As a delight-directed homeschooler, I love taking topics in which my student shows an interest and working with him to research and discover more. I love showing him how to learn – not just what he “needs” to learn. I love watching as that discovery learning can lead to new explorations.
I also try to do my best to find curricula that work with my student’s learning style. I look for resources and activities that would be fun for him and that would reinforce the learning.
If this homeschooling method makes you picture an idyllic scenario, though, of sitting in the library quietly poring through books on the ocean or in the kitchen creating a rocket after just reading about outer space, you may be surprised to hear that this is not an everyday occurrence – but I hope you’re not picturing that!
I think it’s safe to say that with any teaching method, curriculum, or resource there is the possibility of a loss of interest or burn-out. Not every day is going to go smoothly – and there will always be interruptions and unexpected events that throw us off from even our most thought-out plans.
In our delight-directed homeschool, just like any other homeschool, there are days when learning isn’t always delightful. Lessons don’t want to be done and the book or resource that worked yesterday holds no interest today.
So what can you do?
Stress and frustration are only going to make things worse.
Try to Approach the Lesson in a Different Way
If you’re reading a book, maybe try a hands-on activity or vice versa. Try making up a silly song or even something as simple as taking the lesson outside. Sometimes a change in scenery can make a huge differencce!
Take a Break and Try Again Later
You are allowed to homeschool after dinner if you need the morning or afternoon off.
Try Again Tomorrow
If all else fails, tomorrow is another day. There are some times in our homeschool where we will do an “extra” lesson on a Saturday morning or even Sunday afternoon. When your child wants to learn, take advantage of that time – whenever it happens to be!
The most important thing I think you can do each day, before you even begin to work, is to give your homeschool day over to God. Pause to praise Him on days that go smoothly, and continually ask for His wisdom and guidance on days that take a turn for the worse.
We all have days as homeschool moms (some of us as work-at-home homeschool moms!) where that overwhelmed feeling can start to bring us down. Doesn’t it seem, some days, that it all happens at once? The day where the kids are struggling, the house is a mess, there is no food because you need to go shopping AND your inbox becomes inundated with “URGENT” e-mails?
Perhaps I’m being a bit overdramatic – but I think you know what I mean.
By remembering to seek God first, to put Him first in our lives and in our homeschools, He can give us His peace – even on days when the delight-directed learning…doesn’t look so delightful.
Don’t be discouraged, homeschool mom! Give yourself patience and grace – and remember to ask for help when you need it! God has blessed you with a wonderful commission and by His strength, you can do anything!
“I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (emphasis mine)
Heather is married and blessed to be called “mom” by 3 awesome boys (and 2 German Shepherds). She blogs about homeschooling, her faith and their family (coffee mug in hand!) at Homeschooling…On Faith and Coffee.