I wonder how many of you who are homeschooling are thinking about curriculum decisions for the next school year. You are considering your options, looking at what is available, consulting with your husbands, and praying for direction.
Through our twenty-eight years of homeschooling, we have observed many homeschooling moms wilt under the stress of trying to do all that their curriculum requires of them. They love the idea of what they have chosen for a homeschooling method, but the reality of preparation and fitting the school work into their day leaves them harried, tired, frustrated, and irritated.
This has been such a concern of my heart that several years ago, I began sounding a trumpet for a type of homeschooling that is usually viewed negatively in the homeschooling community—using Christian textbooks—but in practice it is stable, productive, and extremely functional for the homeschooling mom and her children. It allows her to be successful without being stressed. I have written three other Mom’s Corners about this topic, and then a book, Managers of Their Schools, giving specifics. Here are links to the Mom’s Corners.
- Traditional Christian Textbook Curricula
- A Voice for Traditional Christian Textbooks
- Curricula Decisions Impact Homeschooling Success
If you will read those previous articles, you will discover why I am such an advocate of Christian textbooks for the homeschool family. My heart longs to see moms successful and not discouraged. Let me share with you a few testimonies of families who are making the choice for Christian textbook homeschooling.
“Because I have been homeschooling for sixteen years and have graduated two of my boys, I almost did not purchase Managers of Their Schools. I am so thankful, though, that I did. I learned so much from it, and it helped me to be more of an encouragement and to give better guidance to the moms in my homeschool group. I have made some positive changes to my homeschool as a result. We had a fantastic year because of those changes and are looking forward to the coming year. We have been so blessed.”
Here is another testimony from a mom who has three little girls.
“As our school year draws to a close, may I express my deep gratitude for the direction you provided in pointing out the traditional Christian textbooks. We absolutely loved it!!! It has been so much more manageable (especially as I dealt with my depression issues), productive, and structured due to your excellent advice on the choice of materials and scheduling in general in Managers of Their Schools. I am so relieved now as I look into the next school year because the direction is set, and we can now focus our energies on the daily walking out of our faith in the Lord Jesus!”
This mom found so much benefit from textbooks that she is continuing to use it for her large family.
“I have always used Christian textbooks and have found them to be economical as well as thorough. Using textbooks has taught my children self-discipline, a strong work ethic, and many other positive attributes. In the years that I seemed to always be nursing a baby or pregnant, it was extremely helpful to know that I taught the children to be more independent in their work. I have always been there when they needed help and to listen to them tell back to me all the neat things they learned that day.
“When I was asked what curriculum I used by other homeschool moms, I was often frowned at and corrected because we used textbooks. I am so thankful that I stuck to my guns and kept going despite the negative comments. If I had listened to the opposition, I don’t know if I would have continued homeschooling due to the great stress that ‘Being everything to my children’ would have brought. My oldest is in his senior year now, and I plan to continue using textbooks for the seven younger children. Thanks again for your encouraging words and for expressing the truth rather than popular opinion.”
Textbooks can even be used with children who have learning disabilities as this mom testifies.
“When we decided to homeschool our youngest son and then his sister who was two years older than him, we began homeschooling them using Christian textbooks. We have used textbooks with our son from the first grade up and with our daughter from the seventh grade up, and we have been very successful.
“We are homeschooling two special needs children and there are times that we have had to adjust our lesson plans and cut down on the amount of work we do in a day or a week. However, having the consistency of textbooks and a goal to finish each book or class before moving on to the next grade level, we are now starting her senior year and his sophomore year. He has maintained an A/B average and she is maintaining A/B/C’s. Both of these children were diagnosed as mentally retarded, emotionally disturbed, ADHD, and the list goes on, by the public schools. He was repeating the first grade for the second time, and she had just finished the sixth grade but was doing work on a 3rd and 4th grade level when we started homeschooling them.
“We have used textbooks through all of our homeschooling. It makes preparing lesson plans, setting goals, you name it, easy for me and easy for them. Now they are able to check the lesson planner and get started on the day’s work on their own.They consult me when they need help, and I think they have a really good over all education. Their classes on any given day are theology, literature, spelling, grammar, history, science, math, government, economics, physical education, home economics, music, and art.
“They look forward to the spring when we get our new books, and they get to see what they are going to be doing throughout the year. We are getting the majority of our work done before noon. I completely agree with the use of Christian textbooks.”
These testimonies are from typical homeschooling families—one that has been homeschooling a long time, one with many children, one with children with learning disabilities, and one with young children. Our ultimate goal is to raise children for God’s glory in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Homeschooling is simply a tool to help achieve this goal.
A mom who is stressed often lives in guilt and defeat. What she needs is a homeschooling method that will allow her to be accomplish her homeschooling so that she has relieved herself of one of her major stressors. As these moms have chosen to use Christian textbooks, they feel successful, confident, and blessed. I want each of you to be moms like these moms and feel that delight in what is accomplished in your homeschool. I recommend traditional Christian textbooks, and I suggest Managers of Their Schools as a resource to help you on that path.