Repetition is My Friend {6 Lessons Learned in 13 Years of Homeschooling}

It's coming. It seems like we've barely turned the calendar on August, but you know these last days of summer go the fastest. Are you squeezing out every last drop? Planning last minute trips and letting the kids sleep in another day?

Or are you wrung and ready for the next season?

The busy started Monday for us. Football and volleyball, and today I'm hammering away at preparations for another school year - ordering books and picking dates and praying. Lots of feverish praying.

boy in creek


I started a list of some of the things I've learned in 13 years of homeschooling. I wanted to have one for every year, to keep it all "13 Things I've Learned in 13 Years", but I've found that for the most part I just keep learning the same things, over and over.

There are just some things God wants me to know really well, I guess.

Here's a partial list:

1. Consistency is better than green grass. Or, the owner of the Better Homes and Gardens tired. I've worn myself out looking at the newest and the best and the guaranteed-to-produce-a-well-rounded-genius. There will always be something else and something more, but the best results have come from consistent love, consistent discipline, consistent time, and consistent prayer. And sometimes that just means that I consistently start over, doing what I know is needful. 

2. The best curriculum is the one you'll use. This relates to #1. I've learned that if something is too teacher-intensive and requires me to spend an extra hour each week in planning and preparing, it will sit on the shelf until I find some ambitious mother-of-one or SuperMom to buy it from me. I need simple. Simplicity = Consistency.

3. Homeschool moms are o-pin-ion-ated. I'm a homeschool mom. I've learned to shut my mouth unless asked for my opinion, for the most part. I really learned this in the two years that we spent at a Classical charter school. We attended classes 3 days a month and the rest of our schooling happened at home, but because it was a charter school and therefore publicly funded, there were some who scratched me off their Homeschool Mom list. It was good. I learned that I, too, have judged the way others choose to teach their children.

4. You are you, and I am me. For many years, I stopped reading homeschooling blogs and magazines. I grew weary of trying to keep up with the Martha Stewarts of homeschooling and the comparison I always felt. I have begun reading a few again this past year, and I realize that I have gotten to a point where I can sift the information and ideas without feeling overwhelmed or less-than. I've learned that in homeschooling, as in life, there are people who can do more and handle more and commit to more than I can. And that's okay. I'll just leach their good ideas and benefit from their efforts.

5. It's okay to say no. We are tempted to create so many opportunities for our kids - homeschooled or not. Sign up for this and volunteer for that and be sure to apply for here, and don't forget to buy such-and-such so they can go to so-and-so and learn this-or-that. Just say no. Save your sanity and your children's childhood and all of your time.

6. Jesus is not a school subject. He is the source of all knowledge and wisdom. He doesn't fit in a box or a curriculum, and we don't check Him off a list. If we handle a secular book, we handle it with the mind of Christ. When we study our Bibles, we study to find Christ. There was never a curriculum that Jesus died for, so we handle everything outside the Bible as the word of men and hold it up to the light of Christ - Christian publisher or not.

Whether it's public, private, home or any other educational path we are blessed to choose in this country, may it be for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom.

What have you learned? Have any great ideas or nuggets of wisdom I could leach? Leave them in the comments and let's encourage all the weary mamas.