Happy New Year! There is something surreal about starting a new year. A new wall calendar, free of scheduled events is almost euphoric for a busy family, as you dream of things to do on all the days ahead. But sometimes, it can feel maddening as you try to fill those days up with all sorts of learning trips and events.
But there is something to be said about time and pressure that you may not have considered.
A bed has never felt so comfortable as a bed that hides you from the world on a cold, winter morning. That new weighted blanket you received for Christmas is like a hug from heaven. The grey light filtering in from the window reminds you that "baby, it's still cold outside". For many, life seems to stand still in the winter--frozen in time--as if there is no rush to do anything. Chances are, that feeling you have is shared by your children.
So why do we feel the need to rush back into the school schedule like it's the Iditarod race? Why do we grab hold of those lesson plans and push, push, push? Is it because we are a product of the public school setting and recall our first day back to school after Christmas break because it came so fast? Or could it be that we still haven't fully grasped the concept that we are no longer on "public school time"? Whatever the reason, it's important to shake that mentality loose. Let go of those urges to crack those (multiple) books open wide... Why? I'll tell you.
Time for a child is a relative concept. It is only when we become adults that time becomes this construct that we adhere by so closely. And it's not because we are pressed for anything really. It's because we are adults and for us, time moves faster. But how can we expect kids to learn in such a rushed pace, if time is virtually non-existant for them?
Easing back into your daily schedule doesn't mean foregoing all those plans you made. It simply means accepting quality over quantity. We want quality medical care, rather than a host of medical facilities. What we have is worth more than how much we have. It is our expectation for virtually everything else in this world - why shouldn't it be the same at homeschool?
I've read many blogs and websites on the topic. As much as I'd love to incorporate a "top #" list of ways to scale back the pressures of time, the only one I've found that truly works for our family is this:
Step away from the world view of school and the urge to rush, rush, rush. Homeschool is an entirely different culture. Because it is still in its infancy (in relationship to modern school), little is known about the plethora of ways in which families conduct homeschool. Yet, the premise of homeschool is to teach our own children in a way that best suits their learning style and in a manner we believe is best for them. This doesn't mean we don't have a schedule - of course we do, and I'll blog on that topic in the coming days. It simply means we don't rush to fit every subject in on every day. We may go a few days before we cover that history topic, or a few weeks before we finally get to that science lesson and lab. We don't rush. We go at the speed that suits us. We remove the pressure of "time" and replace it with gentler guidings. When it comes down to it, what we find most beneficial is knowing we genuinely learned what we are covering at the time.
It's about 9:15am as I write this post, and the kids have already done their chores, personal care, and had breakfast. Not because we rush, but because that's the typical speed we move. I encourage you to cultivate the time your family moves and the speed at which you approach things. Not because it needs to be rushed, but because time is relative to kids and if they feel too pressured, they will surely shut down. If you have noticed difficulty in getting your kids to do their schooling, you might want to ask yourself if you are applying too much pressure to your homeschool environment.
Until next time,
Welcome! My name is LaVonda. I am the wife of Rodney, the mom of 5 remarkable kids (well, 2 are adults now), an avid homeschooler, blogger, and sociologist. I am blessed with the ability to spend my time sharing our homeschool and life experiences with you. It is my hope to provide you with motivation, ideas, and some candid stress-relief through my blog - Mom's Scribe! Grab a cup of coffee, sit on down, and make yourself at home!