I'm giving this fanTAStic seminar this Friday (today!) at the Community Homeschool Center in Bryan, where our children and I attend (and teach) weekly classes.
I'm looking forward to it, and decided I'd share my basic points with you here, too! Of course, bullet points and paragraphs aren't nearly the same as attending a seminar, but perhaps, if you're struggling with attitude of some sort in your homeschool today, this will help. Here are some basic steps to think through:
1) What's your problem?
Phrasing the question that way sounds really antagonistic, but it needs to be asked. Defining the problem, and actually writing it down is a huge step in finding a solution. Some times, we just have the habit of avoiding and spiraling, and the problem doesn't even exist anymore, but we never took the time to discover and then declare that.
In this questioning, the main person to look at first is ME. Do I have a problem? What is it? Write it down.
2) Ok, so I have a problem.
Who should fix it?
What’s the cause/root?
What’s the solution?
In the seminar, we talk through these questions, and find suggestions from the audience.
Here's an example: My problem is how I react to my eleven year old daughter's tone and speech. I should fix it, since I'm the grown up, and she's the child. The root is lack of gratefulness in her, and lack of patience in me. The solution is practice, and a specific consequence for unwelcomed behavior, rather than an emotional reaction from me. (Easy to say, hard to do, but recognition still helps. It's a start.)
3) My kid has the problem. (Same scenario/discussion as before.)
4) Possible Concrete Steps toward the solution:
~Make a list (a plan)
~Get some accountability
~(TV/computer time, momma time, special dessert, dinner of choice, special trip.)
~Track progress (post it! Tell people!)
5) General Schooling Obstacles:
~Family Member Support
~Learning Disabilities / Struggles
~Management of time and space
For each of these, we'll talk through whether the audience has issues with it, and some basic steps to try and see if there's an easy solution, or if something needs to give, or we need to call in more support from the community. For you at home, rating each item 0 - no problem, to 10 - lots of problems here that make my head spin daily will help show you where to focus.
6) Solutions: (FInally! The GOOD stuff!)
~Recognize: you can do WHATEVER you want.
~Declare your goals. They will not match another single family. Because you're not them.
~Ask your child (dependent on age) what THEIR goals are. Write it down.
~Adjust the timing (set timers) 20 minutes is magic.
~Change curriculum (LIBRARY TIME!) - changing doesn't have to cost a ton of money. And you ALWAYS have a back up in the public library. Thank you, Ben Franklin!
~Get input from your “running mates.” If you aren't hanging out with a few moms who match you in children and lifestyle, find them. Then ask them for advice.
~Use checklists instead of schedules.
~Move priorities up and down.
~Stay home more, or leave the house more
If you'd like a chance to talk through these with me, or discuss specific issues, I do consultations on request. Simply contact me, (email@example.com) and we'll set up an appointment!