Monday, April 5, 2010

How we put life back in our homeschool days


This weeks question of the week on the homeschool blogger is How do you avoid burnout and what to do if it happens.

I have said before that homeschooling is not an easy task. It takes hard work and I have to admit that at times it seems like an unappreciated, endless job. When I start to feel this way, I try to remember to keep the end goal in sight. We are in this journey to make sure that our children grow up to be children of God. We want them to be successful in the eyes of God, not the world. Here are a few things that we try to do to keep from getting burned out on homeschool.

Every week we try to have an outing. This might be going to a different library, going to homeschool group, visiting a pond or creek, or going to the museum. This helps us to keep school fun. All of these places instill learning. We still have school, we just change up the “schoolroom” a little.

Have friends who encourage you. I don’t know what I would do without my friends who help encourage me on this sometimes daunting endeavor. I love talking to them about what works with their kids, what doesn’t work, and how we can help each other find ways to encourage our kids in their education. I have to admit I don’t have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have are priceless to me.

PRAY. I should have put this one first because it is definitely the most important. I like to start every day with a little prayer. It makes my day go better. Every time I feel myself getting frustrated I try to go to God in prayer. He knows my every need and I know that he will never let me down. He is with me even when I’m stressed. He is with me even when I don’t know the answers to the questions the kids are asking. He is with me when our day is going good and I praise him. He is with me when my day is horrible.

Do as much together as possible. When you have more than one child, it helps to try to do as much together as you can. We love unit studies because both of the kids can be learning the same topic on each of their own levels. We also like to read together. I have always been told to teach to the older child and the younger one will learn right along with me. I know this is true because this morning I asked Griffin what a noun was (when reviewing) and Bella yelled from the other room, “A person, place, thing or idea”. We haven’t covered that yet with her but she has heard me tell Griffin this multiple times. It is so true (at least in our house) that younger children learn so much just by hearing the older child do school.

Take a break. When all else fails and you feel like you’re going to give up, we take a break. I have found that when I am stressed, not much learning takes place. My children feed off of my feelings. So, if I feel like I am at the end of my rope, I usually say, “Let’s do something fun today”. The best thing about homeschooling is that we can do it on Saturday or in the evenings. We play games, ride bikes, take a nature walk or watch a video together and things always seem to look brighter.

Homeschooling isn’t over at the end of our school day. It is life learning for us. We don’t stop learning just because it’s 3:00 and we’re supposed to be done for the day. Everything we do is learning. Dinner time becomes math time as we review measuring and fractions. We are teaching our children life skills that are so important all day long.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”. I saw a t-shirt that I loved the other day. It said “I’ve seen the village, and I don’t want it raising my children”. This is so true of our family.

So, if you’re feeling like you would like to send the kids on the yellow bus in the morning, remember that everyone feels that way. You’re not alone. After 6 years of doing this, believe me, if you haven’t felt this way, you will one day. Keep your eyes on the end result and know that you are doing what is best for your children.

Our family is in this for the long haul. Won’t you join us?

Happy Homeschooling.


The Iowa Farmer's Wife said...

I just found your site and oh how excited I am! What a resource your blog will be! My daughter is almost 1 year, but I am very into learning as much as I can about homeschooling since I'll probably start doing stuff with her in the next year or 2. I'm actually going to a homeschooling meeting tonight in town. Ok, I'm rambling now, but just wanted to say thanks for your great info! I'll be back!

Loving learning at Home said...

Thanks so much for your comments. I am glad to help you in anyway on your homeschool journey. Don't hesitate to ask any questions you have!


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