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What Are You Learning This Year? 6 Tips for Moms

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One of the joys of being an older homeschooling mom is that I have more time to learn along with my children.  Last year I learned a lot about Bible, history, and literature by going through Omnibus with my teens.  I have time to take pictures of flowers and insects, like the one above.  One mom took a writing course with her children and now writes regularly for publication.  Other moms learn photography, develop their creativity, study nutrition, or read widely.

This year, I’m excited about studying Canadian history with my three youngest.  We also plan to sew, learn fabric and yarn crafts, and do some decorating.  I’m eager to study more Omnibus, to learn to draw the map of Canada by heart, to read more about the history of science, and to spend time on a nature journal.  I’m planning to read Nancy Pearcey’s books, recommended by my 74-year-old father who is still modeling a lifestyle of learning to everyone around him.  Although I do not particularly want to learn the sounds of the Greek alphabet, I’ll do that just because it will motivate the children.

Because we homeschooling moms are trying to nourish a love of learning in our children, it’s a good idea to model it ourselves.  With a houseful of children, this can be a challenge.  In fact, there have been some years when the main thing I’ve modeled is a love of sleep.

Over the years, I’ve discovered a few keys to joyful learning for the homeschooling mom:

  1. Focus on your priorities.  For me, this means Bible reading, with my family and by myself.  I also try to learn skills or concepts that will help me be a more effective mom and homeschooler.
  2. Keep your goals reasonable and low-stress.  Don’t expect to learn a lot of Latin or to master calculus if you have a newborn and are sleep deprived.
  3. Tie your learning in with what your children are learning.  This doubles the fun and helps you apply it right away.
  4. Keep up with your children’s reading as much as you reasonably can.  This obviously has many benefits beyond learning.
  5. Don’t get stuck in a rut but explore a variety of ideas even if you have one main focus.  One way to expand your horizons is to pick up some of your children’s interests.
  6. Keep it low key and be flexible.  Learning for fun and being able to put it aside when necessary is refreshing; taking official courses with deadlines and exams will likely add stress to your life.

In our area, school starts in just over two weeks.  My son heads off to university, and our homeschool will be down to three students.  Yes, that is bittersweet, but we’re hoping to have a beautiful year of learning together.  Yes, me too.  And I’m excited!

How about you?  Have you thought about what you hope to learn this school year? 

This post is linked to Trivium Tuesday , Encourage One Another Wednesday, Carnival of Homeschooling, and Works For Me Wednesday.

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5 Comments

  1. Val Young says:

    Our main focus is Jesus, and I hope we don’t ever fail there. Great post!

  2. Janet says:

    Yes to older homeschool moms! 🙂
    I’ve always enjoyed learning with my kids. That picture of the caterpillar reminds me of the times we’ve studied the Monarch butterfly. That was a whole learning experience for me, and it was fun.
    Now that my older ones can take high school classes on Time4Learning, it frees us up to do some elective classes together. I’ll be starting a class in photography with my daughter soon. I look forward to it!

  3. JoAnn says:

    Yes, learning with our kids is part of the fun of homeschooling. 🙂

  4. Annie Kate says:

    Yes, Val, if Jesus is the focus, all will be well. And I pray that each of us homeschool moms will be able to remember that and that Satan won’t be able to steal that certainty and goal.

    Oh, Janet, we just found about 6 monarch caterpillars on two milkweeds by our lane. I’m so excited because we’ve never seen a monarch chrysalis before. Enjoy your photography class. You’re right, being an older homeschool mom is great.

    You’re right, JoAnn, it is fun. I often feel sorry for the moms whose kids go to school all day. Not only do they miss their company, but they also miss learning together.

  5. Amy says:

    Thanks for the encouragement today! There is so much that I need to learn, and so many ways that I need to grow. I can only hope that as the years go on, I can look back and see progress =) I do feel like this could be a really good year (as far as productivity and enjoyability). We would love more children (though the Lord has not chosen to bless us in this way again yet), but I do think of how it would make life more difficult again for a season and how I truly am content and happy with how my children are growing and not so completely dependent on me. Anyways, thanks for sharing your wisdom today!

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