Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to homeschooling, even though we have good intentions and make overly optimistic plans. This can lead to feeling frustrated and defeated, and we end up searching for relief.
Homeschooling can be tough, but sometimes we make it harder on ourselves. It can be tough to accept that we’re the ones making it harder, but it’s true. Luckily, it only takes a little time to fix the problem. We just need to reflect on whether or not we’re making homeschool harder than it has to be, and then make some corrections.
5 SIGNS YOU’RE MAKING HOMESCHOOL HARDER THAN IT HAS TO BE
If you’re not sure how to start reflecting on your homeschooling journey, here are five signs that may help you determine if you’re causing some of your homeschool troubles.
1. You don’t know your non-negotiables.
Without priorities, it is difficult to find a starting point each day and stay motivated. It is also hard to have a clear vision of how your goals for your kids fit into daily homeschooling. Just like anything else in life, homeschooling is only as difficult as you make it. You get to decide what takes priority in your homeschool and what is negotiable.
We made sure we did something with math and language arts every day (mostly). Everything else can be taught as a group on on the go. Those other subjects are more flexible because we never feel overwhelmed if we need to make them up later. Math and language arts are more difficult for if your kids are far apart in age, so you may need to hit those first each day. Therefore, we make sure to do math and language arts every day because it is harder on us when we don’t. Instead of making homeschool more difficult than it needs to be, stick to uour non-negotiables by doing them first every day. Having a clear understanding of what needs to be done first makes it easier to deal with busy seasons in life or even unexpected disruptions to your routine.
2. You have trust issues.
When you don’t trust the homeschooling system, you make it harder than it needs to be. In other words, when you choose a teaching method or educational philosophy, you should give it time to work before trying something else. It’s also important to trust your choices of curriculum. There will be times when the curriculum doesn’t work well, but you shouldn’t make changes just because you’re not confident in your choices.
I have absolutely done this! You know what it looks like: you purchase new curriculum, you LOVE it, but then you switch to something else because it doesn’t appear to be as good when compared to what everyone else is doing.
Making mid-year curriculum changes is a huge mistake that has major repercussions. Each time this happens, homeschooling becomes harder because it wipes out the budget and creates the need to try something different a few months later. The sad thing is that it’s all easily avoidable by trusting the system to do what it’s designed to do.
Don’t make your life harder than it needs to be. Stay focused on your own goals and don’t worry about what everyone else around you is doing or what they seem to be doing. If the path you’re on is working for you, trust it and enjoy the journey.
3. You’re not prepared.
It is generally accepted that it is better to be prepared than not when undertaking any task and this is especially true for homeschooling. If the parent is prepared it sets a tone for the day which is both relaxed and efficient. There is less guesswork and the parent is able to lead by example. Allowing the children to get the best out of their homeschooling experience. When I wake up without any idea what we will be doing that day, we usually get nothing done. When we don’t prepare for homeschooling in advance, it causes a lot of problems. We get behind schedule, can’t keep track of what we’re doing, and end up having to put some of our plans off until another day. That’s not very fun for anyone involved, especially when you consider that it usually only takes an hour or so each week to prepare. Being prepared definitely makes homeschooling a lot easier for everyone.
We need to be responsible leaders if we want our kids to succeed in homeschooling. We can’t expect them to do all the work if we’re not doing our part.
4. You’re distracted.
Although life is busy, it is important to have self-control and not be controlled by technology. If homeschooling is important, then focus on that and limit technology distractions. This can be difficult because it is easy to get wrapped up in scrolling through social media feeds. However, if you set a good example for your kids by focusing on homeschooling, then they are more likely to do the same.There are plenty of things that we can’t control that happen to us every day, so we should try to control the things that we can.
It’s beneficial for us to be able to focus while homeschooling because it sets a good example for our children. This example helps to keep homeschool days running smoothly and prevents issues with attention.
5. You never feel like you’re doing enough.
If you don’t feel like you’re doing enough, you can let go of that feeling. People who aren’t doing enough don’t care about doing enough.
Homeschooling gives you the freedom to define what “enough” looks like for you and your children. It’s okay if your version of “enough” looks different from someone else’s – a customized education will look different for every family. It’s also important to manage your expectations to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself or your kids.
What Not To Do:
DETAILED LESSON PLANNING
This one is a joy-killer! If you’ve got your whole year planned out, it’s easy to feel like a failure the minute you get ‘behind’. I comfort myself by remembering that not a single class I took in public school got all the way though the planned lessons – especially when I got to the higher grades. One of the best parts of homeschool if having the flexibility that human being need. Planning detailed lessons is not necessary for homeschooling.
PRINTABLES OR CONFUSING CURRICULUM
If you are resigned to the fact that you’ll never get ahead because you are homeschooling, then you are making homeschooling harder than it needs to be. If you feel like you have to spend a lot of time reading a teacher’s manual or printing out a bunch of worksheets, you might be making homeschooling harder than it needs to be. Some people think that they need to do a lot of extra work to make sure their kids are getting a good education, but that isn’t always the case. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by homeschooling, it might be because you’re making it harder than it needs to be.
If you’re using curriculum, choose resources that are easy to access and understand. This way, your child can bookmark their place and pick up tomorrow where they left off today. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re consistent day to day.
Printables should not be relied on to measure how much a child has learned. They may be used occasionally, but this should not be the primary method of assessment. This will save you time and printer ink.
Hard to accept until it’s too late, but your kids don’t need to do everything to have a well-rounded childhood. They will not be ruined if they don’t try every sport. It is better for their growth and development to pick one thing and become an expert in it.
You’ll have more time and less stress if you cut back on your kids’ activities and commit to being a more relaxed parent.
Try acting like everything on your schedule is non-essential, and then add back in only the most essential commitments. This will help you prevent burnout.
TRYING TO REPLICATE SCHOOL AT HOME
Those small school desks are adorable; they evoke memories of going to school as a child. The chalkboard on the wall, the American flag at the front, and the flashcards of all 26 letters of the alphabet circling the top of the wall are all reminiscent of a time gone by.
However, if you’re making your kids do math at 8, handwriting at 9, and recess at 10, and you and the kids are not enjoying it, then relax and stop trying to make your home like school!
Find a relaxed, comfortable way to learn with your kids, and everyone will be much happier. You should not try to copy what you think is the one right way of homeschooling. Every homeschooling family has their own unique way of homeschooling. Try out different teaching and learning styles with your kids and see what works best for them. Your kids might need some structure, but if you try to make your homeschooling experience like public school, you will be overworking yourself. Find a relaxed and comfortable way to learn with your kids and everyone will be happier.
Always find everyone going back to the kitchen table? Or hanging out on the back porch? Why make it an issue? Kids who are comfortable can stop worrying about the hard classroom chair and focus on the books and games. Don’t worry about it too much, the goal is for your kids to enjoy learning and become more independent. Do what works best for you.