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Letting Go of the Fantasy and Finally Living Your Perfect Homeschool

Posted Aug 22 2013 2:29pm

Picture this:  It’s 10 o’clock in the morning; your family has enjoyed breakfast together and some of the children have already completed their household services (chores). Next, everyone is settling in for independent study time. You sit down with your youngest on the couch. The toddler is stacking blocks as your young reader reads aloud to you. Outside on the front porch your nine-year-old is sitting reading one of the classics and your 11-year-old is at his desk concentrating on math as his older sister sits at kitchen table writing a short story. Your teenager can be found in the quiet of his room where he focuses next two hours on algebra. The only sound in the house is the classical music carefully selected for opening both sides of the brain. There’s some low level talking between you and the young reader. As you finish with your young reader they continue with quiet tasks as you focus on your studies and work.

If you’ve homeschooled for any length of time you know it doesn’t always happen this way. The dog barks, the baby needs a diaper change, the toddler is in a boisterous mood and your 12-year-old is crying she can’t do her math and someone is always hungry. Sorry to burst your bubble, but every day is filled with real life and real learning. We signed up for this when we chose to homeschool. Is it possible to have days that go smoothly and seemingly perfect in every way? Absolutely! But anyone who believes they can achieve this perfection on a daily basis is living in a fantasy. Life always delivers us a balance. Some days will go wonderful while other days you ask yourself “why did I get out of bed?”

“Life is like baking a cake. You have to bring together a lot of ingredients, mix it just right, make a big mess in the process and when you’re done –it’s absolutely heavenly and delicious.” –Donna Vail

To believe it’s possible to have perfect little students who do their work with no questions asked, are always well-behaved and never challenge you is a fantasy and exactly the situation you signed up to avoid. The fantasy doesn’t create an environment conducive to real learning. That is where you will find the dysfunction.

Real life and real learning is filled with support and challenge. Remind yourself what a blessing it is to be home with your little ones –tending to their needs, changing another diaper and knowing your child is healthy and happy at home. Because you’re using An Inspired Education curriculum; living inspired and mentoring through self-education, your little one will flow right into it because you and your other children are modeling the self-education lifestyle.

Toddlers are delightful and exciting when we choose to see them in this way. The whole world belongs to them. Everything is exciting and new! Sometimes they can be quiet and other times they can be real screamers without a volume switch. If my four-year old little diva singer-performer-director can get quiet during independent study time, I have no doubt yours can too. Make sure you’ve set them up to be independently creative and playful. Love the moment, it doesn’t last long and before you know it, they’re grown.

I know you worry about the child who cries over her math. It’s heartbreaking and can be emotionally draining. What if you weren’t there for your children and they just got by in math never facing these issues? When you really hunker down and do the math until it’s done correctly more than just numbers are learned; a character is being molded. Math will test every area of weakness in a person’s character, particularly self-esteem. When they see math for what it really is, consistent success can be achieved. Remember to love them through it and there will be fewer meltdowns.

We’ve set up a questioning process the children go through when they don’t understand a problem in their math. Then we also face character issues head on, breaking through to success they can apply in every area of life. It’s important to encourage children to do this subject first because it makes a real difference in their thinking process the rest of the day. Be grateful you can be there and love them through it instead of them facing real character issues later in life when it could impact their family, marriage and work.

“Give me the life of the boy whose mother is nurse, seamstress, washerwoman, cook, teacher, angel, and saint, all in one, and whose father is guide, exemplar, and friend.  No servants to come between.  These are the boys who are born to the best fortune.”  ~Andrew Carnegie

When you change the way you look at your homeschool, let go of the fantasy, work on yourself as a growing person and filter everything with love, it all shifts. Now you can be certain, your perfectly matched to your family and you are right where you need to be, growing into more knowledge and love. *Your* homeschool is perfect for *your* family.

Parents Inspired to Action:

  • What part of the fantasy can you let go of first? Start writing down all that you’re grateful for in your homeschool and family.
  • Structure your day to include quiet independent study time. What do you need to rearrange to protect this time for your children?
  • What will you study and read during independent study time? It can be a classic, personal development for your work or study in a particular field of interest.

Children Inspired to Action:  

  • Talk with your children about the structure you want to create for their daily academic success. Bring them on board to mutually work towards this goal together.
  • Look for ways your children can help prepare for the quiet time by having them tend to animals or help with kitchen cleanup from breakfast.
  • Plan with each child what they can do quietly after they finish their studies to maintain peace and quiet for those still studying.

Have you experienced any days that seemed to fall apart but were full of blessings? Please join our inspired families share by leaving a comment below.

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