- simplifying home education to avoid burn out
- the freedom to learn from various adventures and interests
- and the innumerable knowledge, lessons, and skills learned from those activities!
But what about……
Now I know what you might be asking! How do you stay on track with the necessary educational requirements? How do you fit them in? Our family sees the “Big 3” – reading, writing, arithmetic as fundamental for all ages. Along with Bible, of course. We add in and basic history and science to wet their interest and give them a foundation. Then come the basic high school requirements – science, history, higher math, along with adding knowledge to their ‘bents’ and interests..
We use an assortment of curriculum I’ve found to be my favorites. I’ve created a family resource that is a K-12 list of all the yearly textbooks/workbooks/reading materials which are the foundations of our children’s schooling. But they don’t rule us. I rule them! Profound, huh?!
For example, if we’re working on a remodel project or taking a trip for a CW reenactment, that adventure becomes the mainstay of education for those weeks or months. We try to have the kids do math, spelling, and Bible most days when we’re busy on a project or adventure. This doesn’t always work, but having it as a goal helps to keep them from falling behind in the basics. During spare time they read textbooks or literature early in the morning, or during car travel. Believe it or not, they choose to get up early to do their “school” so they can have the rest of the day for real life!
Life Is Our Classroom
I believe we’ve lost the understanding that life is our classroom. Yes, we need the basics, but understanding those basics is wrought in the real life activities we use them for! I’ve seen my adult children prove their capability even though they haven’t done “school” like others we know. They are proving through their life that they “got” the lessons – both the textbook lessons and the real-life lessons!
So going back to the question about managing school and real-life. You just don’t let textbooks, and what educational “professionals” suggest, dictate your day! You decide what you and your children want to really learn about. Just be sure it isn’t the latest movie or video game!
Meeting Needs Without Burning Out
Now for the last question –
“In short, what is the best way to meet everyone’s individual needs, without mom and dad burning out?”
I guess the answer to that lies in how you, as a parent, view your life. We moms spend the majority of our time meeting the needs of our family. But, we each have our own view of our life and our role as ‘mom’. Some women know what they want and make their family adjust to their plan. Others are more free in what their day looks like and flex more. Your personal views will affect how each of you gets burnt out.
The first mom gets “burned out” when she doesn’t meet her schedule, or have her clean home, or get to her church Bible study. And the second mom gets “burned out” when she says yes a hundred times in one day, or she can’t find the baby in the pile of laundry in the living room. Each mom has different needs and so the “burn out” stems from differing catalyst.
The real answer to that question will be found in searching your heart and your personality.
- What makes you tick?
- What “gets your goat”?
- What do you need to thrive?
- What should you avoid to keep from going buggy?
And don’t feel like you’re being selfish! God made each of us to function best in certain ways, you know, right brain/left brain, organizer/flexible.
In answering these questions and really taking time to “consider your ways” you can find a rhythm that works for you! Just remember – what works for one family, won’t necessarily work for another. My willingness to sew quilts, breed goats, dress in 1860’s attire, or remodel our home may not work for you. And that’s okay! The reality is that I didn’t always want to do those things either! But there are ways to make even the things you dislike doing work for your children and their interests.
Compromise Benefits Everyone!
Here’s a few examples of ways we worked out a compromise.
- I’ve sat through many a music lesson, while my heart’s desire was to be home. Our daughter who plays the harp had a two hour drive to lessons. We decided upon a lesson every two weeks to avoid me being gone from our other children so often.
- I’ve driven my boys (when they were 12-16) to mow properties in our area, but as soon as our son turned 16 he got his license so I wouldn’t have to drive them. Our other children waited to get their licenses because of cost, lack of need, and a desire to have them grow in maturity before getting behind the wheel.
- All those Civil War reenactments were often taxing on my energy, especially when I had to nurse in a corset! Yep! But when we’d be driving back home, I knew it was all worth it. The family time, the lessons learned, the light shed. And my helpful husband sometimes took the children while I stayed home for a quiet weekend.
So I guess it’s just a matter of finding the balance. And isn’t that the thing about life? Every day is a lesson. Every year we know more. One year we swing one direction in our opinions or ideas, and the next God brings us to the opposite side of the pendulum to reveal something new!
So this year, discover something new with your children! – You’ll learn about yourself. – You’ll learn about each child. – And you’ll discover more of God.
Enjoy the journey!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philipians 4:6