Homeschooling in the last few years has been hard. There is no other way to put it. It has been H-A-R-D. I have not always felt that I have been successful in teaching my children to really love learning.
I look now at the six children still under my homeschool mama’s wing and I wonder what exactly can I do, right now, to make them love learning more, to become more inspired, and, most importantly, self directed learners.
It is important when considering this to realize that no homeschool is perfect. No matter what it looks like or what someone is trying to sell you. Home education is not always going to be this dreamy wonderful time where everyone feels loved and no one ever sheds a tear or gets frustrated. No matter how much money you spend or what method you use, there will be ups and downs. There will be failures and successes.
I have spent the last few years, especially, drifting from methodology to methodology, trying to find the perfect fit, the perfect way to school my kids. The only thing that did was leave the kids frustrated and myself broken hearted.
My inconsistency is what is killing my homeschool. My inability to commit to anything has left us all wandering about with no one to lead us. I firmly believe, that if I even decided to loosely homeschool and plan simply week to week, we would be better off. Committing to the next perfect curriculum and then after a few weeks tossing it in the garbage or selling it online is not going to work, anymore.
I would be better off filling our home with good books and taking things week by week. Tying ourselves to a curriculum or workbooks (unless they are much beloved) is not a good fit for such a large and chaotic family. We have spent too many days inside, unable to go out and play because we had school work to do.
That is not to say that we should never do any formal learning. But it should feel different. Yes, we have to do math. I am not as gifted in that area so I am not sure I could really tackle it in the later years like a freewheeling joy ride. We will need a textbook for that. But other things, yes, even science, can be more free, more adventuresome.
I want to guide and inspire but, perhaps, not demand so much. There will be things that must be done. Manners and habits will be a must. Time outside and less technology a must. Routine, an absolute must. It is time to have the homeschool of our dreams. Not mine, but ours. A culture in our family that will serve us and encourage us to be excited about learning, even when it is hard.
Schedules will be looser, more open to adventures that pop up. The kids have been too isolated. I have been too isolated. We will use lots of living books and do things like copywork, dictation, freewriting, and have commonplace books. We will stop homeschooling out of fear and become brave and bold. Ready to conquer but also to recognize quiet times and to also embrace peace and days of tranquility.
We will hike more, play more, read more, and learn more.
No more schedules for weeks, months, or years. Take it one day at a time, one week at a time.
And above all we will trust in God and live in His love.