Ok homeschool moms, half the year is gone! We’re on the home stretch… it’s time to reevaluate and decide what needs to stay and what needs to go… Less is more. We know this, we’ve heard it forever. So why do we, as homeschool moms, feel the need to pile more and more into our schedules each day?
It’s simple. It’s comparison. It’s a trap, and it’s exhausting.
I’ve done it, I’ve piled more and more in some attempt to make sure my kids aren’t missing anything that they would get at “real school.” Guess what? They’re missing a lot. They’re missing bullies, secular education, worldly friends, and they’re missing their own comparison traps.
So let’s talk about Less is More and how we can put it into play in our crazy homeschool lives…
Let’s start with the MORE philosophy…
We’ve been doing it since the moment we found out we were pregnant. We compare the way we dress and need cuter maternity clothes. We compare the weight we gain and feel ugly. We compare the cool baby gear we see and we buy a ton of stuff we don’t need.
The comparison trap goes on forever, shoes, clothes, houses, nurseries… do you cloth diaper or use sposies? Homemade baby food or store bought? Breast or bottle?
And now we are here… homeschooling our kids and I don’t know about you, but I am constantly comparing my kids and my schedule to those “thriving” families I see around me. One good friend’s son actually wrote a book before he was 10 years old!! Ok, well, in her defense she truly is amazing and her son is brilliant but I have to know that my baseball obsessed boys aren’t going to write a paragraph without spewing contempt, there are no books in their future. I see lots of families who seem to be all sitting around, knitting, speaking latin, listening to mozart and reading every classic novel known to man. My kids are drawing pokemon figures when we do our read alouds, arguing over spelling words and begging for ten more minutes of recess. I thought I had added all the right programs, techniques, Pinterest worthy homeschool everything. However, I found myself spending much of my time making sure I was doing the latest and greatest for my kids but I wasn’t spending that time with my kids.
Now for LESS…
I’m simplifying this January. The first thing I’m doing away with is tedious lesson plans. I came across a post a few weeks back about simplifying homeschool with spiral notebooks. 10 cent notebooks! And guess what guys? It’s genius!
(link to original poster HERE)
Every night I write their assignments in their notebook but I wanted to take it a step past just school. I’m also including their Bible reading and chores for the day. You see, if you spend all your time focusing on the academics of homschooling you’ll miss out on the character building, Christ-centering, Child-of-God making elements.
I found a really cool way to get the boys not only memorizing their verses, but understanding them as well. (the image below is the property of www.yourvibrantfamily.com)
(original post HERE)
In their notebook I write a verse for them to look up. They read the verse, copy it in their notebook , restate it in their own words… When they are done with their assignments for the day I can go back to that verse and make sure they understand what it means. It opens a dialogue about Christ and it’s leading to some very cool conversations.
I’m also including their daily chores in their spiral notebook. At the end of the day, when everything is checked off and I make sure they are done to the Lord’s standards, they earn a little painted black quarter that they can use to redeem candy from our school room bubble gum machine. (it only took 18 months to get that in play! my original post here. Our School Room)
(this thing costs a FORTUNE to fill!! That’s two bags of M&M’s and two bags of Skittles!)
When I focus more on our basic day, rather than trying to make them Ivy league scholars, my kids get to be kids and less really is more.
So let’s change a bit, let’s simplify things. Let’s spend more time with our children playing Uno and Candy Land rather than filling their schedules with Latin and Theremin lessons. Let them be kids, let yourself be imperfect. Take a breath momma, as long as they have time with you they aren’t missing a thing!