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Lesson 7: You don't have to check off every box {Season 3, Episode 56}

October 22, 2018 4 min read

Lesson 7: You don't have to check off every box {Season 3, Episode 56}

I love to see a sheet with all the boxes checked. In today’s lesson, I am sharing how I learned over the years that you don’t really have to check off every single box.

Welcome to Season 3 of The Tips for Homeschool Science Show. This season, I am sharing 10 lessons I have learned in my ten plus years of homeschooling.  I hope that all of them will help you on your homeschooling journey!

{Disclaimer - I don't claim to know everything there is to know about homeschooling, but these ten lessons are ones that I have found important and useful in my homeschooling journey. And I trust that you will too.}

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Lesson 7 Transcripts

You don't have to check off every box

As you probably have already guessed from listening to this podcast, I am a type-A, check-the-box kind of gal. When I look at a plan, my default is to see all the boxes that aren’t checked instead of the ones that are. I love a sheet full of checked boxes – it gives me a sense of accomplishment.

And don’t get me wrong, there is definitely value is checking the boxes and getting things done. One of our goals in the fifth lesson from this season was to be consistent in homeschooling. And having all those boxes checked helps us to see our consistency.

But in the routine of completing our plans, I think we sometimes forget to stop and experience the wonder. To slow down and savor the amazing experiences on display in front of us.

As homeschoolers, we have the freedom to leave a few boxes unchecked in favor of following a rabbit trail or when life temporarily gets in the way of homeschooling.

Here are three things I keep in mind when it comes to box-checking.

Tip #1 – Experience the wonder

First, it is perfectly acceptable to take time to experience the wonder.

There are days when we have been cooped up inside for weeks and then the one perfect day of weather comes along, and the view is screaming come out and play. On days like that, we head outside and enjoy it. There days when we take a trip and I get to see something through my children’s eyes for the first time. There are days when all we want to do is cuddle up and read a book together.

Those days won’t last forever – believe me, our oldest is about to graduate and head off to college! And I want to know that we made memories as we experienced the wonder on those days.

We homeschool because we want to give our kiddos the best education for them, but I have learned that “education” includes more than what can be written in the boxes we check off. There are times when the best thing to do is to leave a box unchecked and choose to experience the wonder instead.

Experiencing the wonder of life through my child’s eyes helps me to know that I can leave a few boxes unchecked.

Tip #2 – Know your essentials

With that said, I have learned that it is equally important to know our essentials.

The essentials are those things that we need to get done – the subjects in which we won’t skip lessons. For us, these subjects are in math and language arts.

If we do set aside a day to experience the wonder, I will adjust our plans accordingly in those subjects to make sure that we don’t miss an essential lesson. We may double up or just continue to work on those subjects before we take our summer break, but I do my best to make sure that we complete all the work from our essential subjects before we call it quits for the year.

Knowing the essentials of our homeschool gives me the freedom to have those days where we leave a few boxes unchecked.

Tip #3 – Focus on what you have done

And finally, if you are a homeschooler who worries if they have done enough, which basically is to say that you are human, it’s important to focus on what you have done.

There are situations or seasons where you feel like you are just not doing enough. We all go through those. And when one of those moments hits me, I choose to focus on what we have accomplished.

There may be some unchecked boxes and it may be more than I would like, but rather than beating myself up about it – I focus on what we have done and then get real about any changes that need to be made. Like anything in life, it’s much easier to face the “bad” when we look at it through the lens of the “good” in our lives.

Focusing on what we have done allows me the grace to leave a few boxes unchecked.

In a Nutshell

So as we look at those grid-style planning sheets, the to-do lists, or our pages filled with goals, let’s remember to experience the wonder, to know our essentials, and to focus on what we have done in our homeschools!

Additional Resources

If you want a few more tips for how to fit it all in, check out episode 29 from season 1 where I shared 5 tips to get it all done, if that’s even possible.

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