Sometimes “purposeful” and “intentional” can turn into “taking oneself too seriously.” Anything that doesn’t go as planned (and isn’t that usually most things?) is a temptation to discouragement or at least to the laser-eye of analysis. Instead, it might just be a reminder that God is in charge and we are not, and we need to be willing to laugh at ourselves.
To create a convivial home, we must lighten up.
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Simple Sanity Saver: Homeschool Checklists for Kids
Reality check: Checklists don’t magically make kids independent. Becoming independent takes time and training, for some more than others – it’s a personality thing.
But even though giving your kids a checklist doesn’t turn them into independent learners overnight, it does start the process and it does empower them to take ownership, gradually, of their work.
Instead of being the source of all answers, including “What’s next?”, you are the guide, pointing them back to the source. If they ask a question about history, you point them to the encyclopedia or their timeline. If they ask a question about grammar or math, you look it up in the teacher manual. Just so, with checklists, you walk them over to the list and talk over what it tells you both – what is next? Let’s choose something.
One way this saves your sanity is that you get to stop being Mommy-Bossy-Pants, controlling and micromanaging every detail. A student checklist allows you to offload some of that authoritarian tone to the impersonal paper. You’re less of the bad guy and more of the help alongside.
Sure, you made the list, but once it’s outside your head and on paper in front of you together, it’s something you’re tackling together instead of something you’re pulling off the top of your head and insisting on.
If you feel like you’re pulling teeth and dragging everyone along all day long, try independent work checklists – not so much because they’ll suddenly be independent, but because it changes the relational dynamic of the school day.