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On homeschooling.

I realized last night that it might be overwhelming for a nonhomeschooling parent to receive the list I posted yesterday. So let me just say this:

Homeschooling is really flexible. The assumption is your kid will always be learning. Our entire life is homeschooling and isn’t limited to 7 subject areas. It doesn’t have to look like a school classroom.

And especially during hard times or postpartum or etc., focus on just the “three R’s” if you need to: reading, ‘riting (writing), and ‘rithmetic (math). Everything else, they can learn through good books (living books!) that you either read to them or they read on their own.

Other than that, let them play. Let them explore deeply those subjects they find interesting. Or let them get bored — it’ll force them to become creative and independent in a way they might not have been able to do in a structured school environment.

Folding laundry with you, clearing the dishwasher for you, helping with chores, helping care for younger siblings, learning to reconcile after a fight, reading Scripture, listening to music and dancing together, going into the back or front yard (away from people) and studying the plants and bugs and feeling the breeze are all “homeschooling.” Go for a walk in nature with a journal and have them draw three interesting things they saw, have them write stories, let them use random materials in the home to build and make things and play pretend. This could be a wonderful time of learning. No need to add to the stress!

They don’t have to sit at one desk in one chair and stay still for hours writing on worksheets. They can read while jumping on the bed (if you allow them to) or do math under a fort or help a younger sibling learn something new.

And if your kid is 6 or under, just read good books to them and let them play! This is a tip that a homeschooling mother of 5 grown kids shared with me when my eldest was a preschooler. Don’t stress it! Don’t reduce learning to rote things only. It’s so much more.

It will be a stressful time for many. Make your home a refuge and place of joy for your children. Teach them joyful obedience in a way that a school teacher doesn’t have the authority to do so. Memorize Scripture together and praise God for many things throughout the day. Make a prayer list with them and keep track of answered prayers (whether it’s a yesno, or wait).

And for everyone’s sanity, carve out a time sometime after lunch when it’s “rest” or quiet time. Whoever needs to nap can nap, others can read or play quietly and independently. (At our home, this is from 1:30-3 pm.) And for now, since I have a 1 year old, my 6.5 year old reads to her and plays with her for a stretch of time during this time while I lie down on the couch so I get a little break, too. 🙂

I hope that helps. ♥

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