I remember the year I gave up boxed curriculum because it was not only terrifying, but I felt overwhelmed.
Giving up a boxed curriculum was a relief though because it helped me to understand the difference between teaching a child and teaching a curriculum.
On the flip side, it brought on greater responsibility as a mentor, which is the part that is overwhelming because I didn’t have a teaching background.
From Homeschool Fear to Focus
Fear of our children being left behind can paralyze the best homeschool mom, and I think it’s a justified fear. Nobody wants to feel they have invested 15 years or more of homeschooling only to feel like a failure.
However, I also believe that fear can be turned to focus. Focus gives you a direction and clarity in your school.
Up until the time I let go of the boxed curriculum, the line between living and learning was not blurred.
School was my focus and not learning. I was curriculum driven instead of family-focused.Focusing on testing, schedules and the approval of my in-laws did not allow me to discover how unique my children are.
Since we all want to succeed, blurring the line between living and learning has to be viewed as a positive.
Belief comes from your heart and from the desire to do the best with the precious children God has given you. I struggle too with not falling victim to this world’s institutionalized way of thinking.
3 Ways to Blur the Line Between Living and Learning
1.Schooling only from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. has to be abandoned and it is a heart wrenching struggle.
Somehow we think that if we keep the exact school hours of public school that we will meet our goals. The longer you homeschool, you come to appreciate it’s important to have consistency, but it is quality that really matters.
For example, a twenty minute interactive grammar lesson each day is of more value than endless hours of worksheets with no purpose.
From struggles throughout the years though can come conviction.
2. Looking back, it wasn’t the boxed curriculum I needed to let go of, but it was my own view that boxed me in.
Curriculum laid out can save lots of teacher time prep. Don’t take an all or nothing view to curriculum like I did. I thought I either had to lesson plan or use a boxed curriculum.
I soon learned that if I used only part of a boxed curriculum and put together some of my own lesson plans that it was still a good value for my money.
Do a unit study, but follow a textbook if you are more comfortable. Try a hands on math project like a lapbook.
Read your history textbook but allow your boys to draw cartoons illustrating the history. For your girls who dream about fashion, let them draw costumes for that time period.
For science start a bug zoo jar collection with your little ones.
Surprise your teens who need a social outlet by going to a movie theater first thing in the morning and feel homeschool freedom.
Pack a lunch and drag all your art supplies to the park. Lay out there on a blanket and enjoy your nature journal as you praise the Creator along with your children.
It doesn’t have to be about wild abandonment of tests, schedules or textbooks if you want them.
3. Blurring the line means we are keenly aware of allowing our everyday life and experiences to train our children.
Day to day meaningful conversations become a normal part of teaching your children.
The longer I homeschool the harder it becomes to describe in my lesson planner what was parenting and was what homeschooling. Some days there is just no difference between the two.
It is about getting to actually know your son or daughter that you thought you knew so well before.
Allowing your children to hear your expressions each day of your deep love for Godly things and His creation becomes more parenting than homeschooling.
Each year as I homeschool I am humbled about things I have learned. Sharing what I have learned hopefully helps you to blur the line between living and learning.
Blurring the line between living and learning – how do you do it?
You’ll love reading a few other tips:
- Why Buying Curriculum Won’t Make You a Homeschooler (But What Will)
- Deschooling: Step One for the New Homeschooler (the Definitions, the Dangers, and the Delight)
- How to Create a Homeschool Unit Study – Step 2: Separation
Hugs and love ya,