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Once a year, everyone gets a chance to change something in their lives, whether it’s losing weight or saving money or, like one person I know, stop doing her 22-year-olds laundry! Now it’s your turn, and as homeschoolers you should carefully consider some ideas on this list — or come up with your own. After all, improving your child’s homeschooling experience (and your experience, too) always takes precedent. And as the new year approaches, you have the power to make things happen. So, get psyched and make 2018 the best year yet!
Choose attainable goals
Before you choose a goal, think carefully. Many people give up on their resolutions/goals because they choose unrealistic ones. You heard it before: “I’m saving $100 a week this year.” Or “My children are going to finish 5 books a week.” In reality, what they should have promised themselves was “I’m going to help my children improve their reading habits this year.” Don’t make these mistakes. Create a plan that will help you succeed.
In an article by Ray Williams in Psychology Today, he lists some steps you should take to make your goals attainable:
- Focus on one resolution, rather several
- Set realistic, specific goals. Losing weight is not a specific goal. Losing 10 pounds in 90 days would be
- Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to make resolutions. Make it a year long process, every day
- Take small steps. Many people quit because the goal is too big requiring too big a step all at once
- Have an accountability buddy, someone close to you that you have to report to
- Celebrate your success between milestones. Don’t wait for the goal to be fully completed
- Focus your thinking on new behaviors and thought patterns. You have to create new neural pathways in your brain to change habits
Sounds a little daunting but think of it this way, take your goals seriously and have fun with them. And if you mess up, it’s okay. Refocus and start again. You can do this!
Don’t be so rough on yourself
Homeschoolers are notoriously hard on themselves. But guess what, beating yourself up over every little thing doesn’t help, it hurts. Literally, it physically, mentally, and spiritually hurts! Homeschooling is hard work. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. But they aren’t, you are. You’re the one taking the chances, taking your child’s schooling in your own two hands and willing it to a successful finish.
By being so hard on yourself, you bring out the negatives. And negative vibes impact you and your child. Just think about being around a person in a bad mood. Their mood influences your mood. It’s contagious. Remember, you’re not going to get everything right. You may not pick out the perfect curriculum, or find the right homeschooling group the first three times you try, but that’s okay. Go easy on yourself and learn as you progress through this adventure. You’ll thank yourself for it, and your children will thank you, too.
Take a deep breath
Do you find yourself so wrapped up in the intricacies and minute details that make up your daily workload that you don’t appreciate what’s going on around you? In 2018, take a deep breath on a daily basis and just watch the magic you created: children working on their lessons, enjoying outdoor activities, growing smarter and more confident as the months progress.
You put the process in place — and although it may not always be perfect (there are always potholes in the road), it actually chugs along. And when you find flaws in your process, adapt, adjust, and improvise. You have the power to make your homeschooling process fit your children’s needs. If you’re having a bad day or are “losing it” over something, take that deep breath and realize the homeschooling process is flexible, which brings us to our next resolution idea.
Take advantage of the flexibility factor
One reason many parents choose homeschooling is because it grants them the flexibility to pick and choose lessons and the environments that their children learn in. For example, some parents have their children do their lessons out on the porch on a fine sunny day — or they go to the park or museum and discover new and interesting things that traditional schooled children don’t get to experience.
You can, and should, do the same. There are no rules, just the ones you make. Unlike traditional schools, you don’t have to stick with a strict schedule or limit your learning time within a frame that doesn’t change all year long. If you want to take a day off on a Wednesday and hit the beach or local park, go for it. You don’t need permission or a note from the front office. You’re the front office!
Have fun and smile!
Daily challenges often make parents forget how lucky they really are for their homeschooling opportunity. When this starts happening, take a step back and smile. Sure, this sounds difficult but if you give it a chance and just laugh off your troubles, you’ll start having fun again. Your good mood will also make your children happier. And when they’re happy, they become more open to learning.
After all, homeschooling affords you the chance to spend meaningful time with your children. Take advantage and show them how good it feels when you’re all together on this adventure. And smiling is good for you! Check this out, a 2012 study published in the journal, Psychological Science, found that smiling reduces the heart rate and helps relieve stress. So, next time you’re stressed out, smile!
This new year, adopt just one of these resolutions and make 2018 the best homeschooling year to date!