An Ace Up Your Sleeve

When old west gamblers would cheat, one of several approaches was to keep an ace up their sleeve- a card which could be slipped out surreptitiously and added to an existing poker hand at a critical juncture in the game in order to win. As a homeschooler did you know you have an ace up your sleeve?

No, it’s not cheating! It’s absolutely legal in fact. When everyone else shows their cards at the table of education every homeschooler can pull an ace out of their sleeve to make a winning hand. What’s the ace? It’s the inherent efficiency of tutorial education. I’ve said so often that even if you’re bad at homeschooling, your children will likely do just fine.

Working one-on-one with your children gives you an ‘unfair’ advantage in education. In a survey conducted a few years ago classroom teachers were asked how much time they got to actually spend with each individual student making sure they understood the material and answering any specific questions they might have. The answer was less than two minutes each day per student! That’s right- less than two minutes.

So if you spend two hours of one-on-one time with your 6-year-old, that’s more individual attention than they would receive in two months of classroom interaction. You’ve got an ace up your sleeve and you play it every time you kneel down next to your child and work with them individually. You win. They win. The game’s over!

A few years ago children were asked what they wished for most from their parents. What do you think the answer was; a new Playstation, skateboard, bicycle or pony? Nope. The most common answer was that children simply wished their parents would take time to play a game with them. Now I’m not suggesting you play poker! But why not play one of your child’s favorite games: Candyland, Monopoly, Apples to Apples or Risk? The game itself doesn’t matter; it’s the time that you spend doing something that’s important to them that matters. Take a break from your homeschool routine today to play games with your children.

Talk with your children about Hebrews 12 and the passage that talks about us competing to win in the important race of faith.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Rosemarie said,

    Thank you for the encouraging & timely words!!

  2. 2

    KatieCO said,

    Thank you for the reminder! I enjoyed reading Hebrews 12 in a few different translations this morning. I’m going to tie it in with our study of creation this week.

  3. 3

    Sandra said,

    I love this! In fact, your quote, “Even if you are bad at homeschooling, your kids are going to do okay,” has pulled me through on many occassions over the years. Thanks for the reminder! I am going to add a link to your blog from mine.


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