Remember bringing your first child home, and how you had glowing ideas and great expectations about parenthood? Before the birth of our first child, we had visions of blissful days, watching our baby smile and coo, and we made great plans for her future. When we brought her home, we discovered just how farfetched our ideas were, and how off base our plans were! J The realities of parenthood were astounding, and we had to keep adjusting to handle the journey.
Homeschooling can follow the same pattern. You start out along the homeschool path with certain ideas and expectations, and you make plans for the journey. Then, while you are busy trying to stick to your plan, your children become the individuals that you have encouraged them to be. They are miserable with your plans and curriculum, and you are miserable with the battles as you struggle to force-fit a plan that isn’t working.
Parenthood is about faith, love, adjustments, and flexibility. Here are a few adjustments that might help along the homeschooling way:
Adjustment 1: Follow your instincts. If the children are miserable, you know it’s time for a change. Consider changes in plans, curriculum, and/or schedule. Try new choices, new learning tools, or a more tailored schedule.
Adjustment 2: Adjust your expectations. They might not go to Harvard, play professional ball, or follow in the family tradition of engineering. But they WILL surprise you with all that God has packed into them!
Adjustment 3: Stay flexible. What works today might not work next year. Don’t plan past this year, but DO plan for a great journey!
Be creative as you tweak the plan. I know just how it feels to be in need of a change of course, and I’m thankful to have discovered the flexibility of unit studies. With topics from baseball to volcanoes, caves to snowflakes, they allow you to capture the children’s imaginations and watch them develop a love of learning!