As local schools get out, I’ve heard friends exclaiming their frustration with how to get their kids to stop fighting, how to get their kids to stop acting bored, and how they are going to keep kids busy for a summer.
I was delighting in the fact that nothing has changed for us, since homeschooling means my kids already are used to each other, finding things to do, and enjoying being home.
But then I realized how wrong that was. It always changes for us too. September, November, February, then, May: we must constantly reinvent our family dynamics as a stay-at-home homeschooling family.
Our constant reinvention of our homeschool comes for a few reasons. Mostly, it is because time passes.
My kids are different ages than they were in February. As such, we have different schedules and needs.
The weather has finally changed from freezing to pleasant. Soon it will swerve back in to the unbearable category with the oppressive August heat.
We also have to reinvent as we finish curricula, learn new talents, and develop new habits.
We have to reinvent as my son and daughter go through growth spurts.
Nothing every stays the same for a homeschooling parent. I imagine all parents go through some of these reinventions every time kids reach a new stage. Kids stop napping. Kids go through growth spurts. It’s not just school stopping for the summer.
I’ve never been a parent to a 6.5 year old before! My child has never been this age before. I cannot predict what his next stage will bring.
So of course we will be reinventing our relationship as we go along this summer. I’ve dropped the school schedule (mostly), and we’re going to play a lot. It’s going to be the summer of creativity, after all.
I now offer my ideas for what I do to reinvent our family dynamics.
I must observe my kids and see what is working and what is not. I need to recognize how I am feeling about the situations. I recently read a book that brought to mind so many ideas on how important it is to embrace my own frustrations. I cannot help my kids deal with their frustrations until I see what mine are.
It sometimes take a while to get the hang of a new schedule. My daughter is (mercifully) still taking naps. When the day comes that she refuses, well, we’ll have to take it easy while we figure it out. When it is clear that something is not working, that is the time to step back.
I tend to want to jump in to the next thing and move forward. I like schedules. I like being organized. But stopping for a breather is essential for keeping our family happy.
What our family needs include a few hours, or days, or weeks to figure what what the next move should be.
After I’ve figured out what my child needs, that is when we can move forward. I’m finding more and more of the time that my son, especially, just needs love. He needs to know that he is okay. And when he knows that, our family is more inclined to get along.
It may not be the math curriculum we’re using that is broken: it may just be that I’m asking too much too soon; or maybe he wants to practice last week’s subject again. Maybe he just needs a break from math while we finish our science work. Maybe the curriculum does need to go. I cannot adapt until we’ve assessed.
Keep in mind that I am naturally not a flexible person. This parenting thing is hard, and the homeschooling dimension makes it harder. But I’m grateful for the chance I get to constantly work toward understanding my kids.
It is hard work, but isn’t that is what parenting is about?
Please, share: With summer, most families have to adapt to a new routine. How do you reinvent your family dynamics when you enter a new stage?
Images from Pixabay.com and Canva.com.