack.
  5. Start back up on time.

7. Don’t let household tasks interfere

Luke 16:1

Housecleaning, cooking, folding laundry, yard work, supper preparation, and other household projects should all take place before and after school time. Many of the housekeeping tasks should be delegated to responsible children. Take time while children are young to teach housekeeping tasks one-on-one so that they can do these chores well as they become older.

8. Use school time only for school tasks