Aren't there lots of factors that determine homeschooling success or failure?
However, experienced home educators often identify one key factor that they believe was crucial to successful homeschooling.
Yes, I suppose I qualify for that category: "Experienced Homeschooler."
I've been homeschooling for over 30 years, and graduated all but one of our nine children from our homeschool. (Two more years to go for #9, Lord willing!)
Our family has experienced the homeschooling adventure from start to finish -- and beyond.
And as a member of that veteran group of seasoned homeschoolers, I can offer my recommendation for a key to homeschooling success.
What is it, do you suppose?
Is it curriculum selection?
Is it planning?
Is it educational background and training?
Is it skill?
All of those, and more, can be factors in homeschooling success. Some can be important contributors, but they weren't the key -- at least for me.
Here's the key that I found.
Are you ready?
The #1 key to homeschooling success for me was a foundation of relationships.
And my experience tells me there are two different types of relationships that are crucial for homeschooling success.
One is family relationships.
Which comes first?
Instruction or intimacy?
Schooling or security?
Teaching or trust?
Our children can learn and flourish when they are certain that they are loved, that they are secure, and that they have a place in our families.
God designed the family.
He created it as the foundational means to educate and disciple children.
(Sounds like the homeschooling model of education, doesn't it?)
Encouraging and developing loving and secure family relationships is key to any effort to teach or disciple our children.
And that brings us to the second, and even more important, relationship.
A relationship with God.
Our family has experienced many challenges throughout our homeschooling journey. Right now, we're experiencing a life-threatening health challenge.
Yet, as we've faced each and every challenge, a foundational key has been built over the years that carries us through.
That key is an always-developing, ever-more-intimate relationship with God.
Relationships as a Foundation
Laying these foundational relationships were a key to our homeschooling success.
Sure, the curriculum is important.
Yes, the planning and organization is needed.
Certainly, dedication and stamina is vital.
But each of those only become effective when they're built upon the key foundations of relationships with family and with God.
What can you do to develop these vital relationships?
- DEVOTE SOME TIME TO ASKING QUESTIONS & PRAYERFULLY SEEKING ANSWERS
Which relationships are weak or underdeveloped in our family?
Which relationships are strained or struggling in our family?
Where does forgiveness and grace need to be applied?
Are our family members growing in intimacy with each other and with God?
- SCHEDULE RELATIONSHIP-BUILDING TIME
Plan regular one-on-one time with each of your children.
Mom and Dad can take turns with this.
Don't forget marriage relationship-building time for Mom and Dad, too!
Commit to ensuring every family member is spending time in God's Word.
- ENCOURAGE FAMILY IDENTITY AND ROUTINES
What makes your family unique? Build on that!
Celebrate each family member's identity and contributions.
Have fun together. Try family bonfires. Family hikes. Family almost anything, as long as it is God-honoring and helps build family relationships.
Yes, relationships are KEY to homeschooling success.
If you seek to develop and deepen relationships in your family and with God, you'll find that all of the other factors affecting your homeschooling efforts will flourish and succeed.