As home education continues to grow so do the many options for giving your children experiences outside of the home. In our area there are several opportunities available to the home school community. There are co-ops, tutorials, and field trip groups on every other corner.
These opportunities are wonderful since I remember once living in a community where there were fewer opportunities, but the problem with having so many options is the fact that these activities can easily overtake a home educating family’s schedule. Over the years I’ve learned a few simple ways to keep the “home” in our home school.
When I think about home, I often think of the people first and not the dwelling. This helps me to stay grounded and focus on my husband, children, and myself before making any decisions. What do you think about when you hear the word home?
Three Ways Putting Family First Helps Keep Home at the Forefront as a Home School Family
- Considering my husband often reminds me to consider the budget. Many activities and opportunities are not available without cost. As a family with one full income, it is important that I do not attempt to overextend our budget for the latest and greatest thing in the home school community. This includes co-ops and learning groups, field trip opportunities, and curriculum. By limiting our choices in activities and curriculum, we are more likely to spend more time enjoying experiences as a family and have a better balance between the books and everyday life.
- As parents, we have to consider the children we are educating. By being in tune with their desires, it helps to create a balance between needs and wants. There are times we need to be a part of a specific group to reach a goal, but there are other times we join groups because that is what others are doing. Both of our daughters have different desires and interests therefore we have to divide the time to give each of them what they need to achieve their goals while not allowing their interests to take over.
- Oftentimes moms are the primary educator and oftentimes moms do not consider themselves for the sake of the family. Keeping home alive and well in our learning environment means that I have to nurture myself just as much as I nurture the members of my family. This means I do not overschedule our days because I am an introvert; too much outside activity will cause me to become exhausted which depletes the energy I need to be able to teach my daughters and take care of my home.
Home education truly does allow for a variety of opportunities whether in experiences or the choice of curriculum used to teach our children. In order to ensure that these things do not overtake one of the greatest gifts of home education which is building relationships within the family, we must remember to balance these things by putting first things first.