Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom
Last week at Simple Mom Tsh opened up to let us know what she doesn’t do. A few days later, Nicole at Simple Organic joined in. This got me thinking: Imperfection? Homeschoolers? These words go together like peas and carrots in my mind.
We begin on the homeschooling path with certain ideas, notions, and thoughts. Perhaps they are based on stereotypes we’ve had, maybe on grand concepts from books we read, or maybe they’re ideas from specific curricula we’ve chosen.
Our family once used a literature-based homeschooling program. (We still use many of their book selections, just not in such a formal capacity.) Each year they print a catalog showcasing their current resources and book selections. Each page features photos of children happily reading with their families.
My good friend Jill and I joke about the pictures they don’t show–like when her son yelled “I’m not coming to breakfast if you’re reading books!” Or when my daughter once said “Reading is boring.” (She doesn’t really feel that way; it was a bad day.)
If you’ve been homeschooling longer than an hour, you probably have had at least one imperfect moment. We know our limitations. Though we sometimes try to overextend ourselves, we realize deep down that we cannot do it all. We have to choose.
I’m happily in pursuit of the simple life, and as a result, it has led me to things I do…and plenty I don’t.
What I Do
- I do make simple, healthy meals most nights.
- I do focus on exposure when it comes to academics.
- I do believe in my kids.
- I do read to them–a lot.
- I do spend lots of time in nature.
- I do write and help inspire others.
- I do train my children in chores.
- I do smile and laugh–a lot (but not as much as I wish I did!).
What I Don’t Do
- I don’t meal plan.
- I don’t give my kids a bath or shower every night.
- I don’t clean very often.
- I don’t go on many outings during the week. (Usually about once or twice max)
- I don’t serve complicated food.
- I don’t knit, sew, or do many crafts at all.
- I don’t make my kids do worksheets.
- I don’t formally teach my children to read.
- I don’t focus on mastery of concepts.
- I don’t keep reading a book if it is boring.
Tell me about the things you don’t do in the quest for a simple, strong education at home!