My Biggest Homeschool Lesson This Year… Letting My Agenda Go!

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I have to tell you… I have been ALL OVER THE PLACE with our homeschool this year!  I began the fall with a perfect plan… but life and sickness sent us on some detours.  Sure we still schooled, just the basics mostly.  And I read to them… a lot!  Ok so it wasn’t so bad I guess!  I can’t help but mourn what we didn’t do though.

I came back in January! No more fooling around we WILL get our Middle Ages Study done.  Except, we didn’t.  Yep we still schooled the basics, and read a lot, and we did a lot of other things too.  Field trip after field trip, co-op classes, horses, you name it!  We had a ball.  But darn that Middle Ages Study!

So now its spring.  Time to double down! I WILL get everything done in the next WEEK that we haven’t finished yet this year.  Ok, maybe not.  But I’m certainly going to have an ambitious agenda so we catch up… at least a little.  I printed lesson lists every day.  We could not be done with our day until absolutely EVERYTHING on that list is done and I do not CARE if a lesson takes 5 times longer than I thought it would.  If it is on the list it MUST be done!  I bribed them with trips to the park or the pool if we get it all done.  We accomplished a lot, but I was stressed and so were they!  Where is the fun? Where is the adventure?  When do they get to study what THEY want to study.  I admit it, I even shed a few tears over it all.  I’m just trying to be the best homeschool mom I can possibly be DARN IT!  Why does it have to be so hard?

I was driving myself insane.  I am sure I was also driving my children up a wall too.  I’m not even sure I was all that pleasant with my husband either.  So what’s a mom to do?  Well I did the only sensible thing I could.  I gave up!

Alright I didn’t stop schooling my kids.  I didn’t turn down the unschooler path either, though I am starting to read more about it… stay tuned, Lord only knows what I’ll do with that information… but that is for another blog post.  Instead I just let my agenda go.  I ripped it to shreds and I asked the kids… What do YOU want out of our day?  I kept a few non negotiable things.  We will dive into God’s word EVERY DAY We will study math every day.  .  We WILL become good readers and writers.  But after that… it was all fair game.  Now I ask the kids what we should work on next.  It’s now all up to them.

Occasionally I even let them opt out of an activity.  Like just today, I did suggest we work on some art but my 6 year old pushed back.  We been doing a lot of painting and it isn’t his thing.  He doesn’t enjoy it at all! He likes to glue and sculpt and smoosh and shape.  He finds paint too difficult to control. Math however?  MATH is his love!  I suggested that he simply listen to the art lesson and then he could do this other extra math thing I have to review instead of actually painting.  My 8 year old LOVES painting and really couldn’t give a darn about math.  It was win win!  They got to do what they love and I even got to cross off of my to-do list something I needed SOMEONE to do.

Lessons now end at a logical time as well.  I have no set agenda.  We’ll work at this until we hit a good stopping point or we get tired of it.  Then we’ll move on!  The pressure, the stress is GONE! Who exactly was I trying to catch up to anyway?

That doesn’t mean I don’t guide them a bit.  I might say things like, “Well we could do that, but we haven’t done art in a couple of weeks, are you interested?”  But then I do my best to go with THEIR suggestions.  The results? AMAZING!  We are getting more done in a day than we ever have.  We are ENJOYING our work and each other.  We are engaged, excited, and HAPPY once again.

No more agenda’s!  That’s my new mantra!  Will someone remind me of this in the fall?

Comments

  1. You gotta do what works with the kids. I learned I have to try to keep it fun for the kids or it doesn’t work. There are times when I say to them what do you want to learn. They get to choose when we are in burn out modes. I am hoping next year we will have more field trips to go as we are joining a new homeschool group. We have met some of the kids already at the homeschool ice skating day.

  2. I’m happy you all found what works for you. Every year is so different. Not two years alike. This year for me has been a struggle. I purchased the nice new curriculum and we are not using it. I feel so guilty but after a time of letting go I truly have found curricula that is working and the children are enjoying. It only took 5 months into the school year to figure this out (sigh) 😉

    Blessings,
    Linda<

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