Transitioning from a Public School Mindset
Afraid of messing up their child for life, new homeschoolers feel that having a strict schedule and having school from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. is the road to homeschooling success.
New homeschoolers transitioning from a public school mindset to a relaxed homeschooling lifestyle have a hard time wrapping their minds around the concept of relaxed homeschooling.
I admit I was one of those homeschoolers. Relaxed was one shade off from lazy. I was quite judgmental. It was ugly and I admit it!
Unless I kept my boys busy with a schedule every part of their learning day, we would not be meeting my standards for success so I thought.
From Relaxed to Rejuvenated Homeschooling
It can take years to embody the definition of relaxed homeschooling.
Some homeschoolers even confuse relaxed with unschooling. Because they may want to follow more structure, they’re hesitant about adopting relaxed homeschooling.
Don’t wait years and miss out on adding the vital element of relaxation to your day.
Take a look at some of these points that will help to hone the definition of relaxed homeschooling.
Relaxed homeschooling works with every approach.
Relaxed homeschooling is not an approach, but it is a lifestyle.
This means that you don’t have to give up your homeschooling approach, but it does mean that whatever homeschool approach you follow, it needs to be examined.
For example, determine how you can make your approach more relaxed and less rigid.
If you follow a unit study approach, can you make it more relaxed by doing math all together one day?
Normally, math is not a subject that can be done with multiple ages, but you want to find a way to step back. Relaxed means to rejuvenate your day. Choose one day and read a living math book to all your children.
Instead of focusing on the math worksheet you missed for the day, focus on the feeling that math becomes a subject that a child can love instead of dread.
If you follow the classical method of homeschooling, can your language arts one day be about each child narrating back a story he loves?
Forget the physical act of writing one day and encourage your children to use their vocabulary building skills by using new vocabulary in an oral story telling setting.
If you follow the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling, can music involvement for the day be a physical act of interpretation like dancing?
Some of this will obviously depend on the ages of your children. Anytime kids can act out something to be learned, it was more memorable and captivating.
Define what is education for your family.
One of the first things you want to do when starting is to define what is education for your family. Does it include art, living books, textbooks, hands-on learning, life skills or all of them?
Beyond thinking about worksheets, most new homeschoolers don’t give pause for even a moment to look clearly beyond the present to the future.
The importance of this cannot be stressed enough.
Learning should not be just about filling a child’s head with knowledge, but it should be a part of living that is delightful and pursued lifelong. It’s about equipping a child for adulthood.
How will your family do that in a relaxed atmosphere?
Look beyond how things are presently done either in public school or in your present homeschooling journey to see what YOU want to change to make it better for your children.
Jump head first into understanding your child’s learning style.
No matter how much I talked to one homeschool mom whose present homeschooling approach was not working with her son, she was not going to change.
She was just sure there was something wrong her child. There was — he didn’t learn how she thought he should. Really, the problem was her.
Tears and fighting followed and she made her homeschooling journey one miserable day after the other because she refused to change her teaching style.
When our child’s learning style doesn’t mesh with our predetermined way of teaching, are we willing to change our teaching style?
How to Kill Boring Homeschooling Days
Relaxed homeschooling means to change the way we think homeschooling should be and make it fit our child.
I had one son who loved textbooks and workbooks because some subjects he preferred to learn that way.
I have another son who cried in agony when he glanced at a textbook.
Should I think that I had less rigorous standards with my second son because I added in living books and more hands-on? Was that just fun or was it relaxed for him?
Brow beating our children to make them accept our teaching style instead of accepting them as they come, pre-wired to learn in a certain way, never worked.
Finding what is best for your child is relaxed homeschooling.
Relaxed homeschooling means that we accept when changes have to be made in our homeschooling.
Changing our homeschool approach and giving up curriculum when it’s not obviously working for our family while not stressing out over the price we paid for it are signs that we have softened in our homeschool journey.
Can you think of other ways where you can introduce a more relaxed attitude into your every day?
You’ll love these other tips:
- Big Ol’ List of All-In-One Homeschool Curriculum (a.k.a Boxed)
- How to Get Homeschooled Kids to WANT to Learn?
- Is Homeschooling Making the Grade? It’s in and the Grade is ALL Fs!
- Is Homeschooling Right for Your Family? Hear From the Kids!
- Homeschooling Book for New Homeschoolers – When You Don’t Know Where to Begin
- Homeschool Critics: How Do You Know You’re on Track?
- How to Use Summertime to Put a Foot in Homeschooling
- Deschooling: Step One for the New Homeschooler (the Definitions, the Dangers, and the Delight)
Hugs and love ya,
Check out these great books!