Home Schooling

Some of you have asked me to share about how we homeschool our children.

I’ve hesitated to share about home schooling because it is very dear to my heart. I love teaching our children, and while it comes at a great cost to me, it is one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done.

Home schooling such a crew as ours is an entire lifestyle.

Before I share the details of our days, I want to be clear that if I have done anything good at all, it is God showing Himself strong in my weakness.

I have no natural management abilities. Management is not my strength, but when we come to the end of ourselves, God steps in and works His miracles.

Our home school is evidence that God does indeed care about the details of our days.

Over time, I have developed a no nonsense, efficient way of home schooling that works for our family.

I am a free spirit at heart.

I love to abandon all on any day and trod a different path, but I have had to learn that our children need structure, and we all accomplish a lot more with a schedule.

We sort of ease into our mornings here. Mark works late, and we tend to have late nights, so relaxing mornings work well.

We have our coffee, tea, and hot chocolate and aim to be all finished with breakfast by around nine.

Then we start school.

The children split up and spread out over the first floor.

Steven likes quiet so he usually works in our back room on the floor all by himself.

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Andrew, Evan, and Victoria work in our front living room, and, at the moment, Sophia is working in there too. I try to split up our little ones and pair them up with a bigger one. That way an older child can help a younger one. An older child can usually help one smaller child with their work without it infringing too much on their own work.

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I work with Eliza, Evangeline, and usually David and Jonathan together in our morning room. They all need a lot of help, and we try to work quietly together in the kitchen. There are times when it gets too much, and I have to adjust and send one of the kids to work with a bigger child, but most of the time it goes well.

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I keep construction paper and scissors and glue handy, and cut up all kinds of things for our younger ones to paste when they get rammy.

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Some days it gets chaotic, but most of the time it goes pretty well.

Throughout the year, all of our children study Bible, Math, English and Language Arts, Chinese, Science, Geography, History, and many are working on Penmanship.

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I absolutely love the Sonlight Curriculum, but I haven’t been able to stick too closely to that this year with Eliza and Evangeline needing so much help. I’ve had to use a few more workbooks than I usually do, but it is all working out, and we still read a lot.

We also have a Thursday co-op we participate in when we can. We have had to take a break from that with all of Evangeline’s hospital visits though.

Mark frequently reads to the children at night, after family devotions. That is my favorite time of day.

Our children have ‘jurisdictions’ in our house.

For example, Eliza’s jurisdiction is our back family room, Colin’s is the front room. Steven has the foyer, Sophia has the dining room, etc. They clean up their jurisdictions before homeschool, before lunch, and before Mark comes home.

It doesn’t take them long each time. Usually in fifteen minutes, the house is looking wonderful again.

They also have to make their beds and keep their rooms tidy.

I try to give chores according to the children’s strengths. That way we can manage things around here as easily and efficiently as possible.

Victoria and Evangeline are fantastic In the kitchen and with the laundry so they don’t have jurisdictions. They just help me with the laundry and the kitchen.

The boys take care of the trash.

It works incredibly well.

We do pay our children. They earn anywhere from a few cents to a dollar a day. It isn’t much, but it adds up and is a really good motivator. It also helps with discipline. If someone says something unkind or yells, I immediately charge them a few cents.

We try to be cognizant of Phillippians 4:5.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

That’s pretty much it.

We are usually all done by 2:00pm.

I love being in our home teaching our children and consider myself incredibly blessed to have such a privilege.

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Blessings!

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3 comments

  1. Claudia Huisman says:

    Haha Diane, you say you have no natural management skills, but when I read this I think that you do! Sounds like structured pleasure and discipline in your house, the best of both worlds!
    Have a nice day,
    warm regards,
    Claudia

  2. Penny says:

    I really miss those homeschooling days! I’m really impressed with what you wrote….I had a hands-on job to get one child to work, never mind a whole lot of them!

  3. Karen J Moseley says:

    You are such a good Mom, Diane! Again, as I’ve said before, I wish I lived near you & your family. I love that you call yourself a “Free Spirit”. It’s His Free Spirit and that’s what helps you able to care for your new daughters and the special time they so need. And, it’s obvious that your other children thrive in the love and care that you and Mark give them. Hugs ~ Jo

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