Friday Freewrite: Heart on Your Sleeve

Friday Freewrite

Have you heard the saying to “wear your heart on your sleeve”? It means that we’re openly showing others how we truly feel. Write about a time when you did (or did not) wear your heart on your sleeve.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

Podcast: When You Have No Energy

Today’s question will likely feel very familiar to pretty much any parent:

“What if you just don’t have the energy to do all the stuff? The magic-making, the planning, the execution of all the tasks? I know what needs to get done, but I just can’t get myself to do it all. Help.”

I get it. There are seasons of life that make the ordinary tasks feel like bench pressing a truck. When you’re in a season like that, you can’t imagine ever getting out of it.

So, to address this topic, let’s identify a few of the reasons we lose heart or energy for the tasks of homeschooling, as well as some solutions for finding your normal self again.

Listen to the Podcast

Show Notes

1. The Babyhood stage of life.

When you are growing your family, there comes a breaking point for many of us. Sometimes it is the third child. Other times, it’s when you hit that magic number six or when the twins are born or you have a surprise pregnancy ten years after your last child was born. Or maybe you decided to foster out of the lovingkindness of your heart once your youngest turned five—and now you are suddenly back knee-deep in laundry and middle-of-the-night feedings.

The babyhood stage of life eventually wins in the chess game of energy. Combine sleep deprivation with around the clock baby care and your life points will evaporate. But there’s good news: that stage is usually one solid year (give or take six months). So we’re just talking about how to get through that 12-18 month season, okay?

Part of what’s going on is that you are devoting your creativity to troubleshooting the unspoken needs of a new human being. Your vigilance, kindness, and quick wits are being siphoned off to the newest person’s needs, which are not academic in nature. Meanwhile, the other kids are growing up. They require new skills from you—to stimulate them, to teach them, to civilize them.

You offer these and, sometimes, with alacrity. Sometimes you stumble on the magic day when it all goes so well, you imagine that you’ve arrived in the new reality of reciprocal energy—they give something back to you after all that you are giving to them.

Alas, it never lasts—because you are a parent and parenting is harder with a baby in tow, even though wonderful.

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Ease is Your Friend

Ease is Your Friend

“Just because it was easy doesn’t mean they didn’t learn anything new.” ~Julie Bogart

It’s so easy to associate learning with struggle and pain. Yet studies show that when you’re relaxed and happy, you’re more receptive to learning. Not only that, ease of practice gives your brain more room to notice details, to make your work more

  • precise,
  • accurate,
  • beautiful,.
  • or creative.

Repetition leads to confidence and competence. When a task becomes easy, you feel freer to

  • improvise,
  • test alternate strategies,
  • and understand why, not just how.

For instance, think about cooking. The more familiar you are with a recipe, the more ideas you have to improve it, to alter the seasoning, to coordinate it with other parts of the meal.

Ease is your child’s friend too. Flying through the multiplication tables again may be establishing connections invisible to you.

Consider resisting the temptation to up the stakes in learning just because your child “got good at (fill in the blank).” Joy AND deeper intimacy are the fruit of mastery.

What if today your kids only did what they’re already good at? How might that help them learn and grow differently than struggle?

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

The Brave Learner

Friday Freewrite: Salty or Sweet?

Friday Freewrite

You can eat only salty or sweet foods for a whole year. Which would you choose and why? Then describe what it might be like, 12 months later, to finally taste something other than your pick.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.

Podcast: How Do You Balance Being a Parent and a Teacher?

How Do You Balance Being a Parent and a Teacher?

How do you balance your roles as a parent and a teacher?

There’s a funny thing that happens on the road to becoming a home educator, and it happened to all of us — you were a home educator! Wait, that sentence makes no sense.

Let me help you out.

Remember when your baby was a newborn? Remember that scary feeling when you drove home alone from the hospital? Or perhaps you gave birth at home and suddenly the midwife packed up and LEFT!

That’s an unnerving moment, isn’t it? You are entrusted with that baby’s total care without any training, without certifications. Heck, you need to pass a test to drive a car, but you’re expected to grow a baby from scratch just because you’re called parents?

And so it begins. You become the educator while you are a total novice. You learn as you go and you impart all that wisdom to the baby from feedings to burpings to sleeping on her back.

The way you began is the way you continue and I talk all about it on this week’s podcast!

Listen to the Podcast

Show Notes

Cast your mind back to when you were raising small children. Whether you worked full-time, stayed at home full-time, or something in between, hours of your day were dedicated to parenting that baby. And while you were with that child, you were teaching them to do all of the things that people do: talking, eating, tying shoes, drinking out of a glass without making a mess, going to the bathroom without making a mess, and on and on.

None of these things were on a syllabus. They weren’t scheduled. Some of them weren’t even intentional! When a need arose, you met the need; you used your natural parenting, love, and kind voice to guide your child into the skills they needed to be successful.

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