Reflecting on a grateful heart for the decision to homeschool is easier to do in the beginning. As the years pass, pondering the past becomes absolutely essential. Are you missing something?
Being joyful about the decision to homeschool is about more than positive thinking, although positive thinking can be the spark to move on into the next year.
Keep the joy stoked in the new year with these 4 ideas for a more joyful homeschool.
1. Celebrate even the tiniest accomplishments.
No, I am not talking about boasting to others, which almost always can be thought of as an insecurity and therefore a weakness.
Celebrating even the tiniest accomplishment means to be grateful for the positive change and progress made in the past year.
Gauging goals in the new year starts by looking over past successes, no matter how small.
If your child has less letter confusion, moved on to the next reading level or your teen showed more respect when speaking to you, then you moved forward with purpose. Celebrate it!
2. Home is the perfect place to be.
During the journey of homeschooling, it’s easy to get caught up with trying to be sure each child has enrichment outside of the house.
When you have many children, activities outside the house can seem more like a juggling act than enrichment.
It made me think of a quote I heard, which is that jumping around and splashing in water doesn’t mean you’re swimming.
Evaluate the activities that are truly worthwhile and cut out activities that keep you busy.
Return to your homeschool beginnings by returning to home.
At one time or another, we all make the mistake of over planning activities outside of the house.
The joy of homeschooling becomes lost when more time is spent on the road instead of cozying up on the couch with our kids and reading aloud.
3. Add something in too.
Cutting out worthless activities is only balanced by replacing them with activities that will help you to meet your goals.
I have made the mistake many years by focusing only on eliminating things from my day as I looked forward to the new year and not focusing enough on what I want to add to my day.
One year, I had slacked in adding history and science because of my over emphasis on language arts.
Feelings of guilt almost left me paralyzed because hands-on history and science are the subjects that bring learning to life for most children, including mine.
That next homeschool year, I made every Friday either an all day history or science day.
Lounging all day in crafting salt dough maps, creating tornadoes in a jar or cooking a meal from a certain region or country jumpstarted out homeschool joy again.
You won’t regret adding something you have been putting off. Do it today.
4. From an over achiever to high pressure homeschooling.
Life has not become less hectic though we live in a time when modern technology touts quick fix solutions.
Besides our own goals, which may be unrealistic at times, modern technology has a way of making us feel that we have to speed things up too.
While we can’t control what others do, we can analyze our family and focus on us as homeschool teachers. Are we putting too much pressure on our children to perform instantly?
Constantly trying to be an overachiever has a way of crushing a child’s natural spirit to learn.
There are no short cuts to homeschooling though companies may tout many quick fixes to homeschooling.
Reading and writing are taught in slow sequential steps and to rush the process can cheat our children out of a valuable education.
Sadly, high pressure homeschooling has even caused teens to quit homeschooling in their high school years and rebel against their parents.
Looking now at how you can achieve a more balanced homeschool this year and avoiding a success at all costs attitude will help you to avoid killing your homeschool joy before your year starts.
Too, sometimes joy is not about doing less, but it is about being purposefully active.