Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rebooting Home{schooling}


It's that slump time of year. That time when the curriculum or methods or "plan" tends to feel stifling or dry or boring.

We are tempted to go spend some money on new books or switch gears in our schedule or question our particular philosophy of learning at home. Disillusionment can set in, and in that place we tend to make some knee-jerk reactions out of fear or frustration.

Maybe instead, we just need to reboot the atmosphere of our home.

This may mean a few weeks set aside to declutter. Toss old papers, dust bookshelves, sharpen pencils, throw out dried-up markers. Maybe rearranging posters or furniture or bookshelves in our learning spaces. Clean up and clear out.

This may mean starting off the morning with a focus on beauty instead of production. Music playing while chores are being done. Siblings helping siblings with work instead of everyone going off in their own directions. Offering a homemade snack during learning times and not running through the morning in "check off the list" mode. Stopping and savoring curious moments and not allowing the clock to drive us.

I love how Ann says, "Life is not an emergency"....we would do well to realize that the home education of our children is not an emergency; it is a beautiful lifestyle of learning to be enjoyed and unhurried.

Rebooting our home also means rebooting ourselves. Making sure we as mothers are getting enough sleep, good food, creative outlets, meaningful conversations, mental stimulation, laughter, exercise, and time with the Lord. We need to be over-flowers of peace and joy and love...we cannot overflow if we are not taking the time to be filled. When we aren't being filled we set a tone of unhappiness and ungratefulness in our homes.

So if you are feeling as I do right now...in a bit of a homeschooling rut...maybe we could try and start right where we are... right here, right now. Small steps to improve our educational atmosphere with beauty, simplicity, and cheerful attitudes.



33 comments:

Bonita said...

Is that a picture of your home? I love it! The green walls and the contrast with white and red. LOVE it!

Sorry to get off topic, but the picture just grabbed me.

Aimee said...

No Bonita! I wish!! I found that photo on Flickr and loved the color scheme...our office/sewing space is that color green with red accents and this photo is inspiring me to do more in that space!

debbie bailey said...

Such true words. I always feel the 'slump' around this time, and too many times I treat schooling as a life emergency. Thanks for the reality check.

Beth said...

I'm not a homeschooler but definitely feel the February slump.

I love this "We need to be over-flowers of peace and joy and love...we cannot overflow if we are not taking the time to be filled." There definitely hasn't been a lot of peace, love and joy overflowing from me lately.

I definitely need to do some regrouping.

Rachel Hauser said...

I have noticed a slump that seems to occur after the December holidays stir everything up. For myself, I try to look ahead to the next year and to how quickly summer will come as a way of encouraging myself to do well by our family now.

amy in peru said...

mmm... yes. "education is an atmosphere" and I think you've got it here. we're working on this...

amy on peru

Ali said...

I do feel like I'm in a homeschooling rut! Thanks for this post of your thoughts and encouragement!

~ Ali

Pam... said...

Thanks! Really nice blog.

The Lilly Pad said...

This was timely encouragement for me. We homeschool and we love it, but the workbooks are getting to me... It seems more like a 'check-it-off-the-list' kind of environment instead of a slow enjoyable time. Time to spruce up our school days. Thank you for this post.

Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home said...

Glad I followed Ann's link and clicked over. cause... I REALLY NEEDED THIS. to be given permission to take a few days off and reboot everything especially my attitude and approach. Thanks!!

laurel said...

I feel like you wrote this to me, Aimee!!! Gosh, you are such an encouragement in my life!!! xoxoxo

Selma said...

This is right on! I find myself feeling this way every Jan/Feb. And usually I just kind of go into the mode of sticking out what God has told me thought process. But I love that you shared how we need to be overflowers....changing the atmosphere of our home ends up changing my children, my husband, and me. Thanks!

carol said...

Oh, thank you! I needed that! :)

Melanie said...

Cruised on over via Ann and am so glad that I did! I have been uttering these same thoughts - burnt out, needing a recharge, but not wanting to demonstrate a lack of contentment to our children. Ugh! Anyway, thanks so much for your encouraging words and thoughtful post.

musicalmary said...

Wow, I agree with you! I think taking a couple of weeks off in February is very helpful, too, or at least slowing down and appreciating each other. I loved your post today.

Melanie said...

Oh, so glad I clicked that link in the email! I so needed this
just right now!

Debbie @ Cheaper by the Bakers Dozen said...

Great suggestions! Add some chocolate and I think you've got a fantastic recipe. Seriously, I always buy extra candy after Valentines Day, to help us persevere through spring. It's amazing what a small pile of M&M's does for math. And sometimes I even share them with my children :)

heidi said...

I'm glad I clicked that link too!! Such an awesome idea. We've been in that process of decluttering too. But now I feel even more inspired to do a better job. Thanks for sharing this!!

Cindy said...

Perfect timing for me too! Tho' we are having spring weather, so I thought it was a bit of "spring fever"; looking deeper, I know it is "the rut"! Thank you for affirming the degree of clay time last week...listening to the audio Bible for kids and some reading aloud from the "Christian Heroes" series by YWAM at the same time...got us thru!

Mary @ A Simple Twist Of Faith said...

Well said, Aimee. The month of February has been tough one for us with sickness and plain old winter blues. Thank you for your wonderful suggestions. This is our second semester of home school, so I am still on a big learning curve and my confidence level needs boosting!

andreak said...

oh, this scratched me just where i was itching! wonderful, inspiring ideas. thank you!

Melissa @ Half Dozen Mama said...

This is right where I am. I realized this last week and am just taking some time off. Burned out. Tired. Not motivated. I think some time and space will help. And it always does me good to get into my schoolroom and rearrange things, building a new system for successful days. There's something about February for me...it always seems to hit. Thanks for sharing--great post!

tomorrowsmemoriesphotography said...

Thank you for this! It thoroughly blessed me!

Christina Parker Brown said...

great ideas!

Eva said...

This is my first year homeschooling...three kids..
I love it but am experiencing the slump as well
Great info...nice to know I am not feeling this alone!

bethlee said...

I'm so glad to read your post as a confirmation. We have two days off for President's day and I thought, why not take the other three days off too, not exactly off but time for reading the adventures we hadn't gotten to before we move out of the middle ages. I love the idea of decluttering too; although I am bad at it, finding time to do it and making all those decisions, it does seem like a perfect time to work on this.

Dina said...

Just visited a fellow home schooler and felt a twinge of failure when her young daughter proudly showed me all her neatly organized binders. I vowed to be more...like this, somehow, because surely this was tangible proof of their success. Until I got home. And once again embraced our way of school and was reminded of the growth and progress and joy gained, even without the neatly organized binders! I love hearing of others' style but am learning more and more to let our successes bloom naturally and by giving ourselves a break when needed.

Shawna said...

Wow. Thank you. We have been feeling the slump, also; and the flu at my house last week made it worse! I just wasn't sure what was going on, but now I see that the combination of the two slapped us around a bit. Praise the Lord for fresh air!

Mary said...

Thank you for the reminder! I appreciate the lovely way you turned your focus from the slump of the season into something that gave you inspiration to continue!

ISellDisney said...

So true! Thank you for the wisdom and encouragement. I'm so glad I followed the link in my email shared by a loving friend.

marcia at Child in Harmony said...

Every February we would feel this way, and living in Massachusetts I felt it was more that we have had enough of the cold winter. But I guess,no matter where one lives and what the weather is like , we all need *change* to refresh us and liven things up....to reach that *harmony*. Love the picture!!

happy day!

Heather said...

Oh how you speak of the exact place that I find myself!! I keep saying once we move into the cottage (this weekend) that I can find some sort of rhythm again.

Rana said...

Followed your link from Simple Homeschool. What a great post. I love how you describe this rut. Thank you for sharing this post.