What 10 years of home educating taught me

I’m not naturally one to spend too much time on reflection; I’m a futuristic thinker who wants to power on, move forward and get the job done! But when it comes to the 10 years I’ve spent dedicated to facilitating my children’s education, I think a little bit of reflection wouldn’t go amiss!

I’ve honestly loved the journey – hard stuff and all; we learn and become stronger through the lessons we learn, but here are a few things that might help others along the way.

Consistency pays off

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Around 12 years ago I discovered the Charlotte Mason philosophy and her methods of educating being implemented in the homeschooling arena. This pedagogy immediately struck a cord with me, heart and soul, and thus began my deep dive into all things Mason. We begin implementing the methodology with our four children 10 years ago and we haven’t looked back since. Our approach to the philosophy is that it truly is a ‘guiding principle’; not a curriculum to be followed, a purchase to be made or a list to be ticked but a life to be lived. We’ve found our own freedom within the philosophy and have stayed the course. I believe consistency brings security to our children but how we implement it through their days is so key. Check out more about my approach to the philosophy on my community page here or my courses here.

Not a curriculum to be followed, a purchase to be made or a list to be ticked but a life to be lived.

It’s actually all about me!

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Mama certainly sets the tone for the home – if I’m not doing great, then the atmosphere of our home is impacted. There are always going to be days when we’re distracted or emergencies (physical, practical or emotional) have to be dealt with, but I’ve found self-leadership to be vital in finding our freedom and not burning out in this homeschool life.

Know yourself, pursue the best version of that and say sorry to your children often. Remember you’re the adult – verbal warfare with a 4 year old at 10am is never going to go well (smile) and know when to press pause, or even better, the ‘reset’ button.

Homeschooling is not for wimps; it helps to frame it as a ‘career’ that requires training, encouragement and goals – what are you working towards and how are you leading the way?

Homeschooling doesn’t produce perfect children!

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I don’t think I ever truly believed this but we may be subconsciously thinking educating and discipling our children at home is a formula to producing children whom we can proudly and perfectly present to the world at the age of 18 (ta da)!

There is no secret formula.

If we understand that our children are ‘born persons’; whole, complete and capable of so much more than we can imagine, then we give them a voice and listen to that voice.

Children are human, therefore they are unique (just like you and I) with individual needs, desires, and personalities – we can’t box them in or ‘carve’ them into something they’re not. We can’t be intimidated or afraid of who they are; their struggles, their expression, their challenges or their victories. We’re continuously learning to trust their creator, point them to Jesus,  love them deeply, communicate with them regularly and keep their world wide.

“To trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves…and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.”
― John Holt

Soon we’ll be sliding into our 11th year of homeschooling looking a little different (less students, sob) this year (check out my podcast with MacKenzie over at Cultivating The Lovely, episode 76 for a Boden update) and just like you I’ll soon be deep in planning, fresh pencil shopping and laminating ALL the things!

So, whether you’ve already got going, never stopped or like us, have a couple of weeks left of the summer break – happy new school year to you!

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