We have Our Winners!!
Congratulations to Sarabeth (Comment # 43) and Tricia (Comment # 65)
Your comments were randomly chosen using Random.org
And if that wasn’t awesome enough…. anyone who leaves a comment on this post between now and the end of the day on Friday 8/26/11 will automatically be entered to win Sally’s encouraging book for moms, Seasons of a Mother’s Heart.
We will randomly pick 2 different winners and announce them within this post sometime after 8/26/11.
Sally Clarkson is the mother of four wholehearted children, a popular conference speaker, and the author of numerous books and articles on Christian motherhood and parenting, including The Mission of Motherhood, The Ministry of Motherhood, Seasons of a Mother’s Heart, The Mom Walk, Dancing with My Father, and Educating the WholeHearted Child (contributor).
What advice would you give to a homeschool mother that struggles to find balance between home & school?
When a mom understands that her whole home–the environment, the books and magazines she has in baskets, the discussions that take place over meals, the music played throughout the day, the devotional thoughts shared while driving in the car and watching a sunset–all of these moments from the home are what really shape the mind and heart of a child. Home has always been a place where genius could be developed just by living there.
Home should be the laboratory of life and filled with all sorts of rich resources so that when a mom is busy about caring for her home, her child is still learning, exploring, creating. Too much curriculum steals time for creating, thinking, reading
Now, practically speaking, planning and organization are foundational to keeping the flow of home and school peaceful. I had anchors in my day to balance the two. We always had devotions and Bible reading around the breakfast table. Then as I read or played with the younger ones, the older children helped get the kitchen back in order, straighten up our living room so that all would be fairly in order for the day.
Next, we read aloud for a long while, did our math and minimal language arts, and whatever I did not finish that day by noon, had to wait until the next day. Lunch was next and after, play, and an hour quiet time in our home with books. At 5, I put on energetic music and all the children straightened the house before Dad came home–the planned anchors of cleaning and straightening our home along the way, were just as important as the learning times and it kept us going forward.
What is the single most important thing that you can do to be a successful homeschooler?
Teachers are the key factor in any educational endeavor. And so the key to a successful homeschool is the mom! If a mom’s soul is filled with ideas, wisdom, inspiration, enthusiasm and vision for what she is doing, her students will follow all of the energy and life that is coming out of her soul.
Consequently, a mom must be responsible to see that she is spending time daily with the Lord if she wants to pass on spiritual truth. She must be reading, thinking, engaging in soul building reading (and it can be the books the children read!) if she is going to pass on excitement about learning.
So, the number one success is a mom who is walking with God, celebrating life with joy because of her attitude of trust with God, and her passion and enthusiasm about all that is being learned in her home. So if a mom wants a successful homeschool, she must be growing in all of these ways and take care to see that her own soul is refreshed.
Are you of the mindset that everyone should homeschool their children?
I love the homeschooling movement because it reflects, for me, a holistic way of life–celebrating the life of Christ in front of your children, through books, art, music, feasts, discussions, discipleship, love and working side by side. I think all women, once they understand the vision of how God designed them to leave a legacy of righteousness by training, educating and discipling their children, should at least consider homeschooling as one of the best ways to be stewards of their children’s lives and souls.
I think God will lead each mom, by faith, to a wise decision for her family and children is she seeks His wisdom, and He will be faithful to work in each family according to their unique puzzle and responsibilities. Getting as much Biblical input and wisdom is essential in deciding any direction for a family.
If you could go back in time to your first year as a homeschool mom, is there anything that you would do differently?
If I could go back, I would teach the same way as I love the results of our home life on our children–they are vibrant, love the Lord, passionate about life and want to make a difference in their worlds. But I think I would have trusted God more, been less stressed, lived into the moments with joy, waited more patiently for my children to grow according to God’s timing for their lives, kissed them more, laughed more and celebrated more in the midst. I would not lose one moment to tell them God loved them and I loved them, too.
If you’d like to “Meet & Greet” other inspirational homeschoolers, hop over to the Apologia LIVE Blog this week to see who else is involved in this fun event!