3 Things Homeschooling Taught Me ~
Written by Purva Brown of The Classical Unschooler
A note from Jamie: Purva first started writing on Simple Homeschool back in 2016. As she steps away to focus on work and other pursuits, I’m so grateful for all the words she leaves behind here that will continue to encourage readers for years to come. Thank you, Purva! xo
In a lighter mood some days, I like to tell my children, “I didn’t choose homeschooling for you! I chose it for myself! Now behave because you’re ruining my perfect homeschool fantasy.” LOL
There is truth there, however. I have to admit that this homeschooling adventure has been as much a mom’s education as it has been about educating my children.
Here are three things I’ve learned through the process.
3 Things Homeschooling Taught Me
1. Focus on a Goal – The Process may or may not Matter
As I move my blog into more of a personal space again where I write about my hobby for strength training, this is even more relevant. When we first started homeschooling, I had zero desire to imitate a classroom, but everyone around me seemed to think it was necessary.
Rebel that I am, I decided to follow my own style of teaching my children and called it “classical unschooling.” I even wrote a book about it. I experimented with different schedules and methods. Other books were born. I thought we had found our sweet spot.
But here’s the truth: Even when you focus on a goal, the process changes over time. I have had to become comfortable with that idea. My children are not done growing and neither am I.
If the way I am teaching something to my children isn’t working, I change the method. When you focus on the teaching, it’s important to ignore the ideology.
I don’t cling to any style of learning over the actual fact of educating my children.
2. Write it Down and Get it Done
This is what gets to the heart of my time management philosophy. I have recently stumbled back into the workforce with a job outside the home again. As a result, I have much more to get done in a day. If I don’t create a list that I can check off, all those tasks sit in my head in a swirling mess and overwhelm me.
This is not uncommon, by the way. I notice people at work who do exactly this, stress themselves out and then complain that no one else does anything.
Thankfully, the way out of it is to think on paper. This works just as well with homeschooling as it does anywhere else. Writing things down and checking them off has helped me immensely. While your goal may be concrete, the way to get to it could take many paths, as mentioned above.
Those paths can be broken down into actions which can be checked off along the way. This gives me the required flexibility I need from day to day and the written list keeps me accountable, so I don’t waste time.
This rule also helps keep the children on track. I like to write out a schedule for them so that they know what’s expected of them.
Waiting on me to tell them what to do every single day wears them out as well. So we have lists for everything – chore lists, school lists, shopping lists, you name it. Lists keep our household and homeschool running smoothly.
3. Consistency Matters Most
There is so much advice on being motivated and staying motivated lately. This is especially true on the strength training side of things. It seems we all need constant motivation.
But I have learned through homeschooling that even if we take time off now and then (when we need it) the overall trajectory of consistency is what gets us to the next level. In the end, it’s not about motivation as much as it is about habit.
Creating a habit is work, but once created, it takes way less energy than trying to get into the mental space of the motivated. We won’t always be raring to go get things done. Habits carry us through.
When we recently took time off in between grade levels so I could buy workbooks and plan the next year, my 13 year old daughter surprised me. After just two weeks off, she begged me, “Can we please do some schoolwork?”
Even though she had looked forward to playing all day, she was now bored. She had gotten into the habit of doing something academic. Consistent work, even when we’re not necessarily excited about it, day in and day out, is what gets stuff done.
I am so grateful for the education homeschooling is giving my children every day. I would have it no other way. Homeschooling has not only made us a closer family; it helps us be involved in our children’s lives like no other method of education would.
But in addition to teaching them, I am also thankful for everything homeschooling has taught me. These are lessons that are so easily transferable I carry them into every other aspect of my life, personal and professional.
Feel free to reply and share below some of the lessons homeschooling has taught you!
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