Why More Isn’t Always Better: Simplifying Your Homeschool DayJenn Hamrick
As homeschool parents, we often feel all this pressure to make sure our kids learn everything. We can feel like we’re constantly trying to chase this unattainable goal of covering every single subject to its fullest extent, while failure is chasing right behind us. If my child doesn’t know Latin and hasn’t memorized 35 poems and can’t tell me the capitol of every state by the time she’s in second grade then I’m a complete failure as a homeschool mom… right? Meanwhile, trying to force her to learn all of these things every day can leave everyone in tears and with an overwhelming sense of failure.
If your homeschool day has a tendency to end with huffs, tears, or all out yelling matches, something’s wrong. Sure, you and your kids will have your bad days here and there, but if the joy has vanished from your homeschool and it’s been awhile since you last saw it, it’s time to change your mindset. You don’t have to teach all.the.things. Your kids don’t have to learn all.the.things. The ultimate goal of education is to teach our kids the love of learning! Here are 4 ways to help simplify your homeschool day.”
I know how it is. I have had those fellow homeschool mama friends whose child is a grade and a half ahead. We all see the social media posts where a mom is teaching her preschooler something you may have yet to cover with your fourth grader. There is a familiar urge to teach and teach and teach until kids know it all. And when they don’t soak it up like we are just sure that other mom’s kids do, the battle continues.
If your homeschool day has a tendency to end with huffs, tears, or all out yelling matches, something’s wrong. Sure, you and your kids will have your bad days here and there, but if the joy has vanished from your homeschool and it’s been awhile since you last saw it, it’s time to change your mindset.
You don’t have to teach all.the.things.
Your kids don’t have to learn all.the.things.The ultimate goal of education is to teach our kids the love of learning! Click To Tweet
That isn’t done by shoving as much information into their little minds as possible. In fact, it’s best done by doing the opposite. Our kids are much more apt to love learning when they have a chance to truly what they’re being taught by having the opportunity to soak it up, and then having the freedom to chase down what peaks their interests.
And that is what’s so beautiful about homeschooling. We have this incredible opportunity to guide our children into a life of learning. Here are some ways you can simplify your school day and encourage a love of learning in your children.
How to Simplify Your Homeschool Day
- Change pace. Sometimes we can feel the need to rush, rush, rush—to make sure we get everything checked off the to-do list. Meanwhile, our kids aren’t actually learning much of anything. Slow down a little. Take some extra time on something that your child seems interested in. On the flip side, don’t beat a subject into the ground. Sometimes you just need to move on, even if your little student hasn’t quite grasped it as well as you’d like. Remember, we’re teaching them how to love learning, which could mean letting go and moving on for their sake.
- Skip over. There just might be a lesson that you can’t even get yourself motivated to teach. Or maybe it feels a little redundant. Or your child groaned just at the mention of it. Whatever the case, there’s nothing wrong with skipping right over it. It may come up again later in their education, or, since you’ll have taught them the love of learning, they’ll simply pursue the knowledge on their own someday. My bet is, they won’t be any worse off having skipped a lesson or two. In fact, they may be better off.
- Rearrange. Your son may love astronomy, but your curriculum already has science built into it. In order to avoid extending the school day to all hours of the night, make him a deal—“When we finish a unit in our curriculum, we’ll take a break and do a unit of astronomy.” He will soak it up, and you will be blessed by his joy in learning. Simply doing things differently could be all you need to get your kids excited about learning. Instead of trying to stuff it all in to every day, break it up into bite sized chunks and feast on the learning together.
- Scrap it all and start fresh. Sometimes we just need to admit that it’s not working. Whatever it is, it’s just not working. Scrap it. Sell the curriculum and go rogue. Or maybe just buy a different curriculum. You don’t have to go crazy. Whatever you need to do to simplify your day, find the joy in homeschool again, and ignite a passion for learning in your kids—do it. You will all be better for it.
How have you revamped your homeschool schedule to simplify your days? What changes did you make?