Diana's Homeschool Blog

Welcome to my homeschool blog, which offers insights into loving learning, loving your family, loving history, loving homeschooling, and enjoying your life! With your cup of coffee in hand, take a break to laugh with me, to have your heart refreshed, to be reminded of how cool your kids really are, and to consider the amazing adventure of being a homeschool mom. AND, if you are interested in the History Revealed curriculum, be sure to check out my Teaching Tips!

Pondering Our Priorities

Pondering our Priorities in homeschooling

When we consider how—or if—we are going to accomplish all the things on our to-do list (especially as we consider the upcoming school year), we need to ponder our priorities.

Here are four steps to help you:

Step One.

Ask yourself these critical—though often overlooked—questions:

      • What opportunities should my children not miss? Why?
      • How do I give them childhood memories that will enrich their lives?
      • When should we stick to our books and when should we play in the sunshine?
      • Where does our schedule allow for creativity, imagination, and exploration?

To ponder these questions means you take time to consider the big picture. Here are five big picture points:

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Teaching Our Kids Perseverance

Teaching our kids perseverance is a challenge for any parent, but it becomes much more difficult when we homeschool. How do we help our kids learn how to stick to a task—even when it's tedious or boring? This is especially important for us to consider because there can be unintended consequences if we choose the wrong battle.

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Should Learning Be Fun??

Should learning be fun? Many people scoff at that idea. . .after all, learning is WORK. And, as many have personally experienced, work is not fun. I have a different philosophy on that. . .And I'd love to share with you how learning can be both hard work AND fun!

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3 Tips for Breaking the Wall of Inertia

3 Tips for Breaking the Wall of Inertia

Is there a wall of inertia looming all around you right now? Sometimes that happens in the gray days of winter. . .When inertia takes hold, homeschooling is tedious.

Is there a solution—apart from gritting your teeth and waiting till spring? Absolutely! Here are 3 Tips for Breaking the Wall of Inertia:

      • Inspire
      • Discover
      • Play

First of all, Inspire. When facing a Wall of Inertia, or obstacles of any sort, read someone else’s story about how they overcame the odds, broke through the wall, and achieved their goals. Inspiration provides hope, which is the first step—it helps us to believe that it is possible to keep going. That is why we love stories of people like Joni Eareckson Tada and Corrie ten Boom, because they remind us that there is incredible blessing on the other side of our challenges. So, I want to encourage you to read or reread a story that will inspire you. I am currently rereading an old biography of Billy Graham by Stanley High.

3 Tips for Breaking the Wall of Inertia, Diana Waring BlogNext, Discover. Take time to ask yourself what specific factors are weighing you down, and then share that with your spouse or a wise friend. Discovery provides insight into our fears and worries, which is the second step—it brings those fears and worries into the light. Are you gripped with fears that you aren’t doing enough (even though you’re doing more than anyone you know)? Are you staying awake at night, worrying about the future for your kids? Are you convinced that you’re a terrible homeschool mom? Once you have exposed these hidden fears— sharing them with someone safe, who knows and loves you—you can bring them to the Lord in prayer (which is the best way to decisively deal with fears). Fear and worry are two of the most insidious destroyers of peace and joy, so don’t keep “entertaining” them. "Lies Homeschool Moms Believe" by Todd Wilson is VERY helpful.

Finally, Play. One of the best ways for beating the winter blues is to regularly laugh and have fun! Honestly, playing recharges your homeschool. Laughter wakes up the brain, a merry heart is like a medicine, and providing extra doses of fun for your kids is guaranteed to add energy to the day. So, take your planner right now and block out time for reading a funny book out loud, playing a game that makes your family laugh, and going outside to make snowmen (or sand castles). Playing will provide an energizing zest for both you and your children, making each day easier and, believe it or not, far more profitable when it comes to learning. "Hank the Cowdog" by John Erickson, read out loud, is hysterical!

You CAN do this! That Wall of Inertia is tumbling already.

And, remember, spring is coming!

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The Flaw in “Hurry Up & Rest!”

The Flaw in Hurry Up & Rest

Christmas is over. Whew! All the work and flurry ended a few days ago, and, hopefully, you weren’t so exhausted that you missed the celebration. You may be wondering if this is a time to get some rest. . . Hmmm.

School doesn’t start for another week. This in-between week, where one project is finished and the next hasn’t quite started, can be tricky. That’s what I want to talk about today. . .

As homeschoolers, we have taken on not only the enormous tasks of teaching AND parenting our kids, we’ve also taken on a 24/7 workload—or, at least, from first thing in the morning until late at night. Once you gear-up for the task, the pressure makes it hard to take a break. You’ve put on the mind of a homeschooling mom, so that means you’re trying to fit everything in by scheduling every moment of each day.

We know that this is a perfect week to relax, to have the leisure to play, to sit, to read, to sleep. . .But, it is also an empty week in the schedule, where we could get SO much done from our never ending to-do list!

What if Susie worked every day this week on her math problems and caught up?
What if Johnny took this week to write that paper he’s been avoiding?
What if I cleaned out all of my cupboards and closets every day this week?

It looks so good on paper. . .An empty void, waiting to be filled. There is that voice in your head saying that, if you work hard this week, your to-do list will be finished. And if you can just persevere through Thursday, you can all enjoy a nice, long rest on New Year’s Day.

But there’s this odd thing that happens when, deep down, we know that every other teacher on the planet is taking this week off. Though we may try to accomplish a lot, it will feel like we’re wading knee-deep in molasses. . .And the hurrier we go, the more we’ll bog down. “Susie, stop complaining and get the work done, and THEN you can play!”
“Johnny, hurry up and finish that paper, and THEN you can go outside!”

You can't rest and get your to-do list done at the same timeAnd you tell yourself, “Hurry up!! Finish those cupboards and closets and THEN you can rest!!”

What I’ve learned is that you can’t fool your heart. It knows that this is a week off—a week that you REALLY need. And you can’t rest and get your to-do list done at the same time.

So, my advice is to acknowledge to yourself and to the rest of the world that you are a legitimate teacher, and that this week is truly a break.

And, then, enjoy it. All of you, enjoy it to your hearts’ content. Let your kids enjoy the break in the ways THEY find delightful. Even more challenging than that, let yourself enjoy the break in the ways that YOU find delightful. Then when the legitimate start date in January rolls around, you’ll all be refreshed and ready.

You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make!

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