Homeschooling Essentials – Day 4 – Life

Is it Day 4 of the Homeschooling Essentials Blog Hop already? I hope you have enjoyed reading about how laughter, love, and limits are an essential part to our homeschool success at Life with the Tribe.

Today, I’m going to chat a bit about something we all have in common. Life. No matter who you are, where you live, how many children you have, or how long you have been homeschooling, guess what? Life is going to happen. There is nothing we can do to make it conform to the best laid out schedules. There is no perfect curriculum that flows with no delays or interruptions from life.

Life happening can be the best of things and the most challenging of times. I know that personally we have dealt with new bundles of joys, the death of a little one, job loss, moving, and unexpected gorgeous weather that can’t be ignored. Some of those life happenings bring unmeasurable joy, while others make us stumble. All of those things can set our homeschool off track.

How does life become an essential to homeschooling? I have found that the best way to handle these unexpected interruptions is to embrace them for what they are and use them for teachable moments. Instead of allowing them to overwhelm and consume us, they can be used in amazing ways.

When our Joshua passed away, life came to a screeching halt. The last thing on my mind was lesson plans and learning objectives. However, my children learned more during that time period than any curriculum could proclaim to teach.  My children got to enjoy a dear friend gathering them together for read alouds. My children were able to see the beauty of a church body coming together to walk beside us during this intense loss. My children learned about loss and grief; death became a reality. Life teaches.

The birth of a new little one results in no one being interested in math and reading. This life event has taught my children how to comfort a fussy baby, the joy of rocking a little one as she drifts off to sleep, and the importance of letting mommy nap. It is also an opportunity for children to tackle new tasks and responsibilities; to practice working together and helping get jobs done.

Today, as you are reading this post, I am at the hospital while my son is having surgery. A surgery consult on Tuesday led us to surgery two days later. We had expected the surgery date to be at least a month away. However, there was an unexpected opening on the OR schedule. Surgery was not in the plans for this week. Life happened and we are rolling with it. Everyone is pulling together to get everything in place. Grandparents are with the other children. The children are learning how to flex with a change in plans. It doesn’t stop us in our tracks. We adjust and keep moving.

Embracing life is essential. We can’t opt out of life. We can teach our children how to take the good and challenging realities of life and keep moving forward.

Do I always embrace what life has to offer? No, I fail. Who doesn’t? My children can learn from that as well. I stumble, I falter, and I lose my focus on the Truth. Thankfully, the Lord gives us grace and mercy and we can pick ourselves up and keep moving.

Life is essential to learning.

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

I have enjoyed reading about the homeschooling essentials of other bloggers. I hope you have as well.

Erica @ Be the One
Ellen @ Grace Tells Another Story
Jenn @ Treasuring Life’s Blessing
Christine @ Our Homeschool Reviews
Michelle @ Delightful Learning
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio
Melanie @ FinchNWren
Brittney @ Mom’s Heart
Heather @ Principled Academy

Homeschooling Essentials – Day 3 – Limits

Happy Wednesday and welcome to the 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials Blog Hop. The past couple of days I have enjoyed sharing with you about laughter and love. Today I want to talk about limits.

Limit – noun – a point beyond which it is not possible to go Taken from Merriam-Webster Dictionary

 

As we go about teaching, guiding and nurturing we can choose to laugh over exploding pancake batter and peg dolls stuck to the wall. We can make a choice to have an attitude of love in how we exhibit patience, kindness and contentment. We also need to make sure that we recognize when our children have reached their limit. And just as importantly when we have reached ours.

Not so long ago, I was sitting at the table going over math corrections. I had one of my children beside me and we were working through problem after problem and understanding was not happening for the child. I had explained it every way I knew. As I was trying to think of another way to explain, I look up from the paper and see silent tears sliding down a cheek. In that moment, I realized that she had reached her limit. Her brain had taken all the math instruction it could handle for the day and I was basically beating a dead horse.

I had a choice. I could press onward and keep working. Or I could acknowledge that what she really  needed was to shut the book, walk away, and tackle it the next day. The math book wasn’t going anywhere. The same problem would be there tomorrow, next week, next month.

Our children may express when they have reached their limits differently. Our purpose is to learn to recognize it. All of my children express it differently. While one may silently cry another may be more vocal about it.

Setting time limits and keeping lessons short are great ways to manage this. For the child and for the mom.

Oh,yes, this mom can reach her limit, too. I am getting better at catching it before frustration takes over. Not too long ago, I was in the midst of a phonics lesson and it was not going well. My daughter just couldn’t get the sounds out correctly. I could tell that I was almost to my limit; to the point where I was going to lose patience. I simply said, “You know, this lesson is a tough one today. Why don’t we break it up into two days?” My daughter agreed it was a great idea. No one ended up frustrated or in tears. Limits. It is good to know when you are hitting yours!

I think it can sometimes be challenging to recognize our children have limits in certain areas because we feel we may be falling short in some way. That is not true. Brains are such a complex and amazing work of the Lord. Your child ( or you) may simply need a break from long division or a new way to look at phonics. It could be the brain is overwhelmed with information in that science text and needs it in smaller chunks. Maybe mom needs a family walk mid morning to refresh her mind before tackling the next task.

Pay attention to when you and your child get frustrated during the day. Make notes. Evaluate it. Has he reached his limit for the day? Or is he not trying? Do I need a resource that gives me, the mom, more help in teaching this? Find a solution.

Encourage your children to let you know when they are feeling like they are hitting a brick wall. Help them to learn how to find solutions on their own! One of my older daughters was struggling with a subject. No matter what she did, she just couldn’t make progress. It just happened that one day she realized that listening to music helped her mind to focus on the work. The difference was amazing. She was no longer frustrated and overwhelmed but making progress.

May we all laugh more, love always, and learn our limits!

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

Want to see more homeschooling essentials? Here are a few stops to get you started! Enjoy!

Erica @ Be the One
Ellen @ Grace Tells Another Story
Jenn @ Treasuring Life’s Blessing
Christine @ Our Homeschool Reviews
Michelle @ Delightful Learning
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio
Melanie @ FinchNWren
Brittney @ Mom’s Heart
Heather @ Principled Academy

Homeschooling Essentials – Day 2 – Love

Hi! I’m so glad you stopped by for Day 2 of the 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials Blog Hop. For Day 1, I discussed how laughter is an essential in our home. Today, I want to share with you another of my top five homeschooling essentials: Love.

Love: pronunciation: lŭv (noun)

A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preeminent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness; as, the love of brothers and sisters.

Love is a homeschooling essential? Yes, it is. I am not talking about loving your children. Of course we love our children! I’m sure for most of us that the love for our children is the foundation of why we homeschool.

Today I want to share about the attitude of loving and how it is essential to success in homeschooling.

Love suffers long and is kind...” – Patience and kindness; showing those to our children comes from an attitude of love. I’ll be honest. There are days when patience and kindness is a clear choice. I have to remind myself to not “lose my patience”. Maybe it is frustration over a phonics lesson that isn’t clicking or maybe someone forgot to take the trash out again. Perhaps there is one more missing book. Before I know it I have spoken harshly or raised my voice. Hear that? Yep, a clanging cymbal. Benefiting no one. Not my children and not myself. It certainly isn’t helping the flow of our day. If I remind myself to speak in love, to show patience, to speak and act kindly, how will that affect my children? How would it impact our homeschool?

I Corinthians 13 ~ beautiful words to remind how to love

Love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up…” – Anyone suffer from homeschool envy? Did you see her homeschool room? Wow, I’d love to have my child able to take a class like that! Envy much? It is an easy hole to fall into, isn’t it? It can happen innocently enough. Browsing a few pins on Pinterest and before you know it, you want to remodel your house. Well, if you could. There are many days I catch myself not loving the home/space the Lord has blessed us with. Are there homes with bigger and better floor plans? Nicer tables? Comfier couches? I’m sure there are. I need to focus on the provision God has given me and accept and embrace that it is exactly what our family needs. If I purposed to love what God has provided, how much smoother would our days flow? What would that do for my children?

Am I writing about this attitude of love because I have attained perfection? No way. I am writing to myself. I need the reminder to start each day with the attitude of love. So easily I can find myself being unkind, rude, and seeking what would make me happy; not necessarily what would be the best for myself and my family. Why aren’t I showing tenderness or devotion instead?

When homeschooling, there are going to be struggles and bad days. We are all going to miss the mark at some point. If we purpose, each day, to start again…to embrace the grace and mercy the Lord gives us and set our hearts to love our children, our home, our role as a homeschool mom, what amazing things can He do?

As I am finishing out this post, a lovely idea came to mind. I am going to spend a couple of weeks reading 1 Corinthians 13 daily and praying the Lord would use those words to strengthen my attitude of love in my role as a homeschool mom, toward my children, and for the tasks of each day.

I hope that you have all had a bit of laughter in your day and that you are loving the moments!

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

Don’t forget to check in with my fellow bloggers that are sharing their homeschooling essentials! I know I am enjoying reading them.

Erica @ Be the One
Ellen @ Grace Tells Another Story
Jenn @ Treasuring Life’s Blessing
Christine @ Our Homeschool Reviews
Michelle @ Delightful Learning
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio
Melanie @ FinchNWren
Brittney @ Mom’s Heart
Heather @ Principled Academy