Finding Balance

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?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Finding Balance

  1. Hi.
    I homeschooled for 25 years, too. I always let my children self-teach as soon as they could read. I only taught them:
    1. when they needed to learn to read
    2. when they had questions about material they had read and not understood
    3. when I wanted them to learn to type (they need oversight then, not much more)
    4. when I wanted them to learn to take extensive notes off a blackboard during lecture (mid-teens).
    The rest of the time, they kept track of their own schedules — directed by us, of course — and filed their own work in an organized fashion.

    Oh, they did not always like all this, and sometimes had to lose privileges because of work not completed, but this was a warm-up for real life outside the home, and they dealt with college like it was ho-hum.
    It was. They already had the necessary skills, by then.

    • Thank you for your comment, Katharine.

      It sounds as if your students were well-prepared for life. Everyone one day reaches a time when they do not have a parent or teacher telling them what they should do. The sooner they learn to become self-sufficient and self-starters, the happier they will be in life.

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