Checking Boxes

This past week, I received several emails from moms who want to be more relaxed in their approach to home education but who feel like “type A” mommas. They like to make to do lists, and to check off activities, to know they’ve accomplished stuff. How do they make life more relaxed without feeling out of control, unable to set a goal and see it fulfilled?

It’s true that some curricula lends itself to check boxes. You can say “read pages 100-152 by Friday” with a little box next to it and you’ll know that it was finished when the child marks it with an ‘X’.

So can a more structured personality run a more relaxed homeschool? Yes! We just need to update the content of those little check lists. What if you made a ‘to do’ list that looked more like this?

___ I made each of my kids laugh today.

___ I found a way to get one of my kids to say “That was so much fun!”

___ We read aloud and I heard the words I read, and noticed one great simile and one great word pair.

___ We followed one rabbit trail today (someone brought up a subject that made me stop what I was doing to go do a google search, to look for a movie or book on the topic, to talk about it and follow it up with a plan of some kind).

___ We used one freewrite prompt.

___ I hugged each of my kids.

___ I listened to one child tell me a long story about something important to him.

___ I learned how to do something today that one of my kids taught me.

___ I read a blog or book or magazine about relaxed schooling.

___ I didn’t do one thing that I hate to do.

___ I didn’t make my kids do _________ today.

___ I did one thing that made me supremely happy today.

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