Written by Kara Fleck
Last year I wrote about some things I wanted to quit doing in our homeschool. Declaring publicly that I wanted to be a quitter was good for me and those were some positive changes.
So I’m back with three more things I want to quit doing as a homeschooling parent and one thing I want to start:
3 Things I’m Going to Quit Doing in Our Homeschool This Year
1. Ignoring my instincts
Last fall I was interested in using a certain curriculum. However, I ended up sticking with something we had used before, partly because the price was right and partly because it was familiar.
Even though this new curriculum ticked off many of the boxes on my list of a dream education, and I knew it would be a good fit for us, I ignored my gut instinct.
However, by the holiday break it was obvious I had made the wrong decision. I just couldn’t continue with something I knew we were all lukewarm about.
We switched mid-year and ended up having one of our best semesters of homeschool ever!
My regret is that we didn’t switch sooner. I didn’t trust myself that my feelings were valid. I guess I worried I was caught up in the “grass is always greener” syndrome we homeschoolers can sometimes fall into.
This year I’m going to quit doubting myself and try to trust my instincts. I know these kids better than anyone. I have faith in my ability to make good homeschooling decisions for our family.
2. Comparing my kids to their public-schooled peers
Along those lines, I need to quit comparing. As the children of our friends and family get older and move through the public school system, I keep finding myself making comparisons between our experiences. This is especially true for high school.
This one is two kinds of hard: 1. hard to admit it is something that I catch myself doing, because it makes me feel like a jerk, and 2. it is hard to stop actually doing.
I’m a flawed human and that tendency to worry, or brag, is a strong one in me. It’s something I need to work on quitting.
In some areas we appear “ahead” and in some areas we appear “behind” the kids’ public-schooled peers.
The reality is, we are neither of those things, ahead or behind, because we aren’t on the same path to begin with. We are where WE are.
It isn’t the same life experience. It isn’t right of me to feel smug OR to feel worry because honestly all I need to be focusing on is my four and our little Fleck Academy.
If I’m giving my best to that, that’s all I need to be worrying about.
3. Being the library book keeper for the entire family
Ah, the library. I love the library. But I despise keeping track of books times seven.
I want our family to be responsible patrons of the library, of course, but that means ALL of us. Every member of my family is old enough now to keep track of the books and materials that they individually borrow.
Sure, I’ll do my part to keep an easily accessible library bag or bin in our home. I also keep the receipt with our checked out materials on the fridge so we can keep track of what we are borrowing. And I will certainly help to look if something is lost.
But if you check something out from the library, it isn’t going to be Mom’s job to keep track of it for you.
We’re each responsible for what we individually check out. So if that means a habitual offender has to part with some hard-earned babysitting money to pay for a fine, well that’s part of learning responsibility, right?
Something new I want to fold into our homeschool this year is dedicated time for crafts. We’re a crafty family and we have always done some type of handwork in our homeschool. There are art supplies and works-in-progress all around our home, including my own.
But I’m noticing as the kids get older and our schedule fills with more lessons, social events, sports practices, and life, that crafts aren’t happening. I think it is because we don’t have a dedicated handwork TIME. The desire is there, but the dedicated time is something that has slipped away.
In fact, when reviewing last year two of my kids said they wished they had more arts and crafts like in their younger years.
So, that’s my goal in 2018 – 2019: Build some dedicated arts and crafts time into our daily schedule. I don’t know exactly what this will look like yet, but I know it will be a priority for us.
And what about you, friends? Is there anything you’d love to quit–or anything you’d love to start?
Consider this your official permission slip to make the changes that deep down you know you need in the coming homeschool year.
How about you? What do you need to let go of?
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We use a rolling crate for our library trips. At home, the books either need to be in that crate, actively being read, or placed in a designated “reading in progress library book” shelf. We have had VERY good success keeping track of our books, and only an occasional late fee. Hooray for rolling crates!
Each of my school aged children have their own library card. I’ve also turned responsibility over to them, including fines. I try to help along the way, but it is their job to know if they need to return books or pick up books off of the hold shelf (we get charged if they aren’t picked up on time). That has been freeing!
I want to actually join a homeschool group this year. I’ve tried just getting together with friends close by and I even ran my own group for a while, but neither of which was very successful. This year I’m letting someone else plan and I’ll come join events on a regular basis!
I am joining in the following your instincts theme. I am buying some online courses that I should come before. I hesitated for all the same reason but I need the outside help.And accountability. Plus hopefully this will allow me to advantage of my son’s ability to remember info he sees on a moving screen ????
Thank you for sharing. Awesome. There are always things we should consider quiting and or adding to our days. Definitely something to ponder!
I have also had to let go of things that weren’t working- or more specifically, things that used to be great, but no longer work for us because the season and the dynamics of our homeschool have changed. In one year I have gone to homeschooling three to just one. The oldest is in college, the second is now a graduate entering the ballet world, the third will attend a charter school for 10th grade- her choice and we agreed, so that leaves just the youngest sixth grader. What a different world of homeschooling it has become. Like parenting, as soon as we get used to one stage, routine, and schedule it all changes!
I am curious as to what you changed to and from.