this course taken?
Right in the comfort of your own home! It is a
correspondence course, so you do not go anywhere to take it
~ as in the course is not presented in a classroom or conference
setting. You purchase the materials ~ which is most
of the cost (and this can be just a few at a time) ~ and do all of
the course work at home! ... or at Starbucks...
or at the library... or in a quiet room at your church...
or wherever you want!
What does the course consist of? Where is
it described in full?
The full description is presented
Homeschool Course Description
page. You are welcome
to pop on over there to take a look at
that, but you'll want to thoroughly read this whole
page too at some point soon, and before signing up for the
course, as many questions that will form
in your mind as you look through the
Homeschool Course Description
page will be answered herein.
Plus what you read here will make that page make more
(It's kind of a "which came first, the chicken or the egg?"
But having at least a basic idea of what's
will give you a
point of reference for what I'm talking about here on this page in
all the Q's and A's!
Good grief! Why is there so much to read on this
Because there's that much to say!
Consider it reading a booklet, not just a web page.
If, after reading all this and
taking the course, you can tell me what, on this page, I could take out, I will
gladly do so! (Assuming I agree!)
Every single word is here because it's something I felt you needed to
know ~ things that will help you know whether or not this course is for you ~ or
in answer to what others have actually asked, or indicated they needed to know
because of something that was asked or said.
For example... One lady wanted a
refund on the part of the course she had purchased (the $15 registration fee)
because she didn't realize she would need to purchase materials for the rest of
the course. ... Another woman was angry at me because
she had not done the responses to the resources, and felt I should give her a
Certificate of Completion anyway! ... I had actually fully explained
both of these aspects, but they had simply chosen to not read them ~ because
they just didn't have time; they wanted to get the course done quickly and
out of the way. So, "note to (your)self": If you are wanting a
get-it-done-quickly course, THIS IS NOT THE ONE FOR YOU. This course
is for those wanting to bring about change in their hearts, homes, and
relationships, who are truly seeking the fruit and blessings God has in mind ~
and in store ~ for them during these homeschooling years.
[Especially for Washingtonians:]
It's not a quick fix or solution to the need to get qualified ~ in Washington
State, in particular, either. As you'll see, I provide a Certificate of
Participation for those circumstances it may be of help, but at this point, in
we are not required to state how we qualify to homeschool, so if your
Declaration of Intent to Homeschool form requires that, please know that it is
not actually required by law to give that information. And it is
best that you not give it. Instead send in this form that is
actually the one set forth by Washington's Homeschool Law.
And a final note regarding the "ton of
stuff to read" aspect, consider being the one who had to think it up, explain
it, organize it, format it, figure out what to put on which
pages, decorate it, create all the hyperlinks, connect with
sponsoring and providing resources, and upload everything (many
times over as edits and changes were made) ~ in addition to just designing the
whole course itself. I have given this, literally hundreds of hours.
Yes, hundreds. There isn't even one little punctuation
mark, margin, or letter in all this material that didn't get here by my
"putting" it there. ... And all you have to do is
Who is the instructor or creator of the course?
Me. Barb Shelton. I created it, though I only wrote
part of it. So, by "creating" it, I mean that I designed
the overall format, decided on what all to include in it, and
wrote/created all that is part of it from an organizational end ~
like this page you're reading, the Course Description page, the
sign-up form, the Course Syllabus, the Certificates of
Participation and Completion, and several of the workshops, books
and CD's that you'll find in the course. (You'll see
which things I wrote, and which others wrote in the Course
Description, linked above.) Plus I approached the sponsoring
institution to request that they sponsor it.
And if you're wondering what business ~ or qualifications ~ I have
to teach/create/offer such a course, here's an intro to me:
to Barb Shelton - the creator of Homeschool Oasis' Homeschool
Course for Parents.
(And if you think of anything else I should add, please
email me and let me know!
... However, if one of your questions is what I have in the
way of college, I do not plan to answer that. My answer is
contained in this section that you'll
find on this page.)
will the Course cost?
The total prices vary according to the ages of
If you have children in both age groups (11 and under, and 12 and
up), you'll be getting everything,
which will come to about*
If you have children only in the 11-and-under group, it
will cost about $291.
If you have children only in the 12-and-over group, it will
cost about $321.
(If you end up figuring it out yourself and come up with a
different figure, please let me know!!! The math end of
things is not my fortι.
One variable is the type of
Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+U+la you get. The e-book is $15,
included here; the hard-copy book, in best condition, is $30. So
the course would cost $15 more if
have a 12-year-old or up and you get that. (All of our prices include
Short answer: No, it's
actually not. ... Long answer:
Let's jump in and look at this money aspect...
Most of what you're paying for is materials, so most of what you
are paying is for stuff you are going to
keep ~ material that you will use
and glean from over and over throughout your homeschooling years.
You will be building a library that will be of value to you ~
and to your high schoolers, as they use them in their high
school studies. And someday your grown-up children
will use them as they homeschool their children (your
grandchildren!) This is actually ~ joyfully ~
coming to pass in our family even as I type!!!
Plus... what you are purchasing in this course is actually going to be a
part of what you will need to homeschool your children, from
tiny tots all the way through high school! You will be
adding in and using other books you have around home or that you
find and want to buy, of course, but this is everything you need
to set up, organize, and document your overall homeschool
experience, plus many many real-life, non-burdensome learning
activities for your kids. More specifically, you will be
able to use much of it with your high schoolers as part of their
The "homeschool norm" is to buy curriculum ~ which can easily (in fact
minimally) cost $150 per subject per child. Once you finish
this course, you will realize that you do not actually need much formal
curriculum, except here 'n' there if you so choose to include it.
So you will actually be saving MUCH more money in the
long-run than what you'll
spend on this course.
Here are a few thoughts and ideas that I hope will
You may be able to find some of the resources "used" at a homeschool store.
Keep in mind, though, that buying directly from the authors actually
helps to support their ongoing ministries and keep them going.
Buying used curriculum just reimburses someone in part for what they
paid for it.
Ask any homeschooling friends (or even mere acquaintances) if they have any of
the resources for the course that you could borrow from them. (Many of the
items are new products, though, so this isn't very likely for quite a few
Consider this verse: "Why spend your money on foodstuffs that don't give you strength? Why pay for
groceries that don't do you any good? Listen and I'll tell you where to get good
food that fattens up the soul. Come to Me with your ears wide open. Listen, for
the life of your soul is at stake." (Isaiah 55:2) This course is
FOOD for your mind, heart and soul. Is
it possible that God may have already provided for you to take the
course, but you've spent it on other "(food)stuff" ~ curriculum
~ "that won't do you any good"? Many moms have told me they wish they
could get my stuff, but they just can't afford it ~ because they just spent
hundreds of dollars on text/workbooks.
If so, consider selling some of your curriculum
text/workbooks, and then refrain
from buying anything new until you're done with this course. As I said, what you would pay (or
have paid) for even just one or two
subjects for just one child is typically enough to pay for the entire
course! (Several moms told me they did this!) The
benefit your entire family will reap from the money being spent on truly
educating Mom first and freeing her up will far exceed any academic benefit of the
text/workbooks. It's much more important for Mom to get her foundation
established and her vision set! Then, if you still feel you need some
textbooks later, God will provide.
believing that the verse "My God shall supply all my needs
according to His riches in Christ Jesus" applies to you TODAY!
I assure you that indeed it
does apply to you, and probably even
more than it ever has because this arena is so dear to God's heart, and
is so foundational and
pivotal for the future of your
family! I'm not saying that curriculum has no value, nor that I have all
the answers that only the Lord can give you! But I am saying that if you
come to the Lord with your ears wide open, He will provide for your true
Ask God to provide in unexpected ways. We once got an order for a large
number of books with this note: "Praise God! My husband was laid off
and my parents gave us an early inheritance!"
Since this is a season, you don't need to get everything at once; you can
(and should) take your time. Perhaps set aside a certain amount a month to
spend on this ~ how much depends on how long you want to take to get through it.
Since all of our prices include shipping, and since all Lifestyle of Learning
products are digital, you won't be paying extra (through those two) by placing
orders in smaller increments.
If this course is something
God is calling you to do, then it is a need, which it says in the Word He
will provide. So
look at it from that angle, and see what creative and even miraculous things He
will do to provide the resources for this need as well.
Much that's contained in this course is actually being given to you
free of charge. Whether you sign up to take the course and receive a
Certificate of Completion, or not, much herein will not cost you one
cent. There are many
additional resources that will take you much further and
deeper, and that you'll need to purchase if you want a Certificate
of Completion, but you can go leaps and bounds with just the free
"The servant is worthy of his hire." We LOVE what we do and are
delighted to serve homeschoolers! We just need you to be willing pay for
the goods you are receiving that we have put a price on.
only way the expenses to create and maintain our website, office
expenses, and continuing to print our materials is through sales via
our online catalog. I have to get a new computer every three
or four years because I actually wear them out! That's
just the money end. I have put in (literally) thousands of hours creating the
website and CD's, and writing the books and articles.
down to this: What are your priorities? And your beliefs about education are going to
totally determine what your priorities are.
Should I do
this with someone else ~ or alone?
facing something as big and as potentially unsettling as this "season," it's
natural to want to have someone do it with you. But God may be asking you to
embark on this alone. In my finite wisdom I can see a
few reasons why...
One is that He wants you ALL to Himself! That's simple, yet profound. So you're not really alone
in this at all! You will get
to know God in a much deeper way than you have ever known Him before!
There's no reason to be afraid of this ~ other than a healthy "fear of the Lord."
God is totally approachable. He wants and even invites us to
"approach His throne with confidence"! This is His idea; not ours!
God often calls us
away ~ even (if not especially) from our dear
friends, and/or from others walking the same path, to better able to
hear His voice ourselves.
desire is for us to be free to respond
to what He shows us along the way with no concern for the thoughts of others ~
He wants it to be just between you and Him.
Another reason is that He wants you to learn to hear His voice, to go to Him
with your questions and confusion, and to not hear ~ or rely on ~ any other
voices. Marilyn Howshall's wonderful book called Secrets of
Solitude (part of the course) will be helping you get this concept rooted
deeper in your heart. I Will Be Found By You and
Spiritual Discernment and the Mind of Christ
both by Francis Frangipane are also excellent.
My encouragement is that, "if today you hear His voice ~ calling you to
homeschool, calling you to enter a "season
of re-education and renewing of the mind," calling you to mend
relationships within your home ~ or whatever you hear Him
calling you to do ~ or to not do ~ don't "confer with flesh and blood";
will find very few homeschoolers who are willing to go down this path of doing
such a season. Most are content to get their curriculum and call it good.
Though things are seldom truly good in their homes if that is all they
do. We can't ignore the Lord's priorities and still bear His good fruit.
That said, I am providing a Facebook forum for those taking the course.
However, because of "all the above," there will only be minimal
discussion there. One of the main reasons I'm setting it up is to have a
place to give you updates on the course, which will inevitably come.
If God leads you to connect with others
(already in your life), that's fine! I just wanted to encourage you to
jump in without feeling a desperate need for anyone other than the Lord Himself.
Can my husband or someone who's going to be helping
with our homeschooling take this course with me ~ and not pay?
This is a different situation from the one above. In this
case there's another person who will actually be helping or
working with you in the education of your children. I will
answer this one option at a time:
Husband - Yes. I'm
happy to let you and your husband take the course without
paying any extra! And if he does all the course work ~
which needs to be documented in his own Course Syllabus ~
then he can have his own Certificate of Completion at no
extra charge. But again, ALL reading, listening to
CD's, and Course Syllabus work needs to be done and
documented separately from yours.
Your teen-age kids - Yes. I'm happy to let your
kids take the course without paying any extra! And if
he or she does all the course work ~ which needs to be
documented in his/her own Course Syllabus ~ then he/she can
have his/her own Certificate of Completion at no extra
charge. But again, ALL reading, listening to CD's, and
Course Syllabus work needs to be done and documented
separately from yours.
Your Mom or a relative who's going to be helping with
homeschooling, who doesn't have children of their own
they'll also be homeschooling - Yes. I'm happy to let
this person take the course without paying any extra! And if
she does all the course work ~ which needs to be documented
in her own Course Syllabus ~ then she can have her own
Certificate of Completion at no extra charge. But
again, ALL reading, listening to CD's, and Course Syllabus
work needs to be done and documented separately from yours.
(In Washington: This person does not need to
have their own Certificate of Completion to help you since
you, as a parent, are "causing your child to receive
A friend or relative, helping with your homeschooling or
not, who has children of their own they'll be homeschooling
- No. They need to purchase the course on their own.
How do I
know which resources to get?
how I have broken it down:
All resources with a blank
next to them are required for everyone to read/do, no matter what
the ages of your children, tiny tots through high school.
This happens to be most of the course.
If you have children
in only one of the two categories ~ "age 11 and under" or
"age 12 and up" ~ you will see a set of 2 boxes ~ one
checked, one not ~ connected to any resources that only those
in one age category or the other ~ are required to get or
read. So, for example, a parent with older children
only, age 12 and up, none 11 or younger, would need to
purchase, for example, the High School How-to Workshop Duo,
whereas a parent with younger children (age 11 and under)
would not. Conversely, if you have only
younger children, age 11 and under, you would need to
Learning & Organizing Tools for Younger Children," whereas a parent who only
has children age 12 and up would not. These
differences are clearly presented this way:
age 11 & UNDER ...
for age 12 & UP
Or if the
converse is true, then it looks like this:
for age 11 & UNDER ...
for age 12 & UP
And if you have children in both age
categories, you would obviously need to get all the resources.
(Thus the higher price ~ explained in the
will it cost? section
on this page.)
than the few, above-explained exceptions, everyone
purchases and/or reads the rest of the materials.
What if I don't feel
I need a particular resource, or want to
I have on hand or would prefer
It would take me more time to check out
substitute resource(s) than I am able to give. There is just not any way
that I would be able to know whether or
not the many people taking the course ~ or one person in particular ~ truly need
a certain resource or not. If you want
Certificate of Completion from me, which states that you completed
this particular course ~ meaning all of it, in its
entirety ~ you simply need to take the (whole) course.
So I need to request ~ and
I do this very kindly and gently ~ that you not even ask me to consider and
allow a substitution.
Where do I get all the resources?
First, there are many articles that are completely free.
You'll find these here at Homeschool Oasis, many others at
Lifestyle of Learning websites, and others at various websites.
Every one of them has a link in it taking you to the place it is
residing. (And if a link doesn't work, see the next
The resources you'll purchase for the
course are at three online resource locations: Homeschool
Oasis (us), the Lifestyle of LearningTM ministry, and a few
are at Arrow Publications. (Banners below.) Links are
provided for all of these right within each of the resource titles.
(This is us!)
Why do I have to read high school material if my
The saying "Without
vision, people perish" is as keenly true for
homeschooling as it is for anything! I have seen soooooooooo many people bale out of homeschooling when their
child(ren) reached high school, and, with few
exceptions, it was for "lack of vision." Now
~ when your children are younger ~ is
the time to develop that vision, and not just in you, but in your
children as well! (And if already have high
schoolers, then you need to get very focused and get "visionated"
If you are homeschooling only as
a "stop gap" measure because you/they have had problems in the
public school setting, then you are not doing it for the right
reasons. And that's one thing that I'm hoping will change as
you proceed through this course. Again, the answer is to get
There is SOOO much more to
this than simply escaping the troubles of the system. Or
perhaps you are already convinced that homeschooling is the way
for your family ~ all the way through ~ and that's good. But
I can assure you that if you are not well-founded in the why's of
it, you will easily flounder and lose your commitment because of
all the pulling the world will do on you! You need to be
totally solid in this, and now is the time to do so; not once
you're there. And not once you've gotten caught up in a load
of curriculum or entangled with a burdensome program ~ even though
these will give you a temporary, though not true, sense of
security. Plus, getting your vision established (root
word: "stable") now will be greatly instrumental in you being able
to pass this along to your children, and eSTABLish them in
this vision as well.
I'm not requiring you to
read any of the how-to materials for high school if your children are
younger, but there is much I want you to read long ~ many years ~
before you get close to actually doing high school.
I start with the materials?
asking the Lord that question. He wants to lead you through
this as much as He wants to lead you through anything else in your life. (If not more
so on this!)
You might want to read through all
(or several) of
the resource write-ups and, as you do, ask God to highlight the one you are
most in need of right now, at this point in your life. Right now.
Where you and and your kids are at. Then wait on Him.
probably not hear an audible voice, but as you look down through
all the resources, I believe something will stand out to you ~ no
big deal; your heart will be drawn to something. This is
very likely the place the Lord would have you start.
a few tips:
Even if you don't sense
anything, know that there's no "best" or "right
or wrong" place to start.
Don't just assume it would be best to start at
the beginning of the list or syllabus and just go down or through it, unless
that actually seems right to you.
God may want
one person to start by getting their home in order, as in better organized,
either physically or in their daily routine, because He knows they (or their
spouse) will have a much easier time receiving and learning everything else when
their environment is in (better) order. Or...
He may start
another in the area of relationships with their children because that, in His
eyes, is most desperately in need of attention. That would make sense
because that this area is at the very heart of "true education"!
If you live in a "hot" states
regarding the law, you may want to start by dealing with some of the legal
issues involved in homeschooling. You may want to start with this CD:
Caesar: Obeying the Governing Authorities and/or by
reading this article:
Obeying the Law, Testing, and Qualifying to Homeschool - (Both
are by me, Barb Shelton.)
Or you may feel led to
begin with a resource of a seemingly ~ or overtly ~ more spiritual nature.
However, you will find as you go along that this thing called
"homeschooling" is really not separate from your "spiritual
life" at all, but rather is a direct outflow from it!
So there will be many seemingly "non-spiritual" things that
will start taking on a more spiritual "feel." For
example, getting your home in better order may be the most
"spiritual" thing you can do! Maybe activities of that
sort have never heretofore been a joyful thing for you.
As you learn to hear from the Lord, and walk with Him,
taking on concerns that are on HIS heart for you, to your joy, you
will find joy start to bubble up in the doing of them, even
if the activity, book, or focus has not, up until now,
seemed to be particularly "spiritual" in nature!
To God, everything is spiritual!!! So the
sooner we can de-segregate the activities of our lives, the
more we'll start seeing as He does, and experience more
freedom and joy in the mundanities of Life!
order should I do the course?
be sure you have read the section directly above. (You
shouldn't be skipping anything on this page anyway!) Then, be assured
you read ~ in whatever order ~ is going to do you any harm or set
you back in any way! Every aspect of this course will only open
your eyes further, expand your thinking, and all of it, in
one way or another, will draw you closer to the Lord.
So if nothing stands out to you, just start at the top and
work your way down! (Or at the bottom, and work your way up!
) Whatever you do, you can't go wrong!
Feel free if, as you proceed, you want to skip around and do it in
a different order! It's impossible for me (or anyone) to
give you a specific order in which to proceed through the
Having put much thought and prayer into this course and how people should proceed through
it, and in what order, I have come to the brilliant conclusion that there is just no
"one best order" in which to do it because the Holy Spirit is doing
different things in different lives. It would be like me coming to
saying "I am wanting to make some major changes in my home; I need to
clean, rearrange, do some repairs, get rid of some old furniture (and get some
new), and do some major remodeling; so which should I do first and in what
order?" You couldn't possibly give me an answer to that because you
don't know what in my house is most in need of what, what's working and what isn't, or what needs remodeling and what's
fine as it is.
All I want
the only thing that will work is for each one to pray, and
then follow God in what they think He is saying. It may very well be
that He will use this course as an exercise in learning how to hear
areas I'm still growing in, and will until
the day I go to be with Him in Heaven where all things will finally make sense!
going to be different for everyone, and there
is no right or wrong way to proceed! I do know it
will be difficult to proceed peacefully through a season of renewing of the mind
when things are not functioning smoothly around you or if you are not at peace
inside. You may need to get some things right with God and/or within your
home and family relationships. And if you don't know how, many of the
resources in this course will deal with these very
allow yourself to get "stuck" at any point! If you find that one
resource you start on isn't really
"speaking" to you, that you're not quite "connecting" with its message, feel free to put it down and come back to it later. It will make more
sense later, when you're at a different place. Trust the Holy Spirit to
lead you, even if you feel very incompetent about hearing Him. Plus, realize
~ and accept ~ that you'll never reach "perfection" or a perfect time to do
this, so don't wait for either! We procrastinators and frustrated
perfectionists can easily get thrown and kept off-course, can't we?!? And
those of us for whom it is difficult to make a decision (you should see me at a
restaurant!) can too easily be prevented from even starting! Give yourself
maybe a week or two to get a handle on a few "external" things, need be, and
then, by the grace of God, move into the "meat" of the season. As they
saying goes: Just DO it!
How long should
this course/season take?
Good question. Again, no one can give you a
answer as it's really up to you. One thing I do know is that it
won't be a matter of mere "days" or even just a few
weeks. This is a season
you are entering.
If you have babies or
plan on it taking longer to go through this season
than you might like
it to. But rest in the fact that God knows your needs, your ability to
read and absorb, and
your time availability.
The more deeply
embedded your roots ~ your heart and your thinking ~ are in "the system," the longer it
will take for everything to "sink
in," unless you're unusually good at "letting go" quickly. I'm not, so it
took longer for me. Plus I didn't even know I was in such a season!
So, of course, no one gave me a roadmap of resources to take in, as what I am giving
you here, because most of the resources weren't even written back then!
Most of the authors were still learning, growing, and experiencing ~ probably even mudding
through and figuring out ~ everything themselves!
I want to share with you the thoughts of one mom who went through this
course/season. It is obvious that God was doing a very good work in her!
wanted to say how much I am thankful to the Lord for your ministry. My husband
and I had such a different view of homeschooling when we decided to do it. I
have been reading Wisdoms Way of Learning and [much of your material] and I can
feel a slow metamorphosis happening in my heart. What started out as just a
thought that homeschooling would be a cheaper and "probably" better choice for
our family, has turned into conviction and a passion in my heart to raise my
children in the admonition of the Lord, and the choice to homeschool even if we
had the money for private school. There is so much information to take in, it's
a slow process, but a very exciting one. There have been moments of sadness over
how off-track our parenting and home have been, but the Lord is full of grace
and mercy, He is a patient loving teacher. May God bless you and keep you.
~ Chris M.
I love her
second-to-last sentence: "There
have been moments of sadness over how off-track our parenting and home have been,
but the Lord is full of grace and mercy, He is a patient loving teacher."
People don't usually even
realize just how deeply embedded their roots are in "the system"
until this process begins! And as Chris said, it can be a slow
process. So don't try to speed it up, but at the same time, don't allow
the discomfort you'll most likely feel slow you down either. Just plow
through it with the grace and tenacity the Holy Spirit will give you!
you proceed through this season, you may feel anger or fear rising up, and/or a
churning unrest, confusion, or a combination
of these. But please do not allow the enemy to rip you off at this point by
believing the lies he will feed you that you don't need or have time for this.
That's where the enemy tries to ensnare, frustrate, and overwhelm many moms because
of how pressed for time most of us are! This is especially true if you
have younger and/or many children, or if you have many commitments outside your
Ask God to show you the way that will work for
you ~ how much time to spend where. He alone knows your needs, and "the whole
picture" of your life. You certainly don't want to neglect your family or your home. But the
problem is that, in the name of not neglecting their families in the
areas of home life, many end up unintentionally neglecting them in the area of "soul life" overburdening their children with
a supposedly (but not truly) "educational" burden that Jesus never recommended or intended,
robbing them of the delight in learning and joy of life! I assure you that
this will take much more time to UN-do than it would have taken you to
put yourself through a "season of re-education" now ~ in which your mind and
heart will get renewed, and your children thus directed in the way the Lord
wants to take them rather than having to spend a lot of time
to un-do and re-do!
As much as you may want to try setting a "finish
line" for this season, either for your own sake, or your family's, at this point
you really have no idea how long it will take. So it would only
be a wild guess at best; a false hope at worst. You might give them a minimum
such as: "We can plan on this going on for at least 3 (or 6 or 10) months"
~ depending on how focused you want to be on it, how much help they are willing
to give, and how fast of a reader you are. Remember, there are many
I do hope you will let it take longer than just 2
or 3 months to go through the
course. It's a season, and you will get much more out of it if
you take your time doing it. (Look for more in-depth coverage of this topic
further down this page.) So let it take as much as it needs to take.
It will go deeper if you are applying it to your real life, not merely reading
about it. As you
go, and as you grow, you will find yourself walking in more and more wisdom, grace, understanding, and
freedom ~ which can't be forced. Let God lead, and follow
Him through this.
if a link doesn't work? (Does
that mean I don't have
to read or buy
Ha ha, very funny. I know
you didn't actually ask that last question, but I'll answer it
anyway, cuz you probably (maybe?) wanted to...
There will most
likely be a link here and there that doesn't work.
Pleeeeease do not just ignore it! I do not have time to go
through the hundreds of links all the time to find out which ones
are and aren't working; I am relying on you to let me know
when you find a broken one. And when you do, what I need you
to do is email me
let me know know about it. Tell me the name of the page it's
on, and where the link is supposed to go. Giving me the
actual URL (web address) of the broken link makes it MUCH easier
for me, so if you can copy and paste that into your email to me, I
will feel very very loved by you and will give you a huge hug next
time I see you!!!
know what I'm doing, I just don't qualify any other way,
and I don't want to have to take a whole course to get qualified.
One mom basically wanted me to give
her a stamp of approval to homeschool without taking the course.
I will share what she actually said to me, and will interject my
responses as we go:
"I don't believe I need all this material. I am not trying to
be rude or harsh or anything close to that. What I am getting to is I just want
the right to teach them and I don't believe at this point a lot of these books
will help me get there. What I want are the books that the law requires for me
to get this certificate."
The first thing I want to address is her statement that "I just
want the right to teach them." ... She already has that
right. And, at least at this point in time, most
states in the U.S. protect that right. Note I did not say
that the states give us that right. It's not theirs
to give. This might seem like a technicality, and this woman
might even realize the same, but I want to make sure it's
understood by all ~ as a foundational truth to what we're doing
Next I want to address this
just don't qualify any other way, and I don't want to have to take
a whole course to get qualified."
... First, God has already deemed her qualified, but that's
not really what she's saying. In other words, she wants me
to give her a stamp of approval without doing what's required.
And it's pretty clear that she feels I owe this to her. So I
will address this by simply saying this... The main purpose and intent of creating my
course was not to certify parents, but to deeply educate them as
to what "true education" is and how to seek God for the particular
application of His truths for their precious families.
Next I will address this statement: "What
I want are the books that the law requires for me to get this
certificate." ... There is no particular set of
requirements from the state; the state requires only that an instructor put
together what they see as being a good course, and then have that sponsored by
~ or at ~ a "post-secondary" (after high school) institution. That is what I did. Having homeschooled for 24 years, these are the resources I feel the Lord has led me to
include in this course. If you don't agree, there are several other
courses you can take instead,
a list of which can be found
I'm not going to argue ~ or get into a discussion about what
should and shouldn't be included in a (my) course. If you
were to create a course, it might look entirely different.
This is what I have come up with as being needful and helpful.
If I'm going
to give a person a "Certification of Completion," I need to know that they
have completed everything that *I* have set forth as being needful for truly home
educating their children and renewing our minds in the arena of education.
I do understand what this mom is saying, but there is just not
any way I can tailor the course for each individual. ...
This mom continues:
"I am myself in a Bible College
for the past year and have read not only the Bible (5 times), but
many books concerning the study of the Word, and now I am in a online College
Course as well.
I believe with all my heart that it is Christ that is the Center
of all things. I have studied the Word
and know what the Father wants of me. I have no problems with my
faith or my walk with the Lord.
And know quite well that my life and how I live it will teach my
grandkids the value and morals
they need. The Lord has gave me a revelation to my salvation and
took it one step further at the
cross my salvation was there but so was my old self nailed to that
cross. I must always be in step
Spirit to be able to keep in step with the Spirit. I teach my
children about The Father and
It sounds like this woman is already on a good track and has a
lot figured out, but I need to back up... Many people are
well-versed in Bible knowledge, have much wisdom, knowledge of the
Word, and are tremendous prayer warriors, yet they have made no
connection (whatsoever) between that and applying it to their
relationships within their family or to how they view education.
What my course will do is help people connect their spiritual walk
and with their understanding of education. Those already walking
closely with the Lord will gain as much from this course as one
who is not. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing which
aspects a person has understanding in, and which they don't.
So all of it needs to be done by anyone who takes my course.
I believe that even the parts you don't feel you need would be a
tremendous blessing and edification to you as they are presented
in a different light, and you will be encouraged to apply all this
to the area of education.
"If all of this [material] is required, there are other courses that I can go to."
First, yes, it is all required. And second, it might
very well be that another course would be a better option for this
gal. People have
differing needs, priorities, and focuses. My purpose in
creating the course that I offer was not just to "qualify" people
to homeschool under the state. You are welcome to find another course,
a list of which can be found
"I believe it is our God-given right to teach our children, but I
also know that I must follow the laws of the land. That is why I
want to know what I need only to get certified by the state. I see that you have a program
that goes a bit further than that, and was wanting just what it will take for
the state part. I find that some of this is to do with my personal
relationship to the Lord and nothing to do with what the state is
wanting from me."
First there are no separate parts; it's just all one
course, and the state has nothing to do with the particulars. Again, the main purpose and intent of creating my
course was not to certify parents, but to deeply educate them as
to what "true education" is and how to seek God for the particular
application of His truths for their precious families.
I really need to take this course, but
can't afford it. Can I take it for free?
or can you figure out a way to make it cheaper for me?
The underlying assumption here is
that, because someone has a need, someone else (in this case, me) is obligated to
fulfill it. Here is an excerpt from "The Cost of
Ministry-Focused Business" by Marilyn Howshall of Lifestyle
It is common for Christians to
believe that Christian material ought to be free or very cheap
simply because people need it and want it. If we look at this
assumption logically, it means that someone having a need or a
want constitutes an obligation that someone else provide it. This
thinking is simply not true. There may be many things we both need
and want, but that does not mean that it is right to expect
someone else to provide it for us at their expense. Indeed we have
many needs and wants for this ministry, yet we are not expecting
anyone to provide them to us at their expense.
Indeed the Gospel is free. Anyone is free to study, learn, grow,
and press into the Lord
The materials we produce and the
hundreds of hours and dollars it
costs us to produce them are
not free, and cannot be free."
You can read Marilyn's full explanation of the philosophy
this page. Their ministry, by its nature, has different
elements to it, and operates differently from ours in some ways,
however, the basic truths in what she says above are universal,
and that's what I'm hoping anyone in need of some new thinking in
this area will get.
really need to take this (or any) homeschool course?
(The following was excerpted from my article "Help! I Need to Homeschool, But
Have NO Idea Where to Start!" here at my website. So if you've already carefully
read that, you can just skip this section.)
Homeschooling will be a waste of
much precious time and resources, not to mention (but I will) ineffective if you approach it with
a closed heart and mind. It is imperative that you be willing to shed old ways of thinking. Until you do, God will not be free to breathe His new life into
your life. I assure you, though, that not only is it well-worth
the effort, it is the only way out of any frustrating situation you are
currently in with your children. I know families who have made drastic
and wonderful changes that resulted in transformed children and parents,
but they had to start with this heart-and-mind-set.
is about growing the whole child: his mind, yes, but also and primarily
his heart, soul, and
character -- these are his real, most fundamental "true educational" needs. If left
unattended, or way down at the bottom of your priority list ~ academics usually
being right at the top ~ all other efforts are in
Here are a few of the
hundreds of comments I have received from homeschool moms:
thank you enough for getting me
onto a different (from the traditional, binding,
burning-out norm) path of homeschooling!"
"I have avoided so many pitfalls that my
are now stuck in and are
having a hard time getting out of!"
"What a joy and relief to have started out
on the peaceful,
tailor-made path God has for my family!"
This could be
one of the most exciting adventures you have ever undertaken! God's ways
are not easy, but they are more rewarding and joyous than we can possibly
imagine! This course will help you get onto a path of finding out what
this means for you and your family.
course the "only" or the "best" way to do a homeschool
Of course I'd like to
think it's the best, not from a prideful angle, but because it's
how I believe the Lord led me to create it, and I know the freedom and fruit it
will (therefore) bring to those who truly enter in and let the truths presented
in it take root in their lives.
herein didn't originate with me. I only wrote some of the resources; the
majority are by others. And then as for the idea of such a season ~ it's been amazing how many people have
told me how similarly the Lord has led them. God's heart is always
to lead us out of ways that are binding us, preventing us from walking in
and enjoying what He has in store for us, and into ways that will bring us more
joy and freedom than we thought possible.
I was spending so much of my time hand-feeding my ideas, a few at a time, to moms, that I
decided to gather it all up into a "whole picture" framework.
What pushed me into put it into a more "formal" format is that here in Washington state, one of the ways to "qualify" to homeschool is to take a course that is sponsored by a post-secondary institution.
I must insert here that I personally don't feel that parents truly need to "qualify"
to homeschool ~ God already qualified them ~ and I have written about this (and
more) in an in-depth article called "Obeying the Governing Authorities, Testing, and Qualifying to
Homeschool." It's pretty radical, but really, it's "radical" only because our culture has veered
far from God's purposes for and ways of "educating."
course is what I see as being good and needful from what I have observed and
experienced ~ and lacked ~ in my early years of homeschooling. The Lord
leads His children individually, but I could get only so "individual" in my
suggestions for this course because I'm ministering to many moms with many
different needs. But if you draw close to the Lord, He will minister to you
in your particular needs, as He knows you and what you
However, to issue someone a "Certificate of Completion" I need to have
a uniform set of requirements for all to complete. I am unable to take the time to work
with each of the many moms who will take this course/season and personalize it for
each of them. I trust that the Holy Spirit, working and ministering and
speaking between the lines of everything that's read, will do all the
There are several other
courses offered in the state; I have not ever taken one of these, nor have I
ever researched what they teach. All I know is that I wanted my course to
be one that would not encourage people toward "doing school at
home." I don't know if that's what's taught in other courses, but you
won't find it here. I believe that educating our children within the
context of their real lives and their real relationships is "the real thing."
Real education. School is only a cheap ~ or rather, very expensive
~ imitation. Why imitate the imitation?!?!? And pay money to do
so?!?!? Doing "school at home" only overwhelms and burns out ~ both
moms and the kids!
hope is that all homeschoolers will put themselves through some
sort of a "season of re-education and renewing of the mind," whether they think
they "need" it to "qualify" to homeschool their children or
not. They will save
themselves much heartache, disillusionment, frustration, disappointment in the lack of good fruit
in their lives, and
Does the Certificate of Participation stand up to the law since
we aren't yet certified until after we complete the
And it might not. It totally depends on who you are in contact with ~
especially in your school district ~ and how "pro" or "con" homeschooling they
are. This is part of why I would not put myself under their jurisdiction to begin with.
I would kindly and politely inform them that I am currently taking a
course, and here is my "Proof of Participation," but it would not be in
the form of requesting permission from them, or asking them to
approve. I would simply be informing them. But, again, I wouldn't
feel obliged to even do that as the law (here in Washington State) does not require us to tell how we "qualify"
or provide proof of it.
What about the Declaration of Intent to
Here is a simple Declaration of Intent to Homeschool form that
is in compliance with WA's homeschool law. Please take a
look at this. (Click on this mini form to see the full-size
one.) If the form you get from your school district
looks much different from this ~ and asks for more information ~
feel free to contact me,
and I will help you figure out what to do about it. (If you
are a member of HSLDA, go
directly to them.)
What's the best way to sign up to homeschool? Not for this course,
but to homeschool ~ as in signing up with my
If, after reading
"Obeying the Law, Testing, and Qualifying to
Homeschool," you still feel the Lord would have you do this ~ and it is
truly between you and Him ~ my suggestion, when you go to sign up, is to first call the office of the Superintendent of the school district
in which you reside, and ask them to mail you a copy of the "Declaration of Intent to Homeschool."
Carefully look it over, and if it requires you to tell them anything other than the names and birthdates of your children and your name and address, please email me, or better
yet, send me a copy of the
form ~ ALL of it ~ and
I will take a look at it. If you are a member of HSLDA, I will probably
refer you to them, but I'd like to be aware of what's specifically going on in
my area (since I'm the one who ends up being asked about it), so bring me into
the picture at some point.
Some school districts go beyond what the law actually dictates, and you should not give them any more information than
what the law requires. You don't even have to tell them how you qualify. But many
school districts don't know that. Or they do know it, but still ask for more info than they are legally authorized to ask for.
is a lot of stuff to do; how will I possibly have time for this?
It may be that your
schedule is already so maxxed out
that you can't even imagine how you could possibly fit this course
into your life. Maybe you have no idea what you could
possibly cut out. This is
where it will take prayer and a major overhaul in your lifestyle, beginning with
an open heart and mind ~ open to what God wants you to do, and to
what He wants to do in you, specifically in
shifting priorities and changing your focus.
He may lead you to make some changes in the arena of
commitments, and show you where to start whittling
these down. If saying "No" to requests
outside your home is hard for you, it's likely the Lord will be doing some work in
you there. Just because you are asked to do something doesn't mean that God
is leading it. As He gives you vision for what your home life should look
like, it will
become increasingly clear to you that some outside-the-home things will have to be laid
Your reason for starting or keeping any activity that you
keep should be because it is part of His vision for you and your family,
not because you just couldn't say "no" to a request. Do not
feel bad saying no to things He is not calling you to, because saying yes to things God
want you doing is actually saying no to things He does want you
involved in ~ specifically, your family, and getting it whole,
healthy, and connected.
With the many loud voices calling for your
attention, you will need to focus ~ and stay focused ~ on hearing
His voice in this area,
and wait for His answers, which may be very different from what you might
have thought they would be, or what you had hoped He would say. "God's ways are
higher than our ways; His thoughts higher than ours."
Here is how one homeschool mom ~ Susan Hitchcock, the mom
of six boys and pregnant as well at the time ~ who was taking my course made time for it:
(She shared this on a homeschool forum. Here's a picture of her so you can
put a (sweet) face to all her writing that she has so graciously allowed me to
"Our house is quiet every day from 1 to 3pm, and it is worth ALL THE
EFFORT it takes to do it! My six boys all share the same bedroom, but
during this time, we just use the bedroom for nappers, and other spots in the
house for quiet time. My 18-month-old and 4-year-old are napping. My
older boys are reading/looking at books quietly. They are allowed
to draw after one hour if they would rather do that than read a book.
I use this time for study, reading,
writing, and thinking time. I'm taking a WONDERFUL course right now through Barb
Shelton called a "Season of Re-education and Renewing of the Mind." I use
this time to read and study the course materials. This course is helping
me renew my mind in regards to home education, and in turn, allowing me to build
the higher principles of God's ways into my children. Mostly the Lord is using
this course to draw me to Himself and embrace my own journey towards solitude ~
which is the only way we can truly educate our children.
If the quiet time was not established, I
would not be able to take this important, life-changing course! I see the
quiet hours as a means of refueling MOM, and also as a stepping stone in
teaching our children to embrace a life of quietness and solitude. Jesus often
retreated to a quiet place. If we train our children at a young age to 'enjoy'
QUIETNESS, then they will eagerly embrace the discipline it takes to develop
their own life with God, and the conviction to LISTEN and WAIT for His specific
call and purpose for their life as they are in the Word and prayer.
Our society is SO entertainment crazy!!!! So ADDICTED to noise!!!!!
So filled with ARTIFICIAL means of HAPPINESS! AND SO plagued by the
disease of BOREDOM. When we deliberately wean our children from the lure of
these UNNATURAL and FALSE substitutes for true peace and contentment, we do them
a GREAT service and facilitate their being equipped for the Master's use!
I HIGHLY recommend the quiet time of the day for that purpose.
It may be that you will need to regain
godly control of your children before being able to do this. That's what
part of this course is all about. Be ready for a complete overhaul in how you relate to your
children if that area is at all lacking. Come to Him open and empty-handed so that HE can fill you
and your home with Himself and His heart, and mould you and your relationships
into ones that honor Him and each other. You don't have time to not
tend to this! This is the most important work that you do as a mother.
What if I
start feeling overwhelmed?!?!
at any point along the way, you start feeling overwhelmed, I encourage you to not
give in to fear or fatigue, but remember this verse, which happens
to be one of my favorites:
"Come to Me all you who labor
and are weary and
(over-burdened, overwhelmed), and I will give you rest.
My yoke is
easy, my burden is light. Learn from Me for I
am humble and meek..."
If/when we start feeling overwhelmed, it's often because we are starting to "come into the light" and realizing
~ probably for the first time ~ just how far we have to go, and just how "off track" we have been.
At least in an area that's important to God and to us. But remember, God never shows us this
~ or anything ~ to overwhelm us; only to
get us into the position of realizing our need to
trust Him for our whole lives. He wants us to rely on Him to not only show us where He wants us to go, but to
get us there, and in the manner and speed at which He wants to take us there.
We need to be led by the Holy Spirit; He will not overwhelm, and He knows
exactly how to lead each of us, and what we need when, and in what order. So if
we are feeling overwhelmed, we may be getting ahead of Him. And even just one
step past Him can throw us into this unsettled state.
It may be that this
feeling of unsettledness isn't just from getting ahead of Him, but from realizing where He wants to take us and where we
aren't. Marilyn Howshall, as you will soon find out in the
Lifestyle of Learning resources, calls this feeling "disequilibration."
Things that we once held dear, and that provided a degree of security to us,
start falling away, or at least coming down off of a pedestal, and things that
we have heretofore not seen as important start rising up before our eyes,
causing our hearts to quake and feel very unsettled. Fear can easily set
in at this point, and the urge to flee ~ anything to get back to a place of
comfort. But now is not the time to run...
Embrace that unsettled feeling
~ "take every thought captive" ~ and let
compel you straight to the feet of Jesus, the open arms of the Father, under the
wings of the Holy Spirit ~ the place God has been wanting to get you to. This is where
we will find rest and peace, not from fighting with the struggle itself.
"Yes, Lord" to everything He is leading us into ~ and out of ~ is the
only thing that will get us to the next step, and the next, and the next...
until finally one day we are out of Egypt, and Egypt is out of us! So don't avoid the struggle. It has to happen
if we are to get set free ~ it's part of the process. If you need to rest, then rest.
But know that your true, lasting rest will come only from surrendering to Him, to His leading,
and to His plan for you.
Is this the same course as the one
you had before?
To any of you
who knew of ~ or even took ~ my course "before" (prior to now), I have made
many major changes, including:
I have added many new
and updated products of my own, as well as many wonderful
new Lifestyle of LearningTM resources.
More of the
content of the course is appropriate
for ALL parents, no matter what the ages of their children.
The Course Syllabus is now online, so you have the option of doing
it right on your computer! If you prefer handwriting,
you're welcome to print it out and write your responses
instead, however, if you print it, you will need to scan
your finished syllabus, and email it to me as a digital
(on-computer) document. (I do not
want to have to store, deal with, or dispose of many-paged
documents.) As you will see, two versions of the
Syllabus are available; both are digital, but one is for
those who will be typing right in the document; the other is
for those who will print it out and then write in it.
I would prefer to pay for the whole course
at one time; can I just pay
one blanket fee for the whole course, and not have to deal with
That's a great idea, and I will work on providing that sometime in
the future for the products *I* have produced that are part of the
course. However the rest of the materials are through other
ministries, so I will not be able to provide a "blanket deal" for
As for mine, what you're
requesting is going to take a good chunk of time to do, and there
are many other responsibilities that require my time and focus
Even just designing and setting up this course has taken hundreds
of hours. With all that I have going on in my life (which is
correctly prioritized,) I am doing well just to get the
course itself set up and keep it going.
What if I already have enough college and/or am a
Michael Farris, founder of HSLDA, and a
popular homeschool speaker, was once asked by a reporter if his wife had a
teaching degree and was therefore, in the reporter's eyes, qualified to homeschool their children.
response was "Yes, she does have a teaching degree, but fortunately she
has been able to overcome that handicap and is capable of actually homeschooling our
children." That might seem like merely a humorous response, but it is
actually very true!!!
One of the ways to "qualify" to
homeschool in Washington state is to have one year of college. Another is to
have one hour of contact a week with a certified teacher. Therefore, if
you have a year of college or are a certified teacher, you are covered
legally. The problem is that this will give you a sense ~ a false sense,
I firmly believe ~ of security about your ability to homeschool your children. Stay
with me here, because I don't want you to misunderstand what I'm
I am NOT saying that, just because you are a teacher or have [any amount of]
college under your belt, you are automatically not capable of
doing a good job of homeschooling! What I am saying is two things:
1) What it takes to truly educate
your children has nothing to do with college!
2) In fact, I personally feel
that much of what ~ and how ~ you learned in college is actually a hindrance to your
being able and free to operate as God would have you in the homeschooling realm. The more
worldly-wise education you have, the more you think that's what education
The fact is that what it truly takes
to homeschool ~ as God would have you ~ is probably already in
you, but very deeply buried in worldly thinking. That's why a huge part of
this course involves UNdoing and DISmantling of old thinking so that what has
been "buried alive," so to speak, the good stuff He put in you, can be
unearthed, rediscovered, and come (back) to life!!!
I have often observed that
college-schooled teachers feel that, because
they have a degree (or someone has had some college), they don't need to put themselves
through a season of
re-education. This grieves me. They are actually doing their children and
themselves a huge disservice. In fact, and please forgive me if this
sounds insolent, but
in some (I'd even say many)
ways, those who are college-schooled are in even greater ~ or at least
just as much ~
of going through a season of re-education than those who have never gone to
So it is for
any and all homeschoolers that I have designed this course, if not especially for those with college degrees who need some UNdoing to take place in their
thinking before they are totally ready for God to do the new thing in them.
All parents are "true teachers" whether they know it or not, but the more formal
education we have, the more unearthing it may take ~ depending on our
view of our own education and the education system.)
Here are some encouraging words from one homeschooling mom, Claudine:
I was led to this
course by needing a qualifying course here in Washington. I was
also burning out on school ~ if I wasn't already burned out!
I wanted to get started right away, because I could see there
was a lot to this course, and as Barb said, I don't want to rush
through it. But I couldn't get the books right away, and so have
been feeling pressured, as my daughter is turning 8 next spring.
However, after I
bought a few books of the course, and started reading them, and
want to read more and more, I got to looking at some of my old
college papers. I looked up my transcripts on the web, and I
have 46 college credits! Just enough! So now I can relax and do
this course in whatever time I want to take with it.
It's a course I do
need, but I doubt I would have taken if I hadn't thought there
was a "legal" need to. Now I'm so interested in it, that even my
husband said I ought to take it whether I need to legally or
to have this course finished before
homeschool (or moving to Washington)?
Or can I be "in process"
when we start (or move there)?
The answer to both forms of this question is the same, so I lumped
We have to start with the foundation undergirding the answer to
this question... One thing that many parents mistakenly misunderstand
~ or just don't
realize ~ is that they are the ones who "own" their children;
not the state. Let me re-word that: Your
children belong to YOU, not to the state. This concept is
being challenged in many places around the world and right
here in our own country. (In case you missed it in
here is a prime example.) But the bottom line is that if God called you to homeschool
~ if it is your conviction that you are to homeschool ~ then you must obey
God over the state, no matter what their homeschool law is.
When you register for the course, you receive a "Certificate of
Participation" which is for you to use in the event that you absolutely have
to show it to
someone, (more on that in the following
section), but most people don't end up needing to show it to
Washington's "Declaration of Intent to Homeschool" form doesn't (or shouldn't) require that you indicate how you qualify.
But if you do need it, you will have it. (If nothing
else, you can take it out every so often ~ or mount it on a wall ~
and just admire it.)
If you have just moved here, another option is to
just not sign up with a school district until you've finished the
course as they
probably not know you're there unless you tell them.
(What I'm sharing, by the way, is not "legal advice" which I'm not qualified to give; just my
thoughts, from one homeschooler to another, and since I have
often been asked these types of questions.)
Certificate of Completion about?
If you want to earn a Certificate of Completion from us, you are welcome to do so.
I need to make it clear that I'm not saying you ought to or have to. The Certificate of Completion
that I issue (after you have finished the course) signifies that you have completed the work I have set forth as
requirements; it does not mean that you are "certified." I say
this only because a homeschool mom commented that, after taking my course, she
would be a "certified homeschool teacher."
In reality, my course would
qualify her ~ in the state's eyes ~ to homeschool. However, whenever I say
this, I must add that in God's eyes, you are already qualified. So this is just
a hoop we jump through for the state ~ and you would do this only if it is your
conviction to do so. See my article "Obeying
the Law, Testing, and Qualifying to Homeschool" for my thoughts on the
whole issue of how we as homeschoolers relate to "the law." (This
required reading for anyone taking my course, and you can read it now or later,
and still be able to check it off.)
In Washington state, one of the options for
"qualifying to homeschool" is to have "completed a course in
home-based instruction (homeschooling) at a post-secondary
means "after high school") institution."
See my article entitled Washington's homeschool law
article for more about
this. My course is one of about ten
courses offered in this state that satisfy this option of qualifying to
Here is a
reduced picture of the certificate. (Click on it to see a full-size
of it. Click your back button to return to this spot on this page.)
What do I
need to do to get a Certificate of Completion?
To receive a Certificate of Completion from us, you need to enroll with us,
complete all the reading (books and articles), listening (workshops, audio
recordings, and CD's), assignments (like reading this whole page that
you're currently reading, for example), the "Thoughts/Responses" and worksheets in the Course Syllabus, and
after all that is completed, email or snail-mail a copy of your completed syllabus
What if I don't want a Certificate of Completion?
(Actually, please read this even if you DO want one.)
You don't have to get one.
It doesn't matter to me whether you do or don't. I have simply
made it available for those who want it. I know there are many
Christian (and Washingtonian) homeschoolers who do not share my views
regarding the law. (which you will read about in my article "Obeying
the Law, Testing, and Qualifying to Homeschool.") They will seek out some course to satisfy that
option of the law. I felt there may as well be a course that will move them
going in the direction I'd like to see them head.
you are not interested in
earning a Certificate of Completion from us, you are totally free to just pick
and choose whatever looks good to you from my suggestions as if they were a
smorgasbord and do it
your own way, in your own timing. But many who do not live in my state ~ and
thus are not doing this to satisfy any state requirements ~ are just as
interested in pursuing such a season. In fact, I highly recommend you do so.
As has been stated, one of the four ways to "qualify" to
homeschool in our state (Washington) is to "complete a course in home-based
instruction at a post-secondary institution." Many years ago, when I
was first considering creating such a course, I checked with Washington
State's Dept. of
Public Instruction office asking if there were any stipulations or requirements for either
the course or the sponsoring institution. Not
that it mattered to me personally, but I figured at least one person taking my course would
one day ask. There were
not. They said the requirements for a course were to be determined by the instructor
~ and the sponsoring
institution, if they cared to be part of the process. So I designed this course totally independent of the state or any
school system. Online Bible College (OBC) is my sponsoring institution.
A further note: I
took my course to a local community college to see if they would sponsor it, and
what I fully expected to happen did happen... which was that they
told me I would need to take out all references to God for them to be able to
sponsor it. I told them that, since God was the foundation of my entire
life, was my whole reason for homeschooling, and was therefore the foundation
for my course, I would not be able to take God out. Needless to say, this
was not one of the most comfortable situations I had ever found myself in, but
it did end with a
cordial (on both parts) parting.
embark on this season!
These are not technically questions, but much of what's here
written in response to questions, plus the thoughts presented
many questions from arising, and will
take you far in successfully
navigating your way through this course!
Plan to Invest in This
three primary things you'll want to plan to invest in this season:
your whole heart, a good chunk of
and some money. Let's take each of them one by one:
CHUNK OF YOUR TIME:
The bottom line is that what we value is what we spend our time on. Those
with younger children have less elective time, but they do have
elective time. Ask the Lord to direct you in showing where you can do
some "rearranging" to make the most of the time you do have
available, or how to actually create time by spending the rest of your
time in a more productive manner. I share practical ideas for how
to do this elsewhere, so I hope you'll implement the "how to's"
immediately, so you can start reaping the benefits.
money you have to spend will be well-spent on resources that are going to edify and encourage
you. You don't need to be in a hurry. If you have a high schooler, getting a Jumpstart Plan
(at the beginning of Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+U+la,
right before section one) set in motion will free you up and take
the pressure off for them to be doing something .
As you invest some of your
hard-earned money, keep in mind that many of these authors are homeschoolers
themselves, and homeschool pioneers who have gone before you and done all this
ground-breaking work for you. They are "servants who are worthy of their
hire," and by supporting them, you are making it possible for them to continue
in their ministry to homeschoolers. Without their having taken the time to
put all their knowledge into readable, hearable form, you would be on your own
as we were when first starting out! There was a grand total of three
homeschool books when I started my search for knowledge in this area many many
years ago! (31 years, as of this writing, in Autumn of 2013.) I
would have given my eye teeth and possibly even my firstborn to have had the
wealth of resources available now!!! So realize you are not just "buying
books" and "spending money," you are supporting the ongoing ministries of
Also realize that you'll be saving yourself
hundreds of dollars by not having to go through a curriculum company. The bundle
you'd spend there (or at a Christian school) in just one or two months is no
more than the money
you will be spending on the many enriching resources in this course that will more than
adequately equip you to do the job yourself! You'll still probably end
up using a few
text and workbooks, but not nearly as much as what you thought you'd need
before you allowed God to start changing your ideas about education and
learning! If, after reading and processing all the suggested resources,
you still feel you need closer guidance, that's the time to go to a company that
offers curriculum guidance all along the way. But my humble opinion my
strong and educated hunch is that you won't need them...
Because more often than not, once the fears and misconceptions have been exposed
and dealt with, and an understanding of the learning process and how to best
facilitate it in your children has been gained, you will be quite able to "stand
alone," not needing a prepared curriculum program. Yes, really!
Remember, our goal is not to imitate school; school is actually an imitation of
the real thing: LIFE! And at home you have an opportunity to
experience real life!
In fact, once you start gaining vision, you'll
likely find that the total textbook (for all subjects) approach will only bind and "cramp your
style." This is assuming, of course, that you are firmly planted in and
standing on the solid ground of Jesus Christ with Him as your Curriculum
Guidance Counselor! "Let your [homeschool's] roots grow down deep into the
soil of God's marvelous love, and draw up nourishment from Him."
(Colossians 2:6b - Living Bible)
lastly, you'll want to invest...
YOUR HEART into this season. The saying "Anything that's
worth doing at all is worth doing well" applies to this as much as
anything! And I would add that, if it's worth doing at all, putting your
whole heart into it is what will get it done well. Here's an excerpt from
Wisdom's Way of Learning that will help
turn your focus to the right place.
"The condition of my heart was the main contributing factor to the role that studying played in my life. I had been broken in spirit, and was as completely yielded to the Lord as possible, more so than I had ever experienced. Becoming teachable was what gave this season so much power to transform my life. This is all God needs: A heart that approaches Him with a poor spirit willing to be corrected on every preconceived idea about life--even treasured, time-honored, traditional ways of thinking and doing things. Without this attitude of repentance operating in the student's life, what results is knowledge gained that simply serves to 'puff up' [1 Cor.
8:1], lacking in power to transform the individual. Even the best method
of education, God's Word, cannot produce in an individual what God has
planned for him without a surrendered heart walking in true faithful
What Marilyn is referring
to here as a "season" was what the Lord took her through, on her own, completely
unique and tailor-made for her. It was not the same as what I suggest
here, though there is some overlap and similarity. This "season" will
actually look/be different for everyone, even if the same resources and tools
are used, just because each of us is in a different place, with differing needs,
pasts, values, and experiences.
have a wonderful example of a mom who invested her whole
heart into this season ~ into JESUS Himself, really ~ Susan
Hitchcock. And here is what she shared with me: (I left all of her all-cap
words and exclamation marks just as she put them!
"The LORD is soooo kind and merciful and compassionate and good in
EVERY WAY!!!! Last night, I just WEPT AND WEPT AND WEPT before Him!!!!!!!!!
I cried out with all my heart to KNOW HIM!!!!! One thing I reminded Him was that I ONLY wanted ONE THING from Him but was
confused as to HOW to delight myself in Him so HE COULD give me the desire of my heart!!!!!
I'm praying much about HOW to find all my good in Jesus alone!!!! How to make HIM my complete joy and rejoicing!!!!
I told Him that I only DESIRED ONE THING: intimacy with Him!!!! Take EVERYTHING ELSE that is
artificial, BUT GIVE ME Your altar, oh Lord!!!! Your INTIMATE PRESENCE is my sustaining JOY!!!!!!!!"
Don't let yourself fall into the "checklist
mentality"; let every bit of this season every resource, every
tool, every prayer, every trial, every situation sink in and take
root. It may be that some of the material won't apply to you; if so,
that's fine. Don't worry or feel bad about
that. Just read through it quickly and then keep moving on. The
bring you back to it later. It may be that you won't need it
until later, but having at least quick-read it, you'll know where to
come back to when you do need it.
Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to and
teach you between the lines of what you read and listen to. "Let God
have His perfect way in you" and "study to show yourself approved of
God." You and your family will be SO much the richer for it!
we are living in a culture that has pretty much all of its values
backwards from God's values! So, by merely living in this culture, we
automatically have those values imbedded in our hearts and minds! It
takes some DOing to UNdo that thinking! Some serious and
Communication With Your
Family Is a Must!
Before embarking on your "season,"
the very first step is for you
and your spouse to come into agreement on what your plan for your
"season" will entail, including his involvement. You will
need to be in harmony with your spouse about this, with him (or
her) being aware of what's going on so they'll know what to expect
and how the two of you will work out and agree upon operating
during this season.
have your plan set up, hold a family meeting to fill the kids in
on what will be happening, their part in this, and what to expect.
Explain what you are doing to any children who are old enough to
understand. By that, I don't necessarily mean they understand
everything you are doing, but at least understand about your forthcoming new lifestyle in
general. You might want to make the meeting special in whatever way is
meaningful for your family like a special treat, communion, etc.
Or just an enjoyable and relaxing time together.
A few ideas that might
Would your spouse and/or an older child consider taking over making dinner at
least one or two ~ maybe even a few ~ nights a week?
Or maybe he/they would take care of ~ or help more with getting ~ younger kids
to bed in order to give you more time?
Side Note: People ask me how I have accomplished
what I have, and I can only say that "my husband" is most of my answer!
This couldn't have happened if he was not on board, which has meant much open
and honest discussion of our goals.)
You may need to lower some of your housework
standards (unless they're already "substandard" ~ like mine were), or delegate a bit more
responsibility to older children.
If you have a favorite show, pastime, or hobby, would it be worth it to you to
sacrifice some of that to "redeem" more time for this season? I have
watched very little TV (we opted to not have cable for the very reason of not
wanting our time to be consumed by it), which has indeed been very "worth
With the prospect of
seeing good (and better, and more) fruit in your marriage and children, your
husband and hopefully your family will be happy ~ or at least willing ~ to help
more than usual.
Home Organization Workshop Duo ("Creative Flexible Home Organizing"
and "Papers and Records and Files ~ OH MY!") and my "Real-Life Homeschool
Learning & Organizing Tools for Younger Children (age 4~12)"
CD both have many practical tools that will help with
getting your home, your children, and their and your lives in order, which will,
in turn, be of tremendous help as you embark on this season. Having your
home in better order ~ schedule-wise, relationship-wise, and stuff-wise ~ will
bring about a peace and settleness in the home (starting with Mom's heart!)
that needsto be at the foundation of Mom entering such a season. Plus
it will help you get better connected to your family
which will further free you up emotionally for your season.
Let's look at that word:
means "to give or surrender something of little or lesser value in exchange
for something of great or excellent value." Redeeming has become the theme
and the norm for my life! It doesn't usually feel good at the
beginning of the process (or often along the way!), but I assure you this will
be worth every little (and big) sacrifice you make! You can't surrender
more to God than He will give you.
to "redeem the time" in your home, you're going to need to communicate with your
family, or it will be easy for misunderstanding and resentment and tension to
develop. This is entirely unnecessary and completely avoidable.
Encouragement and Insights from Participants in This Course
have received some wonderful comments from people taking my
course that were encouraging to me, but I know
that sharing them with you will be an encouragement to you as
well, as you are beginning this journey.
of the moms who share started out in pretty much the same place!
But God, in His merciful, gracious way, brought them to new
place ~ a place of freedom and joy! So here is some fellowship and
encouragement for you if you are lacking in this area!
This first "heart-sharing"
one is from Pam, a mom who went into the "season" with an open heart,
which is why she got so much out of it...
I want you to know how much I am learning and being stretched, and changed by God because of my working through your course. I appreciate your honesty in telling your readers, up front, that this course may prove to be painful, and difficult; exposing ugliness and lack of understanding in our own lives, that we may not have been aware of. One of the major things that God has been speaking to me throughout these last almost
two years, is DIE TO MYSELF! What a bitter, yet sweet road to go down.
As I humble myself and put God and others first, He has been faithful to be all I NEED.
Thanks for all that you have put into developing this course. I am thankful that you did not make your course
a quick, wham-bam, hurry up and get it done type of course. I'll admit it is taking me longer than I would have liked to complete it, but I have
learned SO much! I would not change these miles traveled for anything!
I just finished reading The Great Escape, and I have had confirmed
again in my mind that home is the only choice for educating my children. Homeschooling is a hard road to travel; no doubt about it!! But God tells
us in His precious Word, to "enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter
by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it." Matthew 7:13"
About a year ago when I was
reading my Bible during quiet time, this verse jumped off the page at me even though I had read it many times before.) God spoke assurance to my
heart, that even within the homeschooling realm, the gate that I had chosen to enter by (A Season Of Re-education and Renewing The Mind) was indeed a
small gate, but one that would lead to life. God reveals to me more with each passing day of this journey; that only as I personally drink deeply of
Him, and acquire His wisdom and knowledge, will I then be able to impart anything of eternal value to my children.
So... "let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the
Author and Perfecter of faith, who for the joy
set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
(Hebrews 12:1) All praise and glory belong to our dear Lord and Savior,
Pam Ickert; homeschooling mom of 4 for 5 years; WA
Here is the
conversation between me and another mom, Sharon:
[Sharon:] "...I am
reading everything I can find to make sure I do the best job I can and so I came
I admire you reading everything you can, but would also suggest that you not feel you have to read everything there is
out there to get what God has for you. There is MUCH out there, and you will hear many conflicting philosophies.
I suggest that when you start "connecting" with a message, and you know
it is GOD, you stay focused there long enough to really get roots and
get solid in it rather than flitting around all over the internet trying to get "well rounded." Of course, I hope you'll stay at
my website for a while (and for good) because I have seen so many "crash and burn" thinking they're headed toward "the best" only to find out ~ often
too late ~ that what God had in Mind was really quite different ~ and cheaper ~ and easier ~ and more
conducive to moving into His plan and purpose for each individual child. :-)
[Sharon; 3 months later :]
I first visited your site
three months ago. At that time I was on a quest for the best curriculum and some sound homeschooling info.
I was not ready for the message of Lifestyle of Learning at that time and ordered (lots) of
expensive stuff to help me design great studies for my three daughters (ages 12, 11,
and 9). We began as I still was seeking knowledge, and things were okay.
The problem was, I wanted far better than okay. I began to hear comments like, "I thought this was going to be fun and different from regular
The best thing I had done after finding your site was to end up at the Wisdom's
Way of Learning list. I thought I had signed up to read the comments of a bunch of
well-intentioned but misguided kooks. It is so humbling to look back at the pride that I began this with. I thought my spirit was ready to listen to
what the Lord had to say to me, but it was not. I was definitely not in submission to
His will, but He is so gracious. I kept thinking I would unsubscribe from the list, but I didn't.
I just kept reading. Then, on occasion, I would go back to your site and explore a little more to
supplement all the books I was reading.
Gradually, the Lord began to change my heart and to open my eyes. I have since ordered and read Wisdom's Way of Learning, and as of today I am mailing my first order to begin your Season of Re-Education... I am so excited.
(I am ordering a little right now and hope to order the rest when we get income
tax back. I had a few of the books and I am starting with them. I am also
continuing to read the articles at your site.)
I just wanted to let you know that sometimes it takes some of us a little longer than others to get the message but I am so thankful that you leave
that message out there for us to ponder. Much of my problem was (and still is) in submitting my will and my plans to the Lord and I know that the
Season and the reading I have recently done will help me monumentally to keep my eyes where they should be.
I am so ready to begin my Season!
I feel so much that the Lord is calling on me now to surrender areas of my life that I have held on to for years, even as I told him to take them. I
am realizing that he will not pry my fingers open to get to what I am "offering"
Him of my life, that in order to surrender I have to open my fingers myself. It's so silly that we hold on so hard anyway, since nothing
that we have is ours anyway. The website and the books are just the tools He is
using to open my heart and mind so that he can use me.
God bless you for all that you do, for the help you make available in lighting our paths so that we can draw closer to the Lord and work his
purpose in our lives, leading our children to the paths he has chosen for them.
a letter from another precious mom, Trisch, who was obviously being stretched by God in ways she never expected!
written many years ago, as you'll see by her comment referring to when her
oldest will graduate ~ in 2005!!)
I had skimmed your comments about "qualifying" etc. and the law before on
your website. I had felt, in the past, that we should do what we could to comply without doing more than truly required. Of course, I live in
a state where ALL we have to do is keep attendance records that no one in 9 years
has asked to see. (And my husband is quick to point out that they are learning
365 days a year, so with only 180 "required" we're ahead by far.
Well, I have started my "Season of Re-education and Renewing the Mind" and although I was starting in the learning to hear God and get your
children's hearts sections, I finally read, thoughtfully, your article again. This time, my heart was challenged.
My husband and I talked about it. And ~ YIKES! I'm being s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d again!
Finding more "fear of man" there ~ more pride (ugh!). I WANT to look "good" and
"successful" ~ after all, I was a GOOD regurgitator! (I was valedictorian of my small class of
'59 and attended college for 2 1/2 years!) Everyone that knows me from "way back when" (including my parents!
naturally expects that my daughters will just ooze academia! So, anyway, just wanted to THANK YOU (again!) for being willing to "stick
your neck out" in that area.
Anyway, I'm actually enjoying this time, even though it is stretching me ~ and I thought I had come so far already! If anyone ever says to you,
"Well, God has had me on this journey for awhile, so I don't think I need this or that book or
booklet" ~ tell them about ME! You'll be getting an order probably in a month or so when I have more
money to order some of those
little booklets I just knew I didn't need! (Like " Home Education Myths,"
the one about whether the state even should HAVE
authority over our education by Karl Reed). I had read the Moores' books way back before
homeschooling (we are one of those "knew we were going to do this before we even had children" couples! :-)
), and thought I didn't need to reread them slowly... but I've changed my mind!
And your "Foundation of Homeschooling" workshop!
Wow! Your statement to the effect of if we get fearful thinking of not using
something ~ that shows we have a dependence on it ~ oooh! You're really
making me think!
Just wanting to keep encouraging you ladies, and to tell you if others say, "Well, I don't need to read that
one ~ I KNOW all about those myths!" Oh, you THINK you do! I am more and more amazed at just how much the
"humanist/ feminist" mindset is really in our thinking! God is redeeming my thoughts toward my
calling as wife, mother and home arts engineer at this time, too! We have
just swallowed a BUNCH of GARBAGE over the years... We need to CONSTANTLY be
in the Word, renewing our minds to His way of thinking!
Thank you again for being willing to do this and not wait until 2005 (when my oldest would "graduate" as well!) to
write your stuff!
~ Trish R.; homeschooling mom of 6 (soon to be 7) girls for 9 years; in
to do this NOW:
"If today you
hear His voice, harden not your heart." Countless homeschool moms would
have spared themselves SO much agony and wasted time and money had they had only
pressed in to hear God's gentle voice speaking to their heart to seek and hear
His will for them regarding the education of their children when He first
called them to it.
begin to hear His voice, but then just jump headlong into
curriculum, thinking they have heard God! He may have been leading them, but
His desire is always for us to
learn from Him first, not follow a Christianized version of the world's (heavy)
ways of educating ~ which aren't really even truly educating, but merely
bringing "school" into the home! Now ~ right at the beginning ~
is the time to get your thinking straight, because "As a man thinketh, so
is he." Translation for homeschoolers: "As a mom thinketh
[about education], so doth their education become!" Whatever you think
education to be, that is what you will follow! So it's much better to get
your thinking straight now, before you have invested hundreds of dollars, hours,
and tears into it. (And if you're one who has done that, you know
what I'm talking about!) Make sure you are following God's way of
a note from a mom who "got it" early on,
and is going to enjoy the fruit of her "getting it" for all the years
she has her children at home with her...
you for being so encouraging about the whole season of homeschooling. Our
children are 4 and 1 so I am just beginning this exciting journey. I am so
thankful to have found you at the beginning of my journey. I didn't know where
to start and this has touched my heart so strongly that I know it shall be a
great beginning to whatever God has in store for us. Thanks again. I
have so much to read!!! I can't wait.
And here is a quick, short-but-sweet thought for any of you who feel
that the situation you're in ~ of parenting and training children ~ will last
"forever": It may seem
like you will have kids underfoot forever, but let me tell you that the
day comes all too quickly when they will be gone, as we now know with all
three of our children being out of the nest!!! You only have one chance with your
children! Don't squander these precious years with a "trial and
error" approach! You don't have to make the mistakes that others have
made! God has something better! Let Him lead you to the "place
of no regrets"! ~ which is HIS way!
Here are a few
more thoughts from several homeschooling moms on this path:
"I have been working on "A Season of Re-Education and Renewing of the Mind" for about a year
now. When I started this season, I thought I would be finding out how to fix
what wasn't working in our homeschool. Through all of Barb's
(and others') resources in the course, God is helping me to understand what true education is all about. The Lord is doing a work in MY life, so that I can do His will for our family. Praise God!"
Pam I; Homeschooling
mom of 4 for 4 years; WA
We often start out with certain
expectations, but as we move along the path God has for us, we start seeing
something quite different! Be open to the possibility of this happening,
no matter how far you feel you have (or actually have) come in and with
about your kids not learning enough? ... Enjoying your kids!
mom said: "I'm a little worried (ok, A LOT worried!) about
not doing anything with my children for
any length of time since that's
basically what we
have been doing for the last two years due to burn-out,"
and here's how Joan, a homeschooling mom in Wisconsin, responded...
Truly, you have not done
nothing for the past two years! ... Your children have been learning in spite of
what you've done or not done. So you might as well learn to start enjoying
them. Collect the excellent books that Barb recommends as you can afford them.
But don't put off following the Spirit in living daily life with your children.
That must not wait. (AMEN!!!!
I guess I am starting to
think less about doing, and more about being. God has shown me that
part of my job as a mom is enjoying my children. They must enjoy me, and
they must know in their hearts that I love to be with them. I can honestly say
today that I enjoy my children as much as my friends.
Face it, "schoolwork" (as the world knows it) is hardly a tool to knit hearts together. And I find that I must keep searching
can I knit our hearts together today? Maybe I'm selfish, but for now, that's my key purpose in life
~ to be a family whose hearts are knit together.
Follow the Spirit today. How would He have you enjoy your children today? How would He have you be so that your children enjoy
you? Surely that must be the path to follow in for today. What is "school"
~ even homeschool ~ if it is not a real part of you?
I hope I have encouraged you a
smidgen, not discouraged you further. Barb has a phrase that spoke volumes to me: REDEEM YOUR FAMILY.
Isn't this a biblical thing to do? As Barb shared, redeem means "to make
good, " or "to take something of little or no value and replace it with
something of great value." Beg God to give you a vision for what can be so
that you can get on the right path. Don't allow fear to stop you.
... Do it, you have everything to lose! Let God work in your
family for good. Seek Him and what He would have you do.
I been doing it all wrong? ... Is it too late? ... Guilt?!?!?
said: "What is God going to
tell me? Have I been wrong in homeschooling all these years?" As we learn
to hear God's voice better, we will likely recognize many things we've been
thinking and feeling our whole lives as being the outright lies that they are.
God can't redeem anything until the "old" is revealed, admitted to, and exposed to His healing
grace and transforming power!
He never condemns!!! So if that feeling starts creeping in,
resist and reject it in the name of Jesus!
She went on:
"Will He have me put them in
I (Barb) can't imagine that He would
bring you out of Egypt only to send you ~ or your children ~ back in! (However, that's not "the word of the Lord" ~ just my opinion!)
And she continued:
"Have I just let it go too far?" To
which I would say: "Is there anything too difficult
for God?" Of course the answer is NO!!!! God is in the REDEEMING business!
It is what He does!!! It's Who He IS: the Redeemer!!!
redeemed too much absolutely hopeless-appearing junk in my life for me to think
that anything is too hard for Him! You will just need to keep drawing closer
and closer and closer to Him so that you can hear His voice as He leads
you through this wilderness one step at a time. He knows how weak we are!
If He didn't know how to lead particularly weak people, I wouldn't be here!
Or have any good stories to tell, or any encouragement to give!
Debbie C. responded to the
"redeemed" thoughts above:
This just had me in tears! God is using all these posts to move
and shake me! How do you deal with the sometimes overpowering guilt that comes along with these
issues?! I know the enemy uses it to drag us down, but
how can we (me) get set free from it? Thanks to all you sisters who are being so transparent & letting God use
guilt ~ and its first cousin, Fear ~
to Jesus' feet and let His blood cover and
His grace transform them! Instead of continuing to struggle, we need to stop
struggling and surrender our will to God. "When I was a child, I thought like a
child..." but now it's time to grow up ~ into the full stature of what the Lord
has for us. Hannah Whital Smith said, in A Christian's Secret of a
Happy Life: "We are only
one repentance away from experiencing full peace." I love
that!!! We don't need any more
"knowledge" ~ we just need to obey. NOW!
shifting of priorities.
Here's what another mom whose
priorities were undergoing a major shift shared...
"I began to get the idea that not only would it be okay to have fun
with my kids, but that it was my job!! I was supposed to enjoy
them! I began to see them as souls, rather than (merely as) little
people to feed, clothe, and read to. This was the light for me,
and perhaps I've been hearing it for years, a tape here, a speaker
there. But I struggled so hard ~ wasn't I supposed to "make sure they
obey" as my main job in life? I gave up that thinking, so to
speak, and decided to try to communicate to their hearts instead. And I
find that it is fruitful!
If our hearts are not "together," I
am just wasting time. I am no better than the public school teacher whose kids
stare out the window for hours on end. What's the point? So instead of
books (even all that good literature that I used to shove down their throat!),
we try ~ or rather, *I* try ~ to make sure that we are meeting spiritual needs
with one another, and we try to enjoy life, whatever that means to us.
I don't want you to think we don't do anything like schoolwork ~ we must, in
order to enjoy life! They must know handwriting, reading, research, math
skills, etc. But it all has to come when they need it, not when I decide
to start shoving it down their throats! We keep track of what we look up
because it is interesting to us. We decorate our pages and put them in a
notebook because then they are pleasing to look at. We share what we find
with each other. We minister to people outside our family by letters and other
ways as we are able."
how to learn ourselves!
comment from Susan Hitchcock:
is doing so much through this course, Barb, that
sometimes I feel my head is going to explode because I'm thinking so
I've really learned so much
about HOW TO LEARN from your
course! It excites me because I truly think I'm going to be that HOMESCHOOLED
MOTHER that Marilyn Howshall talks so much about!
Eager and excited to learn right along with those kiddos! ... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!
So, as you can see, this course is at
least as much about becoming learners ourselves as it is about
homeschooling our children!
that everything I've shared here
gives you a better idea of what to expect as you proceed through this
season, and how to prepare for it, in your home, but also and especially in your heart and mind. God's ways are higher than our ways, as are His ideas of what
He views as being needful
to happen ~ in your life, with your unique children ~ during such a season.
I so appreciate the vulnerability of these
ladies in allowing me to share their thoughts with you.
I hope that all of this has been an encouragement to you as you proceed
consider putting yourself ~ through this course. Remember,
a season of tilling,
planting, sowing, and nurturing must always
precede the harvest.