Key to Homeschooling

This post we will be discussing the golden key to homeschooling. Can you guess what it is?

Well, it’s a Biblical principle. Actually, it’s the way Jesus taught His disciples. It’s also the core way we teach our children from birth on.

Here’s a verse as another hint:

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:8-12

In our current culture, it’s close to the idea we call “body doubling.”

Here’s a definition from Wikipedia:

Body doubling or parallel working is a strategy used to initiate and complete tasks, such as household chores or writing and other computer tasks. It involves the physical presence, virtual presence through a phone call, videotelephony or social media presence, of someone with whom one shares their goals, which makes it more likely to achieve them. For some people, it works best to both do similar tasks, while for others, just being in the same room is enough. It was partially popularized by those with ADHD to help manage symptoms. Its usefulness has also been noted by those with Autism, but efficacy is not clearly known as long terms studies have not been conducted on the topic.

This comes naturally–we do it without thinking. But we can monopolize it and use it to its greatest extent if we use it more intentionally.

Actually, purposely harnessing this teaching technique can alleviate a lot of the frustration we experience as we disciple our own children.

Our own children are all excellent workers. They have a terrific work ethic and are highly conscientious, which put them in position for great favor with employers, etc. It is part of who they are because of how they were trained.

From the youngest ages they saw their father and mother working right along-side them. We cleaned and did chores together. It was normal to consider work as part, a positive part, of our family life together. In their minds, it’s just what people do.

Whenever I noticed a child who was having attitude or motivation problems I would gather them closer to me. I would make them cling to my side. They went everywhere doing everything with me, whether washing dishes, folding laundry, etc. This closeness was “body-doubling”–it comforted them and kept them on task.

Also, if I noticed some group chores (such as cleaning the kitchen after meals) were getting less and less attention, I would get directly involved. I would help them clean the kitchen, their rooms, etc. The energy I brought to the task was encouraging, and the interest and fellowship we experienced created closer bonds.

Recently, I did this with the few children we have left at home. Older siblings were getting jobs and moving on, so their leadership, skills, and understanding were absent from our home maintenance routines. Most of the responsibility was falling on my shoulders, and it was exhausting!

So…I had the three remaining children follow me throughout the day. I taught them everything about running our home; from dishes, to laundry, to cooking, to managing and planning and maintaining.

At first they balked, and it took more time each day to get everything done when we were in “mentor mode.”

However, after a few weeks they were able to take over. Amazingly, they also started exuding pride in their new abilities.

Now even these children are becoming quite busy, but I know I can ask them to do anything in our home and they will know how. They even go above and beyond what is expected!

Now, when it comes to learning and academics…this technique is AMAZING!

For instance, people often ask what “curriculum” I have used to teach my children how to draw, but I haven’t used anything. The drawing bug started years and years ago when I would sit and draw with my older children (who were tiny then). They got so excited they mimicked me, and in turn their younger siblings mimicked them, and so-on, and so-on until everything ran down hill and snowballed until we have a family filled with kids who love to draw, paint, craft and design.

The same has happened with reading, writing, and math. I read good literature to them, which developed in them a taste and desire for more good literature. Then they sought out good literature on their own.

When they were using flash cards for math facts, I had them test me, too. When they were memorizing scripture and poetry, I memorized, too. I wrote stories and essays right along with them.

Currently, I am doing algebra right along-side our daughter. I bought a second copy of Saxon Algebra (used on Ebay) so I could do each lesson as she is doing it. This way I can track with her and my brain is in the same space when she has a question or becomes frustrated.

We are also using a co-journal where we write back-and-forth to each other. For my part, I try and give an example of good letter writing and ask them to write back to me in various forms, whether it be as a news story, a poem, or an informal essay.

Doing these things with my girls is the favorite part of my day!

I’m no math whiz–I make lots of mistakes, too. But that’s OK; we’re learning together. The girls can receive from me because they know I truly understand their needs and frustrations.

This is the Jesus way of teaching.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:15

He is Emmanuel–GOD WITH US!

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the golden key to homeschooling

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