What if I told you that if you did 1 Thing That Can Change Your Homeschooling day and even your outlook about “getting it all done.” I’m not talking about housework, but those elusive shool subjects that you want to cover but can’t seem to find time in your day. I have the solution and it isn’t as hard as you think.
Where we started
We’ve been homeschooling now for 14 years. Jackson was 4 and we had just pulled him out of preschool. He was BORED! When we started homeschooling it was to help my children have a better education and more tailored to their needs. Jackson was very advanced. He could read, count and add when he was 3. By the time he was 6, he was doing multiplication and division in his head. There was NO WAY a public shool system would know what to do with a child that advanced, and they certainly wouldn’t advance him, but instead tell us he needs medication.
We were homeschooling out of necessity. There are a lot of problems that go along with that mindset. It is easy to get burned out. You become a slave to the curriculum and a dragon to your children ever pushing to get it all done. This quickly not only drove me nuts but in some way hurt my relationship with my children.
Moving to a Stricter State
You would think that the homeschooling laws are the same in all states, but I promise you, they aren’t. Some states are so demanding that it is less about educating the children, but making sure they meet state standards. This was a very stressful time in my life. We found out that Audrey had reading issues and was really behind. I became afraid. I became resentful of laws that had no understanding of the child’s needs, but only standards. And my children, they hated learning.
The wonderful people I met while living there didn’t see that this was stressful. They had started with these standards instead of the freedoms I had back in Indiana. There were also things going on, that I didn’t tell them about, like Audrey’s reading problems. The stress built up so much that we even stopped doing things we love like Family Reading Time.
Finally, we could breathe again. The only problem was that we had trained ourselves to fear and work only core subjects. As Jackson got closer to high school he really began to resent this, and honestly so did I. By this time, I was so burned out that I would dread the school year. Honestly, I was just about done and ready to put them all in public school.
I was tired of fighting with ALL of them to just complete their assignments. By the end of the day, I was exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally. Honestly, I was beginning to question if I was really called to do this in the first place. Maybe I was misunderstanding, and I wasn’t being called to this.
The Year That Fell Apart
It was during this crazy time I found out that I was pregnant with Lucy. I was exhausted. Nothing was getting done. I was also dealing with the impending death of my Grandpa, Lucile’s husband. He had cancer and was only given 2 months to live.
Now not only was I burned out but exhausted emotionally. This turned out to be the worst year of our homeschooling career. We got very little done, and what we completed was not great.
To make matter worse, we were informed 2 days before I delived Lucy that we had 2 weeks to move out of the house we had been renting for the past 2 years. So the rest of the year was just surviving through the depression.
Change is Coming
By Memorial Day, I had given up on the school year. We stopped. I took the summer to recoop, recover, and find a new plan. I spent the next 3 months crying, praying, researching, buying curriculum, and hoping for change.
It was during this time, I made some decisions. I had started homeschooling to give my children the best education possible, but I was still trying to do it the public schools were doing it. The worst part was that I was losing my children’s hearts, especially their desire to know God.
At this point, I had 2 children who had been baptized and it was my responsibility to teach them about God, and I hadn’t been doing a very good job of it. Oh, we had a monthly scripture we were memorizing, but even that wasn’t being done very well.
We needed the plan to change that if I ever wanted my children to know God.
During the time of research, I learned about Ambleside Online. It is a great free online homeschool curriculum. There were so many different things that it offered, but the best was about teaching my children valuable things like scripture, poetry, composers, artists, folk songs, and hymns. I was in love, but my day was already busy, how was I suppose to accomplish that as well.
1 Thing That Can Change Your Homeschooling
While searching throu Pinterest I discovered Morning Time. This one little thing changed EVERYTHING for us. We went from a crazy stressed out family, to calm, peaceful, joyful and God centered. My children looked forward to the school day, even the teens. It became our favorite part of the day. Why? Because we did it together!
Morning Time became the foundation for our day! It was our time to be with God, to learn about all the things I had always wanted to teach my children, but never found a way to make it all work. It set the tone for the tone for the day. Not only did it become part of our routine, but it became part of our core and lead to so many wonderful things.
I remember 2 times where I had to go sit with my Grandma during the day. The kids brought their school work of course, but we also brought our Morning Time Binders. As we sang the old hymns, Grandma smiled and sang with us. Her voice was aged, but still as beautiful. Between each song, she would tell us what she liked about the song and what it meant to her. When we recited our poems so would ask the person reciting what the poem meant to them. While they talked she would smile and be completely engrossed in what they were saying. When we read scripture we were memorizing or recited the verses we already knew, she would tell my children what those verses meant.
That was over a year ago. This past school year, when we would go over older verses my children would remember what Grandma said to them and tell us. I would cry, but be thankful not only for those memories but for the gift of Grandma’s wisdom not only for me but for my children. They will have those memories to carry on to their own children later. How blessed we were!
Everything that is part of our Morning Time has something for everyone to learn. Even the simple poems for the younger children has a lesson that the older could learn from. The bible verses are life to breathe into my children. Hymns will be hummed through out the day while they work or do chores. Poetry not only teaches life lessons but helps them when hearing others speak and they give reference to a certain poem.
Coming next week
I know I didn’t go into the details of what our Morning Time looks like, but that will be coming next week. I will give you a list of everything we have in our Morning Time Binders. Plus there is a great course you can purchase that will help you set up your own system if you are still unsure.
One last thing, I know you may be thinking this is ONLY for homeschoolers, but these things can be applied to ANY family. I know of families who do something similar. They don’t have all the poetry, but they do have scripture they memorize and devotionals they read before they send their children off to school. Morning Time isn’t just for homeschoolers, I promise.