When it comes to living a happy life, experts agree that mindset is key. Changing your mindset to one of positivity is essential in your life journey, but what about your homeschool journey? Sathish Bala –CEO of Schoolio- asked Lindsey Casselman –Schoolio Team Member and founder of Linden Tree learning- how to get into the mindset of wanting to homeschool. She answered with ‘The biggest thing is to set your mind to being flexible.’
Why is flexibility key in homeschool? As Lindsey said “you have to be willing to let go of your plan.” Realizing that sometimes certain things are just not working for you and your child is key. All too often we compare homeschool to traditional school. We try to make them one in the same, when in all actuality homeschool is different. Obviously, you want to keep the education the same (which you can accomplish by using Schoolio’s Ontario Curriculum) but they’re different and It’s important to embrace the differences. Flexibility being on the top of the list.
Flexibility in homeschool is important for many different reasons, one being that it’s important to give our children a say. As Lindsey said she will sit down with her kids and say “Something isn’t working, what do you guys want to do differently?” Allowing your child’s voice to be heard is huge. And with homeschooling they get the opportunity to do that. In traditional public school, the child must learn the same way as the others. The child must accomplish what the others are. They must maintain that locked in schedule. The child’s voice becoming one of the hundreds of others in the school setting, easily being drowned out. The beauty of homeschooling is that your child has a say. Your child is heard. You can swap out the schedule, you can take an ‘explore nature day’, you can help them learn other important life lessons, like how to do laundry or cook. Things that are overlooked with traditional schooling yet are an essential part of living life.
Something I’ve learned with homeschooling is that EVERYTHING is a lesson. It’s not like I’m a teacher for 3 hours out of the day and the rest of the time my kids just have free reign of our household. No way! I’m a teacher all the time. I teach them to cook, to clean, to paint, to exercise, to enjoy life. A simple question from my child can become a lesson all on its own. There is no perfect way to homeschool, and that’s ok. Embrace the imperfections, teach your kids about flexibility in their schedule. Teach them that it’s OK to take breaks and do something other than the designated plan. Being a teacher is something that -believe it or not- you’ve been since your child was born. Teaching them to walk, talk, eat, interact, go to the bathroom. All these things you’ve done. So, teaching them core educational subjects is something that you CAN do. But you have to allow yourself space for flexibility and peace of mind.
What else matters when it comes to the best mindset for homeschool? Patience. Patience goes hand in hand with flexibility. Be patient with yourself and with your children. Emphasis on yourself. When you are impatient with yourself and allow the negative thoughts to take over your thinking frame, then you are destined to be short tempered with your children and just about every other aspect of your life. Be patient. Be flexible.
Amp yourself up. When you think to yourself ‘What am I doing?! Why am I doing this?! I’m not a teacher, what makes me think I can teach my kids?’ Let go of that negative self-talk. And replace it with thoughts that lift yourself up. ‘I am a good teacher.’ ‘I taught my child to read today!’ ‘I’m an exceptional parent, putting my child and their education first.’ Not everyone can homeschool their child, but look! You’re doing it! That is something that you should be insanely proud of. There’s absolutely no reason for you to treat yourself like garbage. You are a champion!
No day is going to be perfect, in fact most days may end up messy (especially when you’re beginning). And that’s ok. Teach your child to enjoy the imperfections. Teach your child to balance things out just like you are. Show your child how to love themselves by demonstrating it through kindness towards yourself. Remember, words hold power. Words of kindness, words that build you up, those are the best words to have in your vocabulary when it comes to your homeschooling mind-set. Don’t limit yourself by thinking negatively about yourself. You and your child can accomplish anything, today, tomorrow and every day. Homeschooling is freedom, so gain the freedom mindset. You’ve got this.
Jaymee Davis is a stay-at-home/work-at-home/ homeschooling mama. She is here to be your personal cheerleader, reminding you that you are able to accomplish anything, and homeschooling is definitely one of those things.