With the advent of social media, we are all encouraged to share every moment of our lives online with our friends. What we’re doing, what we’re feeling, what we’re eating, where we are, who we’re with, what we think about certain issues—this is the standard content of posts on social media. Sometimes, however, in the enjoyment of communicating our daily lives, we forget that occasionally people we don’t know very well are reading what we post. Depending on where we post (say, in a homeschool Facebook group), we may even be sharing with strangers.

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s2smodern

It is that time of year to make New Year’s Resolutions.  I have a suggestion for you – and it has nothing to do with losing weight or cleaning the garage.  This year resolve that you will do homeschooling, not school at home.

What is the difference you ask?  Well, “school at home” is an attempt to replicate the activities of a typical government school classroom in your child’s education.  “Homeschooling” is providing parent-directed customized educational experiences for your children based upon interests and aptitude that are centered in the home environment.  Let’s look more at the difference.

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s2smodern

Fables tell us a story with a deeper meaning.  Here is a home education fable.

Once upon a time there was a great kingdom.  In this kingdom nearly everyone sought the will of God to do what was right.  One of the principles followed by parents was to provide for the education and training of their children.  In fact, they had a saying that when a parent trained up their children in the ways of the Lord, when the child was older, they would not depart from those ways. 

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s2smodern

Have you ever encountered the fool that is talked about in the book of Proverbs? Sometimes we think of “the fool” as describing one of those awful heathen-pagan-wicked-responsible-for-the-decay-of-America people and forget that the fool might be someone closer to home. We might even encounter them in homeschooling circles! In fact, on occasion…the fool might even be us! (Gasp!)

Let’s look at how Proverbs describes the fool and see how his or her foolish actions can manifest themselves in homeschooling.

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s2smodern

Digital technology has become ubiquitous in our society.  It is in our cars, our houses, our workplace, and delivers our entertainment.  But a question that we as homeschoolers must face is to what extent we need digital technology in our education process.  On the one hand we can extol the virtues of digital platforms, but they also come with some inherent dangers and risks.  If we ban the use of digital technologies, we put our kids at a distinct disadvantage when they are older and must interact with the digital world.  However, if we totally embrace digital technology, we find we are enabling a harmful environment into our family--an environment that can cause physical, emotional, and spiritual harm for our kids.

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s2smodern

Family life can be stressful. Humans are imperfect and even with two mature adults living in the same house, friction can happen. Add into the mix some immature children, complicate it by throwing in running a household and maintaining a regular homeschool schedule, and life can become “interesting” rather quickly!
Here are some tips our family has learned over the years to help smooth out and de-stress the process of living and working together.

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s2smodern

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic elements of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

For many Christian homeschooling families, this verse illustrates the most important reason why they homeschool. They don’t want their children taken captive by the world’s education system.

The philosophy that undergirds most of “public education” today has totally rejected Christ. Instead it is centered on man. The emphasis is on what mankind thinks and feels, on what mankind has done and is doing, and on relationships between people. An excellent way to describe it is the phrase the apostle Paul used in Colossians, “human tradition and the basic elements of this world.”

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s2smodern

If someone asked you what a “mission house” is, what would you describe? I think we would all agree that a mission house is a place where people are ministered to, and a place from which missionaries go out. But what does one look like? Having spent eight years in the Southwest, my first mental image is one of those cute little Spanish missions. Perhaps you would tell about a church or an inner-city outreach center.

But what about your house? Have you ever pictured your family’s home as a mission outpost? Recently our pastor preached about our homes being gospel mission houses and I gained a new appreciation of the concept. We can not only use our homes as places to minister to people, we can see them as places from which to send out our family as missionaries to the community.

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s2smodern

Okay, I’ll admit up front that I am unmarried and have no children. What could I possibly know about mistakes new homeschoolers make? I’m just a pipsqueak!

My list of credentials is short but Very Weighty. (Every pipsqueak thinks their credentials are Very Weighty.) I was homeschooled my entire life. I got my accredited bachelor’s degree and accredited master’s degree from home via distance education. I have volunteered with a variety of homeschool organizations. I’ve watched many homeschooling families and seen some successfully raise wonderful kids. I’ve seen other families crash and burn. By dint of keeping my eyes and ears open and using my Acute and Intuitive Perception (pipsqueaks always think they have Acute and Intuitive Perception), I have compiled a reasonable list of common errors that trap new homeschoolers. Kindly be impressed!

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s2smodern

For those of us who are Christians, we often use the metaphor that we are sheep.  Well, the other day I was thinking about that metaphor and I would like to extend it a bit.  In this extended metaphor most of the people in our society are sheep.  However, there are also some wolves in the community who prey on the sheep.  They look for a sheep who is isolated or who is weak and then they attack.  However, in addition to the sheep and the wolves, there are sheep dogs.  These protectors of the flock help to keep the sheep together and ward off the wolves when they get to close.

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s2smodern
Mike Scruggs