Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Stepping Off the Beaten Path" - Week 2

Photo courtesy of Google Image
"I have learned not to call it schooling- I just call it life. Its hard to retrain your brain, but it can be done! You just have to persevere and not give up on yourself or on your children."  
~Minda, (homeschool mom who grew up in public education)

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Imagine being a hiker out for a walk one day.  You notice the signs pointing in a specific direction and telling you to stay on the path.  You can keep going along the familiar path and end up at the same destination as every other hiker, however, you decide to veer off the path into the unknown.  You have no idea what lays ahead, it's scary and exciting all rolled up in one.   As you forge ahead, there are moments of doubt about your decision and a few obstacles along the way (You know, the usual stuff like fallen tree trunks, grizzly bears, Big Foot, and a swarm of bees....nothing you couldn't handle!!)

After a while, you come out of a dense forest and into a clearing, and your eyes fall upon the most beautiful waterfall you've ever seen.  It takes your breath away!  You are now convinced stepping off the beaten path was the best decision you ever made!!!

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I had officially "stepped off the beaten path" of what I knew education to be, but wasn't sure which direction I was headed nor what the outcome was going to be.  I've encountered my share of obstacles too, mainly just trying to wrap my brain around an education style that is so foreign to what I am use to.    

It has taken time to figure out what homeschooling is suppose to look like for my family and I still don't have it all figured out (and it may not happen overnight for you either).  I've prayed for direction, researched, struggled along on this new path, and many days found myself veering back towards what is familiar.   

Yet every time I find myself questioning, wondering, asking, seeking....the Lord gently tugs on my heart and reminds me of the MOST important thing I need to hear....

God has called ME to homeschool!  He is with ME each and every day.  He loves ME and He loves my kids.  He has called ME, first and foremost, to an authentic relationship with my girls.  Academics would have its place in our day, but was not to take precedence. 

I want to share some of my philosophies of education & priorities that I have now embraced.  Please keep in mind that no two families are the same and your approach and ideals may be different and that is OK!

  • Putting the Lord first & seeking to Honor Him throughout our day! 
  • Healthy relationships take precedence over academics!
  • Being intentional to pray/do our devotions daily.
  • A focus on habits & character.
  • Exploring more in the outdoors/nature.
  • A flexible schedule vs being slave to a rigid schedule.
  • A short time of structured learning and a whole lot of creative play/exploration.
  • An education tailored to how my girls best learn vs a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Teaching everything from a biblical/creation standpoint.
  • Embracing fun/engaging "living books" vs busywork/textbooks.
  • Instilling in my girls a passion for learning vs it feeling like a dreaded chore.
  • Opportunities for extra-curricular activities but NOT where they dictate our lives.
  • Not falling into the comparison trap but being confident in what the Lord had called me too! 

Take some time now to write down why you decided to homeschool in the first place.  Write out your goals and priorities with homeschooling.   Compare this with your notes from last week.  Getting your thoughts out on paper can help create a unique educational philosophy for your family!

Google Image

Next week I will be sharing some specific ways I carry out the above list of philosophies in our day to day life!  Go to week 3 here!

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  1. That's a great allegory-- stepping off the beaten path . . . I like the descriptions like meeting bigfoot and a swarm of bees-- not that I want to meet them!

  2. I love this post and your list of priorities. Looking forward to following your posts. :) Thanks!