Learn how to simplify your homeschool to create a more enriched learning environment for your children.
When I made the choice to homeschool several years ago, I followed the typical create-school-at-home routine. I wanted to do all the things, leaving nothing out. Our homeschooling was going to be bigger and better than anything else out there!
That strategy lasted about three weeks. I quickly learned that structuring and planning out every detail of our day was exhausting, stressful, and most importantly, lacked fun and enjoyment.
I was also humbled by the fact that no matter what I planned, it was truly my child’s choice to participate. I could have all the plans in the world, but that didn’t mean she wanted to do any of them!
Our children’s resistance to follow our plans is natural. As homeschoolers, we are fortunate to have the ability to adapt and adjust to better suit all those involved – both the parent and student alike.
What’s Really The Goal?
We often add things to our plates because we fall into the “we should be…” trap. We want the best for our children so we keep adding in things in an attempt to check off all the boxes and relieve our fears. But more is not always better.
Yes, it’s important that foundational learning skills are developed, but it’s also vital that we keep the bigger perspective in mind as we go through the nuances of our homeschooling routines. We can regularly check-in by asking ourselves:
- Why are we homeschooling in the first place?
- What’s really the goal here?
- What do we really want for our children?
By being honest and open with ourselves and our children, we create the opportunity to cut through all the noise and clarify our true goals. Goals that are grounded in our family’s values and priorities.
Why Less is More
It may seem counterintuitive, but as you simplify your strategy, you’ll actually create time to explore more topics and in greater detail. Whether that’s with a core subject like math or an interest project.
When curiosity strikes, you can relax in the moment and follow that trail for as far as it takes you. The result is that creativity flourishes and the whole family has a more interesting, rewarding, and robust learning experience.
When we over-plan, over-structure, over-schedule, and over-do we unknowingly remove this all important space and freedom from our children’s lives – and our lives too.
How to Simplify Your Homeschool
Simplifying our perspective and approach relieves the stress of trying to do it all and actually empowers our children. They’ll have the freedom and time to get to know themselves, discover their interests and talents, and develop skills.
Ready to try it out? Here are three ways you can simplify your homeschool right now!
Create Shorter Learning Sessions
Instead of trying to get in a whole math or language arts lesson in one sitting, break it up into smaller bits and follow your child’s lead. If they want to do more, go on ahead!
But if they’re not into it that day, just do a few parts of the lesson. Encourage them, end on a high note, and move on. You can always revisit it later in the day or try again tomorrow. Little chunks of learning over the long haul really pay off.
Allow Time for Exploring Topics and Following the Child’s Interest
With shorter learning sessions in place, free time will be readily available. Allow your child to free play or ask your child what they want to learn – and how! You might be surprised by what they tell you.
Allow Your Child to be Part of the Decision Process
Ask your child how they want to manage their time so that they can learn essential skills (reading, writing, being a good human, etc) while also following their interests. Let them participate in creating their schedule!
What are their goals? How much do they want to accomplish each day/week/month? Give them some power and control of their lives and education.
For more in-depth ideas on how to simplify, check out The Simplified Homeschool E-course. It’s a step-by-step guide for creating a clear, actionable homeschooling strategy that is balanced and flexible.
The Rewards of Simplifying Your Homeschool
Homeschooling is not always easy, but when you simplify your homeschooling strategy, you’ll be able to keep the long-term goals at the forefront, get quality learning in, support your child in their self-discovery, and help them become a lifelong learner. Doing less and creating space might be exactly what you are looking for!