10 Homeschooling Tips for the New Year
December 13, 2012
by Beverley Paine
- Forget the pressure to do anything, either from the internet, friends, family or yourself. This pressure cripples us because it is based in fear.
- Don't strive to "do better". Better and best are comparative words and underpin competition, which is where the pressure to perform originates. We're conditioned to compete, suckered into believing that life is a competition with only winners and losers. That's rubbish, silly. Insane!
- We're all learners. And we're also living in ignorance. And that's okay. Don't beat yourself up for what you did yesterday, look forward to what you are going to do differently tomorrow.
- As soon as we take the stress off ourselves to be perfect parents and home educators we make it easier to take risks, challenge ourselves, have a go, try again, apologise, forgive, trust.
- Switch the focus from what you think the children's performance and behaviour should be to what you need to feel confident about home educating them. Whatever works for you, is right for you, is okay. Defend that position. Be confident in your decisions. Work out what is the bottom line for you and stick by that. If you find yourself wavering and unsure you probably aren't working from a position of meeting your needs. By meeting your needs in a confident assertive manner, you naturally help your children build the same skill set.
- Children don't need our approval: they need our support. We don't have to agree with them or like their position or what they do and how they do it. We just need to be respectful, to them and us.
- Make safety the bottom line. Everything else is negotiable.
- One thing at a time. Simplify, remove the mental clutter. Life doesn't have to be so busy and complex! Jot down notes or use graphic organisers instead of holding everything in your brain.
- Let go of the need to be 'parent' all the time. guide your children gently towards independence and personal responsibility.
- Work playfully, play workfully. That's what kids naturally do. We can take a leaf from their book, learn that lesson and stop judging what we do as either good or bad all the time, it is simply enough for now.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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