Have you ever heard the ole adage about eating an elephant??
It can only be done...one.small.bite.at.a.time.
Of course you realize I'm not talking eating elephants (they're way too cute for that!), but instead I'm talking about those difficult, seemingly mountainous tasks that block our vision....hold us back...keep us discouraged and disheartened.
Since beginning our journey in homeschooling, I have discovered this one thing: if I don't want to end up going absolutely crazy by the end of the year, then I need to BE FLEXIBLE! I need to take it slow and steady. I need to constantly and consistently move my brood forward, yet not allow my 'goals' to cause our family stress, if a day, or a lesson, or a task, or whatever, doesn't go the exact way we planned it to.
Let me give you a tangible example from our home:
Two of our four children despise math...they vow that they hate the ground that math walks on! They look at their word problems, the geometry, the algebra, all the numbers, decimals and fractions and want to cry...
And I, as the parent and facilitator of our school, feel the pressure that it puts on me to try and explain the math questions...in like a gazillion ways! These times demonstrate to me that I'm still growing in the area of patience...
Well, what's the answer? How DO we eat this elephant?
Well, for our family, what has been working is breaking down our goals into bite-sized bites. Here's what we have been doing, and seems to be working much better:
- our curriculum has already been purchased for the year and it has 12 booklets, so instead of getting overwhelmed with all twelve of them...we are simply focusing on 4 or 5 pages per day
- I don't allow them to negative self-talk, they ARE able to complete their work. It may just take longer. It may just take a different way of explaining the problem...but I am confident they can get through their problems!
- the children are being encouraged to work through the problems on their own at first, then we come back together to look over what they 'got', and what they need to practice
- this school year we are awarding points for every booklet finished and every few weeks they get to select a small prize for their completion
While every homeschooling family will have to find their own remedy for obstacles, I have found that the old principle is true: you can only eat an elephant, one simple bite at a time!