Kids & School – 4 Reasons We Challenged the Norm


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Thanks for joining us today!

Welcome to the 5th installment in the Embattled Spirit series:

 What I Wish I’d known . . .


View last week’s message HERE



4  Things I Learned in the Process of . . .



Our initial motivation: We’d moved to a backwards town where the academic results of even private education fell short of the national average. Our son deserved better. So we brought him home for 3rd grade . . . and he stayed.


1) Paradigm Shift                    Chief Necessity

First Year (ages 8/2): I set up a “schoolroom” in the basement and organize each day to imitate a public school schedule. 9am-3pm, one hour planned for each subject. Textbooks ruled! MEA CULPA! That’s what we call school at home, not homeschooling.

Fifth Year (ages 12/6): Schoolroom = forests & fruit groves (science); grocery stores (planning/pricing/buying); Kitchen (math/science/home-ec); Libraries (duh), Hands-on museums (science/research); Snorkeling the Pacific (oceanography lab); Flying Cessnas (career day); Feeding the homeless (character/social studies); Cottage industries & personal checkbooks at age 12 (business); planning/hosting parties (social intelligence skills); Handwritten thank you cards (character/practical writing); Volunteering; Taping science experiments ala Bill Bye & video editing. Missions (cultural studies).   I could go on . . .

Lesson learned: May learning be alive and relevant. May textbooks (boring by nature) not rule but supplement as needed (fyi: both kids hold university degrees)


2) Shared DNA ≠ Shared Personalities                     Boxed Curriculums

“Third grade in a box” (yes, regimented educational materials are available). There are 4 types of learners, and my kids did not share a learning style. One wanted only historical facts; the other thrived on absorbing historical cultures. Textbook math for one; math manipulatives for the other. Their intuitive methods of learning didn’t fit in one box.

I became the “bag lady” who meander w/purpose through homeschool conference vender room, selecting different learning material suitable to each child. Thank God, some curriculum options by design (i.e. History Alive) catered to all 4 learning styles.

Lesson learned: No one perfect curriculum exists. Educating your kids is a delightful adventure!

3) Character over Chemistry                           Highlight Virtue 

“My planner says we have to finish chapter 3 of Physical Science today, or else . . .” But my kids are arguing over chores, and the words coming out of their mouths could scar them for life and destroy their relationship. I want to yell, “Stop treating each other like that! Take your school material to your rooms and stay there until it’s done!” It’s always tempting to take the cowardly way out.


Lesson learned: Parents have a finite window during which to develop kindness and teach forgiveness (character), whereas a person can learn chemistry at any age.

Relationships are messy by nature, and God appointed me to train my children how to handle relational messes with a win/win attitude.



4) A Time for Everything                   Live ♥ Love

18 years is but a speck on the timeline. God is about family and people (relationships). No person on his deathbed ever reflects on life and says, “I wish I worked longer hours and filled my leisure time with adult-only hobbies.”

Intentionally or accidentally, we are raising the next generation of leaders and delegates. Every minute spent schooling our kids was worth my time and effort.



To close today’s blog,  this quote from Diana Waring says it best:


Imagine what it would be like if your child thought school was fun

What if your children woke up and actually begged to do school?  What if instead of you dragging them through the maze of schoolwork, they were actually the ones leading you, wanting to learn more? What if instead of having to motivate them, they motivated you?

Ever known a child like that?  You probably thought… “child genius.”

But the truth is every child has the inborn capacity to be an excited learner!

Yes, every single child.

So what’s holding them back? The box called “education.”

Too often, “education” is a one-size-fits-all box, and you are left trying to stuff your child inside.

But what if instead of being a box, education was an open door to a world of discovery and adventure? 

Education is an adventure waiting to happen!

 Unbelievable you say? Unachievable you insist?! Well, get ready to think differently!





OVERALL Lesson Learned: When my son reached first-grade age, I would’ve continued homeschooling him as I’d been doing naturally since he was born.




If you’re curious for more info or wish to talk about homeschooling your own kids, leave a comment below or contact me via this website.




The Way of the Embattled Spirit

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One Response to “Kids & School – 4 Reasons We Challenged the Norm”

  1. Jenn Blowers says:

    This is awesome. We are about to just start our season in this. We are excited and nervous. Excited to see how much things will change for our kiddos in learning and excited to see how they grasp things in a new way instead of the “one-size-fits-all” way. How do you teach your kids to love their originality and think outside the box if they are always in one. Any pointers and tips would be amazing. We are still a house hold where both parents work. And till we figure this all out it will have to be that way.loved what I read!

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