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The Boyer Blog: Keep it Simple

Friday, July 8, 2011

Keep it Simple

Stop Making a School of Yourself.

The biggest problem most home school moms have is the one in their own heads:  schoolishness.  It’s not surprising.  After all, we all grew up in the factory schools where one size misfits all and you’re taught the same things in the same way with the same materials at the same age.  As if people had no individual personalities at all.
So we approach teaching our children with a head full of presuppositions from having seen things done a certain way all our growing-up years.  And we find ourselves doing things that don’t make sense and which make life harder, not easier for us and our kids.  We make Johnny finish all the practice problems in the math book even though he has already demonstrated mastery and is bored to tears with the useless repetition.  Let him turn the page!  We interrupt Susy in the middle of writing an exciting story because the clock says it is “time for” her to memorize some list of facts.  We jump though all the hoops prescribed by the teacher’s guide just because it says to—even if it burns up time that would be better used for a library trip or an experiment with some yucky thing a little boy found growing in the woods.  
We worry about “gaps” in our program.  As if anyone could really write a complete life curriculum.  If you take that idea to its logical conclusion, there is a gap in your own education for every question you ever answered incorrectly on a test.  
Mom, lighten up.  Trust yourself.  God did—that’s why He placed those children in your care.  You’re living life as a dedicated Christian adult.  You already know what it takes to walk the walk.  Trust the fact that God entrusted little lives to you.  He knows you can lead them through these years in a way that will prepare them for the years to come.  Teach them the things you’re glad you learned as a kid and the things you wish you had.  Introduce them to important books and interesting people.  Take them places that will make them think and ask questions... And do it as a family, not as part of a support group mob.  
Get them involved in service projects, teaching them by experience that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Find opportunities for them to trade real work for real money, even in little bits.  They need the experience of seeing the value of time by trading it for something of measurable worth.
Want to make home schooling simpler?  Trust yourself to make decisions and God to guide you.  Worship Him instead of a curriculum publisher.  Design an individual life curriculum for each child as you go.  Use published materials where they seem to work well, but realize that learning is all around you all the time.  Cultivate in yourself a curiosity about the world around you, and your children will learn to learn by watching you getting an education.  Take advantage of the incidental opportunities for learning that come along.  Encourage the kids’ individual interests—even if they’re not interesting to you—knowing that one interest leads to another and the learning goes on and on.
In other words, cultivate a lifestyle of learning and serving, then lead your children through it.  That will prepare them for whatever later life may bring.
It’s really not that complicated unless you make it that way.  Keep it simple.

~Rick Boyer
For More on this Subject See: Home Educating with Confidence and Homeschooling: Keeping it Simple

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! Right now I'm trying to pare down into a reasonable amount what I ask of school each day. I get too excited and.....
But encouraging their interests and abilities (for God has good works prepared in advance for them to do-Eph 2?) has led one to do public speaking to large groups over 15 times, another to care for the disabled in a foreign country, and a third to care for horses, and another heading for Physical Therapy...Can't wait to see what He has in mind for the other 6..."digger of ditches", the cartooner, the film editor w/ a flare for knowing music, the precousious tot subtracting to negatives at 6 and the little guy w/ a brain anomoly that has an amazing memory and alot of energy, or the just seemingly average-good at most things guy! For Christ and His Kingdom...may He keep them in His way

July 8, 2011 at 7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOVE!!!!!

July 8, 2011 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

How timely! I tend to complicate things quite well on my own. What a great reminder to chill out. Thank you!

July 8, 2011 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger cbrownell said...

So true ! What a blessing and a great reminder!

July 8, 2011 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Jill W. said...

I sooooo needed this....thank you!

July 8, 2011 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Tori said...

Every year I look forward to starting our official school year, yet when we get to that point, I'm disappointed in myself...for this very reason! I want my kids to love LEARNING...so why do I kill their interest with SCHOOLING?

Thanks for this timely word of encouragement! Would you mind if I linked to this post from my blog? I'd love to share your Godly wisdom with others!halat

July 8, 2011 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

This is a fantastic post! My favorite point: "Teach them the things you’re glad you learned as a kid and the things you wish you had." That statement simplifies it, and yet covers practicallly everything that comes to mind.

July 8, 2011 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger MG said...

Thank you for this....a great reminder!

July 10, 2011 at 2:44 AM  
Blogger Tangled Hair Techs said...

Thanks so much for sharing, we always thought it would be easier to home school girls than boys-but with this post we now have more confidence.

August 19, 2011 at 4:38 AM  

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