I’ve gotten behind a couple of weeks in this series due to long hours at the office and the lack of motivation in my writing. It would be easy to call this series done (or half-way done), but I’ve decided to keep going in the hope that it will bless another working, homeschooling mom who may stumble upon it.
Thanks for joining me today for the blogging A to Z challenge as I share my life as a working homeschool mom and blog my way through the alphabet. Visit my series landing page for all of the posts in this series.
One thing I’ve always admired about homeschooling moms is there intense dedication to educating their children at home. I’ve come across so many answers to the “whys” of homeschooling and really, no two families are the same. The reasons you may decide to homeschool will not be the same as why we decided to homeschool. But no matter what your reason is, there must be a certain level of dedication to keep both teacher and student motivated for the long haul.
So how do we stay motivated? I have to admit, there are days (too many probably) where I have no motivation whatsoever for schooling, lesson planning, curriculum shopping and the like. I’ve been known to come home and plop myself on the couch without even looking at my son’s completed assignments for the day.
As a busy mom, I struggle just like anyone else. But when it comes to homeschooling, there is so much competing for my attention (work, work, work) that it’s hard to keep my motivation for homeschooling front and center.
What motivated us to homeschool our son was that we felt his auditory and visual way of learning would be better served at home. And, after having his brother homeschool through high school and his sister in middle school, he asked if he could be homeschooled too. Who were we to say no?
There are days when I want to quite. And honestly, our homeschooling future is not clearly set in stone. We are praying through some big decisions as we approach high school next year. But for right now, it’s important that I stay motivated so that I can keep my son focused and eager to learn.
Here are three things that I do help keep us both motivated for the journey ahead.
Take it one day at a time. I am a planner and I’ve been known to schedule out my entire year of schooling during the summer. However, we have deviated from that plan so many times that we are finding that it works best to schedule small chunks of time so that we can assess how things are going along the way. The good thing is that our son is pretty self sufficient. We have to keep a careful eye on him when he’s doing online work (which is about 80% of the time) so his entire school day is not eaten up by gaming or creating YouTube videos with his friends. But because he’s older, it’s easy for me to leave him with his lessons for a few days so I can take inventory of what we are doing well and what needs to change. Having this time keeps me motivated for the homeschooling days ahead.
Interest-Based Learning. I find that we do really well in the subjects that our son loves, but we do horribly with those that he is struggling in or has no interest in whatsoever. Our son loves science. One way to keep him motivated to do science was to allow him to choose his own curriculum this year. It’s easier to keep him interested and motivated when he enjoys the topic of study. He also loves Bible and History, but only because we’ve found a great online curriculum that keeps him interested. Because he struggles in math, we’ve tossed the curriculum out the door and are doing subject-based workbooks trying to master one area at a time. As far as reading/writing, our son is a very reluctant reader/writer. We haven’t done much writing this year, but what we have done is incorporate the reading of biographies of inventors that go along with the Physical Science we are studying, and written reports on those inventors. We’ve also played around with word prompts to help him in the area of creative writing.
Remember the End Goal. For us, the end goal has never been to homeschool our way through high school. Rather, it has been to help our son gain confidence and disciplines so that no matter how he is schooled, he can be successful. Right now, we’ve hit a little bit of a wall so I am trying to make learning fun and involve him more in the process so we don’t burn out before June. If I am lacking motivation, clearly my son will not be motivated to learn, especially at the age of 13 when his hormones are raging and all sorts of things are going on.
I am exhausted, but no more exhausted than any other mom I know. Because we feel God opened the door for us to school our son at home, it’s important that I continue to find ways to stay motivated so that I will continue to have a motivated learner.
*Although I missed linking up, be sure to click the button below to find others participating in the #abcblogging challenge.