This is no surprise to you.
The best homeschooling days are full of curiosity. Your teen is researching the details of WWII. Your husband is planning new recipes to test out for dinner. You're lugging home piles of library books from astronomy to zoology. Your little ones are creating fairy houses in the backyard.
Questions and deep conversation at every turn.
The days when the whole family is engaged in projects and smiling are the loveliest of all. Good times, right?
But if you’re not aware, the same inquisitiveness that fuels your questions and projects can become a problem. It distracts you from this important life work and accomplishing the homeschool goals for your family. Especially if you’re not careful and don’t recognize it.
I’ll show you three ways the wonderful quality of curiosity ruins your homeschool high school and what to do instead. Ready?
This is the death of homeschooling productivity. You know it as Shiny Object I-Need-Every-Curricula-to-do-a-Proper-Job-Educating Syndrome.
It's when you're curious to try the next, new math program that's all the rage at your co-op or online forum. The one that is sure to solve all your woes of getting your teen to just. do. math.
So you spend hours researching it, reading reviews, and downloading PDFs that are never glanced at again.
Or am I the only one with the PDF cemetery on my laptop?
Then you spend weeks attempting to implement this new program only to discover it doesn't fit your teen's learning style. Nor your schedule. You have three younger kids after all.
Back on the lookout you go for the next solution.
Except there is no ultimate solution, other than to do the actual work of whichever program it is.
The program that works is the one that gets done. Whether it’s the simplest and cheapest or the most challenging and expensive.
Progress — no matter how slow … with whichever curriculum you actually use— always wins in homeschooling.
Curiosity is helpful during your planning sessions...to a point.
We moms research to the nth degree. We want to offer our teens the best of every topic and fill every educational gap.
In reality, if we stepped back and looked at what we’ve planned, we might see that it is enough.
Probably too much.
I definitely over plan and forget to leave margin around the edges for the unscheduled bits of family fun and juicy rabbit trails.
Sometimes we over plan to avoid doing the actual work. The incessant researching serves as a crutch and an excuse.
We aren’t ready we think, until it’s perfectly laid out and color-coded week by week.
Are you afraid to get started? It happens to all of us.
It’s the hardest part of any project. But once you have just enough information, begin.
You’ll do best to fill in gaps as they happen in real time. No one can predict months and years ahead your teen’s next interest or goal.
When you get too curious about other homeschooling families and their lives, you distract yourself from your own homeschooling goals and success.
It doesn’t start off as a problem. You research a blog online looking for ideas and inspiration.
You see the list of books another teen read over the winter, the art portfolio stacked thick, the two stringed instruments she’s mastered, and the list of college acceptances with top scholarships.
You wonder how the family raised her. Which homeschooling philosophy or method did the parents’ use?
Can I replicate it? What do I need to do or buy to get those results?
Before you know it, you’re comparing your teen who read one book this winter, never draws, and jams way too loudly (and sometimes obnoxiously) on his guitar.
You’re discouraged, envious, and ready to give up.
You’ve forgotten your teen voluntarily played board games with his younger siblings for three hours, wrote 215 lines of computer code, and delivered his grandmother groceries yesterday.
Instead, your focus is on what the other homeschooling family achieved.
When you wish for another homeschooling family’s successes or lifestyle, remember the “picture-perfect” view is often what’s presented on a blog and to the outside world.
They don‘t show the nitty and gritty and wart-filled pictures and stories that every family lives.
Remember: The focal point is your own family’s goodness.
It’s normal to let your mind take you away in thought. To wonder. To worry. To want the best for your teen.
But trust that everything you need, you already have. And your family certainly has its own sumthin' sumthin'.