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TO THE POINT: Evaluate your lifestyle
January 25, 2018
Evaluate your lifestyle
It is the beginning of a new year! This is the time when all of us have to (re)consider our schedules, budget and energy levels for managing the following 12 months. With a bigger view of home education, it not only includes making decisions on the academic load but also the outside/extracurricular activities like sport, music, culture and socials.
As a family, we make a habit of re-evaluating the value of these activities, just as much as we do with the academic workload. Decisions need to be made on what to add, take away or continue with. The more children you have the bigger the challenge….and most of us tend to over commit easily.
It is necessary (and wise) to take the time to really stop and think about some, if not all, of the work or other activities, as these will determine our lifestyles throughout the year – and whether we will be moving towards our goals. It is better to have fewer goals and more focus, than too much to do and no focus.
In evaluating your choices for academics or extra-curricular activities, measure the benefits. Think about whether it supports your educational goals and purposes. Evaluate the value for the effort and whether there is enough time, money, and energy available. Before adding an activity, you may want to ask yourself a few questions:
· Does my child have a bent for this activity already and will it benefit him/her further?
· Will it improve his skills or just use his skills?
· Will it be an outlet for cooped-up energy?
· Can we find a way to do the same thing at home?
· Can more than one child participate; can the whole family participate?
· Does it provide opportunity for ‘shining your light’?
· Are parents and siblings welcome?
· Does it fit with our educational themes and goals this year or can it wait?
· Do we really have the time/energy to make this commitment?
Trust your judgment, and remember that you are almost never making a decision that is permanent. Sometimes some activities will only be discontinued for a season, and picked up again later. Sometimes an activity is started for a specific reason, and when the objective is achieved, don’t feel bad about stopping.
Do not let ‘doing too many things’ rob you of energy that can be better spent on something else.
I have spoken to many moms feeling burnt-out due to driving around trying to let their children participate in things, just because ‘it’s good for them, you know..’. As a result, the children often learn how to not focus or become really proficient at anything.
As home education parents we have the luxury of choosing and allowing our children to become exceptionally good at something, because they have the time available to really put in enough energy and focus.
Over the years, I have often found that no activity is more important than just the simple basics of family life. My children all do very well in sports and academics, even though there were times where they did not do any sports for nearly two years, while we travelled South Africa. At first one thinks everything is equally important, but it isn’t. Sometimes taking a break from a sport or extracurricular activity is just what is needed to help you realize what is actually important.
Hope this helps you with perspective!
There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.
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Copyright © 2018, Homeschool Curriculum Guide
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