Monday, April 2, 2012

Habits for a Happy Homeschool

I am an authority on the happy home.
OK, OK, I know a few thing to NOT's that?  LOL
I’ve been reading around the blogosphere out there tonight (hey, sue me, we’re sick over here!)  and I have read about dozens of amazing mothers out there who, not only create these cool and professional-looking blogs, they also create clever learning experiences daily on a shoe string, put frugal gourmet meals on the table, take amazing months in RVs with their family, and make darling little felted booties with their bilingual children, dress their children in darling outfits, play in clean, running streams, fly kites dozens of times a season (not just once), color-coordinate their supplies, have fantastic organizing weekends, have time to Pinterest, have hipster kids, and have riotous senses of humor.
And while reading these blogs, I reminded myself of rule number UNO of homeschooling, NAY, of parenting:  NEVER NEVER NEVER compare your family to any other!
In honor of the many happy families out there, yours included, here is my brief and well-earned list of RULES FOR A HAPPY HOME.
  • There are no rules.  Seriously, how could there be!  Each family is as unique as each person is. 
  • Give ‘em time.  I mean this one three ways.  When it’s time to change activities, let them know!  It’s hard to switch gears!  Just TRY dragging me away from this pile of white laundry I’ve been working on all afternoon...please…
  • Also, give each person YOUR time.  My best times are mornings with my son and evenings with my daughter.  Each of them has their “peak performance” times.  Lucky for me, they are a number of sleeping hours apart.
  • Also, give them time to grow.  They won't meet your expectations, well, ever, but, given time, they will meet their own.  It, honestly, took me years to learn this one. For my daughter, I remember always thinking She's too big to be doing that.  or She should know that by now.  or When will she ever...  And then, when I look at pictures of her from the time I was thinking those things, I'm in shame.  I don't know why I was so extra hard on my daughter, but I like to think she and I have come to an understanding and that *I* have improved my ways.
  • Listen.  If you seek to understand what is going on before seeking to be understood, your clearer pictures of the feelings of everyone involved will make you look like less of a witless rant and more of a caring mom.  Or so I hear.  I can’t tell you how often I have flown off the handle at a situation that I thought I understood, only to realize that I was waaaay off.
Luckily, this makes a great homeschooling lesson in a pinch.
Have I mentioned the great habits of goal setting, experiencing empathy, supporting your community, learning to manage stress, becoming resilient, getting enough sleep, and brushing twice a day?
Oh, that too.
  • And, finally, Never take advice from anyone on how to homeschool your child, including from me. Do it your own way!


  1. This is an excellent post. These are very similar to the lessons I've been learning on my parenting journey. Thanks for expressing them so eloquently.

    1. Thanks, Stephanie.
      Honestly, this IS parenting, isn't it.
      People LOVE to give advice. But other people's families are NOT our families. What works for them won't work for us...Dang, what worked YESTERDAY won't work TODAY for us!

  2. Thank you for this. I am quite new to the world of homeschooling, and it's definitely a "learn as you go" experience. My son has Tourette's and ADHD, and academics is a huge hurdle for him. We live in a highly competitive school district, and it took me a long time to stop obsessing about him catching up to his peers. Now we can take our time, and I can let him learn at his own pace with as many breaks as he needs. He is obsessed with superheroes, so I try like hell to incorporate them into our lessons so that he doesn't space out. out.

  3. Hey, it's no problem to do it all and be perfect. Just give up sleeping! Eartha Kitt sings, "I'll sleep long enough when I'm dead!"


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