Don’t let bad weather capsize your homeschool
Getting back to homeschool routines is not always smooth sailing. When you start a new homeschool year there are a lot of new routines to pull into place. Although you may feel like you are going to sink back into a comfortable rhythm, the kids might see your plans and try to run away. How do you get your year off to a smooth start?
Buck-Up Moms, We Don’t Need Smooth Starts
First, smooths starts aren’t everything. If you have a different schedule than last year, if you have changed curriculum in any subjects, if you joined or quit a co-op, there is going to be a new routine learning curve.
When we are beginning a new routine, there will be some friction. Whether that friction comes from us, or our kids, it won’t be completely smooth sailing.
You Don’t Control the Weather
There will be choppy water, perhaps mom forgot to print out the PDF workbook that goes with the curriculum and the kids are ready for the worksheet. Then the printer has an “unknown error”. Fifteen minutes later, after a paper refill, and a router reboot, the workbook is finally printed.
There will be moments of no wind, where the energy and direction of the day seems to have disappeared and no one seems to know what action they should take next.
There will be moments where the wind picks ups, the boat starts speeding, and just after you smile to yourself, content in your accomplishments, the boat starts to tip. You look around and are a bit disoriented at the speed of your kid’s learning. Is it possible? Did you not plan enough for them to do? Should they really be done this early? And what are they going to do with the rest of their day?
All of the things, these events, they are part of the trip. They are normal. And each of these sailing conditions can be a blessing, if mom focuses on sailing the boat. Don’t let bad weather capsize your homeschool.
You Do Control the Boat
When a sailor steps onto the boat, he has a good guess at what the days trip might be like. He may have already checked to wind conditions, he can see if the water is choppy or smooth, he knows the forecast for the day. But the sailor also knows that none of that is a guarantee that sailing conditions will be perfect. Once out on the water, anything can happen, the wind can pick up or die down completely. The sailor goes onto the lake knowing that he may or may not have perfect sailing conditions. And in a way, he doesn’t care. He goes for the fun, the adventure, and the chance the conditions may be perfect.
He goes with an open heart to accepting what the conditions on the lake give him that day, and an attitude of being happy and thankful that he gets to be on the lake, even if the wind stops and he can’t sail. He goes with binoculars, so if nothing is happening he can look for birds in the trees surrounding the lake. He goes in swim shorts, in case he gets wet. If it is perfect sailing weather? Then, he is delighted. But he his not broken when the weather isn’t perfect. He does not refuse to sail every time the forecast does not promise him delight.
You are the Sailor
And so, fellow homeschool moms, let’s be like sailors. Let’s go for a sail in the boat of learning with our kids. Let’s understand, that although we may think we can both plan and predict the weather for the day, we cannot. We do not have that supreme power. We are the sailor. Our focus needs to be on getting the best out of the day. And enjoying the day, even when it is not the best day. On being grateful for the blessing of time spent learning with our kids.
And while you may feel like you have created a storm, just remember that any new routine upsets the waters, and give it a few more weeks. Because changing the routine every few weeks, will ensure that you are always sailing in choppy waters.
Yes, sometimes we need to change what we had planned for the year. But the first few weeks of a new homeschool year are just a testing grounds. You haven’t sailed for awhile and you need to get back into it. You may have forgotten those binoculars, but that doesn’t mean you need to run out and buy a new mainsail. The new mainsail still won’t move that boat if there is no wind that day.
So, wait three or four weeks before you assess the effectiveness of the tools you have brought along on the journey with you. And remember, no matter how amazingly you outfit this boat of learning. It’s still just a boat. It won’t be able to sail when there is no wind, and it will still tip when the winds get strong, don’t try to change the weather, just get good at sailing the boat, or pulling out the binoculars. And most especially, don’t refuse to sail just because conditions aren’t perfect. Be the sailor who gets out on the water every day, has a good time, and sinks into bed at night wonderfully exhausted from trimming sails, tacking, and going for a swim when the wind disappeared.
If you are new to homeschooling, check out these 20 tips on thissimplebalance.com.