This is a bit of information which I’m almost embarrassed to share with you. After seven years of homeschooling, I really would have thought I had this figured out. But alas, here I sit, sharing with you what just might be the most world altering event in my homeschool.
It seems so simple, and I have actually encouraged others to do this one thing; yet I’m just now putting it in practice and reaping the blessings.
Maybe you figured this out already, but deep down I’m just hoping I’m not the only one who took so long to figure this out. It’s so simple, yet so complex.
I have this incredible knack of overwhelming myself. I became aware of this uncanny superpower early on in my homeschooling, so I’ve worked diligently over the years to throw off all that hinders my homeschooling.
Expectations of Homeschooling
Those of us who are talented in overwhelming ourselves are especially good at striving for unnecessary expectations we place upon ourselves. Wherever these expectations came from, they’re unnecessary; yet still we strive.
Even with my efforts to lessen the burden I place on myself, I still found myself sitting in a pile of tears.
Still overwhelmed with the tasks at hand.
Still finding myself unable to complete what I thought needed completed in the course of the day.
Still assuming what I was doing wasn’t enough for my children.
The question finally dawned on me. What am I striving for? Who am I seeking to please? What are we really doing with this homeschool thing?
I know what I say when people ask me why I homeschool; yet I discovered that’s not what I’m doing day in and day out.
My everyday homeschooling actions weren’t lining up with the passion I express to others when they ask why I homeschool.
Expectations of Academics
Academics are not my end goal for homeschooling. Yet I found myself seeking to create some kind of academic…something!
Academic…show off to the world how amazing homeschooling is!
Academic…completed tasks sheets to show my husband at the end of the day all the wonderful things I taught our children.
I was stressing out over some imaginary expectations that I thought I had to live up to.
So, what’s this wonderful thing I did?
I asked key questions, and created the purpose behind our homeschool.
For the first time in seven years of homeschooling, I actually called a meeting with my husband. I needed to be sure his expectations lined up with mine. I needed to be sure that our expectations for homeschooling were something I could practically achieve daily. I simply needed to be sure. So, together, we answered those questions.
Why are we homeschooling?
What do we want our children to get out of their homeschooling experience?
How do we achieve that, practically speaking, on a day-to-day basis?
What does that look like?
And the final question…
Is this doable for me personally?
This mind-blowing experience all came into fruition when I finally set a few goals, and defined our purpose for homeschooling. Brilliant, right? Goal setting isn’t on my radar, and for the longest time I figured I didn’t need to set goals because I already knew why I was homeschooling.
But for some reason, I still needed to go over those specific reasons with my husband. We needed to agree on them, and I needed to write them down.
I stuck with three primary reasons why we’re homeschooling, I wrote them down, then I hung that purpose in my kitchen as well as the school room. Since this event, when I feel the pressure heat up within I stop and ask myself, “Does this have anything to do with our purpose?”
Friends, that one question right there has sent many anxiety stricken moments fleeing from my presence! Oh the liberty of just glancing at a purpose for the day!
So far, our school has been more peaceful, and my children are even enjoying their day more than last semester, or last year even!
Imagine that, removing unnecessary pressure brings peace and enjoyment. Who’da thought?
We’re even trying to change our end of the day questions to better meet our purpose. Instead of asking, “Did you get all your school work done?” We can now ask, “How did you improve your relationships today?” or “Did anything challenge your character today?”
Totally different questions, with completely different implications!
Learn from my mistake. Talk with your husband, define your reasons for homeschool, write them down, and post them throughout the house.
Measure your overwhelming moments by those standards, not the world’s.
So what are our reasons? Here’s what we came up with…
To maximize our time in developing these three key traits in ourselves:
- Relationships: with God, and with each other
- Quality Character Growth
- Equipping for whatever comes next