February 19, 2015

Don't Give Up

A friend of mine, who recently began homeschooling for the first time, found that both she and her children were ready and cheerful to begin homeschooling!

Until February.

Along about February, the bloom is off the rose of homeschooling, and many children (and parents!) feel the soul-dragging weight of pursuing their studies half-heartedly, with neither the thrill of September nor the triumph of May anywhere in sight.

Stay strong!  This is the time of year when, due to weather, many people are more house-bound.  Bored, cooped-up children choose this time to test their family's commitment to homeschooling.  The children feel restless, listless, boundless, and aimless, all at the same time.  But, what they're really looking for is a reminder your family's goals, boundaries, and investment.

- Review again your family's overarching goals for homeschooling.  (Write a Mission Statement!)

- Readjust your boundaries for required study time, playtime, chores, or rewards to reflect the progress your children have (or have not) made to this point half way through the school year.  (Have the kids evaluate themselves -- and/or each other -- first!)

- Renew your investment in this great endeavor called homeschooling by re-reading some inspirational homeschool material during Lent, or getting together with like-minded moms to mutually encourage each other.  (Try reading Holly Pierlot's A Mother's Rule of Life or Cari Donaldson's Pope Awesome and Other Stories to freshen your perspective.  Or host a simple Friday morning tea while the kids play.)

A wise woman (and veteran homeschooler) once counseled me to never, never, never, NEVER, *NEVER!!!* make homeschooling decisions during February.  Every year I find out again that she was absolutely right.  The Church has liturgical seasons throughout the year to echo the natural ebb and flow of our human lives.  Why should our homeschool year be any different?

During this season called, "February," take some time to slow down, review, reevaluate,  and renew your commitment to move forward in your homeschooling with purpose.  You're not alone, so don't jump off the cliff just yet!

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