Written by Purva Brown of The Classical Unschooler
“This might be the first year I will not be making a single new year’s resolution,” I announced to my husband recently. He seemed nonplussed.
“Good,” he said. “About time.”
“But I think it’s sad that I’ve become so cynical,” I retorted. “Finally.”
“I don’t think it’s sad,” he reflected. “If it’s important enough to do, do it. Why wait for the new year? No need for a resolution!”
He has a point, but there’s just something about a new year and planning things you want to achieve. So although I will not be making resolutions for myself, I can’t resist making some for our homeschool.
Here they are. And yes, by the way, we have put them into effect immediately (Hi husband, if you’re reading this!), but we are technically on a break until January.
Resolution #1: Our homeschool will not be stuffed with minutiae.
When we first started homeschooling, I made the biggest mistake ever. I jumped straight onto Pinterest and felt immediately overwhelmed. What in the world was I doing homeschooling with no talent for crafts, I thought.
And then I bought a curriculum that filled our days with lots of busy work! Sigh.
It’s taken me almost a decade to realize that not every minute needs to be crammed with learning. Life together is enough of an education and it is natural for children to seek out interesting information. Trust me, they don’t sit and stare at a wall if given nothing to do.
So in 2019, I refuse to stuff our days full of work, or even fun for that matter. I intend to let what’s interesting and educational come to the surface.
There will be room to learn, room to explore, room to be bored.
Resolution #2: We will not compare ourselves to public schoolers or other homeschoolers (or unschoolers, for that matter).
There is an odd instinct homeschoolers have. We come to homeschooling convinced that it is the best way to teach and learn. We read, develop convictions and then as soon as we begin, we have the feeling that someone else is doing it better. Doubts emerge.
Look at those kids. They work all year. This family takes a super-long Christmas break. And we call ourselves unschoolers? Wow. We’re not even the least bit unschool-y.
Stop it, Purva!
No good comes of this. I’ve learned my lesson. If I want to compare this year, I will consider how different my children are from last year and the year before that.
But I won’t set up empty competitions between my children and the rest of the world or even among my children themselves.
Resolution #3: We will strike a balance.
Nt only do my children have different personalities when it comes to learning, but as it turns out, my husband and I have different styles of teaching as well.
When it comes to teaching a new subject, I am more hands-on than my husband, who is perfectly content to let the children struggle, make mistakes and figure it out.
I am more of a step-by-step teacher who offers lots of praise and positive reinforcement. My son does fine with my husband’s teaching style and my daughter prefers mine.
And so we both must strike a balance. Left alone, I would be too much of an unschooler for my husband, and he would set up something too akin to a classroom at home and drive me nuts. We have to be able to work with each other.
If homeschooling is teaching me anything, it’s that my children (and my husband!) have the power to surprise me.
Our homeschool is ready for 2019 with these three resolutions, honed from almost a decade of experience. I intend to remember them and follow them all the year through.
How about you? Do you think you will make resolutions for your homeschool? Let us know them in the comments below!