Listening to your heart can be challenging. You can want to homeschool but have no idea how to start and what it would involve, and come up with all kinds of reasons why it isn’t possible. And sure, it isn’t possible for some people – depending on their circumstances in life (what they have moulded and shaped thus far), as well as their passions and dreams. (If it’s not for you and you know this, then let it go and move towards what feels great for you.) But if you do feel it in your heart that you want to homeschool and you want some extra clarity on how this can work for you, then please take extra heart that there is a way to create a guiding compass and believe in it and enjoy your every day as a homeschooling parent.
So if you have heard yourself saying, “I want to homeschool my kids, but I’m not really sure what I would homeschool about…” read on:
Recently on the Free Birds Author Services website I wrote a reply to a Frequently Asked Question – “I want to write a book but don’t know what to write about” – and my reply was that as with anything in life, you need to start with the end in mind. To think about the results you want to achieve. As I said in this post, saying you want to write a book, but you have no idea what to write about, is a lot like saying you want to meditate but don’t know why.
Here is what I mean: You meditate to get results. Why do YOU meditate? Is it to remember to breathe into your abdomen? To switch off your flight/ fight response and switch on your rest/digest response? To learn something from your intuition? To have a rare moment of peace or physical nothingness? To maintain a healthy state of mind? To experience a change in brain waves and experience a shift in consciousness? Similarly, you write a book to get results.
Similarly, you can choose to homeschool your children to get results. I have listed the results I want to see by homeschooling below. They are brief, just a few words. Your results don’t have to be listed as affirmations or long “how to” phrases or SMART goals. Just state the results you wish to see.
41 SHORT & SWEET “Result-Focused” Reasons to Homeschool
To see kids I have raised:
- Create ideas and develop them – independently, and collaboratively
- Solve problems independently and in teams
- Make good decisions relevant to age, responsibility and interests
- Learn from mistakes and make a decision to improve
- Think critically
- Think laterally
- Act capably
- Act confidently
- Enjoy learning activities that are interesting and engaging
- Develop skills relevant to interests and stage in life
- Show skills and learning and teach others
- Make choices freely
- Adapt to circumstances
- Learn with projects with hands-experiences
- Love and respect outdoors and nature
- Love and respect therapeutic activities
- Communicate consciously
- Support peers
- Make rules
- Respect rules
- Follow rules, or consciously change rules
- Lead by example
- Believe in himself/herself
- Reflect on his/her achievement
- Practise gratitude
- Practise forgiveness, compassion and kindness
- Set healthy boundaries and respect him/herself
- Practise discipline and commitment
- Identify his/her own needs and act
- Respect other people’s lifestyles, circumstances and cultures
- Be a valued member of community
- Feel joy in most moments, and learn from not-so-good moments
- Have a personal connection to any work that’s taking place
- Work for themselves
- Focus on Results
- Speak positively
- Attract amazing opportunities and friends
- Act kindly and thoughtfully
I’m a big believer in leaving negativity and harsh criticism out of my decision making, and to focus on what I want to SEE. I hope you can see that in the above list. I haven’t mentioned anything like “keep them away from…” or “change a bad system” or “avoid loss of self-esteem” or anything else that feels icky.
Focusing on results, and achieving results FASTER because of this approach, is another reason I choose to align with a global health community who always talk about what they want to see and do not criticise or judge others (enquire about this community here). Some communities or friendships or social circles you find yourself in, sometimes, spend precious time feeling helpless, amplifying helplessness, magnifying anger and distrust, and rallying for support “against” a cause. Sure, I could have written a list that said “I don’t want my kids to feel powerless and grow up into adults who believe they are powerless with self-resignation, stress, reactive attitudes more than proactive, anxiety, listlessness, numbness of emotions, pessimism, health complaints, resentment, sadness, low self esteem, judging and criticizing others, being unable to commit, lacking discipline, lacking self-care, with loss of ambition.
But that would be a powerless list to write, not a powerful one.
In social settings, I am conscious of my desire to bring more good into the world. I set out to visualise, speak of, think of, and act as if it’s already happening: The Greater Good & The Result I want to See. It’s not always easy – but I believe it is powerful.
What if the results don’t come to life? That’s no reason to not get started! There is a better chance of a plan coming to fruition, if you have a plan in the first place and take steps to achieve the greatness you see.
The results listed above – can they be achieved elsewhere? Quite possibly! That’s why I’ve listed the results I want to see. If an opportunity comes to me and it feels great – perhaps it’s not homeschooling – and it appears to be able to match the list above, then that is another great option I can consider. That’s another great reason to have a results-focused ambition. Instead of stubbornly holding onto this statement “I always said I was going to homeschool, so that is what I’m going to do”, by being clear on the results you want to achieve you can always change and improve what you’re doing, no matter which road that takes you down, to achieve those same results that are so important to you.
And of course, you can add and change the results on your list anytime, so long as they continue to align with your values and your “Ultimate Goal”.
Take a moment now to brainstorm what would go on your list, what qualities are important for you to see in your children. To do this, take a little moment to sit and visualise how it feels to see your children living their lives now, and in the future, in a certain way. What brings a smile to their face? What brings a smile to your face? What is the ultimate dream for them? Then break it down into little steps.
Now that you have your list, you know what you want to homeschool about! Looking again at my above list, I can see that there are key elements that need to be included in my homeschooling day if I will achieve these results. Such as:
- free outside play
- natural environment exploration, learning rules, learning respect
- free inside play using resources, with company and independently
- learning the syllabus (maths, english, science, etc) as they are interested in components and relevant to their stage in life and interests
- participation in community events – getting to know the community
- learning how to act kindly and compassionately towards others through books, movies, t.v., social groups
- Following their interests for reading and participating in activities
- if they come up with an idea, support them in freely developing and testing, reflecting and improving
- art – translating what they see in the world, and feel, into diagrams and pictures
- technology – developing new ideas without fear of being corrected
- participating in musical activities and freely expressing him/herself
- enjoying dance, solo and in groups, and having fun or expressing emotions
- … and so on …
That’s a great start for a homeschool plan – and you should be able to start filling up your week quite easily with a guiding compass like this, personalised to your own goals and purposes.
Joanna Becker, Australian Author
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