What is absolutely necessary to your homeschool? What gives you and your kids joy and freedom in this educational journey? Take a look at these three intriguing essentials. I think you will be encouraged in new ways.


YOU. Your relationship with your kids—your involvement, your love, your interaction—is the most important (though least talked about) aspect of homeschooling.When students know the teacher really likes them (because her eyes light up when she sees them), they will thrive in their studies, right? In the same way, our homeschool kids will thrive in their studies when they know that we really like them. Do your eyes light up when your kids walk in the room?It’s a good yardstick to measure this essential.


LAUGH—hilariously, uproariously, delightedly, unexpectedly—in your homeschool as often as possible. Remember this prescription when you homeschool: “A merry heart does good like a medicine.” Books like Hank the Cowdog and The Good Clean Joke Book are treasures that will keep your kids laughing. Pets can be a GREAT source of hilarity, as can playing games like Twister and Hide & Go Seek. Whatever innocent fun brings that bubble of laughter to the surface will bring good to your hearts!


REASONABLE GOALS—along with resources to help you attain those goals. Here are a few ideas for things that will help:

Ruth Beechick’s You CAN Teach Your Child Successfully;

The 8 Great Smarts by Dr. Kathy Koch;

A good lesson plan book for keeping track of what your students are studying;

Resources for basic information (whether encyclopedias, books, or Internet sites);

Art supplies for whatever creative ideas arise;

Library card for digging deep on the cheap!

Mom looking out the window, thinking deeply

Continuing in this same vein, YOU need a book or two of encouragement for the journey, something that will give you perspective on those days when it just seems hard.

What if you take some time right now to consider what is essential to you and your kids in this homeschooling adventure?It is amazingly helpful to actually make a list—you might want to ask your kids for their input on this homeschool essentials list!

And, remember, stay relational!