Preschool Paint Chip ActivityImage by Melissa Hillier

Give them. Make them.

Be open to new ones.

When looking at how you’ve always done it, think about how you might do it differently now.

Ask questions of your current life that lead to brand new, good-for-you choices:

Does “this” (whatever “this” is) still feel good?

Is there “juice” (that rare energy that keeps the enthusiasm and energy going) for this task? How can we get it back?

Who is left out? Who have I overlooked?

How do I include him or her?

Have we used all our styles of learning (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, relational, emotional, academic, exploratory, immersive—deep investigation, sampling—little tastes, experiential—going to places that use the “subject” in real life)?

Have your kids been in charge lately? Can they be today or tomorrow, for an hour or a half day or a whole day?

When was the last time we left the house? What did we do? Was it worth doing again?

Where might we go today? Some place reliably good? Or some place brand new?

How can I include food with this lesson?

How can I include art with this lesson?

How can I include music with this lesson?

How can I include crafts with this lesson?

Have we memorized anything lately?

Have we acted anything out lately?

Have we taken turns giving oral presentations?

Have I laughed lately? Have the kids?

Would it be helpful to stay up late and do writing by candlelight?

Would it help to play math games with another family?

Would it help to involve the other parent (in math or freewriting or reading aloud)?

What might I purchase to stimulate curiosity?

What might my kids purchase for under $40.00 to add something new to our homeschool? How can I involve them in this decision so they own it and enjoy it?

How can I rope another homeschooling friend into planning a big shared event with me?

What about that nagging thought that we should be studying (grammar, fractions, phonics, word origins, Ancient Greece, foreign language, piano, spelling, percents, gardening)? How will I ease my anxiety? Should I buy a workbook to test the waters? Will I google the topic for creative ways to address it? Might I ask a question of my homeschool support network? Is it possible for me to make peace with NOT doing it for a few more months and see how I feel then?

What am I neglecting that helps me feel happy and confident, energized and open to my children and homeschool?

What am I pretending to be okay with that I’m not?

Who am I trying to please and why? What can I do to stop trying to please that person (or group) and find my own way?

Who can I call right now to schedule a break for myself and her or him?

What is the one thing my kids keep saying they want to do that I’ve been ignoring? When can we/they do it? (science projects that require a shopping list, a marathon battle of bowling on the Wii, a trip to the zoo, baking, quilting, making a podcast, learning to use the digital camcorder, creating a salt dough map…)

What book do I wish was on my list to read this year? Why isn’t it on the “to be read” list? Can I fix that? Can I displace some other less interesting book for it?

What do I wish my kids wanted to study that has yet to grab their interest? What would happen if I simply studied it myself? How can I start adding it into my days a little at a time?

What do I wish tomorrow would be like? What can I do right now to ensure a little of that spirit becomes reality?

And so on. The key to growth in life, writing, thinking, and homeschooling is asking yourself introspective questions that lead to bursts of your own incredible creativity! You are all incredibly talented at creating new ways of doing, well, everything! I get your emails and read your blogs. Keep going! Don’t give up.

Go forth and make choices.

Cross-posted on facebook.

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