Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It Doesn't Happen Overnight!

Homeschooling two children often leaves me feeling frazzled and makes me wonder how on earth larger families do it.  After reading a post on another blog (Lighting the Fire), I was reminded that learning doesn't happen overnight and perfection is impossible to achieve.  As it is said, "Rome wasn't built in a day." 

It took me a long time to realize that my kids don't need to master historical knowledge at their age.  To realize that many concepts in reading, writing, science, and even math are learned over time, not in one lesson.  That it's ok to skip over some things, and to stretch others out.  I was reminded to evaluate what is important.

So, how do we homeschoolers do that?  How do we know what is important?  What to skip?  What to camp on for a bit?  Well, I rely heavily on our curriculum for guidance.  But I also think instinct has a lot of influence.  There are many fantastic books out there that contain so much knowledge.  Knowledge of things that I'm learning for the first time!  Knowledge of things that had been suppressed in my brain and were a bit foggy.  Some of this knowledge is just too much for my kids, particularly my oldest.  She is sensitive to fighting and death and has had nightmares as a result of what we read about in history.  For this reason, I now try to review our history readings ahead of time and decide what to cover.  It's just not worth my daughter having nightmares just to put a checkmark on the agenda. 

As we learn with our children, we also learn about our children.  We learn about their interests, their sensitivities, their strengths, and their weaknesses.  The more we learn about them, the more effectively we are able to teach them, to foster their strengths and to strengthen their weaknesses.  It doesn't happen overnight and it requires a lot of patience and a lot of grace.  It is my prayer that God gives me the instinct to know how to help my children succeed and that I seek Him first, above all else, in the choices that I make.

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