Asalamu’alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatau ladies, how are you? I hope you had a wonderful Eid with your loved ones. We went away for a few days, and the fresh air did me some good alhamdulillah.
I’ve actually been meaning to write up this post for quite some time but with Ramadan, and Eid I wasn’t able to get round to it. But it’s here now.
So, when we think of homeschooling, I’ve yet to come across a mother who hasn’t felt overwhelmed by it all at some point in her homeschool journey (even if she doesn’t now, alhamdulillah). The lessons, the planning, the teaching, the supplies, the books, the curricula, overfilled AMAZON cart and so on.
It’s a lot.
And then there’s all the ideas in the homeschool world that come shooting right at you from all different directions.
You know, the crafts, the art projects, the read-aloud recommendations, the subscriptions, PINTEREST (Use Pinterest with the caution, don’t say I didn’t warn you).
It’s a whole lot more.
And so you find yourself trying to add in all the things because you begin to feel like you need all the things to homeschool well and become so engrossed in creating a rich education for your children, that it almost can begin to take over everything. And I’m not talking about the small stuff here like keeping dinners simple during homeschool days. I’m talking about when homeschool starts to overtake all spheres of your life, things can start to take a turn for the worse.
Because the reality is, life does not stop when we homeschool.
Let me say that again sis. Life does not stop when we homeschool.
Homeschooling is just a part of our life- it isn’t it entirely. And actually, homeschooling can often be a route to simplify our lives, which is one of the reasons we choose it in the first place right? We might be drawn to homeschooling because…
We don’t want to be bound by someone else’s schedule (or schedules as the kids get older).
We don’t want to have to cram in family time before bed time.
We want to be able to make extra curricula’s to be fun, not stressful that take even more family time away.
We want to be able to give ample time for our kids to explore their interests, play and bond as siblings.
We want to simplify things so we can enjoy our children whilst we raise them with the bigger purpose in mind.
And so the concept of homeschooling really can in of itself become a means to simplify our whole life, not just our childs education.
But when we overcomplicate the whole concept, it can do the opposite. And this is why I decided to write this post.
Because a complicated homeschool can overtake other areas of your life in an unhealthy way. And when that happens, not only can resentment creep in for homeschooling, it’s also a means issues that needed your attention in other areas of your life might stay unresolved because you haven’t had the time or energy to deal with them when you needed to.
Think about it this way. Alongside homeschooling you might…
have just moved home.
experienced the death of a loved one.
feel like your emaan is dipping.
are caring for a child with special needs.
have health struggles yourself.
be dealing with your own trials.
be living in the wider family home.
The list goes on.
And we all have the same 24 hours in our day. So it’s important that we give each area of our lives attention to really feel like homeschooling can be a sustainable option for us, not something that became the reason why we buried our heads in the sand and let things like the above stay unresolved.
And there’s also another consequence of overcomplicating homeschool thats especially challenging in todays world which is full of distractions. And that is being present.
When we don’t deal with other areas of our lives, and instead allow homeschooling to ‘takeover’, it can actually be on of the reasons our homeschool doesn’t feel quite as fulfilling even though we’re giving it so much time (ever had all the lessons planned, house tidy, yet still felt discontent at the end of the day?). Because there’s a difference between being with our children, and being mentally present with our children.
We all know that feeling of when we’ve got something on our mind that is concerning us, yet the kids still need to have breakfast, laundry still needs to be put away, lessons still need to be taught. And so as mothers, we do all the things that we usually would, but at the end of the day there’s that feeling of ‘I was with the kids, but not present’ today kinda feeling.
And for sure, we all have those days. But it’s when those days become our everyday, thats where the problem lies!
So maybe the very thing you thought you diverted all your energy to, at the expense of other areas of your life that needed attention, actually ends up still leaving you feel void. And thats when more unhealthy ways of filling that void can kick in (two words; social media). There’s a huge myth in the homeschool world which makes it seem like homeschooling means that since your with your kids, your spending quality time with them. Actually, being present when your homeschool can be even more of a conscious effort because your kids are with you most of the time – I’ve written more about that here.
And so that’s why I encourage myself and you to keep things simple sis. After connecting with homeschooling mothers from different parts of the globe through the blog and Instagram, I can confidently say we lot in common. But personally, I feel the biggest commonality we do have is that we all have different circumstances. Might seem like an oxymoron, but its true!
And so a value-based simple homeschool takes your unique circumstances, and puts them at the forefront of your homeschool, not on the backburner, which in turn allows you to feel like homeschool is indeed a lifestyle choice and not a life sentence.
It gives you the time to educate your kids whilst educating yourself.
It gives you the freedom to be with your children whilst still fulfilling your duties as a wife, sister, aunty, friend.
It gives you the chance to work with your children whilst working on other things.
It gives you the opportunity to let go of someone elses schedule, whilst not letting yourself go.
Because a simple homeschool allows you to still be you. To still deal with life. And to still be, well still.
Share your thoughts below, I’d love to hear from you.