Thursday, July 17, 2003

Priorities in Homeschooling
Part I

The obvious priority, because it applies to all parents, is to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Since "man's chief end is to glorify God and fully to enjoy him forever," everything we do should be with the ultimate goal of glorifying God. Beyond this obvious priority, I've had quite an *ahem* adventure figuring out how to work academics into the equation.

My first year was an academic disaster. The curriculum I had chosen was so overwhelming! Every day I had to do Bible, reading, math, calendar, penmanship, history, science, health and safety, music, poetry, and physical education. The curriculum said it could be done in two hours a day, but I found out that whoever gave that estimate obviously did not have, in addition to the first-grader, a preschooler, a toddler, and a nursing baby.

The first day, I got through Bible, reading, math, calendar, and history (plus two loads of laundry, cooking and cleaning up after three meals, and countless dirty diapers). On the second day, I did Bible, reading, math, calendar, and science (plus two loads of laundry, cooking and cleaning up after three meals - you know the rest). The third day I did Bible and calendar, and got caught up in history. I was beginning to realize that I might never get to some of the other lessons!

On the fourth day, Hurricane Opal inturrupted us, so we did Disaster Preparedness, that is, we went to the BX and bought a camp stove and a lot of bottled water, then came home and taped up the windows – plus two loads of laundry.... That night and the next day we had a family with us that had had to evacuate a military base in Florida because of Opal.

Because of that storm and the chance we had to minister to another military family, I realized that Real Life should be as much a part of homeschooling as learning math.

By the next Monday, I had decided that the two really important things were to read through the Bible with my children so that they would become familiar with God's Word and love it, and to teach my children to read! History lessons were so much fun we did them in the afternoon during our regular story time.

To be continued...

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