Looking for ways to keep your focus?
The Internet has made sharing information, ideas, models, methods, curriculum plans, material reviews, scheduling information — and so much more — very accessible to many, if not most, homeschoolers.
With this barrage of information, it is easy to lose our focus. It is easy to get caught up in the things that we can “do.” Just ask Martha!
Sometimes it is more difficult to be still, to pray, to learn, to observe, to wait, and then to serve our children by providing them with what they really need.
Here are 4 simple ways to keep your focus:
1. Not letting the materials we use determine our philosophy.
When starting out, the first thing many homeschoolers want to know is “what curriculum should I use?” The materials we use will be tools in a toolbox full of helps. They should not set the course, but rather be tools used to implement the course we have already, prayerfully, chosen.
The materials we use cannot determine our child’s learning style, his area of specific need, his interests, or his goals.
To neglect addressing each child’s specific needs would be to provide a generic education.
2. Not letting a particular method determine our philosophy.
Likewise, rigidly adhering to one particular homeschool method can prevent us from meeting the specific needs of each child.
We all feel better working from a “template,” and we may be drawn to one particular educational method. However, we shouldn’t let the method use us — we should use it!
We can restructure any model to fit our family; we can borrow ideas from many schools of thought.
3. Avoiding age, grade, and level labeling.
One of the benefits of homeschooling is allowing our children to work at their own level and at their own pace.
As they master the material, they move on. If they are struggling in an area, we can slow down to match their pace.
Strictly working at a particular level because our child is “supposed” to be at that level does not serve the child.
4. Avoiding second and third and fourth…opinions.
We are blessed to have such easy access to one another. It is wonderful to have a shoulder to cry on or an encouraging word just a click away. But when it comes to meeting the needs of each child, our Lord should be our guide; our husband should be our sounding board.
If you cannot trust God for temporals, how dare you trust him for spirituals? Can you trust him for your soul’s redemption, and not rely upon him for a few lesser mercies? Is not God enough for thy need, or is his all-sufficiency too narrow for thy wants? Dost thou want another eye beside that of him who sees every secret thing? Is his heart faint? Is his arm weary?
If so, seek another God; but if he be infinite, omnipotent, faithful, true, and all-wise, why gaddest thou abroad so much to seek another confidence? Why dost thou rake the earth to find another foundation, when this is strong enough to bear all the weight which thou canst ever build thereon? Christian, mix not only thy wine with water, do not alloy thy gold of faith with the dross of human confidence. Wait thou only upon God, and let thine expectation be from him.
We can’t rely on the structure, conventions, and trappings of “education” as we experienced it. True, we might not be “on the cutting edge” or “one of the group.” And, yes, there is a certain amount of security in clinging to what we know — even when it does not benefit us or our children. Just ask the Israelites!
But what we really need to do is keep our focus. Just ask Mary!
6 Ideas to Make Wise Curriculum Purchases
Helps for keeping materials in the role of tools.
Educating Ourselves: Where to Start?
Ways to avoid letting a particular homeschool method set your goals.
Setting the Pace
Tips for going the speed of your child.
10 Ways to Lose Sight of the Finish Line
More ways to stay focused!