“If a student can be led to the tools he needs to answer his own questions, he will be always learning; and this should be the goal of every educator.”
Think Outside the Classroom: A Practical Approach to Relaxed Homeschooling
I have spent quite a bit of time this summer focusing on organizing our home and “school” so that we can better set and meet our goals this year, individually and as a family. I guess all the time and energy I have been putting into this has sent the wrong impression to some because recently I had a new to homeschooling momma ask me,”How do you ever relax?”
Relaxing is important. Certainly if we enter into homeschooling full of fear and anxiety, or stern, expecting perfection and having lots of demands….This will not bode well of your family (well maybe it will, not for mine though!). We need to have the right spirit about us when it comes to teaching our children. I say often, that this is a great act of faith; I am trusting in God in so many ways, in our homeschool. I am trusting that He will provide for our needs when it comes to materials, I am trusting that He will bring wisdom to myself and my children. I am trusting that He will be in the center of it all. For strength, joy and peace, wisdom, courage, patience….
But we need to relax. I read somewhere not long ago, that we, momma, cannot save our children. We cannot change their hearts or their minds. But we have a God that can. And so we should relax more often and take joy in the time we are so blessed to have with them. We need to cherish those moments; we need to see the opportunities in every moment of our day. As we walk with them, as we rest with them, to share His word, what it means and how it is in every thing around us every where.
It is a mindset we need to have if we want to truly encourage a love of Christ and a love of learning. It is acknowledging and appreciating (embracing) how we are not a school; a teacher, a principal. We ARE a mom, who has a special relationship with each one of our children, unique to every child. Sure our children’s education matters, but we have to relax. We will gain more, as will they, when we are relaxed and joyful about learning.
As we progress through the year we consider their goals and mine, we revisit our goals, sometimes adding to the list, sometimes taking away. “What’s working? What isn’t working? Why? I watch and observe their interests, their learning styles and personalities. All of these things are important parts of their learning. Some things we just have to come back to later when they are ready; some things we will be continuing with beyond the standard time for total mastery.
In the words of a wise Amish woman, “Do ye now next thing.”
Remember, if there isn’t a desire to learn something, it just won’t be learned. It doesn’t matter if they pass a test, memorizing material only goes so far in my opinion! Read, read aloud, as a family. A lot. Don’t worry so much about that schedule. If math is a struggle, put it aside and move on to writing or reading. If handwriting comes with lots of tears loosen up a bit. Try some story starters or story cubes (creative writing can inspire these kids a lot!) Don’t let go completely of your goals but is it really the end of the world if his cursive is a mess? Does it really matter if he can recite all 50 states? We have to decide what really matters and how we want our children to see learning.
Give them the tools to learn. Give them the wisdom they need to be able to learn. Believe in yourself, trust that momma really does know best, pray A LOT and trust God!
Check out what other homeschoolers are doing to prepare at the