WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?
- Close relationship with God – “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father- and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15
- Put God first – “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
- Trust His Word – “For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” Psalm 33:4
- Be firm in faith – “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
- Don’t conform to the ways of the world – “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
- Work for God – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” Colossians 3:23-24
- Obedience is conceivably my most learned lesson of all. It just keeps repeating. It’s because obedience is very important in homeschooling. Trust me, I had excruciatingly learned all throughout my 7 years. Imagine 7 YEARS of turmoil and hardship. (cough! cough! Hey! I’m just exaggerating! 🙂 )
- Self control is an important value. It’s important enough that Paul mentioned it in the Fruits of the Spirit. It means that you do the right thing over your impulse. It’s controlling yourself to do the right thing; not what is fun. Mom taught me to think before I act. Because every decision I make will affect my future; whether it be bad or good. It’s just like the saying “look before you leap”. It’s to prevent doing or saying things you will later regret. The same thing with tactfulness. “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.“. Think before you speak, because the tongue “pierces like a sword” . You might not know that what you said can hurt others. But if you have good intention, you need to speak the truth in love. I’m learning to control myself in difficult circumstances, and think critically before making decisions.
- Patience – The ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. There has been many instances in homeschooling where I needed patience. A LOT of patience. Especially with my brother. When he’s taking my stuff, running around and punching me in the stomach and controlling him without raising my voice. Man! That is hard.
- Humility – It is the opposite of pride. It’s the thinking that your are not superior to anyone else. “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” That the talents I have are not mine but are gifts given by God. Every praise I receive should be directed to Him. And every time I use my gifts, it should be done to glorify Him.
- Responsibility – Every decision I make, has a relative consequence. If I choose to procrastinate in doing my activities, I will be responsible for whatever the consequences it will bring. Detainment, extra activities, less free time, or even a spank (no more spanking since my tween years). Homeschooling taught me about being responsible for my actions.
- Independence – In homeschooling, since I have a little brother, I need to stop relying on my mom and be independent. I should do things on my own without anyone telling me what to do.
- Confidence and Courage – My mom usually points out of my being silent. Even if I see other’s are doing wrong I don’t bother to tell them the truth. I am being too tactful. I don’t have the courage to say other people’s mistake feeling that I might offend them. Still, I’m a work in progress in this area.
- Respect – I understood that I should treat others with respect, especially women. Even though they are created after men, it doesn’t mean that they should be looked down upon. Women bore the next generation. It’s enough reason, for them to get respected.
- Honesty & Integrity are the best policy. My mom used to say “Hurt me with the truth, but don’t comfort me with your lies.” It’s true. Telling the truth should always be the choice no matter how painful it is. I also realize to do what is right even when no one’s looking. It’s called integrity.
3. Life skills are skills you need to survive. It includes household chores like mopping, washing the dishes, cooking food and others. Some are a bit more complicated like chicken raising or planting. Without it, I wouldn’t thrive outside alone when the right time comes for me to fly and widen my horizon. I’m blessed because my Mom is equipping and preparing me how to take care of my self, cook my own food, commute, do household chores, set my goals, manage my time and money properly.
As I told you, no homeschooling is perfect. Students, as well as teachers, will, at some point struggle. I, on my experience, struggled greatly.
- Disobedience – My number one struggle in my homeschooling life is disobedience. I had trouble with obeying right away. I usually delayed when somebody tells me to do something. My parents always need to remind me many times before I obey them. I got into all sorts of trouble because of it. My grades went low and I lost my privileges.
- Procrastination – Another major struggle is my tendency to procrastinate. I tend to delay, or put off doing something, mostly activities. Because of this, I mainly spend the rest of my days and days off doing left over activities. Most of the time I spend fantasizing of things I will do instead of doing them. “He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.” Proverbs 12:11
- Pride – I have trouble with having a teachable heart. It is hard for me to accept that I am wrong and that I need help. As said in the Bible, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
- Distraction/Temptation – I am the kind of person that looses his focus easily. I get distracted when the T.V. is on, or when my cousins come in for a chat. I get tempted to take long frequent breaks and search unrelated things despite having a lot of activities. This prolongs my activity time and lessen my free time.
- Irresponsibility – Irresponsibility is the lack of a sense of responsibility. I often forget, more like avoid, my duties and responsibilities. This results in detainment or more work.
WHAT HOMESCHOOLING PARENTS (I THINK) SHOULD KNOW
- First of all, you better put God in the center. We pray before we start and end homeschooling with prayer. We left no conversation without discussing God in it. By doing this, our homeschooling definitely succeeded, no matter how hard it is. (“Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-8)
- Don’t let the curriculum restrict your child’s freedom to learn. My mom lets me explore, around and enjoy my freedom. If I want to learn about chickens, black holes, or intelligence agencies, my Mom lets me research about it. The more related to the lesson the better.
- Practice obedience with your kids. Obedience is the foundation of homeschooling. Without obedience Mom will have a hard time teaching me and my brother. So Mom practices it by training us to follow right away.
- Exercise openness with your kids. I should be honest with Mom about my feelings or opinions about things. In this way I will not get used to keeping secrets. My parents made a tradition of taking turns to express our feelings during our devotions or family discussions. So I get used to telling them what and how I feel about a certain thing.
- Expand. My mom encouraged me to learn more. To discover more things. To expand my curiosity. To not stick to what I know, but to have the thirst for knowledge (not too much). And to use my imagination.
- Lessen with the gadgets. We are only allowed to use the gadget when we are outside the home (doing some errand or waiting for the doctor) with time limit and not all games are allowed (Minecraft & for doodling only). But when at home, the I-pad and computer are used for homeschooling (like research) purposes only.
- Discipline them. No matter how I abhor it, discipline is needed. It keeps me away from danger. Because sometimes, the shepherd needs to impair his sheep to keep them from wandering far from his protection. As the Bible says: “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24.
- Teach your kid(s) independence. Mom gave me chores around the house so that when I leave home, I can survive. I won’t be dependent on her thus, do the things I can do on my own. She taught me to wash the dishes, mop the floor, prepare my things or do simple and practical things.
- Know your son’s/daughter’s learning style. It made Mom’s job a lot easier. Because when she came to know my learning style it maximized my learning. My mom made me take down notes, copy work, notebooking and the likes because she knew that I’m a visual learner.