I want to share about what homeschooling looks like for us. It’s not possible to talk about homeschooling and not talk about our faith because the two are interlinked. If not for our firm convictions in the truth of Gods word, we probably wouldn’t have thought of homeschooling.
We have two adorable boys, Jairus (9)and Amaziah (9) whom we’re homeschooling for the last 6 years. When we initially decided to homeschool, we started out thinking that our boys are going to get a chance to learn from us and grow but I’ve realized that we are the ones who are really learning, growing and changing.
For Saju and me, we really do want our children to continue to do well in their academics, yet that isn’t our main focus.
Because we know that though that’s good it’s just not good enough to make them men who can stand up for their values, stay true to their word, who will know what it is to be hurt and yet be able to forgive, to know there are consequences they have to face for their reckless actions or behaviour, to boys who’d be able to love selflessly and not selfishly, to thrive and not survive, to create a positive influence.
It’ll take more than history, geography, science or any other subject for that matter to be able to handle whatever issues come their way as they grow up and face the real world.
So Besides our boys acquiring academic knowledge, as parents, we believe it’s more important to teach them to love and know Christ and thereby find their purpose in life.
We believe it’s more important to instill in them a love and eagerness to learn.
Teach them life skills, morals like obedience, thankfulness, patience, honesty, self-control, diligence, forgiveness, engage in rich dialogues with them and be examples or role models to them.
So, Learning through fun and play happens at our home with more emphasis on building a strong foundation of character and Godly principles. So, homeschooling gives us that space.
Are we perfect? No.
They see our flaws, the mistakes we make, our weaknesses..we admit to all of it (They see it firsthand) yet through it all they see grace, hope, and love that never fails.
Has it been easy?
As much as we consider it an absolute privilege and joy to be able to train and teach our boys, When we began our homeschooling journey, I had this picture in mind. Sweet, cooperative children who are hungry to learn and were going to be taught, cuddled and loved by a smiling, patient, long-suffering mother.
However, this idyllic vision was shattered by my irritated voice and then screaming, or crying and all sorts of frustration. There was the disappointment in my spirit that the reality of homeschooling didn’t match the ideal.
Even now for instance, when our older son just not getting the math concept right after repeated attempts or in the middle of a lesson, my younger son has broken the point of his pencil for the third time just because he wants to sharpen it again can get me easily annoyed, lose my temper, act impatient and make me get frustrated with my sons which in turn would make them equally frustrated.
I knew that if this was how it was going to continue, it was going to be a total mess. And I didn’t want homeschooling to be a burden for either me or my boys but a joy and a delight.
How does that look like?
I could only take it to the Lord in prayer because only He can change me and give me the strength, courage, and wisdom I need to handle this. He reminds me through His word that tells me, “Love suffers long, and is kind. Love does not get easily angered” My attitude was quite the opposite. My love was not long-suffering or kind and I was quickly angered.
When I teach my kids with love, patience and meekness through Gods grace, I see them making way better progress in the very same areas that they struggle with. If it was getting too much, we would simply take a break and get back to it later or do the lesson bit by bit without any rush.
Some of you are now probably thinking, ‘You be the most patient woman in the world! I could never do that! My children drive me crazy!” I am certainly not the most patient woman in the world. In fact, patience would be one of my least natural characteristics. I am still on that journey toward a meek and quiet spirit, in which the Lord is still changing me and I am getting there.
How does our day start out?
When the day is more structured and organized, it goes well for me and the boys because it is easy with clear expectations laid out in place at the start.
One can choose your own unique style or method of teaching.
As a parent, we know our children best and their style of learning and so accordingly we adopt those methods which work really for them. Since we are able to give individual attention to each child, we are able to accomplish more in less time.
Homeschooling has definitely brought us closer to each other, strengthened our bonds. As much as both our boys enjoy being taught each day, we love watching our boys experience a sense of freedom as their lives don’t revolve only around school hours and homework but also going on field trips, recreational activities, play dates with their friends, coloring, doing puzzles, watching educational documentaries, movies, dancing, singing, role-plays, lying upside down on the couch and so on ;).
They have time to think, imagine, observe and learn at their own pace.
As Christian parents, both Saju and I believe we have the responsibility to cultivate a culture in our home that would shape our children’s lives in discerning and pursue God’s plans for them; one in which we can create faith, curiosity, and learning in everyday living.
We know as much as we try and work this out on our own strength and effort we can fail but finding our dependence on God’s wisdom and guidance can make it all worthwhile.
Having said that, while there are many homeschoolers like us who like to live in the now and celebrate the present moment, there are others who feel a real need to weigh their options carefully before making decisions.
The journey for each homeschooling family is unique and different. We each choose our own syllabus or curriculums that best suit the needs of our children.
Other Homeschooling Articles:
- Homeschooling in India – The Starting Point
- Homeschooling in India Reason #1 – To Bridge Learning Styles
- Homeschooling in India Reason #2 – To avoid Unhealthy Competition
- Homeschooling in India Reason #3 – To Nurture Creativity
- The Challenges of Homeschooling in India
- How to Start Homeschooling In India?
- Our Homeschooling Curriculum So Far
- Practical Homeschooling and our Parenting Journey