Can you simplify your homeschool life?
Or maybe I should ask: WHY make homeschool simple? Cause you got no time for complicated. And complexity ain’t fun.
So how to simplify your homeschool because complexity ain’t fun?
First of all, we can’t do all the things, so we’ll have to simplify our homeschools.
So you have to pick and choose what you want to do.
Here are principles to live by in your homeschool life:
1. Don’t overthink it.
Homeschooling isn’t that hard.
No, it’s not. No really, it’s not.
(Parenting can be hard if you hold tightly to…anything you originally planned…)
But homeschooling is all about letting your kid do their thang, learn their thing, grow into who they were meant to be. Enjoy your homeschool.
Create learning opportunities. But let the child lead.
2. What are the things you want to include in your homeschool?
You get to include THAT!
- What would you like to learn?
- What would you like to create?
- What memory would you like to share with your kids?
- What field trips should you include?
You get to include things you love to do too.
3. Include the pretty things.
Take photos and put together photo books.
- Get an Instagram account.
- Write a blog of all your memories and things you’re learning about yourself, your kids, and how you all learn. (I’ve done this, you’re reading it.)
- Create a good-ole fashioned portfolio or scrapbook.
Relish the beauty.
Archive your homeschool life so you can look back and remember the perfect moments.
4. Share your stuff.
With others. Like books, clothes, games, Tupperware–all the stuff you don’t really need anymore. Someone else wants them.
You are spending too much time caring for them anyway (especially if they’re not genuinely valuable to you).
You don’t need more mental clutter.
5. Share other people’s stuff, ha.
Exchange books, games & curriculum. Other people have stuff you want, so don’t buy all the stuff, borrow, or exchange.
6. Keep what you use.
Only what you actually use (and stuff you want to remember too).
No judgment on what you keep because we all use different stuff and value different stuff.
Once upon a time, I gave away my Joshua Tree U2 album in the spirit of simplifying my life. I wish I didn’t. I loved that album. (And yes, I know I can find it on Spotify).
Stuff isn’t always bad and “extra”. Sometimes we need stuff. (But almost always, we don’t need as much stuff as we own.)
Less stuff = less work organizing the stuff.
So when is the one time of year you can sift through a room and get rid of stuff?
7. Include the fun.
If you’re not a natural at fun (like I’m not), then practice practice practice having FUN.
If you’re kids are asking you to have teatime together with their dollies, write it in your calendar.
If your son is routinely asking you to look at his Lego build or his online chess moves, do it. (You don’t have to change what you’re doing every time someone asks, but routinely shifting will never be a regret: you want to engage in what your kids are interested in when they play: you’re creating amazing memories in these stolen moments.)
8. Reframe your challenges.
The thing is, we spend a whole lotta time dissecting the challenges we experience. Sometimes that is necessary, of course, but sometimes it’s not.
If you’ve not practiced the approach of reframing your challenges, I can encourage you to consider this approach:
Sometimes the reframe is simply: I really really REALLY don’t like what’s happening but I’m not in control so I’m going to have to release, let go, and accept the reality of my scenario.
But there are more opportunities when you reframe things that you will discover the ease you create for yourself when you recognize how you saw things did help shift a circumstance in a different direction.
First question: “Is what I’m thinking true?”
Usually, I’d answer, “Yes of course,” to that question. “Of course it’s true, why else would I be thinking the thought?”
Second question: “Can I, with one hundred percent certainty, know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my thought is true? What if I had a different perspective?”
There is always a different perspective. I would know because I’m married. You too? A useful benefit to being partnered long-term: understand that the world does not think identically to you.
Hmmm, maybe that would change the outcome of my response to that original thought.
And the third question is the clincher.
“What if there is a different way of thinking about things? How would a different thought affect how I approach my situation? And how might that affect the outcome?”
9. You don’t want to search for home outside yourself.
As with homeschooling, I was searching for the perfect place to belong. I was searching for home where my homeschool family of six could settle down.
Since I moved 19 times before I was 20, and I’ve lost count of how many times I moved afterward, the notion of finding my home, finding roots, and finding a place to belong, felt deeply necessary; and consistently elusive.
I was searching for home.
Because I couldn’t point to a childhood home, a nurturing childhood home, that was available to invite me as a full-grown adult, I wanted to create my own place to belong.
But where was that? Everywhere I’d lived temporarily or everywhere I’d travelled and everywhere I’d moved, felt like the perfect place until it didn’t.
Anywhere I went, I wanted to recreate myself, wanted to be known differently, and wanted to be seen fully. But I didn’t.
What I can see now is that I wanted to be at home within myself.
I wanted to feel belonged to. And though I’ve found that outside myself, inside specific nurturing and genuine relationships, I had to first find it within myself: because the deepest aching and longing can’t be satisfied until it found it’s peace within me.
10. Practice being present.
Have you heard this quote? You’re a human being, not a human doing.
Sarah Susanka, author of the Not So Big Life, shares this:
“Anytime you feel that you are fighting or pushing to get something done or resisting what needs to be done, there is a separation between you and the task, and so by definition you are not presnt in what you are doing, your judgments and reactivity in effect locking the door. You are also expending much more life force than is necessary.
When you conduct your daily activities in a state of presence, there’s no waste. inf fact, you feel invigorated by the activities because being present is like an energy faucet. No matter what you are doing when you are present, you are like the football iplayer immersed in the game. You don’t need a gast tank, and you don’t need to worry about running out of fuel. The fuel is always ample as long as you remain present.”
Then engage questions about your present:
- How am I different now from the way I was last year at this time?
- How can I integrate the key lessons of the past year into my life?
- Are there any strategies, phrases, questions, or flags that have particular significance for me right now?
- Are there any things I’m trying to force into existence right now? If so, what would happen if I stopped trying to make them happen?
- To what part of myself am I giving birth?
- What am I becoming?
- Has my experience of time changed at all since last year?
What would you add to this list?
Live your homeschool life (& your entire life) on purpose. Delete delete delete and be realistic how much time everything actually takes as you do stuff.Teresa Wiedrick, author of Homeschool Mama Self-Care: Nurturing the Nurturer
People often ask…
- How can I capture the charmed homeschool?
- Do you do one-on-one homeschooling coaching? Why, yes I do!
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- How to Simplify Your Homeschool Life with Kelly Briggs