Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Take What Works

I’m the type of person who loves Pinterest. I love the flood of ideas waiting to be explored. I see it as inspirational and motivating and it often spurs me on to creativity and adventure in big ways and in small.

But some don’t see it that way. For them, comparison and doubt set in. They can feel frantic about all of the things they “should” be doing or all of the things they’re missing out on. Depression and anxiety swoop in and before they know it they’re just plain overwhelmed.

This happens a lot with homeschooling. First, you have to sort through how you want to educate your child. Public school, private school, hybrid school, homeschool, unschool? Once you’ve settled on home education you move on to style suits your family best. Montessori, Waldorf, classical, eclectic, Moore, unit studies, Charlotte Mason. Then comes curriculum. You can spend a lot of time trying to choose just the right thing for each child. Once the curriculum is in your hands, the choices just continue. You are inundated with all sorts of worksheets, coloring pages, vocab and spelling lists, quizzes, tests, papers, experiments, projects, and field trip suggestions galore! It’s enough to make your head spin.

The beautiful truth is that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing and you don’t have to do it all. When you’re starting out, try to focus on how your child learns best and use that as your foundation. As you’re trying to navigate how much to actually do each day, focus on comprehension and retention. Does your child understand what they’re being taught? Can they remember it? If they are strong in one area, then you can drop some of the worksheets, projects, etc, because it just becomes busy work. If they’re struggling, then you can pick and choose what to incorporate into your day based on how they learn.

I love ideas and I love potential. It’s fun to read about vacation spots and things we can explore or do. But that doesn’t mean that we can or will do them all. And neither should you. I’ll be posting a lot and I hope that you are more inspired than overwhelmed. Because it’s better to do a few well-chosen activities than it is to cram our days with a bunch of unnecessary busy work that leaves us depleted and exhausted.

So, visit often and take what works for you and your family and leave the rest. Rest secure in the vision and goals you have for your educational journey and rest easy in the fact that you don’t have to do it all.

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