Home Schooling: a way of life

Home schooling with a large family is one thing. Home schooling with a large family where the majority of of them are toddlers and babies is an entirely different story. I get many questions on how I home school with so many little ones. I actually do not really know the answer to that question.
I have to admit that I had major withdraws from subtle indoctrination. Even though I was private school educated, there was a part of me that could not grasp the understanding that home schooling is NOT modern education. It doesn’t look or taste the same. Understanding came gradually and now I am completely sold on the home schooling way of life.
I know the humanistic philosophy and deliberate indoctrination goals of the founders of the modern education system – i.e. Dewey. I steer clear of this modern educational approach. But as a mother of 7 children, all vying for my time, plus the laundry, the cleaning, the meals: Who has time to “do” school?
Our first and foremost Biblical mandate is to train up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Deuteronomy 6 talks about an education style that includes talking and walking along side our children.
There is this fallacy thinking looming over us that if we do not follow strict structured schooling for hours on end each day then our children will be ill-educated. Don’t let the pressure of “doing school” bring unnecessary stress into your day.
When I say, “Homeschooling: a way of life”, I am not speaking code for “unschooling”. I am talking about the majority of the “schooling” coming from life experiences. This is not to say that the children never receive any book education, however, in a large family with babies and toddlers, structured sit down times can be hard to find. I am speaking of a certain home schooling lifestyle that can be a workable, fulfilling experience in your family. 
I do not get boggled down with 7 different subjects, nor do I worry with grading mounds of paperwork.  I do not read the “What your 2nd grader should know” books.  I view my home as a garden that requires careful tending each day.  Discipline, education and training are part of the daily routine.  Some days I spend most of the day pulling weeds of un-Godly character.  Some days are rainy days.  Some days are hot and toilsome.  Some days are filled with beautiful fruit and gentle breezes.  Home education is a way of life.  We must not make academics our goal, but instead, that of training our sons and daughters in the nurture and admonition of the Lord first and foremost.  The academics will follow. 


  • sarah says:

    “Our first and foremost Biblical mandate is to train up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Deuteronomy 6 talks about an education style that includes talking and walking along side our children.”
    That was great encouragement to me, along with the many talks we have had about homeschooling and the great info you have emailed me.
    Also, I really enjoyed reading your last paragraph. Very encouraging.

  • sarah walston says:

    Great insight, Beth! So did you pack up the Noah Plan and pull out the “How do make your own Unit Studies” book instead! LOL! Just kidding. I totally agree though. We use “book learning” only when necessary – and I “only” have 4 children. I’m definitely an “unschooler” in that I just teach things to them as things come up. We are just now at the point where I can do some “school” with the kids – only because Claire is 2 and she doesn’t require AS MUCH of me as she did just 6 months ago. Anyway – good article.

  • admin says:

    I still have the Noah Plan and use it as a guide. I think they are too agressive in the younger academics. My older ones handle it fine but we do not do everything they suggest— Are they crazy or what?
    When I say un-schooling….. I met a lady at the library that was telling me that her 10 year old didn’t know how to read yet because she didn’t believe in teaching children how to read…her belief was that they will pick it up naturally. That is beyond me???
    Most un-schoolers I know…teach their children like you do. They live schooling, however, I have met some I quite don’t understand, like the lady at the library.

  • Sally says:

    Yeah, it’s sad…I was around a 10 year-old the other day who couldn’t read either…that’s mind boggeling to me! (it was also not because of any learning disability…just good ‘ole fashioned laziness!)
    Although our heart aren’t into homeschooling at this point, I’m a big believer in learning outside the box and that schooling doesn’t stop at the school, but it’s just beginning…and the real learning takes place at home. 🙂
    We’ll see how well we do…thankfully we have a ways to go!

  • Laura says:

    I’m soon to venture into “schooling days” and am having to transition from a public school background to a learn-alongside-me homeschooling approach. Your thoughts are appreciated!

  • melissa says:

    great post. i, too, have had to change my view of education as i homeschool. great post. i enjoyed browsing your blog.