Ready, Set, Go, Homeschool Mom!

I love this saying as it evokes a clear image for me!  It is the image of a runner at the starting line of a race. They

I love this saying as it evokes a clear image for me!  

Picture this,  a determined, focused runner poised at the starting line of a race. 

She has been preparing for months to run this race.  Her adrenaline is pumping, she is eager to begin, and give her very best to run the race.

catholic homeschool mom

In my mind, I can see that this runner is different.

She does not run for personal gain but for a higher reward. 

This reward is priceless.

This reward is satisfying on such a deep level that the runner draws strength, her energy and perseverance from the mere thought of obtaining it.

What does this have to do with homeschooling?

I see the runner as a mom who has chosen to homeschool her children. (Dads do too, but I am a mom, hang in here with me dads!)

Being fed on a steady diet of old fashioned black and white movies from the 30’s and 40’s growing up, I was drawn to the messages told in a story. Each story always has a hero and a journey towards some good for himself or humanity. I find that the best books I cherish also have strong hero stories!

I work best visualizing images, making movies in my head of the life I want to lead. 

It is no wonder that I was drawn to the ultimate story, the very best hero tale, when I was invited back home to the faith of my birth. This story is the one our Lord has told through His Word and through his Apostles and Saints, handed down through the ages.

This ultimate story is the center of my family’s homeschool journey.  It is the energy my family drawns upon to direct each day. 

It is all that matters in the end. 

Catholic Homeschool mom

A little while ago I wrote a guide called, Get Ready. This handy little guide I developed as a starting point for anyone who wants to begin their family journey towards an authentic and doable Catholic homeschool.  In it, I introduced the PRRR method, (a silly acronym, I know). Firstly you start with Prayer, then you go through the next steps of Read, Research, and Reflect. In addition, there are helpful suggestions and worksheets to guide you through this EASY process.

“Get Set, Go!”

Above all, what I learned after 25 years of homeschooling and consulting, is that you “Set” your life first, then layer in school. I know that seems unfamiliar and maybe even confusing at first, but think about it for a minute. The only way to find balance, to have enough time for all your roles, as wife, mom, and teacher is to SET LIFE and fit in school.

To do otherwise is a certain recipe for overwhelm.

Consider this…would you buy a car without thinking of who is going to drive it and be a passenger in it?  Would you make dinner by never looking at the ingredients you are adding to the dinner, let alone open the fridge?

In other words, when you choose to homeschool, to do something extraordinary, you have the opportunity to personalize and tailor the education of each and every child in your family.

However, can you possibly teach so many different levels with so many different personalities and learning styles?

It is possible! I have personally witnessed many, many families do this. Ordinary people with an extraordinary desire to challenge the status quo of education. You have already begun, when you decided to take on the primary role of educator.

How? You are a parent.

catholic homeschool mom

Two powerful passages come to mind that speak volumes:

Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. (CCC 2223)

The home is the natural environment for initiating a human being into solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading influences which threaten human societies. (CCC 2224)

Relax, over the next few weeks I will be introducing practical techniques that help you SET YOUR LIFE.

So, go ahead and spend time first in getting to know what is in your fridge BEFORE you make dinner….spend time this week getting to really know your kids interests and talents.

Comment below what you “found in your fridge”…

Get updates for the next post!


  1. Dawn

    I love the idea, but I am scared to death of how to still complete the reading, writing, and math requirements they need for the core subjects. How do I balance four different children’s various interests? I’m not good at thinking outside of the box. I appreciate any suggestions! God Bless!!

    • Paola Ciskanik

      Dawn, wow! Thanks for being so honest! Yes, I felt scared a lot of the time homeschooling, mostly second guessing myself that I would leave holes in their education. Looking back over the 25years, it worked best when I Let LOVE lead! When fear steps into the picture we cannot see clearly. There are some very easy practical steps to take to manage a large family with many interests. I will be talking about these in the next posts in this series! However, I can offer this to begin with, pray and spend time with your kids asking them what they are interested in. I bet you already know most of it. I also bet the family as collective interests. Write them down and check to see how much of your curriculum leaves time for exploring these interests. The three R’s you mention can be done together in batches and at great benefit to the entire family. Keeping you in prayer!

  2. Kiley Ghaddar

    Paola, I love you! I’m so grateful for you sharing your heart. I’m in that funk mode of homeschoooing, really thinking of becoming unschoolers, lol! Thank you for reminding me what the focus should be. Now let me go look into the precious eyes of my big and little ones and see what they have inside (in terms of learning♥️)

    • Paola Ciskanik

      Hello Kiley! I love you too! You are an amazing generous soul sister in Christ! Please also take a look at the remarkable gift you are to your family! You got this Kiley and I am here praying my heart out for you too! God bless and keep in touch!!

  3. Robin

    Good idea…
    I recently asked mine what they wanted to learn in school and I got a lot of “I hate school”s. Which makes me glad I’m rethinking our dry curriculum.
    Engineering, science projects, football, Python computer coding, etc.

    • Paola Ciskanik

      Robin that is so great! Little did I know when we did what you suggest years ago that it laid the groundwork for my children to pursue careers that match their interests with their God given talents! Sometimes it felt scary to move off the set “dry curriculum”, asking myself did I miss something or leave them not prepared for college. BUT looking back it was the best decision ever, to let go and trust those passions and interests as the leading agent to the curriculum. God placed those passions/talents in their hearts!

  4. Katrina Channell

    Leftover chicken taco soup.

    • Paola Ciskanik

      Yes! Haha!! Love soup from leftovers!!! Now what about your kids?


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