Well, I couldn’t make it through a week of tips for home school parents without mentioning joy.
Joy: a feeling of happiness that comes from success, good fortune, or a sense of well-being (The Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
What I love about this definition is success isn’t about how many worksheets or the number of problems that have been completed or the amount of money in your home school budget. Good fortune isn’t a predetermined thing, and well-being is unique to the individual although we may agree that there are specific things which will make all of us feel secure such as food, shelter, clothing, and not being in physical harm.
Over the past few months, I have been intentional in finding joy in everyday moments including those moments occurring during our prime learning hours.
How can you find joy in your home school?
· Stay focused on the goals and intentions of your family. I know this has been said over, over, and over again, but I am saying it again for good measure … Don’t get distracted by other families highlights. When you find yourself constantly looking at another mom and family, you ultimately miss out on your own which in turn sucks the joy right out of yours.
· Celebrate the little things. I am not going to make it seem like we don’t have struggles, but I will say that I don’t focus on them as much as I focus on the good things. I’ve learned that if I constantly replay the struggles and focus on them more than the good stuff then I am making an environment of perfection in my home, and we all know that none of us are perfect. While I do I have to remind my daughter to clean up after herself more than I would like, I celebrate her when she makes her bed without prompting or does the math curriculum that she likes the least. I can’t help but to think that the little celebrations will lead to being more diligent in those weaker areas.
· Take into account the needs of your children. If I stuck with every item we have purchased or reviewed, my daughters would probably be miserable. There are great materials out there, but not everything is for everybody. When I take into account the needs of my daughters, our days go smoother which in turn creates a happier, peaceful environment. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have to do things that they don’t like, but it does mean I am not loading them down with lots of things they do not enjoy.
· Take advantage of the flexibility of being a home school family. I believe in having plans and goals, and I believe the plans and goals should also be realistic. Schooling everyday with few breaks shouldn’t be a part of the plan. We incorporate several field trips a month. There are some months when we don’t have any scheduled field trips and during those times I still make it a point to get the girls out. This could simply mean making it a point to play at the playground in our apartment complex or walking a trail at a local park. Getting out often causes me to reflect on the good things in our lives.
Life doesn’t have to be all that you dreamed of to find joy in it. What is bringing you joy in your home school this week?
I’ll go first. Our oldest is getting better at solving word problems, we walked a new trail this week, and watched Lassie as a family at the request of our youngest.
Share your joyous moments in the comments.