Friday, September 3, 2010

Homeschooling from Behind the Eight Ball? Let Us Help....

From email dated 9/2/10

Years ago I worked with a couple who decided to pull two girls out of school and bring them home. As I talked with her about what she was planning on doing I became instantly concerned. I felt like I could predict what would happen.

Sure enough, she followed the plan below and burned herself out within the first quarter. Of course, she did not intend to do this but it was the inevitable result of the products she purchased and trying to follow the plans someone else had laid out for her.

If you don't want to homeschool for the long haul, here is what you should do (otherwise known as "How to Burnout Homeschooling").

1. Use curriculums that were really written for private schools. . .then mom can struggle through reading the chapters written for a classroom teacher. This is a great way for mom to feel bogged down before she even starts with the program. Then when she starts the actual lessons using the separate and required teacher's guide and student books, she might even be too tired to start.

2. Use the schedule set by the curriculum. . .this way you will be behind within the first month and feel behind from the get go. As a result of feeling behind the recommended schedule, mom feels like she is not doing very well as a homeschooler. Soon this turns into feeling defeated, unworthy, and these are precursors to quitting.

3. Use too many subjects. We all hope to fit in other subjects that would be beneficial for the kids. Keyboarding, Latin, and geography are all great things to know. So squeeze them in the schedule and put school into every little bit of time we have available. No one - mom or children - will like it and you will be headed for a quick burnout.

4. Use a separate program for each child. Don't put two children together on any subject. If you have 8 and 10 year olds who both need to learn something, buy them each their own curriculum. This will quickly fragment mom. Now you'll be reading two separate sets of teacher's guides and trying to merge two completely different schedules intended for two teachers. And that's just for the mom who has two think about that if you have three or four or five...

5. Use other people's rules of measurement. Ignore and overlook any signs you have seen that show progress is being made. If your new reader reads the yield sign of her own accord and picks up a book on his own, don't let that lift your spirits. If your 3rd grader starts doing his brother's 5th grade math don't let that be an indication of his learning ability for you. Instead, rely on tests to measure academic improvement. Oh, and of course, disregard any seeds of spiritual growth.

6. Use short-sighted vision for why you homeschool. Let go of the long-term reasons and instead focus on the trees. Set aside those lofty goals of spiritual maturity and character growth that reflects our Savior. Think only of the short-term academics. This will side-track you from the real reasons you homeschool and divert your focus to the secondary reasons instead of the primary ones.

7. Use what nay-sayers say as your guide. Listen to what people who disagree with your decisions say. Let others influence you so that soon you too question your every intent and ability. Forget about the Holy Spirit and what He impressed upon your heart.

There you have seven ways to burnout homeschooling!

Under the Shadow of His Wings,

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