Home School Q&A: Where do I begin?

C.P.: I am wanting very much to teach my five year old and 2 year old at home and feel lost:)  I was never taught to teach and so where should I start?  I haven’t trained my mind well enough to come up with my own teachings each day.

What resources do you have to assist me in inspiring them each day during our “School time?” I have read TJEd, but it’s been a while, and I haven’t read any of your other books.



I would re-read A Thomas Jefferson Education, including the Appendices (which tell you how to get started) and then read Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning. It’s really great for young families.

And while you’re working on getting the vision yourself, just know that you have P-L-E-N-T-Y of time. There’s no tiger chasing you. Relax and enjoy.

Spend time each day just being a great mommy — reading with them, doing little projects together, teaching them how to sweep or beat eggs or wipe up the table.

Set some goals for your own education, based on your own gifts or interests, like practicing an instrument, memorizing poetry, doing hobbies or sports, etc. Having goals for self-improvement will establish the culture of education that you want to both personify and inspire in them.

But let me again urge you to read TJEd and apply the suggestions in the TJEd appendix and Leadership Education, making notes as you read in the endpages or margins on things that are meaningful for you, inspiring or empowering to you, or help you detect “stinking thinking” (mental habits that sabotage your success).

Finally, review often the 7 Keys of Great Teaching and the Phases of Learning, and keep reviewing these books and articles until you become your own expert.

It’s not super complicated. You just have to be mindful and deliberate in your choices about what type of things belong in your home and schedule. The Conveyor Belt has a magnetic pull, but the further away you get the less it will seem to exert a force on you.

I hope this helps!

xoxo rd

About the Author:

Rachel is the co-author of Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning and the audio series Core and Love of Learning: A Recipe for Success, and the author of the award-winning educational resource, This Week in History. She is an accomplished musician, writer, literary editor, public speaker, consultant and momschool organizer.


  1. Ammon Nelson February 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    I don’t know if it helped the individual asking the question, but it helped me.

  2. Amanda February 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    It’s important not to get overwhelmed with it all. Just take it one step at a time, like getting a good morning routine down so you always have something to fall back on if you need to regroup. Take all the time you need to build a good foundation!

  3. Susan Hammack February 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Yeah, but how do you start with a 12 year old who stll needs time to develop the love for learning, to explore, to fall in love with books and knowledge. Should I just ditch the ‘formal learning” – sounds great – except maybe math, and like Robinson says, read, write one page, and do math, – but then I’m still trying to encourage him to read more for fun, both independently, with me and by listening to me read or a book on cd. What do you do about computer and video games?

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