We live in an area that has great schools. We have wonderful public schools, as well as an abundance of private school choices. After looking at the pros and cons of each one, our family has made the decision to continue homeschooling for another year. This decision always brings with it a lot of discussion from others, some positive and some negative and some just curious to learn more. When people learn that we homeschool, there are always tons of questions about the how-to, what we do everyday, what curriculum we choose, etc. Many people have considered homeschooling, but just don’t know how to get started. Many have never considered it because they have already decided it would be too difficult for them, but they are not pleased with their school options and just feel stuck. So I thought it time to do a blog series answering the most often-asked questions in hopes that if you too are considering homeschool, or are just curious of it could work for your family, you can have a little direction in how to get started.
Step Number 1: Pray It Up
This might be the most obvious step in the entire homeschooling process, but it is the most important and, for me sometimes, the most often neglected. There are times I jump out ahead of God, and my guess is that I’m not the only one. (Proverbs 19:21, anyone?) If you’re wondering whether homeschooling is for you, the best place to start is by asking God whether it’s what He wants. And no, the answer may not be the same for everyone. Some of you live in a fabulous public school system where your children are excelling academically, socially, and even spiritually. Your answer from Him might be to stay the course. Some are in a wonderful private school where your children are excelling, but it’s causing such a financial strain that both husband and wife are affected by the stress. Your answer from Him might be that your marriage is important enough to give up that wonderful school and choose homeschooling instead. I don’t know how He will direct you as you spend time seeking Him on this issue, and I’m certainly not setting myself up as the judge as to what method of education is best for your family. Whether you choose public, private, or home school, God can use each one to minister to your home. I am encouraging you, however, to spend time with God getting this issue clear with Him, hearing Him direct you, and then having you walk in obedience.
As you pray about your homeschooling decision, seek godly counsel from trusted Christian friends (Proverbs 15:22). Search the scriptures, asking the Holy Spirit to speak to you on this issue (Psalm 119:105). Get online and look around for reputable Christian homeschooling blogs and articles to aid you in the decision-making process (Proverbs 15:14). And above all, make sure you and your spouse are in agreement about your decision (Ephesians 5:22-28).
Once you (and I) hear from Him that homeschooling is our direction for the year, start praying through the details. There are lots of details and choices involved in homeschooling and the old saying that “the devil is in the details” certainly holds true in a homeschooling life.
Which curriculum will you use? Ask Him to show you.
How many extra-curricular activities should you participate in? Ask for His direction.
Are you lacking in confidence or patience regarding your homeschooling? Ask Him to grant it, build it, uncover it – whatever it takes for you to succeed in the task He has given you.
Pray about your relationship with your child – that you would model Christ to them and that they would learn to walk in His ways.
Get out your calendar and pray that He would direct the ways you fill it.
Walk through your home and pray that it would be a place of safety, peace, and joy where learners can thrive.
Pray for God to help you put to death the sins of the flesh like impatience, frustration, and perfectionism.
In case no one has told you this little secret, let me break it to you. Nothing will reveal your own sins quite like seeing them reflected in your children. Pray for God’s grace to flow in and through you when you see yourself in them.
Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray. And pray again.
Listen, God may not make every single step of your path completely clear from day one. Sometimes all He will reveal is the next step. Hear me on this – TAKE THE STEP HE MAKES CLEAR TO YOU. And then wait on Him for the next move. Often He gives us clear direction from the very beginning, and often He gives us only enough info for the next move. Go with whatever He reveals to you, having full confidence that He will guide you in your next steps.
When you feel like you have a good handle on what He wants you to do, you’re ready for Step Number 2: Choosing Your Curriculum. Come back next week for a full description of how I work through that process.
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