The Homeschooling Secret Ingredient
- Nancy Sturm Contributing Writer
- 2004 4 Nov
Okay. After long deliberation, I've finally decided to homeschool. (Does this sound familiar?) However, I really want to do this right, so I need someone to tell me what curriculum to use. And, I also need to know the right way to homeschool. But, every time I ask a homeschool mom these questions they get a faraway look in their eye. Then they say something mystical like, "Well-- you kind of have to pick and choose what's right for you and your child. And-- there are many different way to homeschool. You sort of have to find what works best for you and your family."
That's not what I wanted to hear. I'm the type of person who needs to have a recipe written down on paper. Don't tell me, "Oh-- just a little of this, and a little of that." Are you kidding! I can't cook that way. I'm not-- I repeat-- not creative! Give me a list, or plan, or something I can follow, and then I can do it. Why are they holding out on me? Why won't they just tell me what the secret ingredient is?
Well, after homeschooling for a while, I think I can understand why no one could give me a clear-cut answer. You see-- every teacher, student and family is unique. We are not photocopies. Each person is an original masterpiece. Yes, even the child that tries your patience on a daily basis was created special and unique by God Himself. In fact, God created all kinds of diversity. Can you imagine a world with only one kind of flower or animal? That would be boring.
There isn't a specific curriculum to use, and there isn't a specified way to homeschool. Given the opportunity, each person will teach the same subject in a different way. There are various ways of learning as well. Even studying can be done in a variety of ways.
When homeschooling, we can fit the book to the child, rather than trying to make the child fit the book. In some cases, we can throw out the book altogether and get our hands messy! By determining what works for each child, we can structure our homeschool around the child's needs. We can also manipulate our homeschool to fit the family's needs as well. These are truly positive factors in homeschooling.
Each day I homeschool I'm also amazed at what comes to my mind in order to help teach my kids. Yes, I said me. You know-- the non-creative person. "How'd that happen?" You might ask. God can guide me each day-- if I ask Him and then listen to Him. No one knows the way my mind works better than He does, since He made it.
So, if He made my unique mind then He has also made my kids' unique minds. In order to teach and inspire them, rather than just fill their mental buckets, I must go to the Lord each day. On some days it's more like each minute! The only secret ingredient here is my relationship with God. If my relationship with the Master Teacher isn't on target, then I'm doing everything under my power and not by His power. Oh, and yes-- I've made mistakes along the way-- plenty of them. That's why I thank the Lord that He is patient, forgiving and long-suffering. He's awesome!
You know, come to think of it, this homeschooling adventure that God sent me on is bringing me closer to Him. WOW! And, all I thought I'd be doing was teaching my kids!
Homeschooling, speaking and writing are among Nancy's passions. She has written numerous articles for homeschool newsletters and serves on the steering committee for the First Class Christian Homeschool Co-Op. Nancy lives in Mount Vernon, WA, with her husband of 18 years, and together they have homeschooled their three adopted children since 1995. You can email her at [email protected] or visit her web site at www.divineheritage.net.