Archive for the ‘Homeschool Advice’ Category

Relieve Pressure or Offer Support

Relieve Pressure or Offer Support

We have two options when our kids struggle: to relieve the pressure to perform—taking a break, slowing down, lowering expectations; or to offer support—partnering with the child, trying a new strategy, providing more resources.

Most of us have a natural response to struggle—to back away or to push through. Our kids get to know our default practices. Sometimes what worked before stops working—the child needs a fresh approach. For instance a child who keeps backing away from challenge may benefit from your strength to say: “You can do it! I’m here to help.”
Whereas if your child is used to you pushing and cheerleading to get beyond the struggle, it may be a welcome relief to hear you say, “Let’s come back to this next week.”
If you tend to be the parent who typically relieves pressure, experiment with holding space for struggle. Consider

  • partnering,
  • not giving up,
  • trying new strategies,
  • offering faith in your child’s strength and ability to meet a challenge.

If you’re the kind of parent that typically provides support for overcoming challenge, experiment with

  • giving your child a break,
  • slowing the pace,
  • doing fewer problems,
  • going down to an easier level for a little while longer.

These are the two options. Pick one; see what happens. If you hit a wall, try the other! It’s okay to play around with these tools. That’s how you discover what your child needs to thrive.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

The Homeschool Alliance

Two Kinds of Driving

Your Ticket to Adventure

There are two kinds of driving in homeschool.

One: driving to the supermarket, Target, IKEA, the dentist, Home Depot, the pharmacy, Staples.

Two: driving to a park, the woods, the library, the zoo, a museum, soccer, skiing, the theater, a friend’s house, the beach, botanical gardens, an ice cream shop…

See the difference?

First category: distances should be short; time spent, also short. Don’t pile on and visit four in a row. Save some trips for solo outings (no kids). You might use Amazon and skip driving to stores sometimes.

Second category: boredom busters—they help kids transcend the life-locked feeling of four walls closing in. They expand your children’s world. They’re also great for Big, Juicy Conversations.

Possible Danger

Don’t use up all your car travel time on errands. Otherwise you may create resistance against longer trips to the really cool stuff (mountains, oceans, fossils, observatory, wild animal park, historic sites).

Remember, your car can be your ticket to adventure!

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

When Should You Make a Change?

When Should You Make a Change

When watching your kid struggle is more painful than learning a new foreign-to-you strategy, you’ll change course.

When the fear of losing your intimate connection with your teen is scarier than accepting your teen’s scary interests, you’ll change course.

When swallowing the abuse hurled at you daily makes you sicker than setting boundaries and keeping them, you’ll change course.

When hiding what you actually believe is more damaging to your personal integrity than admitting your truth and losing your friends, you’ll change course.

When the way things are is too costly to your well-being than the way things could be if you blew up your life to expand your choices, you’ll change course.

When you discover that you’re not trapped and all options are on the table (even the taboo, unthinkable ones), you’ll bravely, slowly, crawling, with a whispered voice…change course.

No one changes course until the tipping point. It’s okay if the tipping point hasn’t yet tipped. Be patient. You’ll know when you know. You’ll move in the direction of your hope and release at the right time for you.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

The Homeschool Alliance

Run Into a Brick Wall with Writing?

The Brick Wall of Writing Resistance

If you’ve run into a brick wall of resistance for writing, ask yourself these questions.⠀

  • How do I react to errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar?
  • When I’m disappointed in the content, what do I say to my child?
  • Do I see writing as a requirement or a revelation?

If your answers reveal expectations that are felt by your child as pressure, it could be that you’ve made the space unsafe for writing risks.

To ensure freedom for risks, shift focus to:⠀

  • Curiosity (what does the writing reveal?)
  • Care (how can I validate what was offered?)
  • Collaboration (what help can I give to grow the writing?)

To write is to risk exposure. Be gentle, kind, and supportive.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

The Writer's Jungle Online

For Type A and Type B Homeschoolers

Type A and B homeschoolers -

PSA: For Type A home educators who wish they could relax and chill a little more but are attached to “the to do list.”

You can be as check-listy as you like in your homeschool. Truth! You don’t have to pretend to be some other uncomfortable version of yourself—that free spirit go-with-the-flow hippie type earth mama—to get to connection and natural learning. Be you! Make that checklist. Change what’s on it.

For instance, instead of 3 pages of math and 15 minutes of silent reading, list the stuff you forget to do in all your ship-shapeness. How about these?

  • Listened attentively when your child told her tale
  • Eased a child’s stress with a hug and kindness
  • Played a table top game with the children
  • Used body activities to teach a lesson
  • Celebrated a learning milestone with a treat
  • Allowed a curiosity to continue uninterrupted
  • Put messy craft materials out on a table (while gritting teeth) for exploration
  • Cleaned up after the kids without resentment

You can put ANYTHING on a calendar or a check list. You decide!

Go forth and be yourself. Expand the ways you lead, while honoring your natural temperament.

PSA: For Type B homeschoolers who wish they made better plans to prove they are being conscientious but hate calendars.

You can be as free-spirited as you like in your homeschool. It’s true! You don’t have to pretend to be some fantasy version of yourself—slick bullet journaler, daily scheduler, definer of objectives and goals for each child—to get to confidence in your children’s homeschool progress. Be you! Follow inspiration. Then plan from behind.

For free-spirits, the advance planning you do is invisible to you. Your mind and attention range over all kinds of important ideas, trivial rabbit trails, and methods you might want to explore as you go on your way. Then one moment out of the blue: an idea occurs to you to test, or a spontaneous big juicy conversation erupts, or you play with a concept like fractions all morning. The spontaneous feel of these learning excursions makes them appear “accidental” or outside what “counts” as education.

Nonsense! In fact, you must count these experiences that never made the list or calendar because your finest work shows up unguided by you!

So pull out that gorgeous, intimidating planner you had to have (but hate to use) and fill it up… with what you’ve already done. Count it all!

At the end of each day, jot down on the right date anything of value that happened:

  • Talking about cheetahs while making lunch
  • Googling how to care for American Girl doll hair
  • Copying addresses onto birthday invitations
  • The pun-fest that dad started at dinner
  • Learning how to change a lightbulb
  • Skip-counting while skipping
  • Singing memorized lyrics to a song (aka poetry memorization)

It ALL counts, even when it’s not planned in advance. Over time, your planner will tell you what you’ve accomplished after the fact rather than stressing you by asking you to prepare to do what you cannot face. Ask me how I know this!

It works! You get to be who you are in homeschool (after all, who you are is how you got here—so it must work for ya!). Let’s keep a record to prove it.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

A Gracious Space series