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!

Finding Our Balance

In the last issue, we looked at the difference between a to-do list and an invitation. Today, let’s consider how to invite our kids into a love of learning AND how to keep things more-or-less on track academically. Being able to balance these two is not automatic! But as we grow in this, our homeschool will thrive. To help us think creatively about what it might look like to find this balance, let’s take a glimpse outside.

Sunset

Have you ever watched in awe as the sunset paints the sky? It can be so dramatically beautiful that we call everyone outside to see the glorious colors, and we share the moment together—taking photos and posting them! Yet, even if the sunset is not spectacular, the sun still sets. So, on one hand, there is always the possibility of a breath-taking sunset, and on the other hand, the sun sets every single night.

There is a dependable structure in that. And, there is always anticipation of something great.

Structure in Homeschool

Mom balancing it all

We need a dependable structure for meeting needs in everyday life (including homeschool). Here are primary needs:

  • sleep
  • food
  • shelter
  • clothing
  • relationship
Each of these needs can be met in very different ways, and every family develops their own approach. For example, who cooks the meals at your house? Do you have simple meals during the week and more elaborate ones on the weekend? Do you cook from scratch or opt for convenience? 

Just as you have sorted out those questions for your family until you found what worked, you are sorting out how to structure your homeschool. Do you start early in the morning or after everyone gets going? Do you school 3, 4, or 5 days a week? Do you school year round or take the summer off? The answer may be a matter of trial and error until you find that “sweet spot” for your family where it’s neither too much or too little.

My one caution to you when it comes to structure is, just like with a to-do list, don’t try to jam in as much as possible. Leave enough room for the unexpected, for emergencies, and for fun.

Flexibility in Homeschool

When there is room for the unexpected, there is the possibility of doing something spontaneous:
Kids, it’s such a gorgeous day outside! Shall we take a picnic lunch and our frisbees to the park?

There is the possibility of doing what your child suggests:
Mom, can we build a fort in the living room with all the couch cushions, and pretend we’re the Pilgrims?

There is the possibility of trying something new:
Kids, we’re going to act out the list of prepositions in our grammar book!

You Will Be Stretched

In reading the preceding paragraphs, it’s likely that you either got really excited about the thought of structure OR about the thought of being spontaneous. And, while one seemed exciting, the other one left you cold, right? That’s because we’re wired in different ways. Some moms thrive on structure (but their kids need flexibility, too), while others thrive on flexibility (but their kids need structure, too).

Homeschooling does that to you. If you’re willing, it will stretch you and shape you through love.

Whenever you need a reminder of why this matters, step outside and watch the sun set.

Remember, stay relational.

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