A Relaxed Approach


How do you shift your paradigm? How do you learn to relax and enjoy homeschooling? How do you abandon the stress and embrace the joy?
You change how you think, you shift your paradigm. 

So this post is for people who want to change the way they think about homeschooling. This post is for people who want to question school methods imported to home, or employing canned ps methods. Of course -- do what works for your family  but if it is broken and you want to fix it. Here are some thoughts. If you like what you are doing, then it's okay to move on, it's not a debate.
What happens if you change the word school with the word learn? Schooling, becomes learning in the sentences we hear homeschool moms use the most.

When do you start learning, in August?
We don't start learning until after Labor Day.
Is 6 hours too many hours of learning?
My child fights me all day when we try to do learning.
We are only doing learning 4 days a week.
We learn year round.

These are just examples to challenge what you think about learning and to consider if just maybe the idea of "school" even at home isn't an artificial environment. Maybe you could focus on learning instead? Because school and learning aren't remotely close to being the same thing.

Not every component of learning is high flyin' fun for a student. But, crackin' the whip is for junior and senior high, not elementary school and they don't need 6 years of practice to be ready for it. I love our Relaxed Approach. I encounter misconceptions about it daily however, so allow me to address them.

Three Great Misunderstandings about a Relaxed Approach.

People who fear or reject a Relaxed Approach or the learning vs. school philosophy have many great misunderstandings but here are three common ones.
1. It doesn't mean we don't do book work, handwriting, math, spelling, reading and science, history or a litany of other subjects. We do book work, but whenever it is possible it's my job to make it engaging, interesting and try to light a fire. My job. Not the publishing company that produced the curriculum.
We keep the amount of written work, or seated, and solo work in check especially in elementary school. They aren't given busy work, or asked to do work they already mastered. They aren't expected to do it alone. And they aren't expected to spend more time than their age and learning style allows. The result over some time (not right out of the gate). The kids know we get them and their cooperation in the pieces they enjoy less grows exponentially.
2. Not adhering to a complete curriculum process means we are undisciplined. Yikes. um, no. I can't begin to tell you how off this is. My son, an early riser gets up before me every morning and I am usually awakened by the sound of him unloading the dishwasher. He is on board with our life, he is a believer so he does his part. I don't have to cajole, yell, ground, beat, or complain to gain their cooperation and assistance in their chores or the book work. My children have all been trained to clean every room correctly using checklists (which are no longer needed). They do their own laundry from about the age of 10, they each have a laundry day. They clean and load their dishes throughout the day, and we all contribute to dinner and clean-up, period, or you do not eat at my table. The book work, which increases each year beginning in about 6th grade is to be completed correctly, neatly, and with mastery as the goal. Never an issue, over time they own their education, and work independently in high school. Self discipline is the goal and all we do is working toward it.
3. We just sit around and watch tv or this is just a way to be a lazy homeschooler. ha! On the contrary, my day is spent in the trenches with my kids. I write their curriculums, I read everything they do before I assign it, so that I have a solid understanding. I am teaching them, not a book. This is my job not a publisher's. It starts when I get up and it goes all day till I hit the hay.
It's not un-schooling. What I am describing is not un-schooling just so you know 
You have challenged traditional ideas about public school so you have a little rebel in there already. Do not be afraid to challenge your thinking about how school should look, feel and be carried out.

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