What does freedom in your homeschool mean to you?
Think about a typical day? What does it look like? What does it feel like?
Stressed . . . Harried . . . exhausted?
Are these some of the words that cross your mind when you think about your school days? Don’t you want days that are more like . . .
Productive . . . Peaceful . . . Passionate learning . . . Creative?
Life is Busy
As much as I love to throw in creative projects and a heavy dose of art sometimes life gets out of control and crazy!
You know those times I’m talking about. Those explosions of activity that can rock your world and leave you spinning.
You know what that means for you.
I hit just such a season a while back.
Exhausted, overwhelmed, the laundry pile loomed, the family still needed to be fed, house cleaning was not going to do itself. The dishwasher had broken so my kitchen was overloaded with dirty dishes and soapy water from trying to get my kids on board to help out.
It always seems that when you hit the overstretched in your time you also hit the overstretched in your finances. It never rains, it pours, you know what I mean. I’m sure you’ve been there.
So how does one still homeschool in the midst of all the chaos?
The One Thing
The one thing that makes schooling during the chaos possible. The one thing you need in your homeschool. The missing piece to the puzzle is . . .
It’s the key to all future success and adventure in life! The very core, the one essential tool you need to continue homeschooling through the busy season.
But independent learning doesn’t just happen. A foundation must be laid. And it must be laid early before the hurricanes of life hit your world. Start now before you’re overwhelmed. You need to train your child to be an independent learner!
The foundations are pretty basic. And unless your child is in the very early grades, which some of mine are, the foundations have probably already been laid.
- Reading fairly fluently and with understanding
- Writing at some level even if only just beginning
- Ability to follow an independent math program
Once your child has even some, of these basic foundations they are fairly set to begin the transition to independent learning.
Start them slow.
Perhaps you have a child who is weak in reading yet fairly strong in math. You can give them a few independent math worksheets but don’t start the independent reading before they’re ready.
Maybe your child is an excellent reader but hates writing. Give them reading to do on their own but allow them to orally summarize or narrate to you what they are reading. Once they are comfortable with oral summaries, slowly have them begin to write their summaries. Start with maybe once a week and slowly increase from there until most of their summaries are done in written format.
Don’t overdo it. If they love to read, let them. Allow them lots of free reading time purely for enjoyment! We absolutely do not want to squelch the love of reading and learning in our children.
Never give up!
As long as you have given them work you know they can do, don’t let them quit. That can quickly become a habit that is almost impossible to break and will follow them into adulthood.
Let them take a break if they need it. Maybe work on a project, do some art, go for a walk, but always come back to their independent work even if it’s a day or two later. You know your child best.
Is your child’s frustration because the work is truly not at his/her level? Is it because she’s overtired or because he’s a perfectionist?
Perfectionism may often be the death of effort. Teach your children that true effort is more important than a perfect outcome. Outcomes can improve but only if you don’t allow perfectionism to stop you in your tracks!
Start laying the foundations of independent learning now and you will soon see more freedom in your homeschool year! Need independent project ideas? Read Part II of The One Thing You Need for more Freedom in your Homeschool.
Blessings to you and your day and Happy Homeschooling.
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