Thursday, May 1, 2014

Being Flexible

So one of the joys of homeschooling is the flexibility it allows for. If something is not working for you or your child, it can be changed quite easily. Swap out for another curriculum, try a different teaching style, abandon it and return to it another time. But one of the great frustrations of homeschooling is the flexibility. So many choices of curriculum, so many theories on how to do it, confusion on what would be best for your child.....

We are coming to the end of our second year of homeschooling and all in all it has been a success. My kids are happy, thriving and learning. They enjoy learning again and are excited by it. It's not all bells and whistles though. We have our meltdowns, our stubborn refusals, and I am not always the greatest at staying consistent with things. But through it all, we seem to have found our way in the homeschooling realm.

 I think it all comes down to being flexible. We as humans, like our routines. Change is typically difficult for folks. We would rather push through a difficult patch and persevere instead of looking at it a different way and re-vamping our approach. Seems silly when you say it that way but it's true. I have found myself doing that several times on this journey. However every time I try to forcefully push ahead, it just causes frustration and sadness. It's not until I step back, possibly reach out to others for their perspectives, and think outside the box that things get better. Learning to be flexible with your homeschool routine is essential.

I think a lot of us start out setting up our homes like a school because it's what we know. We sit down everyday and do Language arts, Math, Science......and that works for some people so that is great. But for many others (like us) this approach does not work. What do you do when that happens? Fight through it until it works? Or take a step back, re-examine WHY you homeschool, WHAT your child's best learning style is, and incorporate that into a new approach. It seems like a lot of hard work to re-create your homeschool experience, but if what you are doing now isn't working, it might be time to.

As with anything, taking the first step is the hardest. Once you take the leap, the rest will fall into place. Ask others what they do, read blogs, check out PINTEREST (I'm obsessed). You do not need to re-invent the wheel. There are so many creative people out there doing and posting about these things. Take a little from here and a little from there and see where it leads you.

Isn't that why we homeschool? For the flexibility it allows and schools don't? So as this year winds down to a close and we look forward to summer; I invite you to reflect on your year. Be honest about what works and what doesn't. And as you start to think about next year, be brave enough to take that step into something new. I promise you it will open up a whole new world of learning!

**I want to thank all of my readers for all of your support. I will be taking a hiatus for the summer. I need to replenish, relax and rejuvenate. I hope you all have a seamless end to your year and a wonderful summer. See you in the fall!