The other day I was listening to a podcast about homeschooling and in this podcast the host was talking about her schedule for the week with her kids. At first I had my judgements about this way that she was “homeschooling ” and then I realized that my judgements of her own way of doing things with her own resources are completely different than mine and that is ok.
When I started this homeschooling journey I fell into this trap of needing to find the right curriculum or having the right schedule. After a while, it was just not working for our family. I had to re-evaluate our values and priorities to redo our rhythm that works for us. A lot of homeschooling mothers fall into this trap I’ve noticed, especially in the Waldorf world.
Where do we go from a place of stuck to a place of freedom?
Everyone’s values are so different from others. My values in my family are really different than yours. What is it that you value most? Is it prayer time or bible study? Is it focusing on nature? Is it art? Is it music? It could be a combination of a few things. Along with the basic language and math, what is it that you value after the basics? A good clue is if you look at what you enjoyed doing within your homeschooling. What activities brought you the most joy?
Triggers and Stressors
At some point in homeschooling there is a point in the year of just overwhelm. It could be because it’s our own internal life is not in balance and it’s spilling over to homeschooling. It could be because we try to do it all and expect too much from ourselves. What is stressing you out the most in your homeschooling? What is too much? Is it that artist study that you feel like you have to do? Or that handwork? Maybe you have been taking care of everything and need some time to yourself to refocus? Writing it down and paying attention to the stress pattern could be helpful in finding out your stressors.
Rhythm can change from season to season. What works in winter may not work in spring. In Waldorf it’s important to have a rhythm. But it is easily lost in the pictures and rhythms that are displayed online that work for other families. If you have main lessons and handwork and music to do for more than one child, that could be a huge stressor and is something to look at in terms of rhythm. Does it work better for you to do school in the morning or the afternoon? Do you need to outsource an activity that could free up a teaching time for you. What about testing things out with your rhythm to see what does feel natural to you? Again going back to those values and stressors.
In the end, listening to the podcast was so freeing to me. I realized there was no one size fits all life for homeschoolers. It is up to me to have the confidence to know what we are doing is what works for us and have strength against the “should be doing” comments from others.
Give yourself that freedom also. If you are feeling stressed where you are there is a reason for it.
I hope these tips help you my friend.