From CurrClick Weekly Newsletter on May 23, 2011
Pressure and rush so often describe our modern lifestyles. As a result, our homeschooling can become disorganised and cluttered. It usually starts small and creeps up until we can barely see the papers and books around us, sometimes not even the one we are looking for. Do you feel like this every now and then? Stand back, breathe deep, and simplify.
S I M P L I F Y ! Let’s start where mom’s normally put themselves: Last. Let’s start at the end to get to the beginning.
You can begin by taking a good look at yourself and making a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Next, look objectively at your children’s needs and assess what you can tackle yourself and what you can better achieve by outsourcing. Be willing to adapt and change your approach as you go along.
Fill yourself: Keep your own tank full spiritually, emotionally and physically. Old habits tend to die hard so when investing in yourself, don’t bite off more than you can chew or work through. Ensure that the new activity is convenient and fun. This will ensure greater success. Learn to laugh while you are learning and getting better at it yourself. Small victories are all stepping stones to the bigger victories.
Identify the goal: First set your end goal and then break this into smaller or short term goals that are reachable. In so doing you have things to aim at as you go along, having reached and passed each success. Supportive information in setting realistic goals is to know and understand your child’s learning styles and basic personality type.
Lighten the load: Reward goals that have been achieved. Remember to laugh at your slip-ups: Very little in life is not worth a good chuckle over. Focus on completing the essentials and fill in with interest pursuits. Aim to finish three things per day, big or sma ll. Balance the time between learning activities home based and extra mural activities. Checklists will help you declutter and reorganise.
Pray: Faced with a big decision or preparing for the year, it is always a good idea to take time to pray about your decisions. Some parents even take a weekend away to pray and seek the will of God as well as assess and re-evaluate their goals. This is good for parents and children alike.
Make memories: Family life and life in general is made up of experiences and memories. Use these to forge a bank of things both you and your children would like to remember. A daily journal keeps you on track, after all homeschooling is a learning curve for us all, not just the children!
Improvise: There is always a way, one around an obstacle. Use the creativity God has given to all of us parents. Know that every challenge brings its own learning experience. Utilise t hese.
Support: It is vital to your homeschooling success for you and your children. Take stock of all your resources, big and small, friends we can rely on and family members who understand us and our vision. For making friends and sharing experiences, join a support group. If you can’t find a support group, start one. Incorporate activities in your area: sport, drama, libraries and so on.
Sonia Hawkins is co-founder of Ripples Publishing, along with her husband Dave. They have two children aged 14 and 10. Besides homeschooling her two children for the past ten years, Sonia has three and a half years experience as a children’s pastor at a local church and currently teaches two to three year olds at a local preschool.
She has studied Edu-K for the last few years and is at present finalising her internship.
She has written five children’s boo ks so far, three of which are available as e-book downloads at CurrClick.
Sonia’s passion is children and their wellbeing. More information can be found on www.parenting-children-tips.com.
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