Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom
It’s the end of September and by now many homeschooling families have discovered a new rhythm for a new school year. Most of our time as homeschooling parents is spent focused, as it should be, on helping the little people in our care get the education we know they deserve.
I also try to keep in mind, however, that I hope not only to teach my children, but to inspire them to learn. In order to do so, I need to be putting forth an effort at continuing my own education as well.
How can we go about learning with so many other to-dos on our full plates?
1. Get a passion.
We inevitably make time in life for our priorities–the things we truly value. Part of finding a passion means allowing ourselves to believe that our own education is actually a worthwhile priority, not a waste of time.
Some of you reading know without hesitation what your passions are, while others may need to spend time brainstorming to uncover them.
For the past year I’ve been slowing learning about whole foods and nutrition–something I honestly knew zilch about beforehand. I’ve read books and studied blogs in an effort to learn more–and this has influenced our family. The first step, though, was allowing my newfound interest in the subject to become a priority.
2. Make the time.
If you’re like me, every minute of the day counts and there isn’t exactly a whole lot of “extra” lying around. Investing in our education will mean a commitment of time. It will mean putting yourself first for a change.
One way I’m currently doing this is by enrolling in Lisa Byrne’s Designed for Wellness course (Registration is now closed but you can get on the newsletter list to find out about new courses as they open.) and I’m looking forward to discovering how to go to the next level in my own health and wellness.
Making time will often mean giving something else up (and not sleep!). My husband and I watch very little television, but I’ve decided that I want to cut back in that area even more. I’d rather devote my limited free time to activities that actually fuel and refresh rather than drain me.
Photo by Brendan Riley
3. Share with your kids.
If we only devote time to learning when our kids are asleep, we miss an important opportunity. Make sure that you spend some time studying when your children are around as well.
Doing so will naturally lead to them being involved. One of the things I’ve learned during my whole food revolution is how to make my own yogurt (Check out this recipe from Simple Bites). It’s so simple that my kids enjoy helping me and watching the process. I love seeing how my education in this area has led to their own–and to a healthier atmosphere in our family.
When we learn, we influence and inspire the whole family. Charlotte Mason, the British educational reformist, once wrote that “the only true education is self-education.”
If you’ve been homeschooling long, you know just how true this statement is. You cannot actually force your children to learn anything! But as we educate ourselves, we point the way forward on the path to lifelong learning.
What are you interested in and how can you find the time to invest in your own learning goals?
This is exactly what I needed to hear today!
dani b’s latest post: Supplemental Activities
Great post Jamie! Yes! Inspiration is key for the ones’ we are teaching and ourselves. You asked about how we continue our educations at home while homeschooling. Like you, I have recently become more interested in ” mindful” eating and providing more wholesome and nutritious meals for our family. I subscribe to Mary Jane’s Farm Magazine the every day organic mag… and it is full of wonderful ideas for going organic slowly and forever!I share many of my interests with our children… I’m a decorative artist as well and they’ve been watching me paint for many years! My latest passion? My new homeschooling blog that PROMOTES and shares how homeschooling can be a wonderful creative experience for the whole family!
Thank you for this post and I hope to see you at Dandelion House Homeschool sometime!
Happy Creative Homeschooling!
Debbie’s latest post: WOODLAND BENCH
Angela @ Homegrown Mom
I love to learn! I have an ongoing stack of reading I do during free time, too. I’ve been very interested in American History lately, and I love to learn new languages. I’m learning Latin with my youngest, and brushing up on Spanish with my oldest. Since there are so many areas I’d like to learn more in, I tend to go with the ones my kids are studying.
Angela @ Homegrown Mom’s latest post: An Easy Way to Afford Little Blessings
ps. Can I just say, I love the gardening photo! Adorable!
Debbie’s latest post: WOODLAND BENCH
I Live in an Antbed
Very well presented! And so true!
Our children can read us very well. If we say education is important, but fail to model that value, that inconsistency undermines our influence with them. If, however, we are enthusiastic learners and share the excitement we feel over a new discovery with them, they know we are serious.
I Live in an Antbed’s latest post: Tongue Test
I love learning! I enjoy reading and discovering things with my children. Sharing the learning experience in homeschool is a rich adventure.
Life comes in waves and I am learning more about cooking on an Aga, growing organic vegetables and needlework and crafts … my days are so rich and full.
Ah, blogging … now that’s learning too? While none of my learning is formal, I can feel myself stretch and grow.
Nadene’s latest post: Maths Pyramids for Mental Maths Practice
I think it’s important that we ask this question of ourselves often. I know my answers this year are very different from last year and probably different from what I would’ve said 6 months ago.
I too have whittled down television watching so I can focus on more important things that will actually benefit me.
Thanks for reminding us that we are always learning. Absolutely loved the gardening photo. Made me realize I want to go out and do some weeding. That it is one of my priorities right now. 🙂
AprilS’s latest post: Algebra 1 – Identifying Quadratic Functions
From my experience television is by far the biggest time waster! It’s very tempting to just veg out in front of the TV after a long day of busy homeschooling. There are much better things I can do with my time than watch the tube for sure:)… like work on my passions that have taken a back seat! Thanks for the reminder Jamie.
I love the CM quote. As for me, it’s generally more along the lines of what I want to learn this week. We are all self-directed learners and it tends to change a lot! 🙂
Alicia’s latest post: Jeffers Petroglyphs to host Atlatl Day for homeschoolers on October 4
I completely agree with you and I’m glad you brought up this topic! I think role-modeling learning and following our passions is SO important in the education of our children. And one of the beautiful things about homeschooling is how much time the children have to be with their parents and witnessing their parents living full lives and hopefully pursuing their own goals and interests. My children are very little now and require so much of my direct attention but I still make sure that they see me reading my own books now and then and that I sometimes sit down to sew or knit while they are awake because these are things I love to do and things I want to teach them as they grow. And of course they are so interested in anything mama does!
Kelly’s latest post: A Week of Crafting- Good for the Soul
I talked about this on my blog today… Great post! Really, really needed this!
Emily@Creative Disaster’s latest post: Finding Your Passion