A speaker at a spring homeschool conference encouraged me to think about what is driving my homeschool. You wanna know what I was told?
Most homeschool mamas are driven by the homeschool mama needs.
So she asked, what is the reason that you homeschool?
This is a question that we need to know how to answer: what is the reason that you homeschool?
Or so we assume. What is the reason that you homeschool?
We might answer…
- for freedom
- we want our kids to have an individualized education
- our child shouldn’t be bullied anymore
- a child is not having their needs met in a school
- we don’t want to lose time with our kids when their childhood is fleeting
The conference speaker had me thinking though. Perhaps, these aren’t the deepest reasons why we want to homeschool.
This conference speaker suggested that our needs are propelling how we approach our children’s education.
Kinda natural to be motivated by our needs: our baseline is ourselves. We understand the world through our own eyes.
We have to watch awfully close at how our children function, and what they might value, to consider what they need.
As a homeschool mama, I needed Shakespeare.
I generally disliked him in high school. For decades, I couldn’t understand why one would read suicidal/homicidal tales from England.
I get it now.
It’s not about homicide or suicide. It’s about human drives of jealousy, love, ambition, and cleverly spun tales. Shakespeare spins a tale like, well, Shakespeare. There’s a reason we know him 600 years later.
My kids tell me to “keep going, mom” when I close Charles and Mary Lamb’s version of Shakespeare’s Tales, though one of them prefers the Diary of a Wimpy Kidseries, another prefers Pippi Longstocking or Owls in the Family, and one kiddo prefers his Minecraft Planning book. But I brought in Shakespeare because I wanted to learn what I missed.
What form does my learning often take?
I love to read out loud, with my kids cuddled in blankets at nine in the morning in our pajamas. This does not run counter to my kiddo’s preferences. They simply wouldn’t do it as often as I would.
One of them would just as gladly burrow in her room and read to herself. She loves reading — genetics and world history and murder mysteries and anything John Green. She can do it for hours and her independent streak is eager to do it by herself. Another child prefers reading on her own because she understands better when she reads it herself.
But for me? I am auditory. So we tend to read things together aloud.
What is an education anyway? The learning needs to focus on the learner.
My need for quiet and perpetual peace interferes with my homeschool reality.
How do I process my children’s frustrations and complaints on days when I need quiet? Not always well. I have had to bite my….nose…somedays, just to refrain from overreacting to complainy clamour.
Yet I know that kids need to be heard: their frustrations, complaints, requests, and joys (and they need to be taught HOW to communicate them). When all of their frustrations, complaints, requests, and joys are heard, they learn to communicate in a way that can be understood and learn how to understand others.
Sometimes they need loud, mad dashing around the playground equipment playing grounders or creating videos with their songs and dances. But I sure don’t. So my tendency is to play quiet games, watch documentaries, go for walks, cook together, or engage in another readaloud.
So I must balance my needs with their needs.
Are my needs unimportant in our homeschool days? Well, no. (Although it’s easy to say, yes, I don’t matter at all. My needs should be put on hold for twenty years, forty hours a week.)
How can I help them get what they need so they can learn?
Usually, it comes in the form of the “L” word. It’s simple and inexpensive. It simply requires paying attention and LISTENING. Listen to their frustrations, listen to their drives, and listen to their needs.
So I continue to learn to balance my needs with my kids’ needs, so I can homeschool for them and for me.
So what is the reason that you homeschool now?
Big Emotions Journal for the Homeschool Mom
Introducing the Homeschool Mama’s Toolbox, a resource to help homeschooling mothers manage emotions and enhance mindfulness. It includes Dr. Amen’s three questions for self-reflection. Daily meditation practices and a Thought Care Checklist aid in handling challenging situations. Sharpen your mental tools and improve your homeschooling journey today!
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