School: Dismay or Delight?

How you approach your homeschool drastically affects your success.

The love of learning needs to be instilled within children at an early age. Parents, it's up to us to do that!

School was a great experience for me. I loved learning new subjects, attempting a challenging test, and reviewing my progress report! I want my children to have the same experience. As Christian mothers (and teachers), our ultimate goal is for our children to know Christ and to grow up to be productive, eternity-minded individuals. There is no better way to encourage that than for our children to develop a love for learning early in life! The ability to learn gives our students unlimited options in life.

Parents, it begins with us. Attitudes are contagious. If we are excited about school and learning, our students will be too. On the other hand, if the idea of beginning a new school year brings feelings of dread, fear, or panic those feelings will transfer to our children and they will learn to dread school just as much as we dread teaching. Learning will be a negative experience to our children and their ability to learn negatively impacted. If we desire our classroom to have an atmosphere of excitement and enjoyment, then we must cultivate that atmosphere. Keep in mind that the ultimate lessons in life our caught, not taught. Maybe you think that you can never succeed as a homeschool mom. Remember, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

Perhaps you need a fresh take on the school year. Maybe you new a different approach to your school routine. You can try some of the following ideas on your first day of school this year and watch your children’s attitude become positive toward learning.

School Supply Extravaganza

Keep an eye out for back-to-school sales and stock up on necessary items. Instead of just keeping a communal collection of school supplies, try to purchase items that you know each student will like. On the first day of school, enthusiastically arrange all your supplies and allow each child to choose his favorite color or design of pencils, pencil box, erasers, notebooks, folder, and other items. Having each of your children keep their own school supplies teaches responsibility and the importance of taking care of what God has given them.

Textbook Introduction On your first day of school, excitedly distribute textbooks and workbooks pointing out interesting designs or new features, and briefly highlight what each student will be learning throughout the year. This encourages interest in learning and self-motivation since your students have something to look forward to.

• When you are distributing U.S. History books, tell your students that as they study Colonial American they will be making their own ink from black walnut stain and will be writing with quill pens just as children in early America did!

• As you pass out your science textbooks, show your children the sections on animal life and let them children know that you are planning to visit a zoo to observe mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

• Show some pictures of volcanoes from a student’s book and ask if they would like to make their own volcano using baking soda and vinegar.

Pay attention to the interests of each of your students and attempt to plan projects and field trips you know they will enjoy. As you develop their interests, they will retain more of what they learn and will have many happy memories of their school experience.

Schedule-Setting Council

As part of your back-to-school preparations, take thought about your schedule. If you have older students, I recommend discussing your daily schedule with them, and allow them to decide when they prefer to study certain topics. This helps them take initiative and feel a sense of responsibility for their learning. Setting the daily schedule is an important factor that leads to successful learning; however, stay flexible and adjust as necessary.

Prayer for Success As you begin your school year, take extra time to have special prayer for each student asking God to open his mind for learning, help him enjoy the learning experience, and make progress as necessary. Do this together. Let your students know how seriously you take the task of teaching them. This can be your most rewarding and successful school year ever as you rely on Christ to make it happen.

We understand school involves completing assignments, meeting state requirements, and making academic progress. But don’t let that hinder us from enjoying the time God has given us with our children to not only train them academically, but also spiritually, for that is the most important of all our tasks.