We’re back with part two of When Your Homeschooling (or just Mommy) Needs a Fresh Start.
This is a three-part series in which I will discuss the practical steps to re-evaluating your homeschool schedule and curricula and mood to see if you need to make changes.
If you were attracted to the title of this blog post, it’s probably because you can relate. You are tired, frustrated, irritated and down about the lack of cooperation, or the lack of (what you consider) education which is occurring on a daily basis in your school-space.
I can relate. Some days, I am like: “What’s the point!?” No one wants to listen, they just want to do the “easy” stuff and they has no interest in actually sitting down to work. It’s so irritating, moms!
So,what is a mom to do?
First I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about your FEELINGS.
Feelings will come with a vengeance as you go through the process of homeschooling your children. Why? Because we are human, and as much as we love them, our keeps make us crazy sometimes!
Some of the feelings I have heard moms reflect about include: loneliness, frustration, confusion, dissatisfaction, disgruntlement and resentment. And that’s all before noon! Ha! Just kidding.
This blog post would be incomplete if I didn’t acknowledge that we feel a lot about our kids and their learning. But, here’s the important thing (and just my humble opinion), although emotions are central and even influential in our decision making when it comes to homeschooling, they are not the only factors to consider.
The are part of the story, but not the whole story.
IDENTIFY THE CORE ISSUES AND PROBLEMS
A frank (realistic/factual) evaluation of your current homeschool situation may be necessary. What is working? What is not working? There could be a whole range of problems popping up. A few examples include:
– Kids lacking interest in the material
– Kids saying that it’s too hard/too easy/too boring
– Mom’s schedule has changed and doesn’t have time to instruct as much
– Mom is feeling disorganized and unprepared for the school day
– There is an illness/unemployment/change of family dynamic occurring in the family
– You have teenagers (no, seriously)
These are just a few things. I have experienced all of these things in my 5 years homeschooling. So, now, take some time, with a nice cup of tea or coffee and a notebook to think this through. Answer the following questions.
First take the time to answer this question:Why did I choose to homeschool?
Of course all our answers may be different. Go back to what your intentions were. What you desired before you started hitting roadblocks.
What problems and issues am I seeing on a daily basis in my homeschool?
ex: Son complains that the work is boring and too hard
ex. Toddler is causing distractions
ex. Daughter wants to do the least possible work before she quits
Do I feel like the curriculum I am currently using is a good fit for my child? Why or why not.
ex. No, because my child needs more hands-on work and it’s a lot of reading and writing.
ex. Yes, because it’s based in literature and she loves to read.
ex. No, because my son has ants in his pants and can’t sit still.
ex. No, because mom has taken on a part-time job and needs daughter to be more independent.
Do I like the curriculum? Do I like teaching from it?
YOU CAN ASK THIS. It’s ok. You have to like it too. You have to enjoy the work or else, guess what? You will hate it and avoid it like the plague.
Do I feel I need to research other options for my childs’ learning or will making an adjustment in another area suffice?
My son who has dysgraphia (handwriting difficulty) needed a change 2 years ago. He couldn’t get through the work without pooping out. I decided to implement a keyboard for his writing instead of pushing him to write and write. A change in our schedule or his diet would not have helped that situation!
Are my children getting enough time outside of the house? Are they spending too much time out of the house?
Is your schedule crazy? Maybe mom in her zeal over-committed to too many activities. Or maybe the kids need some stimulation from a different source.
Are they getting enough sleep and eating well?
This is so important. I have a night owl. And I have had to reign him back in several nights when he wanted to stay up past midnight.
Do I feel like the choices I am making in my homeschool are in sync with the goals I have for my children?
I have a strong passion for nature. One of the things I find very important is making sure the boys and I get outside – go hiking, for walks, garden etc. If I find that our schedule is making us too tired to do these things, then that is a red flag for me.
Are the issues I am seeing a signal that I need to pull in resources from the community?
Do you need to perhaps use the expertise of a professional? I got an Occupational Therapist involved with my son who was having trouble writing. Does your child need OT, Speech Therapy, or some other assistance? A side note: This is NOT a failure on your part. Part of homeschooling, in my opinion, is using the expertise of people in the community who can help your children be successful and therefore make your homeschooling experience successful as well.
Part III will be focused on the resources you can use after you have answered these questions!
I hope this has set your mind to thinking! I am with you heart and soul!