Friday, September 19, 2014

How to Homeschool When You Can't Get Off the Couch: Recommended Refreshment

Here are some of my favorite reminders that perfect schedules, curriculums and best laid plans are not necessary to successfully teach our children, nor should they be the goal. These articles, books and audio messages have lifted the weight off my shoulders; reminding me of the importance and beauty of just learning and growing daily together as we wend our ways through the twists and turns of life. We need to be mothers with a twinkle in an eye that is focused on Christ and leading the hearts of our children to Him, instead of stressed out drill sergeants, keeping everyone in a miserable quick march to the impossible dream of perfection.

If you, like me, need a breath of fresh air and some encouragement to relax and enjoy the journey, I hope you will be blessed by these as much as I have. It is a short, sweet list and nowhere near complete.

Think Outside the Classroom by Kelly Crawford
It’s hard to think outside of schedules and calendars and school years when we’ve been so ingrained in that lingo. But if we can ever just stop and look past our time tables and the way everyone else is doing it and just peel back all the stuff and remember what learning is, it gets easier.
And whether it’s Saturday night or Monday morning, we learn. We learn without deadlines to make us grumpy or timelines that compare us to others who aren’t us.
Teaching from Rest by Sara Mackenzie
 We homeschooling mamas are anxious. We’re used to working dawn till dusk to make sure our children have everything they need. We create lesson plans, make booklists, and sign our kids up for endless activities, frantically checking off our lists and plans in an effort to make sure our children know everything they need to know before they fly our coop.
We worry. We fret. We know, deep down in the core of our being, that we are not enough. That what we offer is a pittance compared to the task before us.
We feel small and insignificant because we are small and insignificant.
In the midst of all the doing, we forget the needful thing. We may sit as His feet, we may begin our day with prayer, Bible reading and supplication- but is our teaching and mothering transformed by it? Do we really trust Him? Do we live each day from a state of rest?
Ten Things to Do With Your Child Before Age Ten Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn One of my all time very favorite articles on homeschooling. Just so happens that it is excerpted from one of my all time very favorite books on homeschooling, Teaching the Trivium.

 Live your life. Invite children to join in! Education is a continuum of everyday life.
Read together.
Pray together.
Sing together.
Work, bake, garden, chore, clean, sew, fix, build together.
Don’t fabricate artificial demarcation lines between schooling and living.
Curriculum Advice Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 by Victoria Botkin So excellent. Packed with wisdom from a successful homeschooling mother of 7 children - now grown and all walking with the Lord. I think I lost about 50 lbs of self-induced stress after listening to these messages. (I am blessed to know Mrs. Botkin in Real Life and she is the Real Deal. She definitely has a joyful twinkle in her eye.)

How to Teach Your Children to Love Learning Victoria Botkin - Free! More words of wisdom.

Top Teaching Tips Victoria Botkin  I actually haven't listened to this newly released message yet, but I'm including it here because I know it will be excellent.

That's all for now, but I'll add more as they come to mind. (Brain fog is so not helpful).

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