Neil Shenvi - Apologetics

Homeschool Tip #6 - Teach Outside of School

Homeschool Tips
  1. Have a Schedule
  2. Push Reading First
  3. Schedule 1-on-1 Time
  4. Use Technology
  5. Embrace Educational Standards
  6. Teach Outside of School
  7. Relax

In traditional schooling, the day is divided into "school hours" and "after-school hours." Education takes place during the "school day", with the remainder devoted to extracurricular activities, play, and meals. But in a homeschool, there's no reason to erect this barrier. Some of my most pleasant and educational conversations with my kids take place in the car on the way to church, to the museum, or to the park. I'll talk to them about whatever issues I happen to be thinking about, whether it's theology, philosophy, politics, or science. Other times, I'll turn on a Memory Work CD from Classical Conversations, our homeschool co-op. It was such a hit with our younger daughter that she could sing her way through most of a 15-minute timeline of world history before she turned three.

Errands are also opportunities for learning. I take all four kids with me to the grocery store and explain how a credit card works, how to read nutritional labels, or why the per unit price is more important than total price. Clothing sales can turn into a lesson on percentages (hypothetically - my wife does all the clothes shopping). Toy stores can be used to explain basic economic concepts like supply and demand. There's no need to squeeze educational value out of every situation, but -to me- talking about economics or physics is far more interesting than talking about Pokemon or My Little Pony.

Finally, after-school time is a great for moral and religious instruction. The real-life situations your kids encounter at playgrounds, in stores, at museums provide opportunities to talk about sharing, compassion, generosity, and forgiveness. As a Christian, I especially want my kids to know that religion isn't something we only do on Sundays at church; it affects how we treat others every day of the week and everywhere we go.

<< Back: Tip #5, Embrace Educational Standards

>> Next: Tip #7, Relax

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If anyone reading this essay has questions about it or about Christianity in general, feel free to e-mail me at Neil -AT- I also highly recommend the book The Reason for God by Tim Keller. It is phenomenal. Free sermons treating many of the topics covered by this book can be found here.

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