Encouragement

from a Homeschooling Mom

With 3 High Schoolers!

         
By Susan LaBounty

   

As most moms approach the idea of homeschooling through high school, they find it intimidating and are in search of encouragement. As Debbie, one mom I know who has done it (and lived to tell about it) said, "Be aware of how much the development of the person is to the high school years. Especially for homeschooling it is so important to realize that it is not all about academics but so much about discipling." 
   
I agree with Debbie! I have three in high school, and these can be the best years of all! Also, enjoy the kids and treasure every moment because these years fly past too quickly. Here are some things we stress in our homeschool:
     
High school is definitely a time for coming alongside our kids to encourage them and spur them on, apprenticing them to become Godly, kind, self-disciplined, and, yes, well-educated people (adults) who love to learn and who will become lifelong learners. I think, as parents, we need to look hard at the way God designed our children and avoid placing a too-heavy burden on them. Let the kids have plenty of free, unstructured time to focus strongly on the things that are interesting to them and to develop their talents. You won't be sorry because it usually leads to deep study, which leads to other interests and others... In the process the kids are usually reading at a very advanced level and writing about the things they are learning. It gives them a love for learning and a self-discipline that is transferred to the areas of study you require of them. 
   
I guess I'm saying that my advice is to streamline your expectations rather than pouring on piles of work in the name of a rigorous education. I think it's tempting to want to push our kids to excel in the eyes of the world or of friends and family who doubt our decision to homeschool. And I do want my kids to excel, but if my motivation is to impress others, I take on a heavy weight of pressure that is soon felt by the kids. 
   
Learning should be joyful! I think my biggest job as a homeschool mom of high schoolers is to help them see learning as a wonderful adventure. As Arnold Edinborough so wisely said: "Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly." I want my kids to learn to reach for higher and higher levels of excellence in all that they do (without being perfectionist or trying to impress), and to see their gifts, interests, talents, and even their minds/intellect as something lovingly entrusted to them by God to glorify Him. I want them to understand the difference between the knowledge that puffs up self (in our own eyes or in the eyes of others) and the wisdom that comes from humility and glorifies God. 
   
For parents of high schoolers: Listen. Respect. Listen. Love. Listen. Hug. Listen. Laugh. Listen. Touch. Listen. Smile. Listen. Enjoy. Listen. Play. PRAY! If you do these things, your kids will listen to you and respect you, and they are quite likely to want your advice and opinions (they'll even ask for them!).   :-)

   

Susan LaBounty; Homeschool mom of 4 for 11 years; OR

          

   

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