When we start a new homeschool year, it’s easy to focus on all the things we need to do: swimming lessons, soccer practice, algebra, handwriting—however we homeschool our kids, we’ve all got a to-do list running through our days.
Sometimes, though, that to-do list can get in the way of happy homeschooling. Problems pop up when you’re constantly sacrificing the things you love to do for the things you think you need to do—on a busy week, you skip your beloved readalouds for vocabulary drills or forego science experiments for math practice. When you find yourself regularly skipping the parts of homeschooling that you genuinely enjoy—whatever they may be—homeschooling can start to feel less like a fun adventure and more like a chore to check off your daily list.
Think about what you love about homeschooling, and make those those things your everyday homeschool priority. Then let the rest of your day fall into place around them—chances are good that if you’re starting the day with what you love, you’ll be more motivated to power through the rest of your to-do list than you are when you’re trudging through work you don’t love. Brainstorm ways to incorporate more of what you love: Why can’t you take more science and history field trips if field trips are your favorite part of homeschooling? If you love cuddling up for readalouds, can you incorporate reading together into other subjects that you want to cover?
If you find that your important should-dos aren’t getting done when your prioritize your happier subjects, it may be time to rethink how you’re handling them: Would it make sense to switch to a different program? To take a break and look for games or online resources instead of a more structured program? To look for outside classes that might be a good fit? Not every subject is going to be all fun all the time, but often, little changes can make a tough subject more manageable. Starting the day with what you love doing can help you put your homeschool back into perspective and make you look forward to waking up on Monday mornings.
Your challenge this week: Pay attention to what’s taking up the bulk of your time each day. Is it the stuff that makes you happy? Or is it the stuff on your I-should-do-that list? If you’re not prioritizing your favorite parts of homeschooling, look for ways to move those parts front and center in your homeschool day.