For us, the deciding factor in choosing to home school (other than pure obedience to God’s calling for our family) is the opportunity to pour the Word of God into their little hearts and heads. Children are sponges and they soak up whatever they are exposed to. We began to get excited thinking about all the ways we could share the love of Christ with them and encourage them in the Lord! One tool we are implementing this year is called “Memory Madness.” It’s really a program designed to be used in a church setting, but we have been able to tweak it to fit our family’s needs. The basic premise is that children are given a “mission” which consists of ten scripture verses, grouped topically. Each week, they are assigned a verse or verses for memory work. They are then quizzed over the verses until they are able to recite all ten verses from memory. Once they have completed their “mission,” they receive a prize of some sort. Our prizes will take the form of special activities, books, games, puzzles etc. A great side-benefit is that Charlie and I will be learning the scripture right along with the kids! Also, each scripture is a basic, fundamental truth or promise from the Word, so there are lots of opportunities for application as we learn.
Growing up, my mom always took a picture of us on the front porch the first day of school. While our kids aren’t rushing off to catch the bus, I still like the idea of a “first-day-of-school” photo opportunity! Seems like just yesterday they were babies and school was a long way off…they are growing up so fast!