Our Homeschool: 6 Distinctives – 4 Moms, 35 Kids

Over the next few weeks 4 Moms will be talking about some of the practical aspects of homeschooling: choosing a curriculum, teaching older and younger kids, keeping it all together, etc.  This week is our introduction to that series.   I thought that this would be a good time to remind you of our family’s homeschool priorities,  goals and some of our peculiarities.

I  have previously posted  our homeschool goals and a series about why we homeschool.   In a nut shell we believe that God gives us the basis for all education here:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7

Since our goal and the focus for education is not the same as the world’s you would expect our course of study and daily activities to be different as well.  They are.

1. We focus on building relationships.

Relationship is the method of teaching and instruction that is found in the Bible.  Biblically we don’t see a pattern of people being taught by those with whom they have little or no relationship, rather the foundation of the teaching and training is the relationship.  (I’ve written a series of posts on building relationships with your children.)

2.  We make a concerted and conscious effort to focus on character.

Proverbs is a book inspired by God and dedicated to the  instructions of a father to his son with the goal of instilling wisdom.  How much of The Proverbs is dedicated to curriculum, course of study and scope and sequence?  How much of this inspired book on education is dedicated to what we call ‘academics’?

A careful study of the book of Proverbs identifies nine major themes of the book:

  1. The principle of the tongue and the truth
  2. The principle of hard work
  3. The principle of self-control and avoiding temptation
  4. The principle of conflict resolution and getting along with others
  5. The principle of fearing God
  6. The principle of receiving reproof and respecting authority
  7. The principle of trusting God
  8. The principle of humility
  9. The principle of a virtuous spouse

~Kevin Swanson, “Upgrade: 10 Secrets to the Best Education for Your Child

Since The Book of Proverbs is our family’s education manual, character is our primary goal.   That means that all other goals will play a secondary role (we won’t choose something that is excellent for academics, but questionable for character) and our decisions (hopefully) reflect that.

As we choose our curriculum, schedule our day and decide which subjects to include we place this goal before us and ask ourselves how it impacts the decision at hand.

In our house this means that sometimes our academic studies are put on hold while we work on the principle of hard work or the principle of getting along with others.  Our children do not spend large amounts of time with those whose focus is academic training rather than character training and we don’t simply assume that they will learn these principles of character while they are studying math and science.

This is a radical concept, even in Christian circles, where the tendency is to buy a ‘good Christian’ curriculum and other than that educate our children in exactly the same manner as the world.

3. We make Biblical instruction a priority.

Our family spends time each morning in individual Bible reading and study.  At breakfast we work on scripture memorization.  At the beginning of school we read the Bible and pray.  Each of the children has daily Bible study work to complete independently.  We end our day with a time of family worship.  I’m certainly not saying that this is perfect or that it is what everyone should do, it is simply what our family has implemented.

Pastor Swanson said something to us a few weeks ago that has encouraged Mark and me to once again examine this priority and how it works out in our home.  He said, “If your child knows geometry better than he knows the Proverbs, then you have a problem with your priorities.”  It is our tendency to worry and compare and make sure we are keeping up with others when it comes to math and grammar, but somehow we can neglect instructing our children in God’s Word without guilt.  So for us it’s back to the drawing board for more thought and probably some changes.

4. We allow our children to serve others, even if it means cutting back on academics.

This is one of the practical out workings of focusing on character.  If our focus is academic it will be difficult to fit this in especially as our children get older  (there is no class or extracurricular credit for scrubbing toilets)  but if our focus is character this will be an integral part of our children’s lives.

When I was a young mom with several young children and was dealing with morning sickness once again, I sought help from some homeschooled teenage girls.  We wanted someone who was willing to cook some meals for us that we could put in our freezer.   All the girls were too busy with academics and activities to help.

We are no longer the ones in need of the help, but we still see this pattern.  As homeschool students move into the teenage years they become too busy with their own projects, sports and academics to serve those within the body of Christ.  I’m not saying that they don’t have time for a mission trip here and there, but the day to day, nitty-gritty, can’t-put-it-on-a-resume serving those in their local church doesn’t make it into their schedule.

Our children should learn that it isn’t all about them, their education, their opportunities or their accomplishments.  If we want them to grow to be adults who will see the needs of others and seek to meet those needs sacrificially, we should expect them to do it now.  If they spend their younger years with those around them sacrificing, giving  and adjusting their schedules so that they can have ‘the best educational opportunities’, this will be a difficult jump.

5. We do not feel obligated to follow the schedule or system of the government schools.

John Gatto, New York State Teacher of the year 1991

It is the great triumph of schooling that among even the best of my fellow teachers, and among even the best parents, there is only a small number who can imagine a different way to do things. Yet only a very few lifetimes ago things were different in the United States: originality and variety were common currency.

Does it really take 6-7 years to teach addition, subtraction, multiplication and division? Do we really need to spend years and years drilling grammar?

It only takes about 50 contact hours to transmit basic literacy and math skills well enough that kids can be self-teachers from then on. The cry for “basic skills” practice is a smokescreen behind which schools pre-empt the time of children for twelve years and teach them the six lessons I’ve just taught you.  ~John Gatto, emphasis mine

Do we really need school? I don’t mean education, just forced schooling: six classes a day, five days a week, nine months a year, for twelve years…. Throughout most of American history, kids generally didn’t go to high school, yet the unschooled rose to be admirals, like Farragut; inventors, like Edison; captains of industry, like Carnegie and Rockefeller; writers, like Melville and Twain and Conrad; and even scholars, like Margaret Mead. In fact, until pretty recently people who reached the age of thirteen weren’t looked upon as children at all.  ~John Gatto, “Against School

There is something comfortable about doing what everyone around you is doing, but it doesn’t mean that it is the best choice for you, for your children or for the future.  Our homeschool does not look remotely like the government schools or even any private or Christian schools of which we’re aware.

6. We teach our children what they are ready to learn, when they are ready to learn it.

We try not to fill our children’s days with busy work or unnecessary drill and review  just because society expects it.

Colby (3) asked to learn to read a few days ago, so he is learning.  When he begins to ‘write’ letters and notes on his own we will start teaching proper handwriting.  When he makes a spelling or grammar error we will show him how to do it correctly and explain the reason/rule, but we won’t get out a textbook or introduce a whole new subject.  He will understand fractions and equations long before he sees them written, but will begin formal math instruction much later than his peers.  However, a few months after beginning math he will be working at the fourth or fifth grade level.  (I’m not trying to be prophetic, but am assuming that he will follow the same path that his 7 older siblings have followed.)

Now the example of a child asking to learn to read when he’s 3 tends to be easy for a home educator.  What if you have an 8 year old who is just beginning to read?  Are you still willing to teach him what he needs to learn, when he needs to learn it?  Trust me, children who fall on this end of the spectrum are more difficult because they aren’t up to society’s standard.  However, go back to the book of Proverbs, what does God say about when we should teach reading?

If you’re interested in more info about our homeschool, please visit my  homeschool page.

Now that you know some of the distinctives oddities of our homeschool, go read about how normal the other moms are.

Connie @ Smockity Frocks
Deputy Headmistress @ The Common Room
KimC @ Life in a Shoe

Upcoming topics for 4 Moms, 35 Kids: How Moms of Many Manage:
April 29 – The big picture, ideas and thoughts about homeschooling.
May 6 – Picking a curriculum, method or tactics that work for a large family.
May 13 – Teaching little kids
May 20 – Teaching big kids.
May 27 – Putting it all together.
June 3 – Husbands and homeschooling.
June 10 – Keeping house while homeschooling.

This post contains affiliate links.

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44 Responses to Our Homeschool: 6 Distinctives – 4 Moms, 35 Kids
  1. Heather
    April 29, 2010 | 9:02 am

    What an amazing post! I love hearing about you all:)) I think you and Mark are very wise and I sent my husband a copy of this today. Especially with our stepfamily (a situation where neither parent has the hearts of the others children–sad but true), it seems that having good grades and looking good to the outside world take precedent over all these heart issues. I just wish I could go back in time and have you as a guide, Kimberley! Thinking of you and hoping all is well with the pregnancy:)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Heather!

    When you talk about good grades and looking good taking precedence over heart issues, you are absolutely right. It is a constant struggle for us to keep our focus. This is because of our pride. We want others to think we’re doing a good job. Somehow, that is not usually what the Christian life looks like. Staying home and struggling with sin is not as glorious as placing first place in a competition.

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  2. Mom2my10
    April 29, 2010 | 9:15 am

    This is an excellent post, Kimberly! Exactly why I homeschooled fot 13 years!

    …and I love your new slideshow tutorials!

    [Reply]

  3. Miriam
    April 29, 2010 | 9:19 am

    What an excellent post. I am really appreciating this homeschool series. I didn’t have a good homeschooling experience growing up and early in our marriage I was hesitant to say I wanted to homeschool. I’m leaning strongly in that direction now, though, for a whole pile of reasons. These posts are very encouraging and affirming to me that I want to teach our children at home. And it can be good and fun :)

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  4. Tina
    April 29, 2010 | 9:22 am

    Very well said. It’s so nice to find someone else who emphasizes character more than education and relaxes about grade level academics. I start teaching spelling later than most and probably math and english as well, but I don’t stress about it and my kids learn just fine. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Anita Chamblee
    April 29, 2010 | 9:29 am

    Love it!! Our older girls were mothers’ helpers for several moms for a couple of years each…helping to teach, clean, do laundry or whatever needed to be done. Learning to serve others is so very important. We are doing a shorter “school” day right now to work on yard and garden work while it is pleasant. Working together shows us exactly what character traits we need to concentrate on (mine and their’s) And yes, my children know the Book of Proverbs much better than geometry….my almost 22 yo never had it and I hope to cover it a little bit with my 17 yo son, but found it more meaningful to spend a year on Stewardship by MUS. He is planning on having his own business and is already working and putting away money quickly. He needs to know how to handle it wisely. Again, great post!! I don’t know how you find the time to sit down and think through such meaningful content!!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Anita!

    I hope that our children will find ways to serve and be a blessing to other families in our church first and then in our community like yours have.

    Time? I cut down on sleeping – up early and to bed late.

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  6. Jen B
    April 29, 2010 | 9:34 am

    Thanks for the encouraging post. I have an 8 yr old who is still struggling with he reading. I haven’t enjoyed teaching her the past three years cuz it’s not clicking yet. I feel that everyone thinks I’m not doing my best, but I am. I am doing what I can, with what I got. :)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    You are not alone and that pressure can be fierce

    Scripture does not dictate that our children must be reading by 6 (or even 8). I’m sure that your daughter has other talents, focus on those. The reading will come….eventually. :)

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  7. Melanie
    April 29, 2010 | 10:35 am

    I was disappointed to find the same thing, Kimberly, when I looked for a mother’s helper. I helped out pregnant moms or babysat during the day when I was a teenager from time to time, and I was taken aback that I couldn’t find anyone. I always viewed the flexible schedule as one of the great benefits of homeschooling. I always just made the work up at some later point.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    That experience was a changing point in our lives. We were so overwhelmed and so in need of help and encouragement that when we couldn’t find it we said to ourselves, “We want to fill that void.”

    Mark and I believe that ministering to younger families is one of God’s specific callings to us. We try to fill that need in as many ways as we can. Honestly, this is why Raising Olives exists.

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  8. Alene
    April 29, 2010 | 10:49 am

    What an excellent, excellent post, Kimberly! Should be mandatory reading for all new homeschoolers – and probably for oldtimers (like me~21 years and counting!) as well. Thank you.

    Thank you, as well, for your prayers re: my Bible reading. Finally finished yesterday!! I am sad that it took me so long, but thankful that I DID finish the race, even if everyone else has gone home, showered, and gone to bed already. :-)

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you!

    Congratulations on finishing the 90 Day Challenge. That is wonderful.

    Ready to go again? We are planning on going through again before the year is over. I won’t blog about it this time, however. :)

    [Reply]

  9. Bekki
    April 29, 2010 | 10:58 am

    This is how I envision homeschooling my children. Sadly I live in a state where I can not take the time I would like to focus on character. I have tests and evaluations and portofolios to turn into the state. I do what I can but I can not let the academics take a back burner to character lest I get behind the requirements. I do school year round so that I can have those extra days when I need them, but is is not the same thing.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hopefully someday we will live in a country where parents are allowed to educate their children freely.

    Thanks for adding your perspective.

    [Reply]

  10. Jessica Hilliker
    April 29, 2010 | 11:02 am

    THANK YOU!!! i just recently stumbled upon your blog somehow, and it has changed my world…your direction & guidance related to kids & family life has been like a floatie to me as I felt like I was drowning in confusion between God’s Word and the cultural norm (even inside the Church!). thank you, thank you! I am praying for you & your beautiful family to be strengthened and encouraged to persevere as lights set upon a hill to God’s glory!!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Jessica!

    [Reply]

  11. MacKenzie
    April 29, 2010 | 11:55 am

    My own baby is still in womb but I did grow up being homeschooled and we plan to teach him/her at home in a few years. I love your advice, especially #6.

    My baby brother was a slow starter with reading but luckily my mom had many years of homeschooling under her belt and knew to just keep reading to him and encouraging us all to read in front of him (which we loved to do anyway) and not push it. About 8 or 9, it finally clicked and within a month or two he went from having basic reading skills to reading books well beyond his grade level. Now he is 16 and an excellent student who loves to read. I just wanted to leave some encouragement for those moms who are struggling.

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  12. Celee
    April 29, 2010 | 12:26 pm

    I love your distinctives and I hope they’re ours, too. My 10 yr old is beginning Algebra. I don’t really care that it’s not the proper time, he’s ready. I love that we study the Bible together and work on Scripture memorization and catechism “during school”. Sometimes we even go for fun walks and scooter rides to the local elementary school park “during school”. My 10 yr old is still embarassed because he’s afraid one of his previous teachers will see him “not in school” and think the worse of him. I know we’re accomplishing more than they do in public school and am thrilled we also have the time for fun!

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  13. Esther
    April 29, 2010 | 2:14 pm

    Thank you!

    It’s very true that going against the dominant culture can be difficult. It never occurs to most people that such a thing is even possible to this degree. The vision my husband and I have for our homeschool is nothing like the schools used by *anyone* we know, starting with our 20month old chiming in on our memory verses and prayers and expecting both her and her 3yr sister to (gasp!) help with the housework at their level. I especially LOVE that you give your children flexibility to serve. There may not be official credit given for volunteering as a mother’s helper, but my girls will most certainly be expected to serve in this way. My husband and I have plans for their lives…

    [Reply]

  14. Michelle
    April 29, 2010 | 2:36 pm

    Great post! I look forward to reading more. We’re not homeschooling yet and I love that I’m taking in all this information before the time comes. Look forward to May 13 AND keeping house while homeschooling. I may even need to ask for a special section in Q&A…how did you balance housework, time with God, and special time with the children in the beginning when you just had a toddler and an infant? … I’m losing a balance battle with just 2!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    You may have already seen this post, but in it I posted our schedule from when we only had little ones. It will give you a good idea about how I got everything done, or at least planned to get it done. ;)

    [Reply]

  15. Deb
    April 29, 2010 | 4:33 pm

    I am really enjoying the 4 Moms series. I hope you keep it up for a while. I am very much looking forward to reading more about your homeschooling perspectives. I am a homeschooling mom of 2 and find myself really spending a lot of time thinking about putting into words why my husband and I made this choice.

    I recently re-connected with an old friend who is now a PhD in Education Psychology.

    Well.

    I find myself in the position of wanting to explain my reasons for home education in an articulate way and have her understand the validity of those reasons. In the past I have too often been the one who sputters around incoherently when asked why I homeschool, and I’d like to change that. Not necessarily to convince others, but for some reason it has become important to me to be able to express myself.

    Reading about the journey you are all on is very helpful. So often when reading, I say “Yes! Me too!” So – thanks for sharing.

    [Reply]

  16. Tanya @ Little Life Improvements
    April 29, 2010 | 4:54 pm

    What an excellent series – I’m super excited to be able to learn from you ladies!

    We only have two small children right now but I know I have so much to learn about organizing life around the home to keep things running smoothly (well, as smoothly as possible). It’s so great to have moms who are a little further along in the lives of their children willing to share what they’ve learned with the rest of us!

    Stay encouraged!

    Little Life Improvements latest blog: Daily Worth: Free Financial Tips for Moms

    [Reply]

  17. Heidi
    April 29, 2010 | 5:49 pm

    This is such a good post. Very different from most of what I read, even from Christian homeschooling blogs. Refreshing and true. Thank you for giving me a new perspective as I’m just starting this homeschooling journey!

    [Reply]

  18. Adriana
    April 29, 2010 | 6:23 pm

    Hi Kimberly,
    I’d like to echo Jessica’s sentiments from above. Your website has been a source of inspiration to me. God has recently been holding my hand and we’ve made the journey from a discontent and shallow woman, contentious wife, unhappy mom to 5, second-generation homeschooler (because that’s what you do if you really love your kids!) to by God’s grace, a joyful and content wife, an engaged mom and finally a homeschooler with purpose!

    Your site has been instrumental in cementing and even inciting many of my convictions and ideals and goals. It makes my heart feel like it could burst with joy when I read the reasons behind your homeschooling and how you put relationships and the Lord above all else. We need more families like that in the church and homeschool group!

    I myself am a homeschool graduate, oldest of 14, who jumped ship when I was about 19. God had a plan and purpose, and by His mercy I have a wonderful life now, both in terms of family and in a personal relationship with God now in spite of my bad decisions and attempts to run away from Him. My whole gripe with religion as I knew it and homeschooling for that matter was exactly as you describe, there was no relationship beyond the rules. My parents had my obedience, but not my heart.

    I want to change this with my kids. It grieves me to see my younger siblings still struggling along but that’s a whole other thing! :)

    All that to say, please keep up the wonderful work you are doing. It is like manna from heaven to those of us who are wandering in from the desert!

    Your posts inspired me to radically change my thinking about school and curriculum. I have decided on My Father’s World, with supplement reading from SL read-alouds and readers. I would be interested to know what you think of the two in contrast?

    Also, you mentioned that within a few months of formal math instruction, your (now) 3 yo would be doing 4-5th grade math. What curriculum do you use? I’ve been toying with switching to Right Start math with my struggling 5th grader because she is such a hands on learner. Singapore is said to be excellent, but all I know are textbooks! I’ve been a mixture of Bob Jones, SOS, Pathway, and ACE – which is what my mom uses/used!

    Any help would be very much appreciated!

    Thank you and God bless you and your wonderful heart.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you. I am humbled by the fact that God could use our family to strengthen yours.

    I’ve hear a lot of very positive things about My Father’s World. I haven’t personally seen it yet, but a friend of mine has offered to loan me one of the years that she’s not using. It seems to be very similar to Sonlight, but I’d like to see it myself before I comment further on that. :)

    We have used Singapore math with our children and have been very happy. For a hands on learner, you may want to look at Math-U-See.

    This January we started something new with math. Our kids are using an online program. I think there are a lot of advantages to doing math online, but ultimately our jury is still out.

    I reviewed several online math programs this year. You can see my reviews sorted by subject here.

    [Reply]

  19. Annie Harbert
    April 29, 2010 | 8:56 pm

    I appreciate this new series on homeschooling- something the Lord had placed on my heart last year. This will be our sons last year in public school and our other two children will never step foot in a classroom unless it’s for Sunday school. That said, I have been struggling with how to approach this new season in our lives. I had planned on going through your site this very evening to find any resource or entries regarding homeschooling, what your thoughts were, how you went about your day, etc. And lo, here you have a series! The Lord knew I needed this.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I’m thankful for God’s good providence.

    I’m planning on posting a lot about homeschooling in the next several months. I’m working on a series for those who are just beginning homeschooling and will hopefully be posting about our curriculum choices for this year.

    I pray that God will greatly bless your family as you begin homeschooling.

    [Reply]

  20. Andrea Schmitz
    April 30, 2010 | 9:11 am

    Hey, just hopping over from In A Shoe and I have to say: I really appreciate your post here.

    Right now one of the many things which speaks to me is the “Time to Serve” — so true! And I see where I have allowed myself to be a poor steward and example to my children (oh, I was better at this when they were younger…).

    A few other of your points have convicted me as well.

    Thanks for sharing, if I dare, I will return to this post and re-examine myself again. And again. And again.

    [Reply]

  21. Shelby
    April 30, 2010 | 10:03 pm

    I absolutely love this! So many good points and things that I will work hard to make priorities this next year as we begin our second year of homeschooling!

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

  22. Loni
    April 30, 2010 | 11:43 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. Sometimes those that do have the opportunity to homeschool miss the understanding of homeschooling. Academics will come, naturally, but being focused on Christ will help make them better people and followers of Christ.

    [Reply]

  23. Katja
    May 1, 2010 | 8:23 am

    Hi Kimberly

    Just wanted to tell you: I do love your blog and especially what you write about homeschooling. Living in a country (Germany) where homeschooling is illigal (doing it is even considerd a crime in this very part of the country…) I don’t really think of doing it myself, even if I’d like to as public schools are not that good here anymore.
    However, I think that we can do some homeschooling in our everydays live to teach the children what they don’t learn at school (like good manners, their relationship with god, bible studies, serve others and many more).
    I am always looking forward to every homeschool related post from you!
    And thank you so much for your inspirations in reading the Bible. I could not participate in the 90 days challenge as I feel more like reading it in German but started to read it during Lent and work my way through it eventually. I enjoy reading it very much and take great strengh from it! Thank you very much and all the best for you, your family and the new baby!
    Katja

    Thank you! Katja

    [Reply]

  24. MacKenzie
    May 3, 2010 | 1:19 am

    What a great post! So important to keep in perspective! I can’t wait to read more!

    [Reply]

  25. Danette
    May 3, 2010 | 3:31 pm

    Just so you know there are some good families out there with the same priorities: I have 4 little ones (3, 2, 1, 6 weeks) and have a highschool girl who helps me on mondays when she gets out of school. She was homeschooled previously but now attends a very small private school. I plan on teaching my children to be the same way!!

    [Reply]

  26. Holly
    May 8, 2010 | 11:10 am

    Congrats! This post was just featured on The Homeschool Classroom: http://www.hsclassroom.net/2010/05/great-homeschooling-links-may-7-2010/

    [Reply]

  27. Susan
    May 8, 2010 | 2:14 pm

    Excellent article! I am wondering if service oriented attitudes aren’t what is missing in many young people nowadays. This was a gentle, yet firm reminder that we need to continue fostering godly character traits in our children, even if it means sacrificing academics now and then. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  28. meg
    May 11, 2010 | 7:29 pm

    GLORY BE! Wow. I am not alone. What a lovely feeling in this school at home instead of homeschooling world.

    [Reply]

  29. Katena Dyser
    June 3, 2010 | 10:04 am

    I loved this post. In our sitution we had find a wonderful church and people at least we thought. We had 5 boys at the time now we have six. The precher and higher ups would ask us if we were catholic and we needed to find another hobby. This turned us all away from the church and my oldest it hurt him a great deal. We are still trying to find a church home and I know the bible says forgive. But we never ask for anything went to church al the time volunteered and this is what we got. This why we do our own form of church not enough. But your ideas are great thanks for sharing and we do plan on having more children in the future.

    [Reply]

  30. Feeding Nine on Dime
    February 17, 2012 | 2:41 pm

    As I was linked back to this article from your article today, I gained a strength and encouragement that our family is not alone in its approach to homeschooling. I am headed down this same path. Its so awesome to see how God does move the same way in people’s lives if they only allow him to.

    [Reply]

  31. Nicki
    February 14, 2013 | 5:48 pm

    Somehow I missed this post originally, but it’s exactly what we’ve been practicing in our home! I’ve been saying for years that the Bible is our number one priority in homeschooling. The more the world changes and our country moves to a less-free nation, we emphasize that what will lead the kids through their lives is scripture.

    Just this week, we had the talk again. My oldest sometimes questions if we’re “doing everything we should” in school, based on what some other homeschool families do. So we discussed again that “Man’s cheif end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Being Christians is our top priority. Reading, writing, and math are very important (and we do teach it, LOL) but they all come second to God’s Word.

    Thank you for sharing the truth.

    [Reply]

  32. jul
    February 15, 2013 | 6:21 pm

    Hi Kim,
    I hope you these comments still pop up before you even if on old posts. You made a comment about grammar and spelling rules. I prefer to delay formal grammar and whatnot until later, as I believe you do to. However, I’ve been looking everywhere for a concise list of the grammar/punctuaion and spelling/phonics rules that I can reference as we go without having to do a whole curriculum. (I never did phonics myself, and I want to make sure I’m remembering my grammar rules correctly as well.) Do you have something of this nature or a resource you use? I’ve been looking for such a long time and would very much appreciate it!

    Also, it’s on my heart to ask for some mentoring in a couple areas related to your most recent post on working hard with a good attitude. We share a very similar heart in how we operate here, however I have a few holes that I’m looking for insight in. Is there a pm sort of function on your website or a way to send an email to you? (Assuming you’d be willing to peruse my thoughts and give insight…)

    Thanks so much,
    jul

    [Reply]

  33. Lisa Reynoso
    June 30, 2013 | 1:56 am

    I’m at the beginning of my homeschooling journey (oldest is almost finished with kindergarten), and the more time passes, the more I realize the importance of what you have written here. Especially in regard to character. I’ve heard the only thing we take to Heaven is our character; if it’s rotten, we probably won’t be going.

    When I was pregnant with my youngest, I had anemia (undiagnosed for too long) and was exhausted all the time for a month. I let a lot of things go because I just couldn’t do them. There were days I would sit and cry over the dishes and the dirty floor and the pile of laundry, and wish there was someone who could come help me. One lady did come and help me mop and washed dishes once a week for a while, but she was older and I didn’t like to ask for help too much. We live in a small t

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  34. Lisa Reynoso
    June 30, 2013 | 2:04 am

    I’m at the beginning of my homeschooling journey (oldest is almost finished with kindergarten), and the more time passes, the more I realize the importance of what you have written here. Especially in regard to character. I’ve heard the only thing we take to Heaven is our character; if it’s rotten, we probably won’t be going.

    When I was pregnant with my youngest, I had anemia (undiagnosed for too long) and was exhausted all the time for a month. I let a lot of things go because I just couldn’t do them. There were days I would sit and cry over the dishes and the dirty floor and the pile of laundry, and wish there was someone who could come help me. One lady did come and help me mop and washed dishes once a week for a while, but she was older and I didn’t like to ask for help too much. We live in a small town and our church is small and full of either elderly people who need help themselves or women who work. The one lady who is a SAHM was also pregnant and worse off than me (she was more anemic and her boyfriend was no help). I wanted to go help her, but I couldn’t even get my own stuff done! I vowed that when I had the opportunity to help a pregnant or postpartum mom, I would do it! And I have.

    Now we have made friends with the Mennonite community near is. We are not Mennonite and will never be, but they share so many of the same ideals that we do in terms of family and modesty and child training, and their children are a positive influence on our children. When I pinched a nerve in my back and didn’t want to be carrying my 11-month-old on a trip into town, I “borrowed” a 10-year-old we were friends with and she carried the baby for me and got him in and out of the car. Her mother told me that she regularly helps a lady in the church who is pregnant. Next time I’m pregnant, I will probably call one of them! And as we get to know families (we’ve been inviting them over one by one for lunch with us on a weekend), I will watch for opportunities to be a blessing to them too.

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