If you have not looked into homeschool resources yet, beware! There is so much stuff!
From planners, to books, organizers, supplies— truly, the list can go on and on. Before you begin filling up shopping carts, here are three items that you can return to over and over again and they will always fit your decor, your homeschool method, and your family.
Always cover your homeschool year, month, and days with God’s Word and prayer. It will truly make a difference. God’s Word keeps us in Him and Him in us. It reminds us over and over again that when we are fully connected through Him “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 ESV). This is where we want our minds whether it’s a homeschool day, vacation day, or an I-don’t-remember-the-last-time-I’ve-cleaned-the-bathroom day. If we do not wake up with scripture on our minds or a praise on our lips then we are not in His Word enough.
Now, when you read the Bible either through some sort of plan or study that will be unique to you. If you are already used to waking up before the little humans, that is a great time. If there is a mandatory siesta time in your home (like ours and more on this later) that is a great time. If night time is when you do your best work that is a great time. There is no perfect time. There is the time that God has given you and it is up to you to be a good steward of this time.
Teaching From Rest
Teaching From Rest is not just a homeschool-mom handbook – it is a human being handbook. However, concerning homeschool, the book written by Sarah Mackenzie is a gentle reminder that we cannot do our best, “work heartily” for the Lord (Colossians 3:23), if we are in a state of hustle. We do our best from a state of rest. Our children learn best from a state of rest. Sarah’s book reminds us that we do not serve the books we choose for our children to learn from – the books serve us.
If you are thinking, “I don’t have time to read a book! I’m neck-deep in (insert all the home/work/family stuff here)!” I am right there with you, but Teaching From Rest is only 101 pages long and that includes the foreword and afterword. It is also an easy read yet still full of meaningful and lasting words. You will be thankful, along with your family, for gaining this knowledge.
Whether it is on paper or electronic, you are Type-A or spontaneous is your middle name – there needs to be a place (one place!) where you can keep track of what you have done or plan what you will do. Unfortunately, record-keeping of some kind is important for homeschool. In many states, it is required. If you are signed with a charter school it is good just to have a list to run-down rather than trying to remember the last 30 days. If keeping track just is not your thing, think of it as a “mother’s journal” and record all the high’s and low’s, all the “he/she got it!” or “yup, going on week 3 of long division, but here is the progress”. However, you keep track or plan it will make for some wonderful memories and help you to go from year to year, learning from your own got-it and don’t-do-that-again moments.
I love paper— so a paper planner helps me to learn and remember. I use a hefty, Charlotte Mason friendly planner from Anna Vance Paper Company. And it is the perfect planner for a somewhat rigidly organized person like myself. Anna and her family provide a one-stop for us planner fanatics with almost every type of planning page wanted/needed for a Charlotte Mason homeschooler. They are also beautiful and thoughtfully made.
Above all else
The days will be long. The days will be hard. There may be tears before noon. Remember this: you – the parent who has loved, nurtured, fed your child since the moment you brought them under your roof – you are blessed to walk through all these valleys with your child. It is a blessing, not a “have to” or a “dealing with,” but a blessing given by our God. So, above all else whether you have the three resources or not –
“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
Colossians 3:14 ESV