Monday, February 17, 2014

"You're Not the Boss of Me!"

Sometimes you just have to say to your curriculum "you're not the boss of me!"

Okay, maybe I've been hanging around kids a little bit too much, because I could not think of a more grown-up way to say that. But it is Truth, and one I sometimes forget. Sometimes schedules fall apart. Sometimes kids don't learn the way we think they will. Sometimes Life just happens. Usually in February.

This is the time to remember that you child's education will not be ruined if you skip a few lessons. Or chapters. Or if you just take a break in the middle and don't go back for a while. I speak from experience.

I know with the end of the school year in sight, it's hard not to push to But it's not always worth it. Sometimes a break now can mean getting it done faster later. Lots of times I've banged my head on the wall of trying to teach a kid something, only to take a break for a week or two to find that it has finally clicked!

And just because you're taking a break doesn't mean the learning has to stop. One of our most memorable days was when Builder Boy decided he wanted to be the teacher for the day. So we went through our routine with him "teaching" me and Early Bird. It was excellent for review, and gave me a really good idea not only of what he thought of what we do every day, but how well he understood the material. You know the saying, "the best way to learn is to teach"? Plan a day (or if your child is older have them plan it!) where your child is the teacher and see what they come up with.

Another fun break-while-still-learning is rabbit trails or unit studies. Let the kid pick a topic that interests them, get some library books, and roll with it for a week or two. We've ended up learning quite a few things doing that, and it's always been fun.

Or do school in character. Pick a time period or setting, have everyone be a character, and dress and act the part! Do school in a deep voice or a British accent! Remember to respond only to your character's name and no other.

I know that the burden of being solely responsible for our children's education is heavy and serious. We love our kids and don't want to mess them up; their future depends on this! But school is going to go better for everyone if you are the one controlling it, instead of the curricula controlling you. It's a tool, not dictator. You use it; it does not use you. When we have an extra day when we have to leave the house for appointments or something, I skip a copywork assignment in writing. Builder Boy's hasn't finished the current level in his math curriculum, even though he can work at a higher level. I'm not going to commit us to finishing this level. The next level has review; when the next level arrives in the mail we're going to start it then. It also helps that we school year round which gives us more flexibility.

So go easy on yourself (and your kids) and don't let your curricula boss you around.

This blog post is my contribution for the
Staying Motivated Throughout the Homeschool Year Blog Hop


  1. Good advice about not letting the curricula boss you around. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh, yes. I agree with Wenda about not letting the curricula rule us. So true.

  3. Homeschooling year round seems to be a great way to feel less stressed by time retrictions. Thanks for the tip!

  4. I did one school day singing everything in operatic voice and making the kids do the same. They were...less than amused by the end of the day. LOL I loved it!

  5. Adorable kids and like the point about not letting your curricula boss you around.

  6. I like the idea of having the student teach me! lovely post.

  7. Love the idea of having your child be the teacher! My 6yo daughter often comes up with "tests" or experiments to teach me during her playtime - and I figure the writing down of the test is great practice for her - I think I'll be more intentional in letting her take the reins.

  8. I love the idea of dressing up to teach / learn. How cool. I think that looks like a lot of fun!

  9. You have some really great ideas for varying their learning experiences - I love the idea of dressing and acting as characters!


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