Thursday, February 14, 2013

Practicing Happiness

This is our third year homeschooling. We are currently in 5th grade math and spelling, so that's what grade we say we're in, but in all our other subjects (history, science, language arts...) most of our material is not grade-specific. Some of it isn't even specifically intended for children, but if it works, it works.

I don't normally hand out advice here because I still don't feel like a homeschool expert, but - you know what? - I'm starting to. So, here are some things I've learned.

1. Don't put on too much time pressure. 

Yes, I know, we want to teach them about everything under the sun. 

It's all so exciting! There's so much to learn! 

But, if you want quality, you have to give it time. 

This afternoon, we were supposed to do math, history, and typing. But instead of pushing for all of that to happen, I let Lu work on his Alexander the Great poster all afternoon. I let go of my own expectations and gave him time to do something that surpassed my expectations. 

Some unschooler is reading this thinking "yeah, duh..."

2. Go outside.

Take advantage of the freedom that homeschooling gives for this.

If you've been reading my blog since the beginning (I'm very honored and thank you), you may have noticed that I am MUCH more relaxed than I was at the beginning about things like schedules record-keeping, tests, grades, and standards. 

I wish I had trusted the wise women who told me, through forums and blogs, that our kids learn - for the most part - despite our attempts to educate them, not because of them. The standard stuff gets learned because... it just does. I promise. 

So, go outside. As much as you can.

3. First and foremost, harmony in the home.

If something is wrong health-wise, house-wise or family-wise, give it priority.

Spelling can wait.

There is much learning that comes from the peace and well-being of living in a harmonious home, where everyone is working on feeling good, communicating, well-fed, taking care of themselves and each other, and with no leaks in the roof.

Nothing is more important than learning how to be happy, and we believe that happiness is a decision. We have to remember this when things don't turn out as we wanted them to, embrace the positive, and move forward. There must always be time for practicing this. 
Every day.


  1. Absolutely YES on #3...and #2....and #1!!!!!!!

    LOVE the pics! This is the first time I remember seeing your partner. What a beautiful fam shot!

  2. Wise wise wise wise wise wise wise wise wise wise