3 things to Toss when Starting Homeschool
We're 4 weeks into homeschooling and I was recently told it takes 4 years to feel like you've got it figured out. Amen to that. For as much as I wanted to write a post 4 weeks ago, I'd probably laugh at it now when it comes to my naiveté.
Here's the thing with homeschooling- I'm learning just as much as my kids are. Ok fine. I'm learning more. Over the course of the last few weeks I've learned with all that's being added on, there's a lot to toss to the side. Here are my top 3 things.
1. Expectations: I've had many a lofty plan and goal. Slowly we're falling more steadily into a rhythm that'll someday shake out to be what we "normally" do. I know this year will look like it will, and next year will look entirely different. I'm learning to toss out expectations, and comparison, and not think my day will look like another family's, because it won't! Right now my family doesn't homeschool so we can travel the country. We don't homeschool on the go, we homeschool in a room. We don't start everyday at the same time and we don't get to every subject each day. I've had to narrow down and weed away to get to what I know should and can happen each day and not think about what my pre-homeschool self expected could happen each day.
Reality is my kids might do art every 2 weeks from me. Or, they might just do their art with Classical Conversations each week, and that's a win. We might read aloud every day, or we might every other. We won't get to science or history every day, but we can every other. We won't start the day at the same time and we won't always start together. All of these things are ok! We won't homeschool because we expect a school bell to ring and for the day to happen each day in the same order. We homeschool and in a way expect each day to look different.
2. Schedules: When we started I had a goal start time and was putting an idea of how much time each subject or activity would take. I even had in my mind when we'd take a break and how long that would last. Ay yi yi. I'm stressed out just typing that.
Now I fully embrace why so many homeschool Moms talk about rhythms and loop schedules. While I don't totally understand the loop idea just yet, I do know my goal is to focus on History on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Science on Wednesday's and Fridays. I know a strict schedule would leave me constantly checking the clock or what page we got in a book instead of reading my kids, being their teacher and Mom, and knowing in my gut when it's time to move on and when we've got time to keep going.
I know math and language arts happen daily, and I do have it planned as to what each kid needs to do for each subject each day, but I can't tell you at what exact time that work will get done. Tossing out the idea of a strict schedule has helped me so much.
3. Outside Responsibilities I really wanted to write "emails" here but the reality is more on carving down outside responsibilities. If I'm the teacher, mother, cook, etc of the family then there is very little I can take on outside of that and again, say it with me now, that's okay! I've unsubscribed from a ton of emails. We've taken a step back from some outside commitments. I'm not worried about an email coming in and me feeling like I've dropped the ball on something. My main goal each day is for my kids to learn, not be frustrated, and understand that in homeschooling, we're here to help. I can't compartmentalize homeschooling and when it's done think they're done learning. It doesn't work like that. I may find myself counting with my five year old at dinner or answering a question about history at bedtime. If we don't read a formal history chapter one day, it might be part of our read aloud at night. Homeschooling is all encompassing because we're home, and home is school.
I hope this helps. I wrote this post almost 2 weeks ago now and here I am finally publishing it. But, hit publish I shall and write here I hope to continue to do as well. I hope you're encouraged here. Until next time.