Below you can find a few of my favorite tips that I pep-talk myself with as well as offer to home school friends. While this journey can be beautiful, it is demanding and burn out can happen easily if you are too rigid and structured in your ways.
1) Work ahead or play catch up in order to spontaneously take a day off. Working on our own schedule and being able to plan our own semester is liberating. While I try to plan as much as I can, I would be lying if I didn’t say that some of our best trips are the ones we spontaneously take. I always return SO happy that we went. If my friends are headed to a field trip on a specific day to a place of interest then i allow myself and children the freedom to take an impromptu day off. There’s a BIG chance that they will learn more outside the classroom/homeschool room on that field trip anyway. Learning never ends.
2) Combine subject areas!
Reading and writing are essential parts of every subject area. Stop fussing over “not getting to this subject today”. Also, realistically speaking, life is not broken down into subject areas anyway. On some lighter school days or on the weekends,if my child is reading a science oriented book and we discuss the topic then I call it reading and science.
3)School days are….all wonderful! If “school” doesn’t get finished Monday thru Friday, no problem..you can play catch up on the weekend. There is no scientific research that shows learning is best done Monday thru Friday anyway so stop beating yourself up about it. There is SO much a child can learn without worksheets and pencil.
4) Realize that “school” doesn’t have to be done within a certain time frame. Flexibility is your biggest home-school asset..Use it to your advantage, not your detriment.
5) Determining how long you spend on an activity is solely up to you and your child. You have the opportunity to build strong self esteems and strong academic foundations; therefore coach with love and respect as long or as little as you need to to ensure your child “gets” it!
6) Lastly and perhaps most importantly: Don’t compare your needs to another. Our children all work, think and process things differently and are motivated by different interests. Stop getting frustrated through your meaningless comparisons. All of us as children and adults have strengths and weaknesses. As a parent, you should help your child build confidence by progressively learning in the areas they are gifted in and trying just a little more with encouragement and persistence in the other areas but DO NOT use comparisons as a measure of assessing how YOUR child is performing.