There's A Time For Every Activity Under Heaven

School is in session.

For many parents it's a celebration,
a handful of hours, 
out of each day, 
their kids in classrooms 
outside of their homes;
freedoms, peace and quiet,
sanity savers.

For others of us
(and I'm thankful it's a growing trend)
school simply continues
because it has never really ended
we are home-schoolers,
molding scholars.

Although I sometimes desire,
need and require
time away from the noise of my four,
there's no place I'd rather be than safe at home,
or out and about,
in step with my four little kiddos.

If you are new to home-schooling,
or well-seasoned but need encouragement;
here are a few things I've learned to home-school well:

Find a way to embrace a moment of solitude before each school day begins.
Take sips of your favorite, steaming hot beverage of caffeinated goodness

and breathe its aroma in deep, 
warm yourself from the inside out.

read a devotional or words of inspiration;
we all know there's no better combo than caffeine and Jesus!

When you've centered you, 
and you have peace,
then it's time to teach.

Tip: I find a way, to work the above into my day, after feeding my kids breakfast.
With happy, full bellies I send them upstairs to play.
I can't see them
but I can hear them
and they know where to find me.
I sit at my kitchen table, near a window, and alternate between reading (or writing),
and looking out at the little piece of world that's available for me to see.
When my mug is empty

it's time for me to move along.

For moments when you are tired and weary,
when it doesn't seem like anything is going right;
when lesson plans and goals are not met,
and your children seem unable to focus;
take a step back. 
Instead of allowing thoughts of failure to sneak in,
instead of wondering, "Am I doing this right? 
Maybe we'd all be better off with the kids in a 'real' classroom.";
remember, you are blessed within the mess.
Change your thoughts from "we have to do this" 
"we get to do this"!
And, even when you have a day, 
or two, or three,
where you seem completely off track;
trust you are walking down the right path for you and your family.

Extend grace to yourself, and your kiddos, often;
keep your chin-up, you've got this!

Finally, I suggest picking a curriculum, 
or eclectically gathering a little bit from here and there, 
that will allow you to teach various ages of children all together.
This may make it appear that your children are behind to the  world,
and yet, you'll know they are right on track.
For instance, I am currently home-schooling our oldest two kids, (ages 6 and 7),

using a curriculum through Sonlight that's rated for Kindergarten aged students, 5-7.
In certain aspects, they may be advanced,
for instance, linguistically, my 7 year old is off the charts; 
however, he is also a perfectionist,
and needs to feel as though he can master something before feeling confident in diving in to learn.
By laying a foundation in math, science, and writing skills, 
where it's not an overly hard challenge,
allows the learning experience to be one that sets a tone of positivism and ease that equates to 
enjoying home-school, for me and them, more than a struggle would.
I want my kids to excel, grow, and eventually be on an accelerated learning path;
however, there's plenty of time for that.
Building a foundation where school is not frustrating, 
but enjoyable;
where lessons are attainable and achievable and met with success,
is building a foundation where learning is fun,
where accomplishments are made,
and where self-esteem and confidence is built;
so, in the future, when things become more challenging,
they'll be able to look back and say,
"Look at what we've already done, 
and done well,
we can do this!"

Scripture tells us: "There's a time for every activity under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3);
you have time.

Time to center yourself, before your school-day begins,
time to step back and remind yourself you are blessed within your mess;
you get to home-school,
and, time to discover what works for you and yours.
We are given freedoms,
within home-school,
unlike what the world experiences.
Enjoy it!

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