Home education is a lifestyle! This lifestyle is life-changing in many positive ways. We'll briefly consider:
a few ingredients for a successful home school
organization for your home school
logistics for your home school
discipline for your home school
Some Ingredients for a Successful Home School
Prayer and a servant's heart
A sense of humor
Discipline & encouragement (for both parents and children)
Resistance to Fallacies - The Comparison Trap Fallacy: "My home school doesn't measure up to their home school, so I must be failing!" - The False Expectations Fallacy: "When I start homeschooling, it will make my family perfect!"
Family unity & unified goals
Priorities kept straight
Commitment to success
Organization for Your Home School
Set up a place for your child to keep schoolwork, books, and supplies. This can be a plastic storage tub, a drawer, a cabinet, or a shelf on a bookcase.
Create a place for you to keep your daily tools and supplies. Invest in some bookshelves. (We have yet to meet the homeschooling mom who says she has enough bookshelves!) Filing cabinets can be helpful storage tools as well. Assign locations for all regularly-used materials, such as reference books, art supplies, math manipulatives, science equipment, educational games, etc.
Designate a place to store treasured samples of your child's work. Realize that you will not be able to save every item your child produces. Sort and keep only what is important to you.
Logistics for Your Home School
WHO will do the teaching? Mom? Dad? Both? Outside tutors or teachers? Cooperative Group Teaching?
WHERE will your child do his writing, mathematics, and other such seatwork? Does your child need a lot of assistance and direction? Does your child need a quiet location with few distractions?
WHEN will you teach? Will you follow the traditional school year with a five-day week and a 36-week year? Will you school all year long, 3-4 days a week? Will you school three weeks out of every month? Will you teach in the morning only? Or how about afternoons and evenings? As long as you meet the minimum legal requirements [CPI requires at least 148 days per school year, at least 37 days each school quarter], you can design any plan that works for your family.
HOW scheduled or relaxed will your school days be? Every family has a unique level that works best. No matter how scheduled or relaxed you are, you'll find daily established routines are helpful tools.
Discipline for Your Home School
Seek wisdom and strength from God as you discipline yourself to take on the responsibility of your child's education.
Seek wisdom and direction from God as you evaluate your child's behavior, set goals for your child's character development, and carry out your plans.
Realize that, if you have more than one child, there are times when you will wish that you were more than one person! Children need to learn how to be patient, wait their turn, and go on to something else while they wait. Schedule one-on-one time with each child. Group-teach subjects like Bible, history, or science. Make it your goal teach your children to be independent learners.
If you have toddlers and/or infants, don't despair! Plan to do concentrated school work during the little ones' nap times. Collect special toys that are only available during times you are teaching. Schedule times for your older children to play with the little ones while you are working with another child on schoolwork.
Make plans on how you will deal with interruptions -- they are inevitable. Invest in Caller ID and/or a telephone answering machine. Inform family and friends that you will be unavailable during school hours. Carefully consider each request to add an outside demand upon you or your child. Expect days with unexpected emergencies (the basement floods) and unforeseen maladies (the flu strikes), and use each as an opportunity to learn and teach.