“We are new to homeschooling and I’m very excited, but also nervous because I’m not a trained teacher.”
Recently, Yvette Hampton sat down with Aby Rinella to do a homeschool Q&A session. Read on to learn how you can be equipped to teach without being a professional teacher and what the differences are between homeschooling and merely doing “regular school” at home.
Yvette Hampton: This question says, “We are new to homeschooling and I’m very excited, but also nervous because I’m not a trained teacher. I’m struggling to understand what homeschool should look like for our family. I assumed it was recreating regular school at home, but now I’m figuring out that it doesn’t work that way. Please help.” I love this question so much. I’m going to let you answer this one first because you are a trained teacher, Aby.
Aby Rinella: Okay. I want to say you are blessed that you are not a trained teacher. Not being a trained teacher is going to make your homeschool that much better. I am a trained teacher and it has taken me years to shake that, to unlearn all of the things that don’t work in a home. So, I get so sad when I hear people say, “I’m not a trained teacher.” And I want to give them a high five and say, then you’re 10 steps ahead of me because your home should not look like a public school. That’s the whole reason you brought your kids home: the public school isn’t working. It’s not working for what we want for our children.
Aby Rinella: So, it says you’re recreating a public school at home. I would say that the worst thing you can do, as a homeschool mom, is to try to make your home look like a public school. Don’t do it! Throw that out, get rid of that. It’s really hard for some of us that were raised in public school because we’ve been programmed to think that way. But listen to this podcast, go back and listen to old ones because we talk about how it shouldn’t look like that. You were created to train and teach your children up in the Lord. And nowhere in the Bible does it say it takes a degree to do that. It says it takes a love for your child, and a reverence for God, and pointing your children to Him. You are fully equipped to do this job because God equipped you to do this job.
Aby Rinella: I remember I said this on another episode; when we bring a baby home from the hospital, and we’ve never had one, and the hospital hands us that blue nose sucker thing. And we’re like, “I’m not equipped to keep this baby alive. And you’re handing me a blue nose sucker and I’m supposed to …,” and we felt so ill-equipped, but we weren’t. God gave us what we need. And he’s going to give you what you need as a homeschool mom. Just don’t think that it needs to look like school. It doesn’t. It needs to look like your family teaching and training your children.
Aby Rinella: So, I mean, it would take us hours to sit and talk about how exactly that would look. But the first step is to get rid of it. And I’ve heard people even say that you take a year, or a semester, or even a month just to decompress, and set up your home life again. And reconnect with one another, and dump the school system ideal that is not an ideal. And take some time to just come back home, and be with your kids, and then start into what school looks like. You need to get rid of the old before you can start the new.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, I agree completely. And everybody’s homeschool looks different. It depends on so many things. And kind of back to the last question, find people who can walk alongside you, who have done this before, who can mentor you, and help you figure out how it can work best for your family. The first year is going to be a mess. And the second year is going to be a mess, but it’ll be a little bit less of a mess. And the third year is going to be less of a mess than the second year. So, take baby steps here.
Yvette Hampton: Let me just explain one thing, don’t start everything all at the same time. Don’t jump into day one, or week one, and try to do every single subject, and think you’re going to do it well. Do one thing at a time. I highly recommend starting with a morning basket. We’ve talked quite extensively about that. We did a podcast quite some time ago with Pam Barnhill. And, as a matter of fact, for Homegrown Generation, we talked about morning basket as well. So, you can go back. For only $10, you can have the entire 2020 Homegrown Generation family expo at your fingertips. But you can go and listen to Pam’s session on that.
Yvette Hampton: And morning basket, basically, is we literally in our family have a basket, and we have just different books in there. We always have a book that we’re reading. Right now, we’re reading Anne of Green Gables. Have you read that before Aby?
Aby Rinella: Yes.
Aby Rinella: But you probably watched the movie they ruined.
Yvette Hampton: No, I never have even watched the movie. But I am loving this book. And so, are my girls. I mean, we get to the end of a chapter, they’re like, “One more.” And we have the whole series, I’ve seriously had this series for probably six years.
Aby Rinella: Wow.
Yvette Hampton: And I just now picked it. I mean, we have a lot of books, but for whatever reason. Anyway, rabbit trail. So, we always have a book that we’re reading. We have a Heroes: Then and Now biography. We just got a new one that we’re going to start reading. And we have our Classical Conversations timeline cards, and we read one or two timeline cards a day. We have maps in there, so my girls can trace maps while I’m reading to them. We have other little kinds of brain games and things like that that they can do while I’m reading. We do our sword drills, which we talked about in the first part of our Q&A episode on Monday. So, we do sword drills and Bible study.
“I’m in my 10th year of homeschooling and we’re still taking kind of baby steps…”Yvette Hampton
Yvette Hampton: I mean, it can be anything you want it to be. But start with that. It just starts our day off on the right foot.
Aby Rinella: It brings you all together.
Yvette Hampton: It does, and it’s not, “go to the table and let’s do math, and let’s do science and history.” Those things come into our day, of course, but it’s just such a refreshing way to start our time. And, I mean, I’m in my 10th year of homeschooling and we’re still taking kind of baby steps, and things. We’re just now next week going to start introducing some famous artists, and famous composers. And it doesn’t have to be a big study on it. We’re not going to make lap books about it. If you don’t know what a lap book is, just type it into Pinterest. I’ve never in my 10 years of homeschooling ever made a single lap book and we’ve survived all these years. But some people love lap books, and that’s great.
Aby Rinella: And that’s the thing that sets you apart from what the school looks like. You do what works for you. In public school, you are trying to fit every kid into a box. In homeschool, you are teaching to your unique child that God gave you, which means you’re teaching at their pace. Not at the pace that’s in the box. You’re teaching to their gifts, to their talents, you’re teaching to their interests. You might have a kid who every year for the rest of his life bucks you on learning about a composer. And guess what? They don’t really have to. My guess is that child is not going to become a famous composer, and they’ll be just fine not learning about them.
Aby Rinella: So, just remember that you are not fitting your kid into a box like the public school. And that’s the difference; you’re teaching to a unique individual that God created on purpose for a purpose and gave to you. So, you’re already equipped.
Aby Rinella: There’s an amazing book that I get every new homeschool mom called Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie. And every mom should read it every fall. It just puts you back in that mindset of “we don’t need to be frantic about this.” We don’t need to be stressed. We don’t need to be overwhelmed.
Yvette Hampton: Yeah, Teaching from Rest. That’s a great book. My favorite is The Unhurried Homeschooler by Durenda Wilson, which is very similar. And it’s a small book, an easy read. These are not books that you need to sit and stew over for hours and days. You can read these in a couple of hours.
Aby Rinella: Both of them, yeah. That’s what’s amazing.
Yvette Hampton: And Teaching from Rest, I actually have the audiobook. I don’t even have the book, I just have the audiobook. So, I’ve only ever listened to it. But yes, it’s fantastic. So, just get those books because it will encourage you to know that you don’t have to do it all. Take baby steps.
Ready to take your children back? Stream Schoolhouse Rocked: The Homeschool Revolution for free tonight and learn how. After you have watched the movie, download the Free Homeschool Survival Kit. This free 70+ page resource will give you the encouragement and tools you need to start strong and finish well.