Take Time to Reflect
As a parent, it’s important to take time to reflect on how things are going for our kids and for our family in general. Homeschooling makes it even more critical that we do this. For one thing, it gives us a few minutes to sit down, put our feet up, and still be doing something productive!
Good days and bad days
Taking time to reflect is just as important on good days as on the bad ones. We need to think about what went well, why it went well, and how we can make more of that goodness happen! On bad days, we need to pause and remember that it was just one day, one tiny piece of our life and learning with our children, and it’s okay! The most important thing is to consider the root of the problem and what we can try to do differently that may be a step in the right direction to help other days go more smoothly.
Topics for reflection
What is it that we’re reflecting on during this time? Well, the list really could be endless. Just choose one or two things that really stand out when you think about your day or things that you want to work on the next day. Maybe you’ll spend time thinking about where to find ideas for instruction or practice for a certain concept or skill. You may want to think about how your kids are feeling (about their learning or other things) or how well they’re getting along. Thinking about how you want to prioritize the various ways your family spends homeschool time can also be valuable.
When my children are having difficulty with something, spending some time thinking about what could be causing the problem and what might help can increase the wisdom with which I respond. This will help me to be better prepared to handle issues the next day. I might even decide that it would be a good idea to talk with the kids and help them brainstorm solutions the next morning, before we dive into school work and other parts of our day.
Benefits of reflection
Taking time to reflect along the way can make our homeschooling journey more calm and peaceful. It can also help us to have more fun and learn more effectively. Don’t ever think that time spent thinking and praying about how to best support your kids and your spouse while still taking care of yourself is frivolous or wasted. In reality, it’s probably among the best ways you could spend a few minutes at the end of your day.
You should walk away from your time of reflection feeling like you have a better handle on how your family is doing and what they need. You may want to jot down a list of what you plan to try or what resources, information, or support you need to find. Even if you don’t come up with plans or solutions during your reflection time, you’ve still laid valuable groundwork for progress the next day.
Time well spent
Sometimes we get so busy trying to squeeze everything into the hours of each day (there are never enough!) that we forget to pause and think about if we’re happy with how we’re spending those hours. It will benefit your children (and you!) so much if you take the time to reflect on the ups and downs and what steps you can take to increase the enjoyment and effectiveness of homeschooling for your family. Don’t feel like you have to find all the answers and figure out how to have everything picture-perfect the next day. Just becoming more aware of where you’re at and where you’re going will benefit you and your family, and you can start working on the first steps you’ll take to make progress on that journey.