Do you ever feel like you’re not doing enough “school”? That you aren’t teaching your kids enough “stuff”?
Hey, if you start feeling like you’re not doing enough – leave the house. Go do a field trip. The kids will learn way more on a field trip than ANY other thing you do with them for “school”.
Then, when you get back from that field trip, you will not be thinking about not “doing enough”. You’ll be like, “Thank god we’re home – kids, time to play and let mommy put her feet up.”
It does not matter how much or how fast kids are learning – all that matters is that they are learning. And if you look back at your kids’ learning in the past day, week, month… not even counting all the hoo-ha of school books, you’ll be able to find a ton of things they learned.
I dare ya, try it. Write it down. “What my kids know now that they didn’t know yesterday/last week/a month ago” Then write down “What my kids know that I am just amazed they know.” Then write down “How I know that my kids are happy.”
And it’s not like we’d even know if our kids are learning enough if they were in school. I mean, what if they went through school, graduated and decided they wanted to be a horticulturalist. Uhm, they don’t teach any of that in school. (Although I bet a child who decides this would have a vast amount of life experience out of school, which was never assessed, that led him to that path.) School only gives the impression of “doing enough” because there’s a lot of people who are doing the same thing, together. Safety in numbers. Compare what we teach in our schools to another country, and it brings us right back to the “OMG we’re not doing enough”. Simple solution, don’t compare homeschooling to school, or to any other homeschooling family.
Make the decision not to feel inadequate. Instead, be proactive. Don’t worry about things, think about them. Research. Read. Ask hard questions (“are we doing enough” is not a hard question. The hard question would be “why does it matter if we do enough?”)
Watch your kids, let them lead you. Listen to them, let them tell you their story of where they are going. Be with them, enjoy the very limited time they have to be at home. Focus on being their parent and not their teacher. By being their very attentive, open mom, you will teach them far more than is ever in a workbook.
However, if they like workbooks, no reason why you shouldn’t do them. 🙂
Think about what you know that makes your life work. Focus on helping them access information that makes their life work. So, for math, focus on the math they need to count their cars. Or the math they need to know how to share their toys. Or the math they need when they ask you how many pieces more of candy they can have out of the Halloween bag. Teach it when it comes up, in context, so they can use it immediately to help them attain their goals.
Everything, I mean EVERYTHING can be learned at any time. You don’t have to teach them anything now. When they are ready to learn something, you won’t be able to stop them.
Seriously, education is life. Anything else is spinning wheels. And it’s no wonder, when we’re spinning wheels, that we’re wondering if we’re doing enough. Because no matter how much we spin, we don’t move an inch. If you look at how your learning is helping you live better, and get along better in life, then the evidence is right in front of you. Then you won’t feel like wheel spinning. You’ll be in a nice low gear and cruising.