I read Lies Homeschooling Mom’s Believe by Todd Wilson, and my copy has discussion questions. I would like to use some of those questions as spring boards for some blog posts.
The first thing I would like to discuss is balance. One of my concerns in homeschooling is meeting all the requirements of my state for subjects taught and hours spent learning. Because the last thing I want to do is be perceived as not educating my children, I tend to become a slave-driver. I get irritable and worn out trying to accomplish X number of hours. In the meantime, I wear out my students, become harsh with them, and make school a drudgery. But the other tendency is to be to relaxed, not teach my children what they need to know, and not put in enough time for formal teaching. How do I find balance?
For one thing, I should not look at the whole year and become discouraged when I cannot fit it into the first three months. I have found that setting small quarterly and weekly goals helps because I am not looking at a daunting schedule and because I can give myself a pat on the back when I accomplish a small goal.
I have also learned to focus on the most important things like reading and mathematics in the early years. The way I see it, if my children can read well and do basic mathematics well, they will be able to take charge of their own educations. Also, if I can get the older students to become independent, they will be able to work on their own and help their younger siblings. This will make my job much easier.
Being flexible is very important. I had several things get packed into one week, and I was dreading all the work I had to do on top of homeschooling. But I looked at my log book, saw that I had almost reached my short-term goals, and trimmed the academic burden so that I had more time to take care of other pressing issues.
What are some ways that you have found balance in your homeschool life?