[First posted on this date in 2003, meant to be the beginning of a series, but I'm not sure I ever finished it.]
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 interrupted 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
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.