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It’s a list of familiar lies. You’re a terrible mother. You’ve made too many mistakes. Your kids will never “rise up and call you blessed.” You must have missed something in your child rearing OR you might miss something in your child rearing. It’s your fault if your kids don’t turn out exactly as you hope they will for God’s glory. I have told myself these lies over the years, and even now as a mother of grown sons, yesterday I heard the whisper in my ears yet again.
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When do you grade spelling on projects? This question comes up often at conventions and on Facebook. Spelling is certainly something we need to teach our children so that they will become good communicators; but must they spell everything correctly on every page? The answer is no. Especially at a young age, children are trying to determine letter-sound correlation and use critical thinking skills to spell things. As they progress, they are taught generalizations and rules to help them become better spellers.
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Do your children dislike math? Do you dislike teaching math? If your kids don’t like math it could be because they don't understand the math itself, but it also could be that they think the math doesn’t really matter and is a waste of time to learn. We’ll address the comprehension issue in a separate blog post. Being able to understand the math that they’re learning is very important, otherwise they're not able to apply the concepts that they've learned to real life problem solving, which is really the basis for making math matter.
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Are you trying to get a full lesson done each day? Why? Slow things down and remember this is just a tool. Try watching the video one day and completing the assignment the next, or watch a portion of the video one day and the rest the next. Use the rewind whenever needed. You don't have to finish a complete lesson every day. I like to say, “Teach to learn the lesson, not to get to the next lesson.” If it takes three days, then take that time to work on the lesson—it’s okay. The videos are tools to come alongside you, not to rule you. The Distance Learning teachers are there to assist you. You know your children, so make adjustments to fit their needs. Also, it’s okay to do open book tests once in a while. That will serve as an encouragement if they are struggling through a difficult stage.
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Social media provides a valuable and informative channel for the HomeWorks team to stay in touch with our homeschool families. As we read through different social media newsfeeds, we are always excited and encouraged by the experiences and successes shared by our homeschool families about BJU Press materials. We especially enjoy meeting your families at conventions and hearing from your own children how much they love the materials and how they are grasping new concepts.
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The dictionary tells us that love is “an intense feeling of deep affection.” My cell phone, when asked, tells me that love is a “deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solitude.” Shakespeare tells us love is blind and love is a spirit. All of these definitions tell us that love is about how we feel about something. I, for example, love my husband, children, grandson, and family. I love to sit in the sunshine on a warm sunny day. I love good, edifying music and spending time with my friends and family. I love to see people growing in Christ. I love to see a child learn. But again, these are feelings that I have.
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Teaching is counted as a spiritual gift (Romans 12:7), but the Bible also tells us to display integrity and gravity in our teaching (Titus 2:7)—that we take it seriously. Our children deserve teachers who are learning and growing. Whether we consider ourselves a great teacher or a terrible one, there are many ways we can build up our “professional” skills.
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Keeping a calendar with a meal plan can be a lifesaver! When the day has been busy with schoolwork, music lessons, and church activities, the last thing we need to be doing is standing in front of the refrigerator at 5:00 trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Freezer meals, crockpot meals, and a regular rotation of meals can make life much less stressful.
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Do you find yourself standing at the refrigerator at 4:30 or 5:00 in the afternoon trying to figure out what to fix for dinner? I got tired of that happening, so I decided to take action to fix the problem, beginning with making sure I had the necessary supplies.
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How do you find time to serve and give to others in your community? We didn’t choose to homeschool because we wanted to be secluded from our community; we simply wanted to provide an excellent and wholesome education for our children. We sought out community activities and ways to volunteer and serve too.
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