I posted a status on Facebook last week that basically said that sometimes in homeschooling, we have to take a step back and reevaluate, because who cares about a schedule, if learning isn't taking place. There's a story behind that status, as there usually is.:)
In our homeschooling adventure, I've caught myself more times than not, wanting to follow a rigorous schedule, not listening to my gut that tells me we need to slow down. We started a bit late in our history curriculum, so I had it all planned out that we would do so much a week and get "caught up." Not that we're really behind, because with this particular course, it really doesn't matter when you start, which is nice. To me, though, it mattered. Yesterday, though, God really softened my heart and gave me another homeschooling epiphane, and I actually listened this time....I'm so glad I did. Jacob's struggled in history just a bit lately; he did so good last year, when we took our time, and he just enjoyed every bit of it. We've been rushing through, though, for about the last 2 months. He had a sort of breakdown yesterday, after he couldn't remember many things from the last chapter that we had covered.
It came to me then that, "Melissa, you have got to slow this train down....this boy isn't learning the material; he needs more time, more projects to help him learn, more library books to go along with the course, etc. It's time to take a step back." I looked at Jacob, as he sat there crying in frustration, and I told him, "Jacob, it's ok; it's not your fault. Are we going too fast through the material for you?" That sparked a small conversation, and the light came back into Jacob's eyes at that moment; the tears stopped flowing; and a bit of mother-son bonding took place, as he realized that it was going to be ok, that I wanted to know his thoughts. I can't explain the joy that brought to my heart and the peace.
I tell you my little story because I think sometimes with our kids, we rush around, trying to get this done and that done, especially in homeschooling. All the while, they're standing there, as if they're in a crowded train station, watching the people and the trains go rushing by. They're not really learning, and they're not really getting that quality time that they so badly need. In this case, it's definitely quality and not quantity that matters. It's taking time, as a parent, to realize that much learning may not take place, unless we let go of our own desires and give those desires over to God, letting Him take control of the situation, letting Him control how much we get done that day. Even if our children learn one more tidbit of history or math or science than before....if they learned something of value in that time spent, it was well worth it.
So, my desire today is to encourage you to not worry so much about the little things....concern yourself more with the bigger picture. Is learning taking place? Is bonding with your child taking place? Does your child still have that spark and fuel to keep learning? If not, it might be time to take a step back and reevaluate....
For more Motivate Me Monday, visit Sarah at The Fifth Street Palace.