Yes, with the help of God!
We are all regular moms and dads. Most of us were not raised with a classical education, yet we strive to give our own children a better education than we received.
At the high school level, you may wish to incorporate outside opportunities for debate, discussion, research reports, science labs, seminary exploration, and advanced learning classes as needed; but you are certainly capable of overseeing your child’s classical and Lutheran education K-12.
Classical and Lutheran home education requires a great time commitment, but the sacrifice is well worth the harvest in the end. When understood as a God-given and God-strengthened vocation, a mother can approach her children’s education earnestly and seriously. She knows that God will nurture and teach her children through her in spite of her weaknesses. She sits at the table while her children learn math. She purchases (or borrows) books for each child to read and discuss, rather than trying to share one copy. She relegates household chores and personal phone calls to after-school hours and weekends. And she knows that her sacrificial efforts will benefit her children and her family in beautiful and even eternal ways. An inspiring and comforting book on this very Lutheran topic is God at Work, by Dr. Gene Edward Veith, Jr.
Homeschooling is efficient schooling. We do not need 8 hours a day, because our children do not ride buses, take attendance, require permission slips, line up for lunch, or have other institutional necessities. Some moms combine housework with homeschooling for greater efficiency. For example, a homeschooling mom can spend 90 minutes in this manner:
- Teach a child his daily math lesson, tutorial style (20 min) Watch the child practice a few problems to demonstrate understanding (5-10 min)
- Assign him the day’s homework review problems to solidify mastery (2- 5 min)
- Set the child’s work timer for 40 minutes, load the dishwasher, toss a load of laundry in the washing machine, check on the progress of the other children’s independent work assigned during this time, and prepare the upcoming group Latin lesson (40 min) Check the child’s completed work and review his errors with him (15 min)
Remember that home education allows for flexibility. This will help. Whenever mom needs a break, likely the children do too. Home education is a long journey, so pacing is essential. Leave ample room in planners every month for spontaneous No-academics-let’s-clean-the-house-for-Dad day, or a It’s-a-sunny-spring-day-let’s-call-our-friends-and-go-to-the-park day, or Let’s-burst-out-of-cabin-fever-at-the-indoor-pool day! Flexibility also allows for a year-round Monday to Thursday schedule or quarterly week-long breaks.
Needs for exercise and rest must be accommodated. To help ease the overwhelming pressure some homeschool moms place on themselves, many homeschool families “school” year-round to allow greater scheduling options.
Some alternatives to Monday-Friday “school by Mom”
- Study select subjects, such as poetry, art, or science only during the summers to lighten the daily load during the school year.
- Take advantage of new interactive online courses or DVD’s in subjects such as Latin or Logic. See www.veritaspress.com or www.memoriapress.com for sample classes. Though not specifically Lutheran, these classes offer high- quality classical education options.
- Provide “classical education” leisure activities, and teach your children to become independent learners too. Eventually, your child will read good literature or explore great men in history in his free time.”
CCLE conferences offer great support, encouragement, and tips for homeschooling moms to refresh, recharge, and renew annually.