Saturday, July 01, 2006

Ten Habits of a Happy Homeschool

As I’ve reflected over the last ten years of teaching my children, a few habits we have developed over time have come to mind that have helped our home to be a happy place of learning.

1. I rise before my children and have at least ½ hour to myself and I dress and make my bed first thing and greet each child with a ‘good morning’ and a smile. This doesn’t come natural for me because my dad was a night owl and I followed in his footsteps.  The change was not easy, but has been very rewarding.

2. We have a general routine that gives my children a map for their day.  They feel secure and happy knowing the day’s general plan and their duties. 

3.  Every afternoon I have one hour to myself.  No interruptions allowed (unless a child is bleeding to death!).  My children are required to be on their beds at this time reading or writing what they wish, but no noise allowed.  We’ve done this since they were toddlers and call it Quiet Time.

4.  I continue to educate myself as well as keep up a hobby.  I consider this very important for ALL mothers.

5.  I keep four books going at all times by my bedside and read ½ hour before bed, choosing whatever book I am in the mood for at the time. (fiction, spiritual, nonfiction and a child’s book I am proofreading)

6.  I purpose not to yell and try to be pleasant when correcting, remaining firm, but kind.  I am still learning to do this, but see the improvement and it makes everyone’s day go well since Mom sets the tone for the day.  What a great and wonderful responsibility given to mothers!

7.  The children play outside at least two hours a day whether they want to or not.  We also sharply limit unattended playtime with other children. The TV is in our bedroom so is virtually unused except for news and the occasional carefully chosen video or DVD. 

8.  We eat supper together in the evenings and we speak of worthy subjects. Often the children narrate to Dad stories from the day’s lessons.  It is a happy time.

9.  We have a bedtime routine that includes mom or dad talking and praying with the children before bed and we make sure that they are not sad or angry while drifting off to sleep.

10.  One evening a week is reserved for Family Fun Night -- even if it means saying ‘no’ to invitations elsewhere and one evening a week is Date Night for Mom and Dad -- even if it means staying at home and putting the children to bed early.  

Lastly and most importantly, I have allowed myself to dream (or shall I say I have been given a vision?) and I’ve made all decisions in light of it, even when ridiculed.  This has required the development of a thick skin. But history has shown us that anyone who blazed their own trail, who heard the beat of a different drummer and who challenged the status quo, faced similar obstacles --- They also changed the world.


  1. Hi Linda,
    I wanted to stop by and say hello! Your blog looks really nice.
    Hope you have a lovely Christmas.

  2. I keep up a blogspot blog too- I was on it before I cam to HSBlogger. So I'll be happy to come read you here! Blessings,

  3. I am so glad to know where you moved to.
    I would surely miss reading your blog if you disappeared. As I have said before, you make me think and rethink how I educate, my kids and I enjoy when you share your life in Turkey, and your time in the trenches has wisdom I have yet to know.
    So thanks!
    And regarding your comment - I truly do enjoy my boy's. But after them, having this girl makes me feel like a first time Mom, the difference, though obvious is still amazing.

  4. Anonymous21.12.06

    I am so looking forward to hearing your thoughts on CM when you come back again. I hope your Christmas is joyous.


  5. i loved this post!!! I think I'll print it up for my own rereading as necessary. very nice. thank you!

  6. I just want you to know how appreciative I am of your blog and insight to CM! We are entering our 2nd-ish year of CM and I will never look again for another way to homeschool. I pray the Lord gives you GRACE to bring Christmas to your corner of the world. Thank you for the time you put into your blog *ministry* because that is truely what it is!! I want to be like you when I grow up;)

    Merry Christmas!

  7. Thanks so much for all the gracious comments.

    I will just be reposting old posts from my other blog throughout the month of January. Maybe some of them will be new to you if you haven't read all my archives.
    I won't be visiting blogs or commenting until January.

    Have a blessed Christimas, Stacy, Rebeca, Dana, Christy, PeakmoreAcademy, and Renee!

  8. Betty28.2.07

    Still reading! I've been checking out some of your older posts while I wait for dh to come home from an unexpected trip out of town. This one is great! I'd love to hear your vision and why that's made you swim against the current! I need thicker skin, but not necessarily for any vision I have but for the everyday barrage of comments and "advice" I get from others. I'd rather develop a thick skin for a more noble, exciting reason! So, if you can, please share your dream/vision.

    Blessings for a good morning for you (and good evening to me!)

  9. This was my first visit to your blog. Found it through a link from Enjoy the Journey. Anyway, I LOVE this post. I agree with all of them, follow most of them (still struggling with numbers 9 and 10). It's a nice reminder! Thanks!h

  10. Tracy22.4.08

    Hi Lindafay,

    Your comment, " We also sharply limit unattended playtime with other children," is something I've been wrestling with lately. Can you comment, expound, explain on how you do this, and maybe give some encouragement that this is a wise choice for our children?

    Thank you,


  11. Hi Tracy,
    I'll mull your question over and try to write up a little post with my thoughts about this in the near future. Okay?

  12. I'm so impressed with how you moved your HSB comments over~when I moved to WordPress I lost mine, and they meant sooo much to me! ESPECIALLY when everyone was waiting for Hazel to be born, andshe was late!

    Anyway, I know this is an old post, but I am rediscovering your wisdom. ~smile~ I've missed you and again am SO GLAD to find ya again! I have a Q about outside play. We live in the inner city, and I don't let my children out front without an adult. Our backyard is kinda small, but it would still suffice. What does this time outside look like? Are you out there too, or is it that they are outside doing what kids do on their own? *THANKING YOU!* (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  13. Hi Sandi,
    I understand where you are coming from. We have lived in some pretty rough places and my children were not allowed to play in the front yard either. Sometimes, all we had was a balcony. They played there and we took walks together and went to the park. In those days we couldn't go out for two hours. I talk about our outside times in this post:

    When we did get a small backyard, I always went out with my little ones because they needed watching. I'd take a book or sewing project and often snacks and a blanket but when they got a little older, they played in the back, often without me. I perched near a window where I could check on them. However, at least once a week, I was outside with the children having a nature walk. On other days we had picnics and games. We often had schooltime on blankets in the back yard.

    I don't always interact with the children, but shoo them away so that they will learn to play, but when they were little they especially needed me to get them started on an imaginative idea. I think that 'city kids' need more help getting the imagination going because their scope is limited to a small back yard whereas country kids have many places to roam and play, so the imagination is more easily kindled and nature is abundant. Now that we live in the country all of us are outside 3 to 4 hours a day. We garden together, play games and take care of the many animals we have.

    I think I'm beginning to ramble so I better hush.


  14. Dear LindaFay,


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