I’m a Type A personality–overachiever, competitive, work-obsessed–so, of course, I homeschool that way. Guess what? You can’t really be like that with a 2nd grader! So when I give my daughter a list of her assignments, it usually has 8-10 things on it. Don’t gasp! I know that’s a lot–and I learned that this week. I have a check list, I’m an overachiever, I have all these things I want to do, and I put that on my children.
Lately we’ve been having several discipline issues that keep coming up during the day, and character-building instruction seemed like it was just taking up a really significant amount of time–time I want to spend on learning other things, like almost 75% of our day. I really felt like we weren’t managing our time well, and that was something I wanted to talk about when I went to visit a fellow homeschooling friend last week.
She is so organized, and has such a great mind for homeschooling. I wanted to take a close look at what her family’s day was like. When I started digging in and asking her questions about what she gave her daughter (same age as mine) for independent work, I was floored. She was giving work much more appropriate for our girls’ age level, and I was giving my daughter way too much. I just wanted to give her enough independent work so that I was freed up to do the dishes or get my son’s schoolwork done, but in fact, I was pressuring her to get so much done that school was becoming a burden, not a joy. I want my kids to love learning–not dread it–and yet, I was the one who was making it overwhelming to her.
It was eye-opening. I realized that I was overloading my daughter. I want to be a good teacher, one that makes learning fun–and stress-free! So when we started the new week, I told my daughter she would only have 2-3 things to do during her independent time…for the whole week. I told her we’ll work on character together, on being kind and not so irritable, and with a big grin she gave me a hug and said, “Really, Mommy?” At that moment, the weight of what I had put on her, convicted me to my very core.
I cannot tell you what a difference it has made in her work, her attitude, and her peace of mind. I’ve been expecting too much from an 8-year-old. I’ve been overloading her wagon! I have realized that the whole reason that we are homeschooling is to do fun things and enjoy being together, and when I burden her with a huge checklist, the fun goes out the window. I’m so grateful that I’ve learned this lesson early on.
Homeschool Moms, tell me your story. I want to know what kinds of eye-opening things you’ve learned about yourself and your kids as you’ve been on your homeschooling journey.
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