Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Cup of Coffee and a Word of Advice - Be Realistic


A Cup of Coffee and a Word of Advice - Be Realistic on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - part of the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents blog hop hosted by SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com

It never fails. At some point during the school year, as I'm grading or checking assignments, it occurs to me that there is NO WAY we are going to complete everything I thought we'd do during the year. Not only that, but I look at the calendar and see precious little white space that can be used to catch up either. I've talked with enough other homeschool moms that I know it's not just me. I'm getting much better at this, but it doesn't come naturally. How about you? Are you overbooked and overwhelmed by all you've still got on the homeschool to-do list? Sit down with me for a cup of coffee and a reality check.

A Cup of Coffee and a Word of Advice - Be Realistic on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - part of the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents blog hop hosted by SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com

I love this Tinkerbell coffee mug, but I also need to be reminded that pixie dust only gets stuff done in fairy tales, not in the real world. In the real world, it takes time and effort to get stuff done, and if I don't take that into account, things may not go well. In other words, we need to know our limits and try to set goals that are achievable.

A Cup of Coffee and a Word of Advice - Be Realistic on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - part of the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents blog hop hosted by SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com

 Realistically, you will not get everything done.
There are only so many hours in a day. You can (and should) use your time efficiently, but the reality is that it may still not be possible for you to do everything that you think you should, or everything that someone else thinks you should. That includes all the housework and cooking and outside-the-home activities. Sometimes you'll have to decide whether it's more important to sit with your struggling reader and encourage and help them all morning long, or to wash all your walls and floors on the same day. Or maybe you'll need to put off the time-consuming science experiment  for another day, because a friend is recovering from an operation and you are helping her out with housework and childcare.  There will be days when you can't get ALL the laundry done, or clean the ENTIRE house top to bottom. Be realistic about your expectations for yourself and what you can accomplish in your homeschool and in running your household. Enlist help from your family whenever possible. It's a very good thing for kids to learn how to do all kinds of household chores. 

Realistically, you'll need to leave some margin.
This is is so that you'll have room to be flexible, like we talked about yesterday! Allow time and space in your schedule for those unexpected things that will come up. Don't over-schedule and overbook yourself or your kids, or you will risk burnout. Too much pressure do get too much done to an impossibly high standard will kill the joy of learning and set you up for failure and exhaustion. Count up the empty squares on your monthly calendar, and the unscheduled hours on your daily agenda. If there aren't any, or there are very few, take a look at that schedule and decide what you can cut in order to allow for downtime and breathing room.

Prepare and plan in a realistic way.
As you put together lesson plans, and four-year plans for high school, and even your family's calendar, recognize that there are limits on what you and your kids can accomplish. Plan a course of study or a daily routine realizing that your kid won't grasp every concept and complete every assignment within the shortest possible time frame. By leaving some wiggle room in your agenda and having a couple of options already penciled in just in case Plan A doesn't work, you give yourself permission to be flexible.

Realistically, you know you're not perfect.
Neither are your kids. We all know that in our heads, but still we compare ourselves and our homeschools to others and to some rather unrealistic standards. Do what is best and what works for your family, and resist the temptation to copy someone else who seems to have it all together. 

How do you set goals for your homeschool that are a challenge, but still realistic? Leave a comment and let me know!


A Cup of Coffee and a Word of Advice - Be Realistic on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - part of the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents blog hop hosted by SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com

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Annette @ A Net In Time
Carol @ Home Sweet Life
Cassandra @ A Glimpse of Normal
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Crystal @ Crystal Starr
Danielle @ Sensible Whimsy

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6 comments:

Cassandra Holdeman said...

Great article today!!! We definitely need to be real about what we will accomplish. We set our goals to get the basics done each day and once we get those done then we do the extras. It isn't that the extras aren't important, but just that the foundation work has to get done first.

Brandy brockhausen said...

I tell myself this every year, but then I somehow seem to forget! And right now, this is where I'm at...I just sat down over spring break and figured out exactly what was necessary for my youngest to finish before the end of the year in May. I went back to my goals for him at the beginning of the year to help me decide.

Latonya Mo said...

Great reminder! I strive to complete 80% of our core math because we supplement and add enrichment. For history, we stretch over two years because we don't do it everyday. I try to stay flexible and realistic. I hope it continues to work for the girls, but I am okay if it has to change in the next few years.

FlyMama Di said...

Thanks, Kym. Needed this today. Been feeling so behind. Have I ever had a year where I felt like I finished well with this student? I don't think so. ::sigh::

Michele said...

Great advice! I always have way too much planned for the year, and at some point have to let some things go. There are just so many great programs out there- not enough time or children to do them all! ;)

Annette Vellenga said...

those comparison games are deadly...

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