I’ve always seen my blog as a ministry opportunity. I love being able to encourage parents who are homeschooling their boys… and I try to share whatever I feel God is placing on my heart that week. I don’t know if you realize this, but I often pray for you, dear reader. I know how hard it can be to homeschool your kids – and homeschooling boys can be even more difficult.
Because my goal is to encourage and educate my readers, I’ve sent out a couple of different surveys over the years. These have helped me to get a better idea of the struggles that you are facing – and the questions that you are having while you are on your journey.
BTW – If you haven’t filled out my survey – or it has been awhile – and you’d like to weigh in again, you can do so here.
Today, I am going to select three of the questions that actual readers have asked me and answer them here.
Here are 3 Tough Questions I’ve Been Asked About Homeschooling Boys:
- How do I keep from messing up my boys by teaching them the way I, as a female, want to be taught?
Wow, that’s a good question. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me how to know that they aren’t messing up their kids or doing them a disservice by homeschooling them. I think that this question is something that most of us have contemplated at some time or other while on our homeschooling journeys. Parents want so badly to do what is best for their kids. And homeschoolers are swimming upstream which can make them question everything!
This question goes a step further, however, and asks how we can know that we are teaching our BOYS properly. This is a valid question. No matter how much society might want to turn their backs on this idea, boys and girls are different. They think differently, they see things differently, they hear differently, they feel comfortable in different temperatures, and more.
God has made it so that men and women compliment each other. Strengths that women have are often weaknesses for men and vice versa. This is not by accident. God wants us to rely on each other for the best possible outcome in life.
Our boys learn better in a slightly different learning environment than do our girls. My entire blog delves into ways to try to educate our sons in the best possible manner. Here are a few quick tips, however, to answer this question:
- Dads are key – Be sure dad is involved in your son’s life. Boys need their fathers! If your husband isn’t able to provide your son the amount of time and attention that he needs, then I highly recommend you search for another male mentor for your son.
- Be a student of your son – Observe him to discover the way that he learns best. Boys have many things in common but we are all unique individuals so you will want to see what works best for him specifically.
- God’s got your back – Remember that if God has called you to homeschool your son, He will give you the information that you need in order to equip him. God has all of us here for different reasons and He will make sure that you give your son the education that he needs in order to complete God’s purposes for him in this world. Pray that God would give you wisdom and that you would be able to trust Him and follow His plans for your son.
- How do you keep your house clean and good meals on the table when you always have children in your home and are teaching them all day? I admire women who can do it all and do it even semi-well.
First, I just want to remind everyone that no one can have it all or do it all. I hope I don’t give the impression that I have it all together and that I do everything well. Just ask my husband or my close friends about that. LOL I struggle to get everything done as much as the next person.
My big advice here is to decide what the priorities are for your family. If having a clean home is most important to you, then you’ll want to put house cleaning and chores at the top of everyone’s list. If eating healthy meals is most important, then you’ll want to prioritize that.
Here are a few quick tips I’ve found which have helped around here:
- Have a daily plan – I’m a planner. I wouldn’t get anything done if I didn’t have a plan in place for my day. I use Evernote to come up with daily task lists for myself. I have a master list for each week, with things I need to do on Mondays and Tuesdays and so on. This allows me to copy and paste the tasks that I need to do every week to that day’s tasks. Then, I simply add any additional items that I need to get done that day and there’s my To Do List for the day.
- Get the kids involved – You shouldn’t have to keep the house clean on your own. Not only is that an inefficient way to run a household, it also does your kids the disservice of allowing them to become lazy. Give your kids chores to do every day. If you have struggled in this area, consider running a Life Skills Boot Camp over the summer.
- Make a menu – I don’t know about you, but my brain feels pretty much fried by supper time. I need to have a plan in place for meals or I will be completely lost when it comes time to eat. Consider creating a weekly menu. This will help you know what to buy when grocery shopping. It will also tell you what meat needs to be thawed in the morning, what veggies need to be chopped, or what needs to be thrown into the crockpot. Try to do whatever meal prep you can throughout the day so that when supper time is imminent, you will have less work to tackle.
- What do you tell yourself when you are discouraged with how things are going?
We all have days, months, or even years that don’t go very well. Life can be tough and various circumstances can cause us to become tired and/or discouraged. When the kids are rebelling and you’ve basically had to throw your homeschooling plans out the window, it’s easy to feel like a total failure.
Here are some tips I’ve found which help to beat back discouragement:
- Start your day with prayer – This is vital! We need God to give us the strength to homeschool our kids well. Ask Him what He wants you to teach your children. Listen for His prompting. Let go of the things you don’t feel Him calling you to do.
- Take care of yourself – It’s easy to lose ourselves during these busy parenting years. We must make sure we are also finding ways to take care of ourselves or we can feel very tired and discouraged. Schedule the time if you have to! And don’t be afraid to ask others for help.
- Talk to yourself more than you listen to yourself – It’s easy to let that little voice in our heads tell us that we’re failing or that we aren’t doing enough. We all need to learn to tune out that voice and to tell ourselves what we need to hear. Be sure you are filling up on Truths from God’s word on a regular basis. Listen to encouraging podcasts. Read encouraging blogs. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.“
I hope you’ve found these answers encouraging! Keep your questions coming and I’ll be happy to attempt to answer them and to share any tidbits of wisdom I’ve been able to glean as I’ve walked down a similar road. God bless you in your efforts and be of good cheer. And remember that when God calls you to do something He will be the one to equip you and enable you to complete it!
And be sure to check out the other great posts about Questions from other iHN bloggers at iHomeschool Network.