As a homeschool mama, I’ve had to do a lot of
on-the-job training, and it hasn’t been pretty.
So what’s the point? ;e point is that
life is too short, and time is the most
precious commodity given to us by God.
I think I’ve come to realize that “I can’t
do it all.” And a;er twenty-three years
of marriage, and six kids later, ;rst and
foremost, I want to be a “heart and soul
homeschool mama.” ;at’s all that really matters. My house is temporal: here
today, gone tomorrow. But my children
I’m Not ;at Smart
So I am not a “house-cleaning super
mama.” I gave that dream up long ago.
Nor am I a “brainiac homeschool mama.”
My kids do have some gaps in their education. Even so, they did alright; the two
who have graduated went on to do a few
semesters in college and got straight As.
Well, Lukey got ONE B (history). Other
than that, they are 4.0 college boys. So
something went right in their homeschooling. Nevertheless, there are holes.
We didn’t dissect a frog for instance—
ever. My house is messy enough as it is,
and knowing us, someone would lose a
liver, or something, in the clean laundry.
One of my friends ordered a cow’s eyeball (it was delivered via the U.S. Mail,
if you can believe that). She rolled that
puppy right onto her kitchen table and
sliced and diced away with her kids.
;en they stored the thing in her fridge.
Okay. Well, then.
I have another homeschool mom,
friend, who also happens to be our lawyer. Her child probably could have graduated when he was 13. She’s a constant
stream of brainpower, and she imparts
it all to her lucky boy, who is almost as
smart as she is—crazy.
I can’t do that; I am simply not equipped.
Instead, we focus on the basics, and have
loads of conversations, and put the time
into a bazillion documentaries, and travel
around on business, and read books aloud
when we can. We also do loads of reading
comprehension. Epic success!
trip experience for every other day of the
week. ;eir kids have hiked the Grand
Canyon and walked the streets of Jamestown and Philadelphia. ;ey participate
in Civil War reenactment festivals (for
both sides), and can recite the Gettysburg
Address—busy, busy, learning by experiencing. ;ey would ;y to every planet if
they could. And my hat is o; to them!
Look at the investment they are pouring
into their children!
No, I am not a “;eld trip homeschool
mama” like some of my friends. But we
have been able to take advantage of the
opportunities the Lord has provided. For
instance, when we have to travel for the
magazine, we always take our kids along
with us. We turn business trips into “;eld
trips,” even if it means taking some de-
tours and spending a few extra days on
the road. By this means, we have visited
places like Yellowstone National Park in
Wyoming, the site of the Battle of the
Little Bighorn in Montana, the Alamo
in San Antonio, and crisscrossed most
of the Lewis and Clark trail, including a
stop at Pompey’s Pillar. ;ere is nothing
like supplementing a history lesson with
a visit to where it all took place. And for
those locations beyond our reach, we can
always visit faraway places via books,
documentaries, and with much caution,
Priorities, Priorities, Priorities . . .
I was thinking about the lady who asked
me how I “do it all” and I thought,
“Hmmm, I wonder if a lot of others are
feeling bummed that they don’t ‘have it
all together’ or that they’re just not well
put together enough as a homeschool
mom?” Perish the thought! Here, make
a list if you need to. You want to be organized and that’s a good thing. Being
orderly is right and necessary. But don’t
beat yourself up if you can’t do everything you think should be happening.
;at’s where your list comes in. Make
three categories, maybe something like
this one of mine, below. We’re talking
priorities here. What’s the most important, then second most, and then wishful
thinking (but may be possible by 2019 or
something). Okay, so like I said, here’s
mine. Now you make your own.
B. Pretty High Priority
up and muscles are being toned
couches exposed to daylight
together, eat together
Field Trip? You Wanna Go
I am not a “;eld trip homeschool mama.”
Okay, these mamas are great, but I cannot keep up with them! ;ey have a ;eld
A. Highest Priorities
head of home and family
sure there are clear channels of com-
munication with each one
even if at a slow and steady pace?
health department stops in
C. Would Be Nice
ruins and the Colosseum
can wear shoes today
sense (these things take time
theater with Paul and the kids