While settling into a homeschooling routine can be a good thing, losing joy in teaching children at home is not. When parents begin to see homeschooling as ho-hum, children, too, can start to lose their love for learning, which may show up in their interest level and consequently in their performance.
A simple way to rejuvenate love for homeschooling is to create opportunities to feel awe on a daily basis, if possible. Experiencing a renewed sense of wonder can give a family a brand new outlook on learning together and a general sense of gratitude and contentment. With these four simple suggestions, homeschooling can go from ordinary to awe-inspiring.
Rushing through the school day is one of the biggest reasons families lose their homeschool inspiration. If the lesson plan requires so much schoolwork that parents and kids are hurrying to complete it, it might be time to scale back a bit. Shift to a 4-day schedule that offers you more time to cherish life on the other three days of the week.
Instead of watching the clock, slow down and savor learning along with the kids.
- Share a few extra pages of a storybook.
- Get involved in making a (messy or complicated) project along with the children.
- Watch an educational video together.
Slowing down can create more opportunities to feel awe.
Families that have a homeschooling mission statement tend to remain focused on their long-term educational goals. Think about the reasons why you are homeschooling. Write them down. Then think about the long-term goals you have for your children.
From this day forward, choose curriculum, books, and materials that are designed to accomplish those goals. Instead of filling the day with a certain amount of pages, lessons, chapters, or problems, focus on quality books, experiments, and videos. Provide learning experiences that will make lasting memories.
Spend Time in Nature
A simple way to experience awe is to spend time around creatures, settings, and environments outside of ourselves. Making time for nature study is a fabulous way to do this.
Go for a nature walk and explore the tiny ecosystems nearby: the undersides of leaves, an ant hill, the stumps of trees, and the shores of puddles. Bring a magnifying glass to see the creatures which live and work in these environments.
- Mediate on the magnitude of a mountain.
- Soak in the silence of the forest.
- Feel the power of the ocean or a rushing river.
Towering trees, deep canyons, and powerful waterfalls can make us feel small in a good way; they elicit a sense of awe. Reminding ourselves of the places and creatures that exist and thrive around us is an incredible way to experience the feeling of awe, increasing appreciation for the rich existence we have on this planet.
Take the Long View
Dwelling on the day-to-day struggles of keeping up with a homeschool program or checking off educational objectives can cause parents to obsess over the small stuff of life. Revisit the mission statement of your homeschool and think about the qualities you want your children to develop in the long run.
Remind yourself that these struggles and concerns will soon fade away, especially as children grow and find their own paths. Ask yourself: How would I feel if this were the last day I’d ever get to teach my child at home? Relish this time with your kids and foster appreciation for your homeschooling lifestyle.