(This is reprint of a post I had on my other blog on June 18, 2006. I am trying to bring over some of my favorite posts as time allows.)
How do you homeschool a houseful of children? And why would you want to homeschool that many children? Wouldn’t it be easier to send them off to school all day? Couldn’t you get more done, if your children weren’t around all the time? You have how many children? Are they are all yours?
These are all questions I have encountered since we began our homeschooling journey. I thought my reader would like to read some of my responses to these questions. In doing so, I hope that you are encouraged.
Starting with the first question, I will tell you that homeschooling 5 children while pregnant with a dying grandparent to visit every day and three surgeries for two of our children was definitely one of our harder school years. Would I change anything? No. So the “how of homeschooling a houseful” starts with prayer and planning and mercy and grace. I do pray about our homeschool. And I pray that I teach the children exactly what God wants me to teach them. I use the unit study approach for most subjects. And I have picked math curriculum based on each of my children’s different learning styles.
When we had a day when we needed to visit my grandmother, we went to see her. When we returned home, we worked on our schoolwork. When a child had to have surgery, I gave all the children the day off from school. We would make up the day later. They have been known to do two days’ worth of work in order to catch back up. I do have a lesson plan. The children know what is is expected each day, and they know that we can adjust it if necessary. This summer, we are focusing on spelling, reading comprehension, and math skills. I know which child needs review in which subject. We are using Spelling Power to bring up our son and daughter’s spelling levels. I have never tried this program before, and we like it.
Why would I want to homeschool 5 children (and more, if God sends them to us)? Simply, because God told me that He wanted us to homeschool our children. We take the passages in Deuteronomy and Proverbs very seriously. My husband and I want to train our children for the Lord. We want them to know what the Bible says, and we want to direct their education. We have sent our oldest two children to public school, so we know that parents do not have input into what their children are taught or exposed to in public school. Our relationship as a family is stronger, since we began our journey as a homeschool family.
Wouldn’t it be easier to send them off to school all day? No, we have had that experience. And it makes the evenings very busy and chaotic. We also have spent hours getting a child to complete her homework. Would you want to work at your job all day, and then come home to 2 or 3 hours’ worth of additional work? I know some professions do require that of their employee. Usually in those cases, there is compensation for that type of work. It made our child hate learning.
There are more time-consuming parts of sending your children off to school. You have to get them transported back and forth each morning and afternoon; you either have to get them to and from the bus or drive them or carpool. And there is the fund-raising, parent-teacher group, the push to volunteer at the school, and many other things that take a lot of your time.
Couldn’t you get more done, if your children weren’t around all the time? No. I did not get as much done in the hours that the children were in school compared to what I get done now. The time they were at school, I had to take care of a preschooler, so I only had the few hours that he napped to really get anything done around the house. Now, we have a schedule each day, and the children are responsible for helping out with household tasks. Or they will supervise the younger children while I work on chores.
You have how many children? Are they are all yours? In most homeschooling circles, these are not common questions. Normally I get these questions from people when we are out in public. God laid it on our hearts to leave the number of children we have up to Him. And since we have given that area over to Him 8 years ago, He has blessed us with 3 more children and a another one on the way. We also believe that we are married for as long as we are on this earth.
I would love to hear any comments about what I have shared today.
Have a blessed day! Tami