Don’t compare.

No one else is walking in your shoes so do not set yourself up for failure by comparing your homeschool to your neighbor’s down the street. They may participate in a classical education program, play every sport and at least one instrument while you’re just hoping your child will get out of bed without screaming at you. Yes, I know from personal experience that homeschooling a wounded child can be immeasurably different from homeschooling a biological child. In our situation I discovered that realizing this allowed me to make necessary changes to find out what worked best.

Let go of some of the control battles.

Realize as your child is healing (and yes, healing is possible) you will have a constant push/pull, especially with homeschooling. Your kids will probably sense how badly you want them to learn so they will make every day a struggle. It’s just one more opportunity to show they’re not going to do it your way.

How am I supposed to light a fire for learning in my children when I wonder if they’d rather light the house on fire with me in it? It’s frustrating, exhausting, disheartening and stressful. I have to ask myself if it’s really worth the struggle today over learning the parts of speech and algebraic equations (or in earlier years, writing their name legibly and pronouncing a three letter word correctly). The answer may be that it is because we have to push through. Diligence and perseverance are qualities we value highly. But those qualities apply just as much to diligence at winning my children’s hearts and perseverance to love them in spite of their anger and disrespect and manipulative games. If you make every issue a control battle no one wins. Pick your battles wisely.

Teach your children about real life.

Being at home allows you to teach your children in ways they learn best. Real life learning is essential for children, but even more so with our RAD kids. Give them the practical skills of taking care of themselves, earning and managing their money and practicing the decision making process. Grocery shopping, meal planning, cooking, cleaning and laundry all count as life skills. Every day is an opportunity to teach my kids how to make wise choices and pick themselves up when they fall.

What does this look like for each child? Every child is different. Their learning styles are different. Their emotional makeup is different. Their life experiences are different. Their strengths and weaknesses are different. My relationship with each of them is different. My hopes, dreams and  expectations for each of them are different. Part of homeschooling is knowing your child, showing them Jesus, learning when to push and when to back off. Realizing when they’ve done their best or played dumb to push away. There is no perfect curriculum, no perfect teacher, no perfect homeschool. Seeking Him in my inadequacies I allow God to teach me and mold me into a mother that can reach my child’s heart while stimulating the God-given mind and abilities he has been given.

marty waldenMarty Walden is passionate about sharing her life, faith, dreams and adventures as a DIY, crafty, bargain hunting, homeschooling, memory keeping mom of both biological and adopted children. You can connect with Marty through her blog Marty’s Musings, email, facebook, twitter, pinterest or google +.

Publication date: June 12, 2013