Relationships are complicated and messy. Especially when love is involved. It struck me the other day that in many ways, the relationships we have with our “Home Schools” are no different from our relationships with loved ones . . . particularly our romantic relationships.
Humor me (if only in honor of Valentine’s Day) in taking a look at Homeschooling through the perplexing lens of LOVE:
Some of us fell head over heels in love to start;
a sort of storybook love-at-first-sight.
Others of us fell in love almost against our will . . .
but it hunted us down.
Many are still waiting to fall in love.
Or wondering if this love is cursed.
Some don’t believe this whole “love” thing even exists.
Then there is unrequited love:
when we seem to give everything we have . . .
only to receive practically nothing in return.
But regardless of how we fell in love (or how we didn’t) . . .
whether we are experiencing young love . . .
old love . . .
puppy love . . .
blind love . . .
whether we are love sick,
or just plain sick of love . . .
our love affairs are anything but stable.
There are ups and downs.
Passionate days and days of rut.
Exemplary days and disastrous days.
Spats and storms.
There’s love, and there’s war . . . sometimes in the same hour.
There are countless labors of love.
Days, weeks, months of tough love.
Some days we feel positively besotted . . .
bursting with love.
Other days we feel that maybe the flame has gone out;
that we have fallen out of love.
That perhaps our love is lost.
We may even wonder if our love was ever true to begin with.
Sometimes we forget our love.
Sometimes we forget our commitment to love.
We forget that love is a choice . . .
a practice . . .
We forget that Newsboys song . . .
that love, love, love is a verb.
Sometimes we forget that love has its seasons;
that not every day is May . . .
and that sunny days shine brighter after a rain.
We forget that love is a garden
in need of planting, watering, weeding, and pruning.
That sweat on the brow and dirt under the finger nails is required.
That love is good old fashioned work.
And that it is not for the faint-of-heart.
Sometimes we forget that true love is unconditional.
That love bears all things . . .
believes all things . . .
hopes all things . . .
endures all things . . .
and that love never fails.
If your Homeschooling journey could use a little(or lot of) love, take heart! It is not all roses and sunshine, for any of us! Not even on Valentine’s Day.
14 acts of LOVE for our Homeschools!
1.) REMEMBERING . . . your why’s and what’s.
Sometimes we have to take a few minutes to remind ourselves of the reasons why we chose to Homeschool in the first place. And sometimes we need to step back and notice the beauty and blessings all around us . . . the things we have forgotten and the things we take for granted.
Take a few minutes and jot down all of your “why’s” . . . the reasons that led you to choose home education. Then look around your home. Hover over your various Homeschool hubs and rest on the faces of your children. Jot down any “what’s” that surface . . . the things that make Homeschooling worth it . . . for you. These “worth its” may even be futuristic, and that’s ok too.
Put the list up somewhere you can see it each and every day when you are in the trenches.
Here’s our list if you need to cheat a little: 32 Reasons Why Our Family Loves Homeschool!
2.) CREATING. . . space and time for Homeschooling!
If your walls are closing in around you, or if your Homeschool materials are taking over the house, its time to find a place for everything and to practice keeping everything in its place!
Join us in creating a PLACE in SPACE & TIME for Homeschool!
3.) EMBRACING . . . artistic expression to feed the mind and soothe the soul!
If your Homeschool is lacking in heart, soul, or peace of mind, I encourage you to embrace practicing artistic expression with your children! There is no better way I know to love and honor our children than to give them the freedom to create!
For an in depth exploration of the role of arts in the home and in the life of the child, check out: from REPRESSION to SELF-EXPRESSION; utilizing the arts to restore mental and emotional well-being
4.) COZY CORNERING! Booking it and bonding with our kids!
When everything fails, grab your kids, grab a good book, and find a cozy spot!
Read all about “Cozy Corner” and our family’s book diet here: Book It!
5.) PLAYING . . . in school!
If your Homeschool days are in a rut, and nobody is having much fun, check out our Teaching with Toys series and give your lessons a dose of playfulness!
- Part 1: the teaching manipulatives lurking in your home!
- Part 2: MATH MANIPULATIVES lurking in your home!
- Part 3: the READING & WRITING RESOURCES lurking in your home!
6.) CULTIVATING . . . healthy sibling relationships. (GULP!)
Any Homeschool parent of two or more children knows the effect that sibling squabbles can have on the school day. This is one area where I bet every “Home School” in the world could use a little love. Our home included!
Let’s get (it) together, yeah, yeah, yeah! : SIBLING SQUABBLES & the “Isolation Cabin”
7.) EMPOWERING . . . capable hands and purposeful hearts.
“Skill School” is one of my very favorite things about Homeschooling. If your child lacks direction, motivation, or courage . . . if your child needs a boost of self-esteem or a bit of self-confidence . . . give to them practical, purposeful life skills and watch them bloom.
Get started with these Skill School posts:
- From passivity to PURPOSE; giving our kids the satisfaction of intentional activity
- Teach your kids these 5 PRACTICAL LIFE-SKILLS!
- INSTILL YOUR SKILLS; share your experiences and expertise with your kid(s)
8.) RELISHING mornings and HONORING childhood!
If your Homeschool mornings could use a little tender loving care, check out our Homeschool Morning Makeover series!
- Part 1: First, LET’S END THE PAJAMA WAR.
- Part 2: LET’S FREE CINDERELLA (hint . . . she’s probably you)!
- Part 3: Reining in “Screen-Time” to Regain Connected, Constructive, Creative Mornings!
- Part 4: from RUSHED to RELISHING! Saved *from* the bell and enjoying the journey!
9.) CARING for . . . kids with the “Isolation Blues” or “Pandemic Panic”
If your family is still “sheltering” or “isolating” (whether by choice or otherwise) . . .
If your child is lonely, worried, distressed . . .
If your family is dealing with the “blues” (for whatever reason) . . .
Please check out these child-care and self-care posts:
- Rainy Days & Mondays
- Caring for kids with the “Isolation Blues”
- From promoting panic to FILTERING FEAR
- “Isolation Blues” Bibliotherapy & Book Lists (for kids of all ages)
10.) SIMPLIFYING . . . our Homeschool routines and giving ourselves a break.
If you are overwhelmed, stretched thin, or just plain exhausted . . . show yourself a little love with our favorite HOMESCHOOL HACKS; sanity-saving secrets for the Homeschool family (updated)!
11.) REFRESHING . . . the Homeschool space!
Sometimes our “Home Schools” need a little love from the outside in. If your Homeschool space could use a little refresh, check out our 5 Days of DIY for the Homeschool Room!
12.) GROWING . . . our children in strong morals and sound wisdom.
This one is as much about love for our world as it is about love for our children and Homeschools! God has placed the next generation of adults into our hands! There’s a sobering thought. Let’s perform an act of love for our children, our societies, our world . . . all in one ten minute go each and every morning!
For an in depth exploration of “wisdom parenting”: “Belling the Cat” for 2032’s Voting Booth; growing our children in sound wisdom and strong morals . . . and cutting the crap.
13.) SAVING . . . time and energy with our Homeschool Parent Printables!
Admittedly, most of the acts of love in this post have been directed at the kids. Well, this one is for you, Homeschool mama or papa! Check out our Printables Page to make your life a little easier and more organized!
This week in your Homeschool . . . make some homemade valentines with and/or for your kids. Maybe write on the back all the reasons you LOVE Homeschooling them. Why you LOVE being their teacher. Why you LOVE having them home with you. They need to know. And having it written on a lovely, lacey valentine never hurts.
Thank you so much for reading!
Happy Valentine’s Week!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~