How Letting Go Has Led to a Better Lifestyle and More Learning
It’s about time I gave an update on how our homeschool year is going! Last spring I was feeling overworked and a tad burnt out. I wasn’t thinking of quitting, but I also wasn’t willing to go forward as is. I was always planning, online researching or writing, making lists I could never complete…basically trying to squeeze too much out of every day, sleeping less and wearing myself out mentally and emotionally.
I spent most of the summer reading and thinking, writing down my thoughts, praying, talking to my husband and just being with my family. We read and camped and had fun. I felt my tightened nerves loosen up. How silly that I’d gotten so wound up that I lost sight of my purpose. We brought our kids home for a better lifestyle–not a stressed out mama.
I read books by Ruth Beechick and Sally Clarkson. I made plans, but not too many. I wrote goals about what really mattered. My plans were much more focused on overall development and education and far less on what specific topics we would cover.
Probably the biggest change was my mindset. It’s not about planning the perfect day, unit or year, or how much I check off my list. It’s about our relationships with each other and our relationship with learning. I’ve endeavored to keep this simple checklist at the forefront:
- Are we relating well to each other?
- Did we learn and spend our time well today?
So, whether we’re working at curriculum or focused studies I’ve prepared, taking a field trip to experience the real world, or enjoying a hike to soak in nature’s beauty–it’s all good. At the end of the day I don’t stress over what we didn’t get done, I just smile over what we did.
I find my relaxation has opened the door to several benefits:
- We’ve enjoyed more real world learning through field trips, which had been one of the positives of homeschooling I was excited about when we started. We’ve visited a wind power facility, went out with Diver Ed, toured our state governor’s mansion, and got up close and personal with a Barred Owl.
- My husband feels welcome to step in and run with ideas he has for the kids–which has led to some incredible computer programing instruction.
- I see my kids both taking more initiative in learning. From writing stories to setting up paper airplane experiments, they’re exploring and creating more on their own.
- We have stored up some tremendous family memories spending time together doing everything from hiking new trails to taking off a school morning to go out for breakfast.
What has my life as a homeschool mom been like? I’ve spent less time planning and been on my computer a lot less. I’ve read more and kept our home a bit tidier. I’ve realized I don’t need to be looking online for the perfect activity to go with our Egypt study…I need to look my son in the eyes when he’s telling me about his Lego creation. I don’t need to be choosing the perfect wording for a blog post…I need to be choosing ways to connect with my adolescent daughter.
I’m content in what feels like a homeschool sweet spot. Adjustments will be necessary as my children grow and change, but I’m hoping I can stay focused on not becoming the unhappy, overworked homeschool mom. Just in case I need a reminder of what really matters, I’m saving inspiring posts on my pep-talk pinterest board.
How do you regain focus when you find you’re busy all day but not focused on what matters?
Thank you to the wonderful hostesses with fun link-ups on Fridays–click over to see what other homeschoolers are doing.