Recently I published a post titled Homeschool – am I doing enough? This is a common question that many homeschool moms are plagued by. However, it’s also important to recognize signs that you are doing TOO MUCH in your homeschool?
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Often in an attempt to make sure we are doing enough in our homeschool, we over compensate and end up doing too much. We make sure the kids are involved in co-ops, music lessons, sports, etc.
None of these things are bad in themselves, but too many at the same time can be overkill.
What are the signs that you are doing too much in your homeschool?
1. You regularly neglect your priorities and goals because you are too busy to fit them in.
Most of us homeschool because we want to teach our kids our values. We want to point them to God and His Word, while helping them develop Godly character.
These goals that we start off with often get pushed aside as we get caught up in all the curriculum choices, piles of books, and extra activities.
After moms have heard me speak about character training and the importance of having a daily Bible time with our kids, some have said to me:
I don’t hardly have enough time to get through all the school books every day. How can I find time to add Bible and character?
My response to this:
When we give God first place in our day, and start the day off by reading His word, and working on character lessons that will make us more like Him, He blesses the remaining part of the day. You will find that even though you have given up some of your time, the time that is left will be more productive.
If you don’t have time to start your day focusing on God’s Word and character, you are doing too much.
2. You are always stressed and overwhelmed.
Homeschooling IS hard, and there are days when you may feel overwhelmed with the responsibility. There are kids of different ages with different needs, and they all need YOU. Perhaps you feel like you just can’t help them all it — it’s too much.
That’s when it is time to step back and simplify. Go back to the basics and focus on mastery in those areas. You can also consider not doing every subject every day to make things less overwhelming.
Above all, talk with your spouse about what your goals are. Pray together and ask God to show you which extras you might need to let go at the time. Let a few things go, so you can focus fully on the ones that matter most.
3. School work takes ALL DAY.
If you are doing school work with the kids from breakfast till dinner, you are probably doing too much.
With the younger grades, school work really shouldn’t take more than an hour or two. Their attention span is short, and they don’t need a lot of busy work. Spend a little time on phonics with them, and then some math, but don’t make them sit for hours doing lots of extras.
We want our kids to enjoy learning; too much too early will cause them to lose that love of learning that we want to instill in them.
With the older kids, I suggest giving them their required work and letting them set up their own schedule. They are usually more motivated to get it done, when they feel in control of their learning and their schedule.
What if you have a dawdler or child who just takes FOR EVER doing their work?
Know their abilities, and how to best motivate them to get their work done. Don’t let it stress you. Give them the work, explain it and do something else while they are working on it.
Remind them that when they are done, they get to go play outside, or play with their favorite toy, etc. Positive encouragement is always better than negativity.
4. You don’t have regular family time.
Sitting together at a table doing school work does NOT constitute family time. You should have time daily to do things as a family — play games, read books, go for a walk, bake together, or simply just sit and talk together.
If you never have time for those things, you are doing TOO MUCH.
5. Your kids don’t really have any free time.
Kids learn best by playing, exploring, and using their imagination. When we keep them so busy doing school work that they don’t have time to just be kids, we are doing too much.
Kids need lots of free time scheduled in to their day. Let them play, do art projects, read books, listen to audio stories, etc.
As your kids get a little older, they still need free time to pursue their interests. Give them time to practice the instrument they want to play, or to read books about a topic they are really excited about.
6. You don’t have time to read aloud to the kids.
Do you know your kids are really never too old for this?
They can learn so much from the different books you read, while also learning to enjoy books. Reading aloud develops a love for learning like no other single activity, and a close bond develops between you and your kids as you snuggle on the couch and read together.
Don’t let reading aloud to your kids get pushed aside by busyness!
Are you doing too much in your homeschool? You can do too little, but I think it’s more common to try to do too MUCH. It’s really all about balance. Ask God to give you wisdom, and to help you find that perfect balance for your family.