I love July, and I have every intention of spending this one picking berries, taking the kids to the pool, and visiting with family and friends. We’re homeschoolers, so July is also a time to turn our thoughts to the upcoming school year. How are we doing with this, friends? Are we hangin’ in there? Making progress? Freaking out yet?
Last year one of my online buddies posted a list of helpful principles. She called them Principles of Happy Moms Who Home Educate, and I think she’s right on the money with these. I thought I’d post them here– hoping they’ll be of help to those who might need the encouragement and insight right about now. This list has been extremely helpful to me- I hope it offers you some inspiration as you consider plans and dreams for the upcoming academic year.
* Home education is a portion of my full vocation as wife and mother. Keep it proportionate.
* Home education, when done from love and humility, is a steady path to sanctity and heaven.
* Home education is primarily a way of life, not an alternative to school.
* My husband is objectively the spiritual head of our household, the spiritual director of our home education.
* All home education decisions are prudential between husband, wife, and God. Leave the neighbors out of it.
* Homeschooling is mostly joyful and right. It is also hard work worth doing and involves purposeful suffering.
* Anxiety and worry are not an inevitable part of home education or an outward sign of hard work. They are signs to re-group.
* Burn-out is preventable.
* There is no perfect curriculum (self-designed or prepackaged.) Perfect is the enemy of the good. Be content with good enough. (Good enough does not justify sloth which is not good enough. Know when to realize that any additional effort toward improvement would result in a negligible improvement, especially in comparison to the effort required to gain it.)
* Plan primarily based on the truth about Mom, playing to my strengths, secondarily on the needs of the family as a whole, thirdly on the individual needs of each child, playing to their strengths.
* Emphasize character formation for all, especially formation that increases family harmony and independent decision-making.
* Academic achievement is over-rated.
* Focus on today.
* Progress is not linear and best gauged over time.
* We’re never behind. We’re exactly where God wants us. We entrust the past to God’s Divine Mercy and the future to His Divine Providence.
* Saints do not compare themselves to their neighbors because they keep their eyes fixed upon God.
* Delegate out of humility.
* Know when to take a break to refresh and renew.
* Know what I need to feel comfortable in my home. Prioritize maintaining a basic level of order.
* Discussion counts as an invaluable learning and teaching tool.
* Mastery takes time, for student and educator.
* Laughter is good, even when it needs to be redirected.
* Academic standards are arbitrary.
* Time spent on curriculum planning is time not spent on other things.
* Money spent on curriculum is money not spent on other things.
* A sense of humor lightens our load.
* Enthusiasm is contagious.
* Enthusiasm enhances motivation and engagement.
* Engagement and practice increases retention.
(Find the original post here.)