Homeschooling With a Busy Schedule

Brenda Harkins

"Busy" used to be a bad word in my book. The busyness of life seemed to pull me away from everything I felt I needed to accomplish with my children that very day. I was somewhat addicted to my lesson planner, and condemnation rolled in with black clouds and loud thunder if every item was not daily checked off as "completed." The problem, along with my obsessive/compulsive behavior, was that I was trying to bring the traditional classroom home. That is not what the Lord called me to do. He called our family to do school differently, not copy the traditional system. With that realization, I was released to enjoy His calling with my children--even if that meant operating our "school" in a non-traditional way.

childrenwritingathomeLife is our school. The busyness of life contributes to our classroom. We learn through all the various activities that make up our days. Don't get me wrong. I strongly believe in meeting grade level objectives. I simply believe those objectives can be accomplished in unique ways that work differently for each family.

In our home, objectives are prioritized for each child in each subject for their specific grade. Throughout the school year we cover each area. We have our textbooks, but we are not bound by them. (Except for math, it seems.) In slower seasons we work more from the textbooks. In busier seasons, I take the objectives from the texts and form lessons to go along with what life is requiring of our family at that time. When we combine skill development with practical family life we get twice as much accomplished in the same amount of time.

Learning beyond the Classroom

For example, our family is going on a mission trip to the Philippines in a few months. Our next project is to read about the culture and history of the specific island where we will be ministering. Research reports will be stored in a special keepsake notebook. Reading, writing, research, and history are all combined, and actually relevant to what our family is involved in at the present time. We are all excited about this learning experience, and sense the value in it, because this trip is very special to our hearts. God calls us to be involved with, connected to, and ministering in other people's lives. Therefore, we simply recognize God's calling for each particular season and form our lessons around that.  We fail without God's goals matching our own

Experience has taught me something very important. Without my goals being God's goals for me, I am destined to fail. But when I understand His will, and commit to follow it, I have confidence that He will daily show me the way of success. After all, He equips those He calls. Peace and good fruit follow those who follow His leading.