9 Maxims for Homeschool Happiness

Family Walking Through Snowy Woodland In light of the beginning of a brand-new year, I thought I would share some of the stuff I’ve learned over the years that I think has been pivotal in the raising of my children.

So below you’ll find a compilation of my best tips for raising smart, motivated kids who learn and work with excellence (most of the time).

1. Develop good habits yourself. Be a good example of reading for pleasure. Let your children see you doing the things you want them to develop a love for doing such as

reading, writing, exercising, eating well, or whatever may be on your list.

2. Always remember that you are what you teach, and you teach what you are.

Ouch. I revisit this maxim frequently, especially when I see my bad habits showing up in my children. This is a variation of the first maxim.

3. Neatness counts. We are all more relaxed and focused when our homes are RELATIVELY neat, right? I am not talking about extremes here. I assure you that my house is not a showplace; we live and work here. I’m simply talking about being able to see the family room floor. Kids function better in order than they do in chaos.

Yeah, let’s move on. I get hives thinking about how organized my house is not.

4. Have expectations and enforce them. Expect honesty and trustworthiness every day. Expect cheerful obedience the first time you ask your child to do something. Sullen faces and attitudes do not belong in a happy home. You are the Mom (or Dad). You get to be the one in control of what behavior and attitudes are acceptable in your home.

5. Have a general routine. Find what works for YOUR FAMILY. Children need a sense of what is coming next. Our routine here is very laid back now that my baby is almost eleven and the other three girls are teens. It was much more regulated when we had a lot of young children.

6. Know where you are headed. A little planning is all you need for each quarter of your homeschool year. (Refer to The Self-Propelled Student Planners for help in this area if you need it. These planners have changed my life!)

7. Teach your children to enjoy the feeling of a job well done. Intrinsic motivation will serve them well for the rest of their lives.

8. Expect mastery learning every day, in every subject. Before long, students begin to expect it of themselves. That is a really cool thing and will serve them well for the rest of their lives.

9. Trust your instincts.

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About the Author

Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of URtheMOM.com, and an author and columnist. Her new book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.

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One Response to 9 Maxims for Homeschool Happiness

  1. Hi, Joanne!
    I am so excited to see that your book is out (reminded by my friend Debbie Slaughter’s blog!), in perfect timing for me. I just bought my Kindle copy! I am looking forward to reading it–especially since God has seen fit to make me an invalid this past year (wheelchair)! I need self-propelled kids. They got thrown head-first into self-propelled world. I know your insights will be a blessing to us all and help us make the adjustments God is calling us to make! I loved reading the first part about all the successes of your children, because it truly gives God the glory, doesn’t it, when you obey Him and do things His way, then our children thrive and it goes well with them–just like He promises! My oldest is just 18, but will have his bachelor’s degree in 3 months, and he prospers in all he does–not because of his amazing intellect, but because of His love for God, our family’s love for God, and how we strive to follow only Him! Your book is an encouragement to me as one who is further down the road, as I still have little ones ages 13 down to 1! A long way to go! May God bless you and your ministry, and all you do for Him!
    Camilla Anderson
    (I met you at the Akron OH convention in 2011 and was friends with you on FB for a while until I deleted my account!)

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