Some Ingredients for a Successful Home School

Prayer and a willing attitude

  • A sense of humor
  • Discipline and encouragement (for both parents and children)
  • Flexibility
  • Resistance to fallacies
    • The Comparison Trap Fallacy: "My home school doesn't measure up to their home school, so I must be failing!"
    • The False Expectations Fallacy: "When I start homeschooling, it will make my family perfect!"
  • Family unity and aligned goals
  • Well-ordered priorities
  • Commitment to success

Organization for Your Home School
  • Set up a place for your child to keep school work, books, and supplies. This can be a plastic storage tub, a drawer, a cabinet, or a shelf on a bookcase.
  • Create a place for you to keep your daily tools and supplies.
  • Invest in some bookshelves. (We have yet to meet the homeschooling mom who says she has enough bookshelves!)
  • Consider filing cabinets as helpful storage tools as well.
  • Assign locations for all regularly-used materials, such as reference books, art supplies, math manipulatives, science equipment, educational games, etc.
  • Designate a place to store treasured samples of your child's work. Realize that you will not be able to save every item your child produces. Sort and keep only what is important to you.

Logistics for Your Home School
WHO will teach your children?
  • Mom? Dad? Both?
  • Outside tutors or teachers?
  • Cooperative group teaching?

WHERE will your child work?
  • Does your child need a lot of assistance and direction?
  • Does your child need a quiet location with few distractions?

WHEN will you teach?
As long as you meet the minimum legal requirements (CPI requires at least 148 days per school year, at least 37 days each school quarter), you can design any plan that works for your family.

HOW scheduled will you be?
  • Every family has a unique level that works best.
  • No matter how scheduled or relaxed you are, you'll find daily established routines are helpful tools.

Discipline for Your Home School
  • Seek wisdom and strength from God as you discipline yourself to take on the responsibility of your child's education.
  • Seek wisdom and direction from God as you evaluate your child's behavior, set goals for your child's character development, and carry out your plans.
  • Realize that, if you have more than one child, there are times when you will wish that you were more than one person!
  • Help your children learn how to be patient, wait their turn, and go on to something else while they wait.
  • Schedule one-on-one time with each child.
  • Group-teach subjects like Bible, history, or science.
  • Make it your goal teach your children to be independent learners.

  • If you have toddlers and/or infants, don't despair!
    • Plan to do concentrated school work during nap times.
    • Collect special toys that you only make available during times you are teaching the older children.
    • Schedule times for an older child to play with the little ones while you are helping another child with schoolwork.
  • Make plans on how you will deal with interruptions -- they are inevitable.
    • Inform family and friends that you will be unavailable during school hours.
    • Carefully consider each request to add an outside demand upon you or your child.
    • Set some ground rules for your own cellphone and computer usage during times you want to devote to instruction.
    • Anticipate days with unexpected emergencies (the basement floods) or unforeseen maladies (the flu strikes), and use each as an opportunity to learn and teach.

© 2019 Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators & Julie Naberhaus adapted from "The ABC's of Homeschooling in Iowa" by Julie Naberhaus


The habits of the child produce the character of the man.

~Charlotte Mason