A new school year is slowly approaching. In the past, I always looked forward to the “planning” stage of a new year – researching and buying curriculum, putting together a schedule, and setting new goals. In fact, these are some of the activities I spent previous summers on, but not this summer.
Several years ago I ran into a homeschool mom who told me that she was “done” with homeschooling. However, she had one more child to teach, who at the time was starting ninth grade. After having homeschooled for so many years, she was tired of it. At the time I still loved teaching, so I couldn’t quite understand her feelings.
I have been homeschooling now for over eight years. (My oldest will be starting high school and my youngest third grade.) I have found that the excitement I used to feel at the thought of a new school year has worn off.
I am at a point in my life now where I understand.
Homeschooling takes up so much of one’s time, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
I am pretty confident that if you are a homeschool parent, you would agree to the above statement.
So where does that leave me now? What am I going to do to work towards having a successful school year in spite of my feelings?
These are the five steps I am taking to get me started:
- Praying. I truly believe that homeschooling is God’s plan for our family. It has been fantastic for us in so many ways. Although I may be tired of my “job”, it doesn’t mean I’m going to quit. I will continue in prayer asking God to help me be the best teacher I can be for my children, and I will rely on Him throughout the whole process.
- Doing away with most schedule planning. For the first time in my homeschooling career I will be using a “boxed” curriculum for my oldest son which includes a schedule. This alone will save me hours of work.
- Using curriculum I already have. I don’t have to spend as much time anymore researching new curriculum because my youngest child will be using the same books I used with my oldest. Another time saver.
- Limiting activities. This one is trickier when there is more than one child involved. However, I’ve decided to keep only those activities that are necessary and opt out of the others.
- Decreasing my blogging time. Last year I placed a lot of unnecessary stress upon myself. Somehow I decided that it was time to increase my blog readership. The steps I took to do this stole hours of my time away from teaching, being with my family and more importantly, from God. I struggled all year with what I was doing compared to what I felt God wanted me to do. I finally obeyed God and put my blog last on my priority list.
This one step alone has given me back so much of my time. I believe I will be a better teacher this year because of it. My focus will be where it is meant to be at this stage of my life.
I don’t know if you share similar feelings or thoughts to mine. If so, I hope some of the steps I am taking will inspire you to put together your own list. Maybe you would even share them with me?