ABC’s of Homeschooling

Found at TheHomeschool Advocate

A – Athletics:  Homeschoolers do participate in sports!  Some prefer local city teams, others participate through the Boys and Girls Clubs or Upward type programs.  In some areas, homeschoolers are permitted to participate on public or private school teams.  Where I live, there are private homeschool sports teams that compete with area private schools.  It is possible for homeschool students to participate in sports!

B – BOOKS:  I’ve never met a homeschool family who didn’t appreciate books.  We’ve been told that we have more books than the local library and I consider this a compliment.

C – Chores:  Children who learn at home have more time to help with household chores.  This not only increases their ability to manage a household of their own one day, but it also gives them a sense of responsibility, teamwork, and accomplishment.

D – Discipline:  Since parents love their children more than anyone else in the world, they are able to train them and discipline them throughout the day when they are homeschool.

E – Enthusiasm:  Based on my experience with homeschooled children, they appear to have a lot more enthusiasm for life and learning than the average child.  Parents can also share their enthusiasm for particular subjects with their children.

F – Field Trips:  No homeschool education would be complete without field trips!  Whether you visit historic sites, hands-on museums, reenactments, politicians, or one of the hundreds of other options, field trips help make homeschooling a well-rounded educational option.

G – Games:  There are many educational games that not only supplement academics in your household, they also encourage teamwork, positive attitudes, and sportsmanship.

H – Homemade Meals:  With obesity an ever-growing problem in the United States today, it is rare to see a homeschooled child who is overweight.  Why is this?  I believe it’s because children who are taught at home eat healthier meals and are allowed to exercise much more than children in any institutionalized school setting.

I – Individuality:  Rather than succumbing to the trends of the crowd, homeschooled children are individuals.  While some people would describe them as “weird” or “quirky,” I love the differences I see in homeschooled children.  Each child is a unique individual who is not afraid to be different.

J – Jesus:  Thankfully, with home education, parents can teach children about the Lord Jesus Christ not just during evenings and weekends, but throughout the day in every interaction with that growing little person.

K – Kindness:  This is not something to be preached, but this is a fruit of the spirit that must be shown.  Many parents who teach their children at home take many opportunities to show their children how kindness is a noun that has real application in life.

L – Laughter:  I cannot imagine how quiet our household would be if our children were gone away for several hours each day.  While that sometimes sounds enticing, I must admit that I would miss all the laughter that occurs every day.  It has been said that a good, hearty laugh increases your life span so I expect my children to live very long lives!

M – Memories:  I am so thankful for the memories that we create each day.  The millions of children who are homeschooled will have fond memories of family, fun, fellowship and love over the years.

N – Nature:  It bugs me that so many people today talk about the environment, yet most of the people in our society really don’t care.  They don’t want people having more children (due to “overpopulation”), yet they kill thousands of trees every year to print new editions of textbooks that were perfectly fine the year before.  They tell children to take care of the environment and take them outside once per year to plant a tree, but they don’t allow them to fall in love with nature by permitting them to experience it.  I am so thankful that homeschooled children are allowed to experience nature.  Almost every homeschooled child I know has the opportunity to spend hours, not minutes, outside every day.  That is how you fall in love with nature.

O – Opportunities:  With homeschooling, families have more time to take field trips, participate in sports, attend plays, visit science museums, talk with senators and representatives, travel, and so much more.  Opportunities abound for homeschoolers.

P – Prayer:  This is an essential part of many homeschooling families and I can’t imagine our home without it.

Q – Questions:
  I hear from a lot of homeschoolers who want to remove their children from public school.  One of the big complaints is from parents of little boys ages 9-12.  These little boys are being stifled.  Teachers don’t want them to ask questions, yet many children, especially little boys, learn that way.  I am thankful that my children can ask questions all day long and even if I don’t know the answer, we can find it together!  (Check out The Homeschooler’s Book of Lists.  This reference-type book has over 250 lists that contain information about the most common elementary level subjects and has been praised by homeschoolers as an excellent supplement to various curricula.)

R – Reading:  Rather than a boring chore, reading becomes an awesome adventure when children are provided with good quality books and the time to delve into them with gusto.

S – Sibling Relationships:  I like to remind my children, and other parents, that when it comes down to it, the sibling relationship is probably the most important relationship in the world.  Children may grow up and get married one day, but their future spouse is not intimately familiar with the details and experiences, whether good or bad, of that person’s life.  The only people who will truly understand how someone else grew up, what they experienced, and who the person was when they were young are a person’s siblings.  Since most parents die before children do, the sibling relationship will even outlive the parent-child relationship.  Remind your children always that they should love their brothers and sisters and treat them kindly always.  The great thing about homeschooling is that frequently the sibling relationship develops in a much more positive manner than would be possible if the children are away from one another for most of the day.  When your playmates are limited, it is obvious that you need to get along with the only options available!  (Hey, perhaps I should remember that the next time I’m upset with my husband, too.)  J

T – Training:  Training takes a lot of work and it’s not something you can do in a few hours on the weekend.  With homeschooling, you have the opportunity to work with your child for hours each day to provide the guidance he/she needs to develop good morals and a godly character.

U – Unit St
While there are certainly many methods of teaching at home, most parents incorporate unit studies to a small degree, even if it’s just focusing on elections, Thanksgiving, or a particular event in history for a few weeks.  Unit studies can be formal or informal.  We’ve never purchased curriculum to use with our unit studies, but when my children are interested in beetles, hurricanes, or Clara Barton, we focus all our attention on the topic for a few weeks.  When their interest has waned, we move on to another.

V – Valued:  Yes, we could put these children on that little yellow bus and send them off to school each day, but we choose to keep them home instead.  Through difficult days and all, we’ve chosen to homeschool.  Not everyone has the opportunity to teach at home, nor do they choose to do so.  Many parents who don’t homeschool love their children just as dearly, but I do believe that the children who are taught at home have no question that they are valued.

W – Wonder:  I love to see the sense of wonder on children’s faces as they make new discoveries or marvel about the magnificent creation the Lord has given us.  I cannot imagine a world without children or without the gift of wonder that they give us.

X, Y, and Z:  All of these remind us that there is a season for everything and this includes and end to all things.  Enjoy the time you have with your children.  It will come to pass faster than you can imagine and you might even miss the days when dirty fingers get mud on your doors or little people ask questions one after another.  Enjoy this season and praise the Lord for each and every blessing in your home!