Monday, February 26, 2018

How I Avoid the Road to Homeschool Burnout....

I took this photo a month or so back after an eight inch snowfall. At first glance, it's beautiful with the fresh blanket of white and blue sky overhead. However, as you drive along, you start to notice the icy roadway with fifteen foot embankments. It quickly becomes very apparent that you must slow down or possibly lose control. This is also how I view creating my home education schedule.

You see, I'm a planner by nature. I love taking the big picture and breaking it into small parts. I actually prefer planning to teaching. For the first several years of home educating, I would spend my entire summer, and then some, planning each and every day right down to the "T". Then somewhere around year five, when I had three children working at three levels, including one with learning differences, I started to feel fried. My plan became my master. The beautiful scene I envisioned became an icy roadway and I found myself careening over the embankment.

After a couple of years of crash landings, I decided to slow down and take in the sights. I still plan, but at a much slower pace. I have reduced our schedule to only four days a week. What a difference this leisurely pace has made. This doesn't mean we are slacking in our academics. Quite the contrary. My children are finding time to pursue their interests. I have made time to enjoy the beautiful view, to pad the unexpected, to see my children as born persons.

Scheduling four day weeks allows us to live life. Because after all, as Andrew Kern says, education is about nurturing souls, not dumping facts. It's about fostering a love of learning.  In the past, I was more worried about my boxes than my people. I have come to see that was a detriment. There is no prize for checking the most boxes. Only love lost and hearts turned away.

February is a great time for scheduling, particularly here in WI where we've been shut in for several months with very little sun. This is where the rubber meets the road. Now is the time to see truth. If your schedule feels like a noose, loosen it up. Plan lighter for the next term or year. Make time to enjoy the view. You and your children will be much happier because when you slacken the pace, you create an environment more conducive to learning. Just ask me how I know....

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