By Nigel Boys
According to Michael Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), one of the pitfalls to avoid when you start homeschooling your children, is trying to make their syllabus too complicated, because you might end up being burned out.
Smith, who has been president of the HSLDA for 13 years, went on to say that he believes that the most important thing when deciding what curriculum to choose for home-schooling your children is to make sure that they enjoy the learning process. He added that if your children actually enjoy their lessons at home, the rest will come naturally and you will have succeeded in your endeavor.
The father of four children, three of whom were home-schooled, shares that one of the benefits of choosing a curriculum that your children enjoy is that you will not have to pressure them to learn their lessons. He adds that less pressure on the part of the parent means they will be less likely to burn out or feel stressed because their children will be eager to continue their learning experience.
The Arkansas native set up the HSLDA in 1983 along with his wife, Elizabeth. One of the main things to remember in homeschooling your children, according to him and his wife, is to make the children’s learning at home less like what they would encounter at school. In other words, make their homeschooling fun for them to enjoy, not a formality that they must get through.
Smith believes that the most important lessons that a child can learn in their homeschooling, is the love of God. He adds that, although there’s nothing wrong with giving your children a high standard of education, if you concentrate on teaching them the word of God more and less on academic achievement, your children will be prepared to face life when they go out on their own.
The homeschooling father, who started teaching his children at home because his 5-year-old flunked kindergarten, continues by stating that the most important future that any parent can give their child, is the knowledge of how to love others and a burning desire to please God in all that they accomplish.
Smith concludes by encouraging parents to just relax and change the way they are homeschooling their children, if they are feeling burned out. He adds that parents should remember that homeschooling should be fun for both parents and their children so they enjoy their time together while they can.