Do you have some anxiety and fear about homeschooling this year? You are not alone, Mama! Let me encourage you today by reminding you that your homeschool journey will look differently from everyone else. That is a wonderful thing!
Today’s blog post is another wonderful guest post by my friend, Jenni Elwood! I’m so excited to have her share some homeschooling encouragement with you today.
When I received packed-full manila envelopes passed through my car window with a gloved hand and a masked smile, I felt a sense of foreboding.
This past March, was school-at-home reality thrust upon you? When I consider those early days, I remember being horrified with my new job as a pusher of worksheets. I wish, in hindsight, I “laugh[ed] at the days to come” instead. (Proverbs 31:25b NIV)
After countless tears from my 8-year old, I realized a re-invention of school was necessary. I had to stop dishing out papers and tune into the passions of my children. God led me through a metamorphosis. He changed me from a grumpy school-at-home mom to a joy-filled homeschool mom!
Here are four important lessons I learned, with the Lord’s gracious guidance, to make the schooling transition fun and meaningful for my two girlies.
1. I moved the work off the table and into the fresh air.
Coronavirus, with all its ugliness, ushered beautiful spring weather into our valley. Usually, in March, winter weather lingers in eastern Washington. However, we enjoyed sunny weather in the balmy 40s and 50s. We found sidewalk chalk and created different games each week to practice spelling words.
The map of Jonah’s journey and a massive whale graced our driveway in pastel colors. The girls, tired of dry PowerPoint presentations and coloring worksheets, gained intimate knowledge of Scripture.
2. I used copious amounts of music to teach.
In a previous life season, I worked as a speech-language pathologist. I noticed reading comprehension difficulty impacted every subject of learning for my older daughter. So, I decided to get learning off the page. We took challenging concepts, like subtraction story problems, and turned them into songs.
Music helped her learn long and short vowels. We also decided to learn some Hebrew. Thanks to Shavonya’s YouTube channel, the girls learned the days of the week and can’t wait to learn more.
3. I followed the passions of my children.
The most enjoyable part of homeschool for us was dictating the flow of learning around events right in front of us. We chose Bible stories based on videos we found. We studied plant growth because we grew our vegetable garden from seed. Carol wrote a multi-paragraph story of her adoption which will become her birth-story book.
Lewis and Clark’s Saltworks on the Oregon Coast captivated my girls at the beach. In September, we will focus on each subject but one (because math) studying this topic. And obviously, we will spend time with the real hero of that story – Sacagawea!
4. God showed me that He wants to be my teacher!
On Mother’s Day this past year, as I put my shoes on to watch the girls whiz their little motor cars around Jonah’s whale tail, a still small voice said, “What a blessing you are their teacher.” I realized, the Best Teacher Ever uttered those words to my heart. My reliance on God took me to a new place of freedom through obedience and helped calm fears that I would mess up my kids. This was the sweetest lesson of all.
Whether you are a newbie like me or a seasoned homeschooler, I hope you hear and heed the voice of guidance that comes from the Perfect Teacher.
Lord, I lift up enthusiastic and anxious homeschoolers alike! May the blessing of teaching from You be received and passed on well to our children. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Jenni resides in Yakima, on the dry side of Washington state. She is a lover of Jesus, wife of Tom, mom to three, and bonus mom-grandma of many. She enjoys rich coffee, European chocolate, and the color orange. You can keep up with her stories of Jesus-led transformation at the Peacock Sojourning blog. www.jenniferelwood.com
Want more encouragement on homeschooling? Check out this post on beginning your day with Morning Time.