Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Are You a Double-Minded Mom?

James 1:5-8 ~ {Modified for home school moms} “If any of you lacks wisdom, (s)he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to (her). But when (s)he asks, (s)he must believe and not doubt, because (s)he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That (mom) should not think (s)he will receive anything from the Lord; (s)he is a double-minded (mom), unstable in all (s)he does.”

Whether you’re new to homeschooling or a veteran, complete with battle scars, one of our major concerns is choosing our curriculum and teaching tools. Of course, we want the best for our children that’s one reason why we teach them at home.

Do I use text books? Workbooks? Unit Studies? Unschool? Charlotte Mason method? Delight-directed unit studies? All library books and hands-on approaches? Do I wait until my child shows an interest in a subject before I teach it? All of the above????
Calgon – take me away!

When I was the Miami County Ohio homeschool coordinator for 11 years, & now, sharing 16 years of homeschool experience, one of the things I try to stress to new homeschool moms is to NOT make things too hard on themselves, especially the first year. The first year is a lot of trial and error and there’s no big mystery about teaching that is learned at a teacher’s college. (Besides, YOU have the teacher’s manual!!)

We are so blessed and there is so much to choose from…almost too much…I also advise those going to any homeschool convention or book sale, to go with a shopping list! You can really break the bank at one of those, or even shopping on-line.

A few years ago, I got a call from a new homeschool mom who was freaking out. She called me and told me that she had just spent about $350 on e-bay buying school books for her daughter who was going into 4th grade and didn’t know WHY she had gotten any of it. “My goodness! What did you get?!” She said she had 3 Rubbermaid tubs full of all kinds of things and could I come over and help her sort it out.

When I got to her house, I told her she needed to “calm down and take a deep breath because, at this point, I’m more worried about you than I am about your daughter. You are too tense and anxious and you’re going to make your daughter tense and anxious and you’re going to ruin the experience for the both of you!”

After we sorted through her tubs of books and learning aids, I handed her a neat little pile of 5 books and said, “here’s next year’s curriculum, the rest are for reference.” She nearly fainted!

Gregg Harris always told me to “pray and then proceed. Trust that the Lord has answered your prayers and then step out in faith and decide on your curriculum.” Acting on your faith in God’s leading takes away self-doubt and double-mindedness.

Here are some helpful hints:

1. There is no such thing as the perfect curriculum or teaching style. Give yourself, and your child(ren), time to get used to your teaching style and new curriculum. If you’re new, you’ll find in a month or so that you will find your “flow.” Be assured that if you apply yourself and take the time, you WILL succeed. After all, no one knows or loves your child(ren) more than you do.

2. “It may be ‘home’ but it’s still school.’” This is my standard come-back when people ask me if my kids like being homeschooled. For one thing, they’ve never known anything else and I’m glad. BUT…being children, there are “those days.” We all have them. When you were in school or in the workforce, didn’t you have “those days”?

3. Your curriculum is a guide, not a master. YOU are the master of your curriculum. If you’ve studied the weather cycle for the last 3 years and your child knows it, skip it! There’s no law that says you must complete every chapter, every page, every paragraph in every book. Keep in mind that most textbooks/workbooks are made for classroom crowd control. You know what your child needs to know and what they already do know.

4. Don’t compare yourself to others!! Do you raise your children like your parents? Your neighbors? Even your best friends? Neither will your homeschool be like anyone else’s.

5. Join and use your local support group. This is why they are there. If you or your child should have trouble grasping a concept, SOMEONE in your support group or on a homeschool blog has “been here, done that.”

I hope you enjoy homeschooling; even when days were rough I never regretted it. In the process of teaching our precious children, let’s not forget to take the time to enjoy them. After all, even though we’re their teachers, we are still their parents. Sometimes they need a hug more than the big red star on their completed paper.

Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><


  1. Thanks for this post. I'm into my 4th year of homeschool and have learned a lot so far but I'm always willing to learn more.


  2. Kim, can you come to my house? I'm battling with a lack of clear direction. I'm praying for clarity of mind and wisdom (as in James 1:5-8). Bible study, Lang. arts and math are no brainers. Science and History is where I stumble around with the most!
    I've learned from the beginning not to compare our homeschool with others'. I do admit though that I flip-flop around with the different methods. AGHHH!
    Anywho....wonderful, wonderful post!!

  3. This is top notch advice. Leaning on the LORD and allowing Him to guide us is the BesT. He is faithful to help direct us. I usually only spent $300/yr. to educate four children. So many books can be re-used. The early grades are so simple...a good nature book(for nature studies/science), a math book, a writing book(like the italic series), the library for reading(english), and of course the Bible. The upper grades get more expensive, but by then you really know more of what your doing and can choose wisely. It really is crazy how much money our nation spends per child for education.

    My last three children now know the differences between Home-education and public school gov. education. They all agree that they receive a better education at home. Child #1 graduated homeschool early and has never had any other form of education. He has been a carpenter for 2 yrs now. Child #2 graduated homeschool 2 yrs. early and now attends our local junior college. She loves it and has learned that her homeschooled education was an awesome foundation and has advanced her. She is a top student in all her classes. Child #3 wanted to experience public school mostly for social reasons. She has a 4.0gpa and enjoys the challenges and diversity of the classroom setting. Child #4 misses homeschooling but has a dream to be a football player. And so he is at the public school to play football...and he loved his first season of football. It is so important to know our children and to continually give them over to God. To listen carefully and to always keep a tender mothering heart. One thing I've learned in 19yrs. of mothering and 15yrs. of homeschooling is that the home needs to be a refuge...a place of rest, acceptance, love, compassion, understanding, and grace.

    PS I left you a response in my comments to your comment...which cracked me up!

  4. Wonderful post. Thanks.

  5. Excellent post. I really like this quote:

    "being children, there are “those days.” We all have them. When you were in school or in the workforce, didn’t you have “those days”?"

    Yes, we have those days!!! And yes, I had them when I went to public school and when I worked! :o)


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