3 Steps to Encourage Love of Learning this Year {Part 2}

how to simplify your homeschool

how to create a love of learning in your kids from HowToHomeschoolMyChild.com

I began my teaching career as a public school teacher, not a homeschool mom.  I’ll let you in on a little secret. I don’t think I ever finished a textbook in a single school year.  Neither did the other teachers at my school.

I know!  Shock!  Horror!

Many homeschool moms worry about finishing particular textbooks, even in homeschooling.  I know who you are. You can’t imagine moving on to next year if you don’t finish your history textbook. You are saying to yourself, “I have two more chapters I must finish.”

But why?
Why are you putting so much pressure on yourself & your children?
Why are you stressing out?

All stress does to you is suck the love of learning away from your homeschool.  Your children will not love learning when you’re always nagging them about finishing this textbook or that workbook.

Be flexible & take a step back for the rest of this school year to make learning fun.  Here are 3 suggestions to help you be flexible and encourage a love of learning through May.

1. Enjoy Freedom in your Planning

how to create a love of learning in your kids from HowToHomeschoolMyChild.comLet’s go back to my public school example.  If you are trying to finish a particular textbook because the public school is finishing that textbook, think again. I speak from experience. Give yourself some freedom.  The public school teachers have that freedom.

If it’s a subject that is sequential like math, here’s a solution.

We took a break during the summer from school.  In September, we picked up our math wherever we left off last May. Even if it was in the MIDDLE of a book. It was no big deal (nor should it be for you).

That’s the freedom of homeschooling.

By the way, this is true for high school ages, as well as elementary ages.

2.  Prioritize the Next Few Months

Think about what is important to “your” family.  Your priorities will be different from other homeschool families.  Talk to your spouse and find out what is important for your family to accomplish the rest of this school year.

Now is the perfect time to evaluate the rest of the school year. Make a list of your top priorities for each child over the next few months.  For example…

It may be that your 8 year old can read a certain book by the end of the year.

Or it may be that your 13 year old could write a 5-sentence paragraph.

Or it may be that your 10 year old enjoys nature.  He or she keeps a nature book, drawing pictures of what they find & like. Then, your kids go look at the Handbook of Nature Study and discover more about what they found on their nature walk.

Or your 16 year old completes his research paper about a topic of his or her interest.

Or maybe do some kind of unit study about a topic that interests all your kids.

What is your top priority for each child?

Write it down today.

We all need to do what is best for our own family. When you focus on your family’s priorities, you can make homeschool meaningful & create a love of learning.  Look at your own goals & your family’s interests.

3.  Rest in the Lord

Although this is listed last, it is actually the MOST important action you can take.

Each year when we homeschooled, I re-evaluated our school year after Christmas.  I would say to myself, here is what I am going to do this year.  Whatever happens, happens.

From there, I prayed that God would oversee our homeschool, allowing us to accomplish what is most important to Him.  I trusted Him to guide us in what we did each day.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7

If we finished an astronomy textbook, that was great. If not, we evaluated & prayed whether it was important to finish it in September or move on.   God was in control!

Prayer & flexibility is key to overcome stress in homeschooling and to continue a love of learning in your kids.

Question: Do you agree or disagree about my textbooks example? Why or why not?
You can leave a comment by clicking here.

how to simplify your homeschool
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  1. Great post. I hadn’t thought about the fact that they don’t get through a whole book most years at school either. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Aubrey,
      I taught for 6 years and don’t remember ever doing the entire textbook. We always had a few loose ends at the end of the year.

  2. Kerry, As I prepare to homeschool our 5 yr. old twins (we adopted our grandkids), there are times when I am OVERWHELMED with fear and nerves. Your wise words and generous freebees are a great encouragement. Happy Birthday, and know that God is using you in a mighty way.

    1. Deb,
      What an awesome job to adopt your grandkids and homeschool them. I will pray for energy & strength, as well as wisdom.

  3. urrrrrggggg! i was just going through the remaining chapters in my son’s phonics book and thinking of how i can get the rest of the chapters crammed in to be done by May to “enjoy” the summer. i guess reading this post was God’s way of reminding me to enjoy every day like its the only one left. feels a little like a punch in the gut – but in a good way. thanks for sharing (and happy birthday!)

    1. jen,
      FWIW…We took summers off and picked up where we finished in May. Having said that, we still “learned” throughout the summer, but it was not as formal as the school year. The kids participated in the summer reading program every year. We took field trips and had fun doing projects together or just enjoying each other. Enjoy the next few months as you work through phonics together. In May decide if you need to work over the summer or pick up in September. Enjoy the freedom of homeschooling 🙂

  4. Happy Belated birthday Kerry,
    I need this reminder because I am type A personality, and I want my kids to remember that a great deal of learning comes from self-discovery. In fact, right now two of my boys are building a car ramp out of wood scrapes and odd bolts and ends in the basement. It makes me smile to see and hear what they have figured out.

  5. Thanks, it’s so encouraging to know that school teachers don’t finish textbooks. In the past I used to feel very guilty that I’ve not finished the text book. But like you said Resting in the Lord has freed me of all guilt. I know He is the only one who can fill in all the gaps in my parenting, mentoring, tutoring..etc

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