Evaluating Your Homeschool: what to do when things aren’t working

Evaluating Your Homeschool

If there’s something I’ve learned in the last 7 years of intentionally homeschooling, it’s that it’s what you do in the day-to-day of life and homeschooling that counts, and not those one-off moments where you lose it, or one of the kids lose it, or even for periods of time where things don’t seem to be working well. I think we can be fairly hard on ourselves at times, and can feel like we’re failing, or ruining our children’s childhoods, etc, when really we just need to evaluate what’s working and what’s not.

Give yourself some grace, forgive yourself (and ask for it if you need to!), and move on when it’s just a difficult day.

When the challenges are lasting longer than a moment or day, Instead of feeling stress and failure, how about viewing those circumstances in a different way and seeing an opportunity to grow and adapt?  Something may need to change – whether it be in you, in your children, or in the way you have organised your homeschooling life. Think of it like a spotlight that has highlighted where things can grow and change, instead of seeing an area of life where you’re getting it wrong!

If those difficult periods last longer than a few weeks, and you’re still committed to homeschool, here’s some things to ask:

  • Are you doing too much outside the home? Are you feeling too rushed, too busy, and too overwhelmed, and this is spilling into the environment of your home?
  • Are you on and off the computer/social media throughout the day, even for short periods of time? Are you focusing too much on the housework and other things you think you can do during homeschool time, when really your children need your focused attention?
  • Is there a resource or curriculum that could be changed – even if YOU like using something, but your child is miserable, perhaps you need to let go of what you would prefer to use in favour for what will work better.
  • Are there underlying issues that need to be tended to – perhaps Dad is working late regularly and a child is reacting to this, or they’re unhappy for another reason. Have one-on-one times with each of your children and listen to what’s going on for them.
  • Are you needing some rest and time out yourself, or feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled for some reason? Find out what is spilling out of your heart, when you are stressed or unhappy, as it might not be curriculum or your children that needs tending to… it might be how you are seeing things. (Stress is a perception of circumstances and comes from the inside, not from externals).

We have some ‘back-up’ resources I use when I need to put down the regular curriculum, plus I’m always keeping a look out for things to use to freshen things up.

Here are two options that work for us:

  1. Thinking Tree has homeschool journals that are a creative and wonderful way of learning, but doing at their own pace.
  2. Press ‘pause’ on your current curriculum, and do a unit study for a week or two. Lapbooks are especially a fun way of learning, and you can easily tie them into what you’re already learning.

I hope that helps!

Have a great week,

~ Victoria 

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