This is part two in a series about planning your homeschool year. The first part was a bit of encouragement that when we surrender to to The Lord and keep His words before us, He will create a straight path for us. You can find that here Tis the Season.
Obviously when I began researching how to homeschool our first kindergarten son, I sought out advice from veteran homeschool moms and from brand new homeschool moms and everyone in between. I also researched the homeschool laws in my state. Friends led me to FPEA to discover ways to homeschool in Florida along with discovering the different methods, philosophies, etc.
A plan had already been brewing in my head because after all, I went to school so I know how “school” should be done. But because the voices of those who paved the way before me were louder and stronger than my own voice or rather that “still small voice” I followed them. They told me that I didn’t need to buy flash cards and I didn’t need to buy workbooks and I certainly didn’t need a put together curriculum for “just” kindergarten. So I just kinda winged it. We had an okay year but when I look back on this foundational year, I wish I would have laid a better foundation.
Just two short years later, our twins boys were ready for Kindergarten. My sister-in-law had just finished her first K year with her first born son so we compared notes. She shared with me the curriculum she used Heart of Dakota’s Little Hearts for His Glory. I went home prayed about it then ordered it.
I decided to combine all three boys in the same curriculum and we had a fun year of learning together! I quickly learned that my boys are stimulated visually so I did need flash cards for them. I did need posters for our school room. I did need certain things. All of this I say not to talk badly of any of the advice that I received but for it to serve as a reminder that we need to pray about the advice we receive and not take it as “the gospel truth” just because it worked for someone else.
Here are some practical things to consider when receiving advice from others:
- Consider the source – just because they homeschool doesn’t mean they have the same goals as your family.
- Do they homeschool just boys or just girls? Girls and boys learn differently. The best advice I have received were from moms or dads who homeschooled just boys because I homeschool “just boys”.
- Eat the hay and spit out the sticks. Take from the conversations what “hit home” with you.
- Pray! Before you seek out advice. Pray! Before searching Google. Pray! After your seeking and your searching.
As I look back and compare the two Kindergarten years, I am satisfied with the year that I had with my first K’er and I discovered that I am a teacher who likes a curriculum and who likes a plan so the 2nd K year for me left me feeling accomplished.
“I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace. All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13
“A man’s heart plans his way but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.” Proverbs 16:9, Amplified Bible