Whether your family follows a curriculum or a particular homeschooling method, does your own thing or unschools; we all have days of self-doubt. You know, those days when you think you’re ‘not doing enough’ in your homeschool.
When we are (pretty much) our children’s sole educators we alone are shouldering the responsibility for their education and that can be a daunting task.
For this reason, I know many families prefer to use a bought, pre-made curriculum so they can check the boxes someone else made for them and feel like they are doing what they are supposed to.
It helps remove some of the feelings of responsibility and overwhelm.
No matter what method of homeschooling you have chosen for your family for this stage of your life, no matter how certain you are of it some days, the self-doubt is still able to creep in at times.
HERE’S HOW TO HANDLE ‘NOT DOING ENOUGH’ IN YOUR HOMESCHOOL
Over the last few years, our homeschool has changed a lot.
A number of years ago I graduated university with a teaching degree, only to spend a few years in the school system to realize how much I disagreed with the system. Even though I knew that wasn’t the kind of environment I wanted to work in or have my children educated in it still took me a while to shed my idea of what homeschooling should look like.
Our first few weeks of homeschool definitely looked quite a bit like “school at home” but it didn’t take long and we were slowly making adjustments to make it suit our lifestyle.
Then we arrived at where we are today: viewing homeschoooling as a lifestyle.
Even though I have a degree in education and feel comfortable in our homeschooling style, I still have days of doubt, days where I wonder if I am doing enough, and I know you do too.
Let me come beside you today, mama, and tell you: you are doing enough in your homeschool
There is so much your children learn by being around you all day, even when you are not intentionally teaching them.
WHEN YOU TAKE CARE OF THEM WHEN THEY ARE SICK, they learn about compassion and servanthood first hand.
BY PLAYING A GAME TOGETHER, they learn how to win and lose with a good attitude.
BEING ASKED TO DO THEIR CHORES, teaches responsibility and how they contribute to the family.
TAKING THE TIME TO ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS, they learn that they matter.
ALLOWING THEM TO BAKE AND COOK ALONGSIDE YOU, they not only learn math but also how much love goes into preparing their meals.
BY TAKING THEM TO THE LIBRARY, they learn the importance of being a lifelong learner and how to find answers for themselves.
WHEN THEY SEE YOU SERVING OUTSIDE THE HOME, they realize that others are important as well.
While we do want to teach our children reading, writing and arithmetic I feel like my role as a homeschool mother is more geared towards character formation and teaching my children to be lifelong learners.
They may not remember the math equations we learn (how many do you remember from school?), but I do hope they remember how fun it was to learn and discover together.
But sometimes when you don’t feel like you’re doing enough in your homeschool, that feeling can last for awhile causing you to feel like you are in a funk. I just wanted to share five ways I like to step away from this feeling and get back on track.
FIVE WAYS TO BREAK OUT OF A HOMESCHOOL FUNK WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE ‘NOT DOING ENOUGH’ IN YOUR HOMESCHOOL
GO ON AN ADVENTURE
Adventures don’t have to be grand or far. You can do something as simple as going for a walk in the back alleys around your house, taking a magnifying glass with you to see the world from a different perspective.
This spring I have plans to take my kids to the small town where I grew up and take them on a walking tour, showing them my old house, where I went to elementary school, how I lived just a couple of houses from my best friend on one side and my grandma on the other and all the sights I haven’t seen for so long. The town is really close to where we live now but not a place where we regularly go so it will be a fun little adventure.
MAKE A CRAFT OR PROJECT
This is one of my daughter’s favorites. Quality time is her love language and she loves working on a craft together. Pinterest and YouTube are great resources if you need some inspiration.
PLAY A GAME
Games are not only fun but also educational, win-win! We play a lot of games together as a family and have quite a few favorites, many of which the kids play even though they are years below the recommended ages. It just goes to show that kids are smarter than you think!
GO TO THE LIBRARY AND GET BOOKS OUT ON A TOPIC OF INTEREST
If the kids keep asking questions about a certain topic or show interest in something I love going to the library and getting a stack of books out on the topic and going through them together.
SPIN A GLOBE AND LEARN ABOUT THE COUNTRY YOU LAND ON
Geography is one of my favorite subjects and we love spinning our globe and seeing where we land. You can take it a step further and learn a bit about the countries you land on; look up their flag, the language they speak, the currency they use, foods they eat, etc, feel free to go as deep as you want!
So, whether you are just in a homeschool funk or are struggling with self-doubt for a day or a season, please remember, you are teaching your children in everything you do and you are doing enough.
Chantel is an INFJ, a rebel and an introvert. She lives in the Canadian prairies with her husband and two children, where they explore locally in the warm summer months and spend the long winters doing lots of read alouds, playing games and dreaming of warmer places. You can find her over on her blog An Intentional Life and sharing lots of pictures over on Instagram.
John Hofland creator of ArtAchieve has been a middle school teacher of science, language arts, and art, and a university theatre professor. He and his wife homeschooled their children, and one of his daughters went to be an art teacher at a private school. Working and traveling abroad has given John opportunity to collect an international array of images for his art lessons. As a result, each ArtAchieve art lesson centers around a real object that introduces students to cultures from around the world. ArtAchieve’s art lessons for kids include work with magic markers, oil pastels, crayon resist, acrylic or tempera paint, and vegetable printing. In addition, each lesson includes complementary teaching resources for unit studies.
Don’t miss the rest of the posts in the series!