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33 Reminders for Homeschoolers

Bees, busy making sweetness.

Because homeschooling is a marathon, not a sprint, we must emphasize the right things and minimize many others in order to be able to continue year after year in love, joy, and peace.  I’ve been homeschooling for over two decades and still forget so much so often!  So here’s a simple list of reminders for our busy lives. There are 33 reminders here, but the important thing is to adopt only one or two fresh ideas at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Things to Always Remember:

o   Pray and read your Bible every single day.  No matter how busy we are, we need to spend time with our Lord.   When we feel we are too busy to pray because we have too many people’s needs to meet, remember that Jesus often withdrew to pray even though the crowds were waiting to hear him and to be healed (Luke 5: 16).  On the other hand, we serve God by serving others, so we need to pray for wisdom about this.

o   Know your goals and priorities and think carefully about the best ways of achieving them.  Remember that  80% of your results will typically come from 20% of your effort, so try to determine what is most beneficial and be prepared to say ‘no’ to the rest.

o   Make it a personal rule that if any activity will stress you enough to make you unkind or unloving to your family, you will turn it down (Titus 2:3-5 ).

o   Be grateful, happy, and at peace in the Lord and think about good things (Philippians 4: 4-8). Trust and obey him (Prov. 3:5,6).  Remember to build up your family, not destroy it (Prov. 14:1).

Things to Emphasize in Learning:

o   Read aloud daily, even to older kids.

o   Have an hour or more of personal reading each day for each child and for mom

o   Memorize or review something daily—Bible texts, hymns, psalms, lists of prime ministers or royalty, foreign languages, periodic table of elements, poetry, judo moves….

o   Use narration (i.e. let your kids tell you what they have learned) whenever possible, for learning, testing, encouragement, and relationship building.   Learn more about narration.

o   Set up a system, such as Friday quizzes, to review important learning and information regularly.

o   Remember your learning goals; don’t get stuck in a method or curriculum if it is not helpful.

o   Make sure you have lots of the basics—pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, erasers, and paper—so that you won’t waste precious time and energy looking for them.  Have a place to put them but accept that the kids will not always use it.

o   Take time for professional development to learn about learning, homeschooling, and subject matter, and to be inspired so that you can do a better job of teaching your kids.

o   Take time for physical activity, whether leisure or work.  Both physical activity and being outside improve learning and creativity.

o   Keep simple records for elementary years but thorough ones for high school.

Things to Emphasize in Life (because the more smoothly the rest of life goes, the more smoothly homeschooling will go)

o   Guard your family’s health by encouraging good food, adequate sleep, devotions, outside time, physical activity, relaxation, laughter, and togetherness.

o   Accept God’s good gift of sleep; lack of sleep leads to poor attitudes and poorly done work.

o   Learn to say ‘no’.  If you are too stressed to be kind you need to take something off your plate.

o   Invest in your marriage.

o   Manage your time and energy.

o   Take productive breaks. Often when you or your kids need a break from one activity, a different kind of useful activity will rest you while getting something necessary done.

o   Homeschooling is important but it is not your whole life; try to stay balanced most of the time.

o   Laugh; don’t take yourself too seriously; trust God.


o   Say ‘no’ if necessary, as mentioned several times already.

o   Set up good habits and routines, because they will simplify life.  Some helpful habits:

o   Set up a regular Bible reading and prayer time that works for your current situation.

o   Have a place for everything and put everything in its place.

o   Have predictable bedtimes, mealtimes, chore times, and formal school time.

o   Set up daily and weekly chore systems for yourself and the kids to keep your home reasonably tidy.

o   Use meal planning or the pantry principle to take the stress out of meal preparation.

o   Always have an extra of non-perishable essentials such as toilet paper, pasta, toothpaste, etc.  When you open the second-last one, write the item on your shopping list.

Things to minimize:

o   Limit screen time both for kids and for mom, and turn off screens at least an hour before bed.

o   Avoid comparisons which make us either proud or depressed.  Just don’t go there.  Be content with your gifts and your family; God gave them to you for a reason, and he has it all under control.

o   Avoid unnecessary tasks.

Note:  This list has been shared with conference attendees in the past.

If you enjoyed this article, you might want tofollow me on Google+, where I often mention helpful or interesting ideas, friend me on Facebook where I am just a newbie, or connect with me on GoodReads where I share what I read

This article may be linked to Finishing Strong ,Raising Homemakers.


  1. So much sense-thank you!

    I especially like “Make it a personal rule that if any activity will stress you enough to make you unkind or unloving to your family, you will turn it down.”

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Yes, that one took me a while to learn but it is fundamental, isn’t it?

  2. Kathleen says:

    I love this “Titus 2 filter.” It is a good litmus test for if something is truly valuable for our family. I am printing this entire list out to put on my fridge.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      The ‘Titus 2 filter’ has changed my life and made it so much easier for me to say ‘no’ when I need to.

      I am so excited that this list will be up on your fridge! Thank you for that encouragement.

  3. As usual, you are full of wisdom and practical bits of help! Thank you! This is one to study and revisit.

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