No Perfect Home Educators!
What if I told you there’s no such thing as a perfect teacher? Seriously. Not in a classroom, not in a homeschool. Not anywhere! And there are no perfect home educators.
Consider this…What do you think Rudolf Steiner meant when he said, “Where is the book in which the teacher can read about what teaching is? The children themselves are this book.”?
I think he’s saying what we really need is to be connected to our children. Get to know them and follow their cues. And that’s going to be different for each and every one of us.
Today in this episode, I want to give you some tips for connecting with your children, for finding your homeschooling groove, and for customizing your curriculum for your children. And most of all, for letting go of being perfect!
Because there are no perfect home educators!
Letting Go of Perfect
It all starts with accepting wherever you are on your homeschooling journey. You can find your footing in the day to day and feel good about what you ARE doing.
Even if you aren’t hung up on perfection, as homeschoolers we often look to curriculum for our answers because think if we just buy the right curriculum or design a great lesson, that all will go as planned. Every time.
But then it doesn’t. So we’re left feeling like we’ve failed. Like there’s something wrong with us.
When the truth is, we can’t do it all, every day. But we can do some of it each day. And that is enough.
That’s just right actually. Because that adds up over the years. We just need to expand our view and our timeframe. Enough is just perfect!
When I look back on our 25+ years of homeschooling, I so clearly remember making lesson plans for my days and main lesson blocks, but then I wouldn’t get to everything I had planned.
Honestly, this happened a lot. And we definitely had days where we didn’t even get to our main lesson at all, or we didn’t sing any songs and recite any poems, or we just bagged it all and went for a hike.
That’s when I created this mantra for myself, “Rather than perfection, let’s focus on connection.”
Once I was able to let go of the “perfect homeschool” notion, I was able to be more present with my children. Trying some things out and seeing how it went. Observing.
Because even though we had days that didn’t go as planned, all of our activities and time together added up to a beautiful homeschooling life that felt rich and rewarding and full of so much learning through the years. And especially strong connections.
If I’m being honest though, I sure wish I’d been able to relax a bit more and know that it was OK that I wasn’t doing it all every single day. I wish I had been able to embrace that sooner in my journey. So I could have let go of feeling like a failure at homeschooling…feeling like everyone was able to do this but me. Yup, I felt that way too.
Finding Your Groove (Rhythm!)
If I had been able to feel a bit more relaxed, here’s where I would have started: with RHYTHM rather than CURRICULUM.
Rhythm is such a great place to start and a great place to come back to when life gets a little wonky. I did eventually discover the beauty of rhythm, but it took me years.
When I finally got there, after trying a lot of different curricula and never feeling settled, I realized that by creating a simple daily rhythm for the whole family and putting it up on the wall for all to see, we could keep our homeschool going no matter what else was going on in our lives. Even if it was just a little bit each day.
It’s important to build patterns, routines, rhythm into your homeschool day BEFORE planning, customizing, and implementing the curriculum. Believe me, this will help tremendously when it comes time to start your lessons!
It doesn’t matter what resources or packaged curriculum we may choose to buy, we each create our own curriculum anyway.
It is impossible to use someone else’s pre-made curriculum exactly as it is. Each child, each homeschool family, and each day are so different and diverse.
And we aren’t even meant to follow any curriculum word for word, actually. Curriculum writers intentionally include multiple lesson options and lots of supplemental ideas.
A packaged curriculum is a comprehensive collection of possibilities. Not a realistic plan.
But we are often left feeling like we’re not doing enough, not fitting it all in, or worse yet, falling behind and failing.
When we create our own curriculum, we get to look at OUR children and bring them what THEY need. Starting with rhythm rather than a fixed curriculum allows us to be more flexible and the lessons more relevant to our children. So we wind up feeling like leaders in our homeschool, like we’re steering the ship instead of someone else. It’s a good feeling!
Once you establish your foundation of rhythm, you can implement your curriculum within that foundation and your days can flow so much more gracefully.
There are no perfect home educators!
If you focus on creating connection with your children, finding your rhythm, and then customizing your curriculum, you can craft a homeschooling life that you love. Instead of seeking a perfect homeschool, you’ll find YOUR homeschooling groove!
Starting with rhythm has many benefits:
- Less decision fatigue
- Fewer power struggles with your children
- Happier children (and parents) because everyone knows what to expect throughout the day
Rhythm is like a dance and we want to find that sweet spot of structure AND freedom.
If you want some guidance to craft your own homeschooling rhythm, don’t forget my free Homeschool Rhythm Starter Kit! It will help you create your own daily rhythm chart, step into the flow of homeschooling, and release the overwhelm.
I want to help you feel better about your homeschooling sooner than I did on my homeschooling journey!!!
A daily rhythm can set you free. So start with rhythm rather than curriculum.
Trying to keep up with a curriculum often feels like pressure. Whereas working with rhythm feels freer and lighter.
And that’s what we want more of, right? It all starts by acknowledging that there are no perfect home educators. And that’s a good thing!
Explore More from the Art of Homeschooling
Feeling like you’re serving others all day as a homeschooling mom with no time for yourself? Learn how to create a simple morning rhythm to nourish yourself. Listen in to Episode 13 to hear more about how to create a simple morning routine for a strong start to your homeschooling day.
And you can get examples and step-by-step instructions about how to create a homeschool rhythm chart here with the Homeschool Rhythm Starter Kit. Tame the daily chaos, simplify your homeschooling life, and step into ease with these tried-and-true methods for creating and keeping your family rhythm!
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