Home School: Books, Children, Kitchen, and Husbands

A well managed home school maintains a balance between what wife and husband would like to accomplish, and what they can actually accomplish with available energy and skills.  Some preferred learning projects may have to be put on hold temporarily while mom deals with pressing issues of daily care of children, herself and her husband.  Even the best of trained and experienced teachers learn to budget their available energy and intellectual skills to address the academic needs of students.  A significant secret to maintaining a happy marriage and quality education is to recognize which academic courses are the most demanding on the wife, and be willing (at least for a season), to select curriculum that requires the least amount of mom’s time for planning, oversight, and record keeping for specific academic subjects.  Rare is the home- educating wife who is equally gifted in the four major academic areas of math, science, language skills and cultural studies at all the grade levels of her children. 

Fortunately, home school families have access to a plethora of wonderful academic resources ranging from self-paced material to hands on instruction.  The larger the family and greater the range of ages and academic grades, the more parents need to decide what is reasonable for the wife to supervise.  The most reasonable approach for the husband and wife is to determine what courses and subjects take an extra amount of mom’s time for planning, oversight and record keeping, and to procure curriculum that allows students to assume the greater amount of responsibility for completion without “over-the-shoulder” supervision by mom.  The wife should teach the courses that are her favorites, and delegate to self-directed curriculum the subjects that tax the mom’s academic skills, emotional energy, and available time. 

Parents need not feel guilty by falsely assuming that they are providing an inferior education by selecting self-paced, individualized learning materials that reduce the academic load on the wife. Several sectarian and secular curriculum publishing companies have recognized the need to provide quality instructional materials for one-room school settings, with one being Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum, which provides top-of-the line products.  Children who home-educate on those materials have demonstrated a high level of competency when enrolling in college courses.  Application of individualized learning curriculum in print or on computer does not prevent parents from also involving their children in special learning projects such as field trips, academic and performing art competitions, or collaborative projects with other members of the family or home school community.  What the individualized curriculum does accomplish is to reduce mom’s daily load to a manageable level so she has the emotional and physical energy to be the mom and wife she wants to be.

Moreover, publishers of individualized learning curriculum usually provide guidelines and training to help parents get the most out of course materials.  They also provide efficient record keeping forms and instructions that enable moms to spend a minimum amount of time on lesson planning, oversight and record keeping.  For example, Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum and System (PACS) offers a Home School Training Kit that “walks” mom through the steps to identify, prescribe and provide oversight of academics in an efficient and professional manner.  The kit also includes a Daily Academic Goal Chart, Academic Contract, Transcript Planner, Report Card, Incentive Chart, and Diploma.  The kit is packaged to minimize administrative management of the educational program.

Individualized high school courses also reduce mom’s daily load to a manageable level so she has time to devote attention to the children who need more oversight.  Another benefit of using individualized curriculum is that teenagers begin to feel that they are earning parental confidence to emancipate from childhood behavior.  Most teenagers neither like nor need mom to direct all aspects of academics studies.  Teenagers who are encouraged and allowed to take responsibility for a large part of their academics not only help mom, they tend to mature in decision-making skills that enhance career choices and performance in college. 

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