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Fighting the Winter Blues: Homeschool Edition

Winter is in full-effect with cold winds, heavy coats, shorter days and hunkered down families homeschooling at the dining room table. We have had two snow storms here in Connecticut in the last week and are expecting another one in a couple days. And the blues are setting in.

I have always found January and February to be the hardest months to get through as a homeschooler. December is fun because of the holidays and March is alright because of Spring peeking through here and there. But January and February are cold, dark and still. I like to be moving and for most of the year, I like to be outside, but I basically spend the first two months of the year fighting with my husband to turn the thermostat up. I also run around sealing up all our old windows so I don’t freeze to death in my pantry as I choose tonight’s dinner. PLUS the additional isolating effect of the worldwide pandemic!

If you’re like me, you are beginning to feel a little sluggish in your routines, slacking on school work, and maybe even your home upkeep (don’t tell my mom). I am not a medical professional, but I am a mom, so I have come up with a few techniques to employ if I really begin to get down and de-energized.

See friends pandemic-style

This is harder with the pandemic, but not impossible. Almost a year into the worldwide emergency, you have probably identified a few people you feel you can spend time with relatively safely. We have a group we go hiking with twice a month (yes, even in the snow). We are outside the entire time. I have also met up with friends at the playground (outside again) or at a museum (inside, but plenty of space and masks). We are also taking virtual classes on a weekly basis with a virtual co-op that was started up a year ago.

Seeing other people draws you out of yourself and your own thoughts (all-be-it temporarily) and allows you and your children to interact with others and engage with others. I can’t believe how refreshed I am after a time like this when I am not my child’s only playmate/talkmate.

Do a new unit study

When I really hit a funk, I like to look at my kids and ask myself this question: What are they into these days?
For a couple weeks, my 6 year-old was talking to me about Archeology. So I decided to spice things up by grabbing an free Ancient Egypt lapbook from www.homeschoolshare.org.

His interest in this subject was already piqued, so he has been excited to work on it and it also happens to be a topic I like too. Plus, every homeschooler knows that there are ENDLESS resources for Ancient Egypt available to us including books, videos, crafts, etc. It has definitely breathed some life into our school time.

Vitamin D

People need Vitamin D to counteract the effects of the lack of sunlight in the winter. I take a daily supplement. The use of Vitamin D to fight the Winter Blues is well-documented and an especially good idea nowadays with all the time our children are spending inside four walls.

Those most at-risk for low vitamin D levels are people of color and people living at higher latitudes. – M.T. Cantorna, Professor of Immunology

According to the quote above, that means that a good portion of the world’s population need annual Vitamin D supplementation! And let’s face it, if you are schooling your children every day, keeping your home up and perhaps even balancing working with these things too, you are bound to be drained and need a little extra sunshine in a capsule.

Talk to a Friend

One thing is for sure, I have found during the last year I am talking to my friends less and less. It’s not on purpose, but with my local church not meeting and all our homeschool co-ops canceled – friend time is less and less. Despite this, when I reach out, people are there for me, and I am sure they will be for you too. We are all busy raising families and working, but, there is nothing like friend time. So reach out to the person that popped into your mind when you started to read this paragraph right now!

Get Outside

I know it’s not ideal if you are a summer (or even Fall or Spring-lover), but getting outside will help a ton. Total honesty? There are bloggers who could blog vociferously about the pleasures of playing outside in the winter…I just don’t happen to be one of them. But, I went outside yesterday with my son in the cold and a foot of snow and it was great. The snow was falling on us, we played and stomped around and got red-faced and it was uplifting. Here are a couple of mamas who have this playing outside in the Winter thing down.

5 Benefits of Playing Outside in the Winter
10 Ways to Explore Nature in the Winter
15 Winter Backyard Games

Schedule things to look forward to

I hate the monotony of the winter months. And to be honest, in 2021 this is added to the monotony of “staying home to stay safe.” So I like to schedule things for our family to do so I have something to look forward to. Today, I have the pleasure of having a root canal, but that is not what I mean. I mean a special drive into the country or purchasing a new movie to watch as a family or an International Night where you cook international food and play international music and games or… you get the idea.

Get a S.A.D. light

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing. It is the type of depression that shows up after the rotation of the earth and distance from the sun changes in the cooler months. Light Therapy works! I have one of these lights on my desk and I turn it on every time I sit down to do something.

Light Therapy tricks your mind into thinking you are getting sun exposure. These special lights mimics outdoor light.

“Generally, most people with seasonal affective disorder begin treatment with light therapy in the early fall, when it typically becomes cloudy in many regions of the country. Treatment usually continues until spring, when outdoor light alone is sufficient to sustain a good mood and higher levels of energy…You and your doctor can adjust your light treatment based on the timing and duration of your symptoms.” – Mayo Clinic

Courtesy Pexels, Malidate Van

Eat to Treat the Blues

As simple as it sounds, what you eat will have a major effect on the intensity of your moods. Of course this is true year-round, but especially during the winter months. That’s why supplementing your normal diet with intentionality during the winter months is imperative.

Food is energy and you need a specific type of energy to maintain your mood through the cold, dark months.

Check out these amazing resources for making sure you are eating right for the Wintertime.

Winter Blues? 10 Food Tips to Help Ease the Symptoms
Eating to Lift Your Winter Blues
3 Foods to Help Deal with Seasonal Depression

Spend time with Him

Last, but certainly not least, is get some time with God. Our Father and creator did not create you to a. be perfect b. do it all alone. He has in fact, created us lean on Him and me dependent on Him (not INdependent). I will be doing a separate blog post on this topic soon!

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxieties on him, because HE CARES for you.

Blessings to you all and may your Wintertime be pleasant! – Jenny

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Need to Change Your Curriculum? Homeschool SALES and FREEBIES (February 2021 Edition)

This is the time of year when a homeschool mom decides if it’s all working or not. Is he learning the math? Is she bored? Is he refusing to do work? Maybe it’s time for you to change up your approach. Even better, why not get some new (and fun) materials to bring the excitement back to learning?

Christianbook.com – 25% off Apologia and Learning Language Arts until 2/9/2021

SimplyCharlotteMason.comFREE video series on teaching Charlotte Mason style

Timberdoodle.comFREE GIFT with $75 purchase

Sonlight.com – It’s the Sonlight WAREHOUSE sale! Up to 50% off materials, FREE shipping on orders over $25

ReadingEggs.com – 30 days free trial

MemoriaPress.com – FREE SHIPPING all of February

Science4us.com – 30 days free trial

Dadsworksheets.com – FREE Math worksheets and calculators

IEW.com (Institute for Excellence in Writing) – try FREE lessons for 3 weeks

Doverpublications.com – FREE samples and shipping

Clarendonlearning.orgFREE unit studies and lessons for middle elementary

Notconsumed.com – FREE family Bible study with newsletter sign up

Enjoy shopping!

– Jenny

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Check out the ‘All the Good Things’ Pinterest Page!

My Pinterest page is exploding with ideas for you! Whether you are looking for homeschooling, gardening, upcycling clothes or goodies for your planner, I take pride in having something on a variety of home-related topics.

Click below!

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Meet Four Amazing ETSY Sellers for Nature Curriculum

I am in a nature mood. I don’t know if it’s the winter snow or the fact that I have a very interested six year -old, but I am looking for beautiful and interesting curricula on different nature topics. I also like to give my money and encouragement to other homeschooling moms who are working on the side.

Whether or not you are looking for crafts, beautiful artwork, or the nuts and bolts of vocabulary, ETSY is a great place to shop. You can find unique and fairly priced products. Fire up your printer and laminator and check out some of my finds!

From Raising up Wild Things

Raising Up Wild Things

This ETSY shop has a few really special items. I have my eye on the Winter Journal to use as a spine to get my son outside with a focus on observation. I love the gentle and colorful artwork and the fact that it’s a digital download (sometimes you need it right away!). RUWT also offers topical studies of up to 50 or so pages that include discussion questions, vocabulary, poetry, and activities. Check out their affordable POND study (31 pages!).

From Honey Comb Cabin

Honey Comb Cabin

Another digital download treasure trove. HCC offers lots of subjects (nests, eggs, trees, woodland animals, arbor math to name a few). All of their offerings are extremely well-priced (between $3 and $12) and perfect for a one-income, homeschooling family. Ashley’s artwork is all HAND-PAINTED as well. Check out their Squirrel Life Cycle Unit.

From Arrows and Applesauce

Arrows and Applesauce

Arrows and Applesauce has printables too, but also offers a more “hands-on” element to their approach. Get your laminator out for these purchases because Kristen sells items that you layer on top of one another. For example, this Water Cycle printable allow student to place cut outs on top of the print out. So does Plant and Grow and Moon Phases. All of her items are priced fairly and are colorful.

From Green Urban Collective

Green Urban Collective

So beautiful to look at, the items from GUC should be put on your wall after you’re done with them! Reasonably priced from $2 to $20. Choose from many topics including: Anatomy of a Butterfly, Pumpkin Varieties, and the Coffee Plant Lifecycle. She also has inspirational items and items in both Spanish and French.

There are many, many more shops on Etsy that you can access to find great and unique homeschool materials. And of course, besides learning about nature, be sure to GET OUTSIDE!

-Jenny

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This is not ‘homeschooling’

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With the Coronavirus closing down schools all over the nation, thousands of children are coming home to be educated.  Kids will be appearing every morning, ready (or not so ready) to crack the books, open the laptop,  flip the page of the packet…you get the picture.

And the teachers are…guess who? Mom and Dad.

In this unprecedented move to close all the public schools (and colleges, and libraries, and bars, and restaurants) our leaders are attempting to slow down the rate at which  Covid-19 spreads. “Social distancing,” as it is called, is being touted as the only way in which thousands of people will be spared getting the sickness at exactly the time overwhelming hospitals.

As a homeschooler for 9 years, I have been educating my children every day in the same way a lot of moms and dads are doing it now for the very first time…and also not.

Here’s what I mean. This is actually not “homeschooling,” at least, as we know it. Some elements are the same (the schoolwork, the complaining, the endless snack eating), but that’s about it. I guess what I am here to tell everyone is: this is not typical homeschooling.

Out and About

Most homeschoolers will tell you that they are so busy being out and about in the community that they actually have to schedule time to be in their home to complete curriculum work. It’s kind of an unspoken joke. One homeschool mom might say to another, “No, we really can’t make it this week. We have to finish chapter 5 in math.” Other homeschool mom nods head knowingly.

My boys and I have done a lot of different things over the years including weekly co-ops where parents teach a variety of developmentally appropriate classes, play-dates at the park, classes in the community, art class, sports, library events, church events. Currently we belong to a bi-weekly co-op, a weekly high school level course, weekly library meet-ups and a few other things.

And right now, they are all cancelled.

Don’t get me wrong. They should be cancelled. But, even for homeschoolers, we are not used to this amount of family “togetherness.”

Curriculum

Many homeschoolers, unless you are a total beginner, have had some time under their belts to discern how each child learns best, what is the parents preferred way of teaching, what curriculum is a good fit and other important actors.

Public school parents were literally thrust into this role overnight!

I do not envy you and I want to support you.

Working too?

A lot of homeschool moms work as well, but, we have had the time to arrange our schedules so that it’s somewhat conducive to homeschooling. I write part-time and teach nature classes, but I homeschool around that.

Public school parents whose kids are home are probably expected to be just as productive in their home offices, while schooling at home, a Herculean undertaking.

A little free advice

I was recently asked to offer up a sample schedule for a nationally published article I wrote online. I felt really bad doing it, because, I didn’t want some mom, who is home for the first time during this pandemic to read it, try it, and feel like a failure.

Here’s what I can offer to moms teaching at home right now: Take some time to observe your children’s learning habits. Just a day or two. Look and see where they like to work, do they like to sit at a table, on the couch, do they use the computer, do they have to shut out noise with headphones…anything that can clue you into their learning style.

Get to know them as students.

Evaluate how your day might flow. And you need to know that the schedule that might work for your colleague and her children, may not work at all for you.

Take notes, jot down ideas, and even think outside the box.

One of the things I have been hearing is that the amount of work sent home is way too much to handle. If you are in the situation, I want to give you permission to not do it all, or do it at a slower pace.

Lastly, this: spend time with your kids.

Kids need relationships with their parents right now. They need us to be together and they need us to not be totally stressed out. They are feeling their own fears right now. So, it’s ok to take time out during the day to watch a movie with them, bake, plants seeds, or just chat.

Ask yourself: when this is finally all over, how do you want your children to remember this time? And act on it.

Jenny

 

 

 

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happy

I am 46 years old.

I have had 46 years of life.

Cooking/eating meals, dressing myself, driving to and fro, getting educated, relationships, friendships, marriage, having babies, and parenting.

But it’s only recently that I felt comfortable with myself.

I became a Christian at 22 but I never felt comfortable in my skin. Settled with who I am.  Happy with the person I am inside as well as with the person I portray out to the world. Okay with presenting myself “Just as I am” (as the old song goes).

I really struggled with the concept of self-care. I honestly didn’t know for sure whether self-care was biblical, whether it was pleasing to God, or it was just another humanistic concept designed by self-focused humans. I also didn’t even really know what I truly needed.

I think it got worse after raising three babies. I had really lost myself along the way. I think it actually happens to a lot of moms.

My last baby was born five years ago (when I was 41, oh yeah!). As he has grown, and I have accepted that he is indeed my last, I quietly decided to reclaim myself. Being that he was my last, I knew I had to be content with myself from here on out, as baby-snuggling, toddler-training was now a thing of the past (although, admittedly parenting is not over).

So…it was time to decide. Who was I exactly?

And, while we are talking about this, why didn’t I fit into ONE clean and neat category? (annoying!)

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At one time or another, and maybe your specific timing was different, did you ask yourself that same question? Who ARE you? Where do YOU fit in? What do you value and even like?

As mamas, this is bound to come up. Mothering can be somewhat lonely and our efforts to reach out and make friends along the way do not always go well for a variety of reasons.

Mothering in and of itself is can be a very outward facing act with not too many tangible rewards. Do you get a pat on the back for staying up all night with your sick kiddo? All those tears shed during Algebra II…does your teen come back and say “Thank you mom so much!” All the laundry and dishes…it gets really wearying!

One of the most distracting things that prevents us from doing this sort of self-work is the temptation to look at other moms and compare ourselves. Sometimes it’s hard for me to even admit I do this…but I do.

Was I the tough, outdoorsy lady? The feminine wife? The modest-Christian mother?  Stay-at-home-mom? Working mom? The long-haired, long-skirted homeschooling mama? I looked around me and saw all of these women, and thought “They look happy and content with themselves,” or “She seems pleased enough with who she is. She probably doesn’t even think about this.”

From talking with other moms, we also are not so great at taking care of ourselves. Can I get an “amen”? How many times have you seen yours kids sick, driven them to the doctor, gotten the diagnosis, ordered the medicine…all while being sick yourself? We put ourselves last. Which is okay for a time…but only for a time. It will catch up with you.

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Thankfully the Bible is replete with scriptures that give me confidence and clarity to go forward in this process of deciding who I am truly.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, the new has come.

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Galatians 3:26
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.

New creation. Chosen. Daughter of God.

These scriptures and many like them remind us that, in fact, our person-hood is not tied up in all the things that we look at with our physical eyes, but rather in the spiritual renewal of being a Jesus-follower.

That levels the playing field immediately, casting open wide the door to be whoever God chose you to be.

You don’t have to be one type of category of person, neatly packaged and tied with a bow. You can allow yourself the space to wear the hiking boots one day and the high heels the next! As long as you are Christ-centered, it doesn’t matter!

Next, even Jesus took some time to get centered (if we can call it that). Luke 5:16 says that Jesus “went away to solitary places and prayed.” In another translation, the Bible says he, “frequently withdrew to the wilderness to pray.”

Maybe you need to withdraw a little bit every week to pray, to jot down thoughts, to plan your week, or to think through the things that make you happy.

At 46, my own personal realization is that I love myself and the way God made me, and that I wasn’t happy when I judged myself harshly, comparing myself to others.

And I do (literally) wear hiking boots one day and heels the next. 😉

 

 

 

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How My Garden Has Changed in 17 Years

What’s in a hobby?  Why do we choose to spend our time doing the things we do? Maybe you crochet or knit.  Perhaps you love to spend a rainy afternoon baking or writing long letters. Maybe your thing is athletics?  A nice long run or bike ride.

Whatever hobby you choose, you have to love it to spend the amount of time on it that you do.

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That’s what gardening is like for me.

Now, I grew up in a gardening family.  My grandfather was a gardener and so was his daughter, my mother.  But, I had no interest..that is, until I got my first apartment with my husband.  I immediately starting gardening in pots on our second floor balcony.

I have driven by the 3-family house since then, and the balcony is gone.  (Maybe I watered too much?)

When we bought our house in 2001, one of the selling points was a huge yard.  No more pots.

Fast forward, I have been gardening in that same space for seventeen years and the garden I have today is NOTHING like the garden I started out with.

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1. The soil has changed

First of all, new soil is untouched soil.  When we began, we found rocks, but as time has gone on and the dirt has been added to, manipulated and re-arranged, I no longer find rocks.  I have reached depths in the soil where I see different colors of decomposition, I have added bags and bags of cow manure, and I have dug and then re-dug. Now, when I prep the garden for the yearly plant, it’s pretty easy to move the soil and pretty easy to pull weeds as well.

2. The garden space is PACKED.

I have over-done it.  I always pack too much stuff into my little space.  I forget how much room a cabbage takes up! When I first began, I tilled 3 neat rows.  I also have mature perennials like Egyptian onions, mint, Jerusalem Artichokes, raspberries, and milkweed now that come back every year and if I am not careful, choke out my productive space for food plants.

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3. The bugs have changed. 

When we first started I had very few bugs and more critters (rabbits, moles, voles, even deer!).  We put up a fence and buried it 6 inches into the ground and that seems to have prevented little nibblers from approaching for about 12 years now. Now, I get your typical insects like cabbage worm, aphids, white flies, snails (a wet year) and Japanese Beetles.

Therefore, I have needed to educate myself on how to manage these pests and get rid of them when necessary.

I also have many beneficial bugs in my garden like long-legged flies, multiple pollinators, and Ladybird beetles.

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4. The tree line has changed.

There is a tree I depend on to give my garden some shade.  My garden in right in the middle of the yard.  But it is in decline.  Many of its branches are breaking off and it will not be long before I have to cut it down.

I have also added trees that will eventually bring some shade to the garden such as a peach tree, fringe tree, and a Rose of Sharon.

And most importantly…

5. I have changed.

In the last 17 years I have learned through mistakes. And that is THE main advice I give friends when they are asking me for gardening advice.  Learn from your mistakes and don’t give up!

I have used products I wished I hadn’t, I have seen plants look like they are flourishing only to die overnight, I have had summers (while pregnant or with a new-born) where I let the weeds win, and I have allowed plants to succumb to pests through neglect.

I just keep learning.

Here’s to another 17!

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So You Withdrew Your Kids From Public School, Now What? Part One: De-Schooling

Moms know best.

They know when things are just not working out with the school their kids go to.

They know when the bullying has gotten out of hand, when their son/daughter is just not learning anymore, when their child cries and has belly aches every morning before school.

So, mom makes and choice and says,”I am bringing her home,” and files the needed withdrawal papers (different depending on where you live).

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Now what?

Let’s talk through some of the steps you should take from that point.

First of all, and I cannot stress this enough, you really need to take some time to DE-SCHOOL. This is not the same as Un-school (which is a form of homeschooling), this is to take some time to do NO SCHOOL at all.

What??

This may go against all your mommy feelings and you may feel like you are being an irresponsible homeschooler, but, trust me, you need to take this period of time.

Here’s why – if you child has attended school for any period of time, he/she has a certain, pretty rigid idea of what school is, what “learning” is.  This may include but not be limited to: schedules, bells, big hard books, desks, shuffling through the hallways, bumping into tons of kids, noise, grades (failing or passing), emotional stress, etc.

Whether the public school experience has been a positive one or a negative one, you and your child will need to take some time to just be in the same space and get used to the idea of learning at home and to having you as the teacher.

Now, this time  is not wide open free time. No, no, no. (We’re not talking hours of tv watching and videos games).

This time is you laying a foundation of how you want education to go from here on.

During this time you should:

Attend art shows and museums
Plug into local homeschool groups
Go hiking, swimming, walking etc
Read books together
Listen to audio books
Cook together
Read the Bible together
Draw

and most of all….talk….and LISTEN.

Your job is to gather information during this time. You are on an information seeking mission. You are going to use this time to hear what your student loved and hated about public school and to see if you can ascertain what sort of student he or she is.

Attempt to answer these questions:

Does your child like to do hands-on things?
Is your child a natural artist?
What are the areas that the student hates/struggles in?
What are his favorite subjects?
What are things that she would like to learn more about?
What subjects is he behind in?

The point of de-schooling is to allow you and your new students to get to know one another…in a NEW way. No longer are you just mom and child, you are also now mom and student.

Caution: one of the things new homeschoolers need to embrace quickly is that homeschooling’s goals is NOT to re-create public school at home. In fact, it is the opportunity you and your child have been waiting for to personalize  your child’s education, so all boundaries which once existed are now GONE!

Does your child want to learn about WWII? (Great!)
Does your child have an interest in mushrooms? (Awesome!)
Does you child doodle and draw (Utilize it!)
Does your child prefer you read to them vs reading themselves? (Do it!)

Do you get what I am saying, momma?

There are 2 subjects which are non-negotiable in our house (Math and Language Arts) – but I do personalize their curriculum to their strengths and interests. I do not expect everything to get done perfectly and sometimes, some subjects which cause more frustration than others, I say: I will come back to this another day…month…even year.

It bears repeating…you are not re-creating public school in your home. Grasp this opportunity to do the things your child would never do in public school (for lack of time).  

And this,my friends, is how you begin. Gather a supportive community around you!

How long your de-schooling period is, is up to you.  I usually advise 2-3 weeks, but others would advise you to take longer. It’s up to you.

Jenny

 

 

 

 

goals · Mommas · organizing

Scriptures on Planning and Priorities *free printable*

I have been reading scriptures about planning and priorities.  I have been somewhat amazed to see how important it is, actually!

But, as I suspected, God is a God of order and planning!

This realization reappeared time and time again as I went through the Word.  His plan for the Israelites, for the arrival of Jesus, and even for the way we live our daily lives.

Check out this free PDF of Scriptures about Planning and Priorities. I hope you allow it to shape how YOU plan and prioritize your own life.  🙂

Jenny

curriculum · future · goals · homeschool solutions · homeschooling

What is a Student’s ‘Best Effort’ in Homeschooling Look Like?

Do you ever feel like your kids give video games, television, playing, sorts, their hobbies (add your own thing) their best effort, but when it comes to school they try to quickly hurry through, doing as little as possible, with as little effort as possible?

First, in order to avoid the trap of perfectionism, let’s define what best effort isn’t.

It is not:

  • Never making a mistake
  • Always doing things correctly
  • Never taking chances
  • Never trying new things
  • Berating yourself for not doing it all, all the time
  • “topping” your highest score

So, for our purposes, what is homeschooling’s “best effort”?

A student’s best effort can be more adequately defined as:

  • Effort not limited by prior knowledge.
  • Being a willing learner.
  • An attitude of “I am willing to try.”
  • A persevering spirit to follow it through to completion.

*Important*: best effort should be defined within the students’ appropriate developmental age and personality style.  Learning disabilities also need to be considered.

For example, I have a perfectionist. When he is approaching a new math subject, he puts in the effort, he is willing to learn and try, BUT he often quits at the first sign of confusion.  

His issue is that he does not have a persevering spirit. He is used to “getting” things quickly and when he has to push harder to understand, he gets frustrated and quits.

My other student, who by the way has dysgraphia, will see a new subject and say “I don’t know what this is about. It looks confusing. I don’t want to try.”  He has an issue with being a willing learner and being willing to at least try.

puzzle

What about your child?  In which are do they need to grow so that they can achieve their best effort?

Effort not Limited by Prior Knowledge
This student sees a new topic and is willing to learn about it. They are not frightened and say “I have no idea about this topic,” or may have limited knowledge but be open to adjusting their current understanding.

Being a Willing Learner
This student has a desire to understand his world better. He is humble in his approach and not frightened of learning new information which may be challenging.

“I am Willing to Try” Attitude
This student acknowledges a lack of understand or exposure to a new topic, but doesn’t allow that to prevent him/her from absorbing it into his/her mindset.

A Persevering Spirit to Follow it Through to Completion
This student, when faced with new information or learning something for the first time, doesn’t give up.  He/she sticks with the new information until a natural end.

It is my belief that in order for your student to achieve his/her personal best, the weakest area needs to be identified.

It is said, that you can only know where you’re going, if you know where you have been. Likewise, a student cannot perform at his/her personal best until you take and evaluate your current status and where you need to grow.

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If your child struggles with one of these areas, don’t panic. Every child does.  It would be a rare child indeed that could do them all perfectly. 

These issues may, in fact, appear even when they are doing their favorite activities (like video games or drawing), but they are more willing to persevere through them because there is a higher reward of joy, satisfaction or fun.  With schoolwork, though, the reward isn’t very obvious..and let’s be honest, it just isn’t as fun!

So, the next time your child is giving you less than his/her best, evaluate which concept they are wrestling with and make a plan.

Solutions…

Some ideas for turning around one of these areas of work struggles include:

One-on-one learning with a parent (even sitting next to them if needed)
Taking a break from said topic and approaching it with a new, fresh mind/attitude
Trying a new curriculum that teaches it differently
Adding more hands-on work to the topic
Asking another homeschool parent to help teach the topic
Utilizing a group learning environment (through a co-op or group) to teach the topic
Utilizing a tutor

Hope this helps and I am right there with you!

Jenny