5 Important Reminders for the Upcoming School Year

remindersWith school just a few weeks away I have a lot of my mind. This year I have children in 11th, 9th, and 5th grade to teach. It’s high time to get the books out, start on lesson plans, make schedules, buy supplies, and more. But in the midst of it all, I want to remind myself of 5 very important things.

Relationships trump everything else!

 The relationship we have with God and the relationship we have with others is really the only thing that matters from an eternal perspective. The greatest commandment sums it up with love.  “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets,”  Matthew 22:36-40.  Life is about relationships. Does our homeschooling foster this idea?

 Stop comparing our family to everyone else!

God’s plan for our life is the standard all must seek. God created each of us (and our family) in a unique way. Unless we embrace our differences and seek out God’s will for our family, we will constantly struggle in this area.  We are all striving to live our life and raise our family in a way that is pleasing to Him. Some are simply further down the road than others.  Some have been traveling longer. Some travel at a faster pace. And some take a different path altogether. My life will not look like yours. Your life will not look like mine. But let each of us look like Christ. If we are going to compare our lives with anyone, let it be His!  “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked,” 1 John 2:6.

 Have fun and love to learn!

 I can get so caught up in teaching my children something that I completely miss the point. I am trying to cultivate a love for learning in them. I need to remember that this will never be done by drilling facts or figures into their head. We are so blessed in that we have the freedom in how we teach our children. In that we can make learning interesting. Smile, laugh, and enjoy learning together! You’ll be surprised at how much more that will retain. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord,” Colossians 3:23a.

 Don’t become too busy; live the simple life!

I understand that learning can take place in the car, library, at co-op’s, and during field trips. In addition, our children can be involved in jobs, ministry, sports, music lessons, volunteer work, and more. We have the world as our classroom and opportunities abound for our children, but we cannot do it all. It is not really an issue of whether or not we can do it all.  The issue is that we shouldn’t even try. In truth, the home is an important aspect of home education. In the excitement of planning for this upcoming year, I really want to remember that sometimes “busy” can stand for “Bound Under Satan’s Yoke.”  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” 1 Peter 5:8.

 Don’t forget why we are doing this!

There are many reasons we homeschool our children. I could talk about the educational value, the protection it offers, the positive impact it has on the family, the freedom and flexibility it offers, and so much more. But the bottom line is that God has called my husband and me to disciple our children by His Word and in His ways. Simply put, homeschooling makes the process a lot easier. For now, this is the will of God for our family and being in His will is exactly where we want to be.

“ And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,” Romans 12:2.

Top 10 Homeschooling Websites

A generation ago, the homeschooling movement was considered to be at best cutting-edge, eccentric, and alternative.  At its worst it was considered strange, rare, and in some states illegal.  But today the movement has become more main-stream.  Currently with over 2 million home educated children, homeschooling may be the fastest growing form of education in the United States.  I consider being able to teach my children at home a wonderful privilege, a huge responsibility, and an awesome calling from God.  With the loving support and encouragement from my husband and the amazing grace of God, we have been homeschooling for over 10 years.  Each year brings new experiences, creates wonderful memories, and brings our family closer together.

With us starting back to school on Monday, my husband and I have spent the last few weeks pouring through our curriculum, praying for wisdom, and writing out schedules and lesson plans.  I have also spent a lot of time online so I thought I would share my Top 10 Favorite Homeschool Websites with each of you.  Hope you enjoy.


Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms.  If you are a homeschooler and not a member, I highly encourage you to join today.  HSLDA is a Christian organization, inexpensive and well worth the peace of mind.


I love this website.  It has free printables and resources for home, homeschool, and classrooms.  It has everything from lesson planners, calendars, chore makers, and much more.  Check it out!


If you are looking to buy or sell used homeschool curriculum this is the website for you.  It’s easy to use and saves tons of money.  Not only have I’ve purchased curriculum this week, but I’ve made $120 selling used curriculum.


By far this is the best Christian homeschooling magazine out there.  Don’t believe me?  See for yourself and sign up today for their FREE digital magazine.


I love the concept behind Books Should Be Free.  This website has tons of free public domain audiobooks and eBooks.  You can download books for iPhone, Android, Kindle, and mp3 layers.


Okay, I agree that books should be free.  However, if you are going to buy them, this is the place to do so.  Lamplighter Publishing is my all-time favorite place to get books and their dramatized audios are excellent.  They are costly, but well worth the investment.  Our collection is something I will hold on to.  One day I can see myself reading them to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren!


“The Khan Academy provides a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.” (from their website)

I really like this website.  It has over 3,000 videos from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and practice problems to go with them.  Best of all – IT’S FREE!


Anyone who has children learning to write is cursive will want to visit this site.  You simply type in what you want and it generates the worksheets for you.  Just print them out.


You’ll find here a directory of free homeschool curricula, literature and text books organized for the use of homeschooling families.  There are lots of good resources here.


Home Educating Family has put together this website.  It is a great place to look up curriculum reviews, visit their online convention, check out their magazine, and much more.


So here it is, my top 1o.  Of course, there are so many great products and resources out there that it was hard to pick just 10. Did I miss your favorite website?  Leave a comment and share with the rest of your homeschooling friends.   Blessings!