“How do you do it?”
“Seven children? Oh wow!”
“I don’t think I could do it!”
“You must be super-mom!”
“I don’t think I want to be with my children all day!”
“But do you still get to do what you want?”
“You seem so put together, maybe you are just really organized.”
“How do you get it all done?”
These are only a few of the questions and comments people share with me on a regular basis.
First of all, I have no cape…no supermom here. I am a regular mom. I am only slightly organized, with several piles of paper that I always wish were put away. Most days I have a long list of hopeful accomplishments, and many are left undone. We have good days and bad days. Ultimately, I put my trust in God. He is more than able to work through me and reach my children – their hearts and their minds.
There have been many books we have read about the “how” of homeschooling. There is one that stands out as a constant encouragement for me, and a great reminder of the many reasons why we have chosen home education. Educating the Whole-Hearted Child by Sally and Clay Clarkson. This book includes many practical ideas and encourages me as a Mom to remember the importance of my role in my children’s daily life and learning. I
purchase curriculum that gives my children a well-rounded education. I look for ways to improve what I am teaching. Most of all I focus on discipleship.
Many times of natural learning happen within our home and family. When we are cooking together, cleaning together, dreaming…creating and completing projects around the house, and just making the time to have deep, meaningful conversations natural leaning occurs. Demonstrating how the sewing machine works, while allowing the opportunity for my children to make things, encourages their creativity and the sense that they can accomplish making something very useful.
Lots of cooking happens in our home and we all love to eat! My children each ask if they can help prepare meals and much learning occurs naturally here in the kitchen – food chemistry is discussed, the use of spices, mixing flavors together, nutrition, stewardship, budgeting, etc. The importance of hosting others and putting others needs before their own is discussed, and we try to put this into practice throughout the day with siblings and when others visit our home.
Studies are interspersed throughout the day. During nap time, the older children and I share in studying the Bible together daily. This always makes for great conversation. We share responsibilities around the house in the afternoon so that I can attend to different children who need one-on-one assistance with their studies.
In between subjects, and after daily studies have been accomplished, children color together and work on puzzles. A large box of legos is opened on the floor and children dig together to find pieces they need. One daughter patiently teaches another daughter sign language. One child asks to go to the swingset, while another is asking to help with the evening meal.
Hopefully this offers a picture of the how (and a little more of the why) we homeschool.