It’s Caleb at homeschool-curriculum.org. Today we’re going to talk about the number one reason people come to our site. First, allow me to introduce myself. I’m a father of three who got frustrated enough with my youngest child’s education and I finally do something about it. Hence, I got into homeschooling. Now, at homeschool-curriculum.org, our mission is to transform the way we educate our children by helping parents with the confidence they need to provide the highest quality, most individualized education for their children, helping to retain their originality, their creativity and their independence.
Now, what’s the number one reason the people come to our site? It’s generally because they feel overwhelmed. Now, I don’t know if that describes you or your situation, but you might be feeling just a little overwhelmed, I feel it at times. With so many things around our homeschooling, do we do a unit study? Do we do this curriculum? Do we add on these other activities? How do we fit that into our busy days? How do we balance it with the rest of our lives? Sometimes it feels like it’s just way too much. I’ll be honest we struggle with that. When our schedules get a little upset or moved around a little, we have to say, “Okay, wait a second, it’s just a little bit too much.”
I’m going to share three ways though to help you to reduce your overwhelm and we’ll go through them right now. The number one way is about you, not about your child, not about your house, not about anything else, it’s about taking care of yourself. Now, if you think about, what’s the one thing that you’d like to do just for you? It might be going for a walk. It might exercising at the level you’d like to exercise. It might be just sitting down and reading a book. It might mean that you want to take that bath. Having adult conversation with somebody else. It could be any number of ways, anything that you may choose to take care of yourself.
For me, what I like is in the morning, a combination of meditation and prayer to just really reflect on the things that are important to me. It’s a quiet time, nobody else is up and around. Then I get into some creative writing. I enjoy just that period where I’m at my peak for creativity, I can think a little bit more clearly and it’s before all the noise starts up in the house and I can do something just for me. I’ll tell you, it makes my day completely different when I can get involved in those activities, I feel refreshed already just thinking about it. But for you, think about what that might look and just start doing it, because if you don’t take care of yourself, you really can’t take care of anyone else, we know that to be true.
What’s the number two thing that you can do to reduce your overwhelm? Well, I talked about it a little bit or maybe made a clue into it when we started into the video. And, that’s just to reduce the number of things that you’re doing. I’ll say it again, reduce the number of things you’re doing. Sometimes we add it all in and I’ve got it here too. We want to do music. We want to do art. We want to do nature center. Then, my wife said, “Why don’t we add in an instrument on top of the music stuff we’re doing?” The drawing. There’s all these things that we want to throw in. Well, some days you’ve got to say we just can’t do it all, there aren’t enough hours in the day, and that’s fine. It’s okay to be inefficient. Let’s just take it easy. So, step back and remember that the core of your education is instilling love of learning and we can start going right back to just reading. Let your child read whatever they want for right now. Especially if you’re in a power struggle, just say let’s just stop every everything. Let’s stop the craziness. Just read. Then you can pile on or build on to that with a little bit of writing.
Write what you read about. Write a journalism for refection. It could be fiction, it could non-fiction. But, it’s a great habit to write every day, to put some thoughts to paper. Not only does it improve your ability to think, your critical analysis, but it also values your ability to reflect and develop a sense of self. Now, if you say that’s not enough, reading and then some writing. Well, then just throw in the arithmetic, right? Just do some math. My suggestion is don’t pull out a workbook, don’t pull out even Cod Academy which is my favorite when we’re moving along through our process, just do life math.
There’s a couple of examples you could do with life math, just everywhere around you from baking times to ingredient mixing for the younger children. At the store talking about the unit pricing when you have to compare pounds and ounces, price per unit for groceries and explain to your child how you do that. Or, it could be – and this is the one that my wife doesn’t like very much – it’s the miles per gallon game.
And, I play when the fuel light comes on because that’s when we say, hey someone pull out the Owner’s Manual, how many gallons do we have left in the tank? We get this many miles per gallon, how far can we go? What exit do we have to take to get to the gas station? She gets a little anxious during that time. But, it’s great though for those future drivers to start thinking about, well geeze what does that mean? If you want to go further you can extend to price per gallon and how much it costs and what a year of gasoline would look like.
And, then for the advanced kids of life math is what a budget in a household might look like. Years ago, my daughter when she was of middle school age, let’s say 13 or 14, had to do a project about how she wanted to live her life. And, there was a Cadillac Escalade in her future, she could see it. But, she started doing the math, to figure out what it would take to afford that, she started realizing that maybe that’s not the car for her. I think she’s since moved on from having a huge Cadillac Escalade. But, you could do a real family budget or kind of what a budget would look like for a child that’s soon to leave the home or might want to strike out on their own. But it’s great math problems, they’re very real as you and I know and very instructive for any child to get involved with, without even saying, “Let’s sit down and do some math.”
Now, what’s the third way, and I think the most important way you could reduce your sense of overwhelm? You’ve taken a great step by just getting online and saying, “Gosh, what can I find out for help with how I’m feeling about homeschooling right now?” I’m going to refer you somewhere else. I hate to do it but, we do have social media and we have a great Facebook site. You can go search Homeschool Curriculum and I’m sure you’ll find us.
But, even better, Google Homeschool in your community. Whatever your city is or zip code, just Google that and find a homeschool group in your area. Because you’re going to go and you’re going to find other people that have gone through exactly the feelings that you’re feeling now And, you’ll be able to have a nice conversation, maybe not even about home schooling, but just with somebody who can emphasize, commiserate, maybe advise and help you out with what you’re doing. And, who knows, it’s just they’re paying it forward because you’re going to be in the exact same shoes in a few months or a year, when someone comes to the group and says, “I need help.” And, you say, “I know, I’ve been there before.” Now, you can pay it forward too, just today by putting comments right below this video about what your number one challenge is when it comes to overwhelm. Because I’ll read the comments and I’ll respond to them, but my hope is that other come to the site, they look at that and they say, “You know what, I’m not alone.” So, please just write down your comments right below the video and just share what your number one reason is when it comes to overwhelm.