Monday, April 17, 2017

Homeschool Helps- Getting Started in Homeschooling Your Children

I put this together for a sweet friend who hopes to eventually homeschool her children. I remember when our family first began to homeschool and feeling overwhelmed because I knew very little about how to homeschool or where to even begin. If you are considering homeschooling your children I would be more than happy to help answer any question you may have if you will just send me an email or message! This coming year will be our 7th year of homeschooling!

Helpful Websites: Everything you need to know about home schooling and getting started. (Look up home schooling for many wonderful and encouraging articles) - Great website to encourage mothers! May subscribe to their free quarterly magazine.

Homeschool Sanity by Large Family Mothering
What Your Child Need To Know When by Robin Sampson
Educating the Whole Hearted Child- Sally Clarkson

Teaching Child How to Read-
I begin teaching alphabet, letter sounds, letter recognition, and then move on to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.
I also buy the Abeka paper reading books available at their website. It takes only 15 minutes a day to teach your child to read. If you can tell your child is struggling or discouraged, wait another week and try again. Once your child is ready to read developmentally, it should come naturally. I also print a Dolsh Word List from google for children to learn sight words.
Books to teach child how to read-
Reading Pathways, Phonic Pathways, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, BOB books from

Mother with several children:
I use computer software whenever I’m in a season that I don’t have the time to sit down and do schooling as often as I’d like. I use Switched on Schoolhouse and Teaching Textbooks for Math. We love Teaching Textbooks, which begins at grade 3. I can’t recommend it enough!

Tips/Good to know:

ALWAYS begin your day with prayer and God’s Word. No Bible, no breakfast. J

Have a home school basket and folder for each child. Every weekend, tear out the worksheets for the upcoming week and print a simple schedule. You don’t have to begin keeping records for children until age 7!

If your child completes a lesson in 20-30 minutes, that counts as 1 logged hour of instruction.

Homeschooling will look much different than school. You will spend a lot less time doing school work, but will find your children learning more. In a school setting they have bathroom breaks, lunch, recess, art, music, and interruptions that take up many hours of their day, but it’s still counted as school.

How you home school will look different each year and that’s o.k. Seasons of life change and so do children.

If you begin using a particular curriculum and find it’s not working for your child, don’t be afraid to change it. You are in charge and are not bound by a curriculum. That’s the great thing about home schooling! You get to use what’s best for YOUR child.

Missouri does not require yearly testing, but I highly recommend it for your peace of mind and in case someone ever questions your children’s education. The CAT (California Achievement Test) is qualified by all states and can be found at I have my children take the test at the end of every school year. You can order a paper test, but I’ve always done the online test because I can get the results within 5 minutes of their completion.

Don’t let your schedule control you. “Life happens”.

Your job as a home school mother is to work yourself out of a job. By the time your child is in 8th grade, they should be a self-motivated learner and be able to do their work without your assistance. By the time they are in high school they should do all their work alone and be able to keep records of their own schedule and hours.

Homeschool is much more than teaching your child to be book smart. It is learning responsibility, developing character, allowing a child to be creative, teaching children how to think Biblically, learning how to communicate with people of all ages, learning how to serve others, learning homemaking and basic life skills. Your child is learning 24/7 from being at home. Remember, learning doesn’t end when the books are closed.

I usually begin formal schooling at age 4. We use Abeka or Horizons for curriculum. By state law you have to teach 5 subjects. Math, Science, History, Language, and Reading.
I buy Abeka history, science, language, phonics, and spelling books from Abeka. For reading I use Abeka readers and the McGuffey Readers. Research McGuffey readers and Eclectic Education Series.

Favorite Supplementals:

Ditty Bugs- cd with educational content put to song
Kathy Troxel cd’s for History/Geography, etc.
Typing Instructor- Computer Software
Ultimate Spelling
Critical Thinking Company- Has many software programs.
Right Now Media- is like Netflix, but all christian movies. Is FREE with invite. Send me your email and I will send you an invite to join for free. Has thousands of educational movies, cartoons, and Bible studies.

Free Curriculum:
Khan University
Old Fashioned Education

Favorite Curriculum:
Heritage Books
Christian Light Publications
Milestone Books
Reformation Heritage Books
Teaching Textbooks

Average Amount of Time Spent on Actual “Schooling”
4 years old- 1-3 hours a day
Kindergarten- 2-3 hours
1st-3rd- 2-3 hours
4th-5th- 3 hours
6th-8th- 3.5-4 hours
9th-12th- 4-6
For high school I recommend applying for college once they are 16 and taking dual credit classes so that they are doing online college and getting high school credits. I plan to let my children take the GED (Asset) test once they are 16. I also plan to count their college credits as high school credits so that I can give them a high school diploma as well. In order to take the GED test a student has to have 16 credit hours in Missouri.

4 years-2nd grade Sample Time to Spend on Subjects:
Phonics- 15 min.
Copywork- 15 min.
Science- 20-30 min.
History- 20-30 min.
Reading- 15 min.
Spelling- 15 min.
Math- 30 min.
Bible, Art, and Music- 1 hour (These count as extra hours of instruction)

Kindergarten Objectives

Should be able to complete by the end of Kindergarten:

Count by 2’s
Count by 5’s
Count by 10’s
Writes by 1’s without error
Writes by 2’s
Writes by 5’s
Writes by 10’s
Tell name and value of coins
Arrange objects from small to large
Tell time
Knows number words
Add and subtract concepts to 5
Identifies upper and lower case letters
Writes uppercase and lowercase letters
Write first and last name
Master phonic sounds

Father God,
Please pour out your Holy Spirit upon me today. I cannot fulfill this great task in my own strength. I ask that You will give me Your strength, Your wisdom, Your refreshing, Your patience and longsuffering, and Your anointing. By the power of Your Holy Spirit working in and through me I pray that I will raise:
Godly children in this ungodly world.
Holy children in this unholy world.
Pure children in this impure and unclean world.
Truth-loving and truth-keeping children in this deceived world
Overcoming children in this evil world
God-seeking children in this entertainment seeking world
God’s Word reading and God’s word loving children in this humanistic world, and
Prayer-loving children in the midst of a prayer-less church.
Children who seek You above all else and has a faith that endures to the end.
I pray this prayer in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen!
Modified from Nancy Campbells post title “Please, God!” July 2015


Lord, give me patience when wee hands
Tug at me with their small demands.
Give me gentle, smiling eyes,
Keep my lips from hasty replies.
Let not weariness, confusion, and noise
Obscure my vision of life's fleeting joys.
So when in the future my house is still,
No bitter memories its silence may fill.
~Author unknown

If I teach my children to speak Spanish, French, Latin, Greek, and Japanese, but do not teach them to love God, I have nothing.
If they know how to tell time and have their times tables memorized, but do not know the God of time and all eternity, it profits me nothing.
If I teach them all about psychology, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy, but they do not love the LORD their God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, I have gained nothing.
If they are well versed in William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Edgar Alan Poe, but do not delight in the Law of the LORD, their learning has come to nothing.
If they know about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln, but do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior and LORD, their knowledge is meaningless.
If they are champions at spelling bees, get perfect scores on their SATs, and get accepted into the best universities, but reject their Creator, I have accomplished nothing.
If they are successful beyond my wildest dreams, if they have huge paychecks, giant houses, and lavish lifestyles; If they gain the whole world, and yet lose their souls, I am an utter failure.
So now I see that reading, writing, and arithmetic are important, literature, languages, and history are all valuable, science and social studies have their place,
But if I my children do not become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ, I have merely educated them.
I must do more than educate them…I must disciple them. I must teach them to love the Lord.
Tiana from God Made, Home Grown

3 R’s: Ruin, Redemption and Regeneration
Charles Spurgeon said:
Be sure, whatever you leave out, that you teach the children the three R’s–Ruin, Redemption, and Regeneration. Tell the children that they are ruined by the fall and that there is salvation for them only by being redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Keep constantly before them these vital truths…

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