What Our Children Really Need from Homeschooling

By Durenda Wilson

Throughout our own childhoods, my husband and I both attended public schools, but when we started having children almost three decades ago, we both agreed that we wanted to homeschool them.

My husband’s idea of homeschooling looked different than mine. He thought we would imitate the public school at home. I had something else in mind.

What our children need from homeschooling

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An Unhurried Homeschool

I’m honestly not sure exactly when I decided that I wanted a more unhurried approach for our kids. There weren’t many books out there on homeschooling, but I had read one or two that impacted me significantly.

The emphasis was on letting our kids be kids while slowly shouldering them with more responsibilities as they were ready. This approach involved a bit of bookwork, but primarily included exposure to hands-on activities that seem to come naturally for children: playing outside, building blanket forts, baking together, working alongside each other.

I explained my thoughts to my husband and, although hesitant; he agreed to let me experiment.

Though it did make me a little nervous, it all seemed to make so much sense, and as we watched our children thrive in this natural, more gentle environment we noticed something: they were learning all.the.time. My husband was convinced, and so was I.


A Student of Your Children

One of my favorite things to do, especially in the younger years, is to be a student of our children. We can learn SO much from just watching and listening to them, and it helps guide us in what and how we teach them along the way.

We do this through conversations, on walks, trips to the grocery store and simply living life together.

Kids are curious by nature and come with a natural desire to learn. So much of the time they watch us as we model to them how to communicate, work, and live life. I’ve always said if we just taught our kids everything we DO know (instead of focusing on what we DON’T know) our kids would know A LOT!

But if I’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s that education is about so much more than knowledge. Education is discipleship.

Science of Relations

It’s rooted in relationships because we were created FOR relationships, so when we, as parents nurture our children by inviting them into what we are doing and show interest in their curiosities, teaching and learning happen naturally. But this takes TIME.

Education is a discipline—that is, the discipline of the good habits in which the child is trained. Education is a life, nourished upon ideas; and education is an atmosphere—that is, the child breathes the atmosphere emanating from his parents; that of the ideas which rule their own lives. | Charlotte Mason

In our fast-paced world, we can often be tempted to fill our schedules with all kinds of busyness when what our kids need is time and space to explore and experiment on their own and alongside us.

Solid Foundation for Learning

One of my favorite mentors, Raymond Moore, once shared what a study found was consistent (especially in the early elementary years) among geniuses:

(Homeschooling)…recipe for genius: more of family and less of school, more of parents and less of peers, more creative freedom and less formal lessons. Raymond Moore in School Can Wait

This flies in the face of the current school system. I think we all agree that the system isn’t working, so let’s give our kids what they REALLY need…a childhood.

We all want to give our children an unhurried childhood because a healthy childhood IS THE solid foundation for higher learning.

 

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About Durenda Wilson

Durenda married Darryl in 1989, and she is a mom to eight kids born less than thirteen years apart. She always considered motherhood to be the ultimate career, but she had no idea of the countless ways it would deepen and humble her. Many, many times she found herself unsure and struggling, only to discover God's strength at the end of her rope. She realized she experienced the grace she desperately needed when she took the time to slow her heart and listen for His still, small voice. Her greatest joy is helping moms discover that grace as well--and with it the courage to put their full trust in Him as they learn to hear His voice above all others.

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