Friday, April 7, 2017

Returning to Joy: Perspective & Obligations in Daily Home Education

Having decided to welcome joy back into the home educating experience, I sat down to seriously consider the Joy-Givers and Joy-Drainers in my day with my children.  The joy-drainers are those activities and perspectives that suck the energy out of me.

Obligation and a Time-Starvation Perspective were two of the first things I added to my list of Joy-Drainers. I found myself wondering about all those dreams and hopes I had; about home educating when I would have my own children to teach one day.  All those fun, creative things I thought I would do with my children.... Why wasn't I not doing them? They would be on my Joy-Giving list, if I were doing them.

Well, it turns out I was not doing them because I believed I didn't have time and there were other, higher priorities. What was hogging all that time? At first it appeared to be the core program of my children's education.... However, looking more closely, I recognized that first, it was my feelings of obligation to that core program that was draining my energy. Secondly, there are a couple subjects  -no, not subjects- simply a few topics or concepts within a subject that really have me dragging my feet. (I'll share more on that in an upcoming blog and how I've been able to mitigate some of the pressure and some of the surprise blessings that came to me just when I needed them).

Understanding that my time-pressured perspective played a huge part of draining the joy out of my day, I knew I needed to do something right off the bat, and that was simply deciding I do have time for those things that breath life and joy back into our home!   

With that self-given permission, I freed myself  to get creative and re-purpose an old toolbox into the preschool and kindergarten toolbox that is shown in the pictures on this post. I felt refreshed (being creative has a way of doing that for me) and come fall my littlest two loved -and still do- using their toolbox for their workbook time.  Putting this new perspective into action has taken some time and although not perfect, our more formal schooling hours have taken on a lighter, more gentle feel.

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