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What Should Your Homeschool Classroom Should Look Like?

Some of the most traumatic memories I have of our early homeschool years involve standardized testing. During the 1980s in South Carolina, homeschooling children were required to take standardized tests at the local public school. I have vivid memories of taking my sweet little boys, Ty and John, to a school and handing them over to teachers they had never met, to sit in a classroom full of children they didn’t know. They were required to take these year-end tests in unfamiliar and sometimes unfriendly environments. Rather than serving as helpful diagnostic tools, the test scores became criteria our local school board used to determine whether or not our family could continue to homeschool.

While Ty and John were testing, I spent a good deal of time wandering the halls of the school, examining the facilities and the artwork and schoolwork displayed along the corridor walls. The public schools in our district are expensive and well kempt. Every year I would experience a new wave of angst and depression as I surveyed the first-rate facilities my sons were “missing out” on. The grounds were neat and the playgrounds well equipped. There were art rooms and music rooms, and the cheery school cafeteria doubled as an auditorium with a real stage for performances and programs.

In those early years I often wondered if our modest home could come close to offering my children the same opportunities offered by the school district’s multi-million-dollar facilities.

Lessons Gleaned from My Wanderings

During twenty-one years of homeschooling, I made a number of discoveries that surprised and encouraged me. I hope these discoveries will likewise encourage you:

1. Facilities do not educate or teach. 

Portrait of cute girl and her mother reading a book at home

2. For homeschooling families, the world truly is your classroom. Field trips, travel opportunities, mission trips, and internships expand your child’s horizons far beyond the walls of the most beautifully appointed classroom.

3. Time with immediate and extended family abounds when you homeschool because your child is not confined to a rigid schedule or classroom, beautiful though it may be.

4. One-on-one instruction that focuses on the needs and giftedness of the individual student empowers the child and encourages him to become a lifelong learner.

5. In the homeschool environment interactions are the norm, numbering hundreds per day. In a traditional classroom environment, the child has personal interaction with the teacher on average eight to ten times a day. Constant dialogue is crucial in developing critical thinking and leadership skills.

6. In the home school, education and “real” life intersect on a daily basis. 

7. God is the Ultimate Superintendent of Education. He orchestrates opportunities for our children beyond our abilities to imagine or provide. The presence of the living God transforms the most humble home into a holy place of powerful learning and growth.

What Should a Homeschool Classroom Look Like?

Henry Ward Beecher, a pastor in the 1800s and brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, said, “The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.” Proverbs 24:4 says, “By knowledge the rooms are filled with every precious and beautiful treasure” (HCSB).

From these two sources we learn that our hearts, which are “the child’s schoolroom,” must be appropriately decorated. If we allow Christ to be our Decorator, He will create the most fabulous schoolroom imaginable for our children—a room furnished with “precious and beautiful treasure.”

If you will seek Christ daily, He will adorn your lives and your home with treasures from the storehouse of His unfathomable riches and grace.

 

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Zan Tyler is director of Apologia Press. Her life as a speaker, writer, and homeschooling advocate began thirty years ago when, as a homeschooling mother, she was threatened with jail by the South Carolina state superintendent of education. Zan founded the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools in 1990 and served as its president for ten years. She has been honored as the South Carolina Homemaker of the Year and has appeared on NBC’s Today Show. In addition to her book 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential, she has written for numerous academic journals and homeschool magazines such as HSLDA’s Court Report.

 

 

 

 

 

There are key elements your homeschool should have. Zan Tyler, veteran homeschooler, provides a list.

 

 

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