There are times in our homeschooling journey where things don’t go as well as we would like.  I’ve always been one to look for solutions in times like this.  In part one of this two part blog I talked about the importance of taking a break from academic instruction.  Often our feelings about it not working are subjective – they are feelings, not necessarily based on the truth.  When we are tired, overwhelmed, frustrated we see everything through negative glasses.  We need to take time to refresh and build or strengthen relationships.  The second aspect of finding solutions when our homeschooling isn’t working is to take time for a review and then we can address our concerns.

First I have had to remind myself:  What does it look like to have homeschooling work?  We often make knee-jerk reactions, “it’s not working!” and it is all downhill from there.  But if I can define what I want our homeschooling to look like I have a much better, rational and unemotional starting point to get on top of things.

 What does it look like to say your homeschooling is working?

How do you envisage your days?

Maybe this is where the problem lays… our goals are unrealistic.  We need to consider this reality.

Because my homeschooling is an aspect of our family life when I set homeschool goals, I’m really setting family goals – what do I want our day to look like? I want:

  • My family growing in the areas of wisdom, peace, order, creativity and integrity
  • My family to be free to take opportunities that come our way to grow in love towards others, skills and knowledge
  • My house to be inviting – to be a place where we can live out our family and individual purpose

These are our personal goals – please consider what your goals would be.  I don’t think they are unrealistic goals – but how I interpret and work towards those goals on a day to day basis can quickly become unrealistic.  I can push my family to achieve those things perfectly, whereas my goals are actually about walking towards those things, learning and practicing.  We must understand that being a family, parenting and certainly homeschooling is about the journey; it is a process not an end product.

Two other questions to ask –

  • What is happening?
  • What isn’t happening?

It is important to see that not everything is not working (generally speaking) – there are some good things going on.  By systematically thinking through the whole of family life, including homeschooling, then we start to find a more balanced perspective.  Not to say that things aren’t going well, but it is easy to get tunnel vision and only see the things that we are not happy with, instead of seeing the good that is happening as well.

There are three ‘lists’ that I have used to guide my reflection when I’m doing a review.   I wouldn’t necessarily use all three lists at the one time, but sometimes it is helpful because they cover the same aspects of life, but in wording it differently my mind goes to different places.

  1. My goals (as listed above – I may write these goals differently at different times, but they cover my heart for my family)
  2. The whole-life list: spiritual, moral, emotional, social, intellectual, practical
  3. The discipleship homeschool list: relationships, personal growth, responsibilities, talents, academic studies (read more)

When I’m doing a review, I take each aspect and write what is or isn’t happening in that area for each of my kids.  This is a great way to gain perspective, because it breaks down “homeschooling” to smaller aspects of our family life – and when we do this, we have more chance of being realistic, not just reactionary.

Once we have a nearly objective idea of what is or isn’t happening in our family compared to what we would like to happen, we can then ask ourselves – What am I going to do about it?

Here are some things that have been addressed at these times:

  • Identifying an attitude, discipline or skill that one or all kids needed to learn. I may have to change plans in order to create opportunity to teach what is necessary.
  • Changing curriculum – though I am hesitant to change curriculum, sometimes it is the answer. We need to recognise that what looked so fantastic when we bought it may simply be not the answer for the now.
  • Identifying wrong learning/teaching styles – I have changed things around to match what each individual child has needed at different times.
  • Acknowledging too many commitments – Busyness and too many out of the house activities – sometimes our busyness takes us away from what we should be focusing on, leaving us with not enough time and energy to work on our true goals
  • Recognising we’ve been home too much – especially for the extraverts – sometimes we just need to get out and see people!
  • Fun – sometimes the fun element is missing; alternatively, sometimes knuckling-down is the answer as well!
  • Sickness, crisis, or opportunity can take its toll on our plans – we may have to switch plans that make time for us to walk through whatever is taking our time and energy.
  • Ideals – One of the biggest things that I have had to change is my ideals, for example, I had the ideal that we would learn all together as a family – but due to my kids learning styles and abilities this wasn’t working well. I needed to step back from a preferred method and let it go.
  • Burnout – sometimes we’ve just all needed to rest, and focus on our physical and/or emotional wellbeing (kids as well as mum).

If you have chosen to homeschool for a purpose, don’t let the hard times distract you – work through it.  Over the years I’ve had to let go of ideals, and some where good ideals, I’ve had to tweak and change and grow as my family has grown.  This is ultimately what homeschooling is about – growing together as a family, and growing as an individual.  We must be flexible and honest enough to hit the pause button when things aren’t going well, and then we must be brave and determined enough to make the changes necessary.

 

What to do when homeschooling isn't working - part 2

 

Also sharing and linking with others:  

Throughout the week I share with one, or more of these blogs (see more details on my Link Parties page)

Monday’s Musings,  Thoughtful SpotHip Homeschool Moms Blog Hop, Titus 2 Tuesdays,   Coffee and ConversationFinishing Strong (Middle & Highschool years),  Capture your Journey,  Thriving Thursdays, Hearts for Home, A Little R & R,  From House to Home,  Fellowship Fridays,  Homeschooling Highschool Linkup, Weekly Wrap-up, Collage  Fridays

 

Download your worksheet and start working on your family vision statement.

Get the Family Vision Worksheet

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

Get a copy of the Jelly Bean Story

I will email you a download link.  You can print and share this story with your kids and their friends.

The download link is on it's way.

This parent guide helps parents plan family bible study and use discussion techniques to teach the important lessons.

Bible study Guide for Parents

Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts. I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Obedience looks a bit different as our kids grow older. Download this parent/teen discussion guide to understand this issue of obedience in teen years.

Download your Free Discussion Guide

Don't assume your kids are rebelling - instead talk to them about what Obedience looks like now they are older.  I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Over 20 different verbal expressions divided into heart or self control to help parents discern these behaviours.

Download your Cheat Sheet

I will send you the link to download this cheat sheet that will help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Free email course -

6 days straight to your inbox!

 

 

Plan a Christmas that touches the heart of your family.

Thank you for being here - you will receive an email shortly.

Make your Christmas a Heart Focus Christmas

Make your Christmas a Heart Focus Christmas

6 Day free email course 

Success! You will receive an email shortly. (You never know which folder emails will land in so keep an eye out for my "Thank you" email.) Stay in touch... Belinda - Live life with your Kids!

Pin It on Pinterest