Mastermind Your Homeschool Blog

Become a Homeschool Mastermind Today | The Homeschool Genius

Welcome to the Year 2020!

By now, you’re probably aware that this blog is taking a new direction. Don’t worry, I’ll still be sharing my homeschool journey. In fact, I won’t be taking away anything. You’re free to enjoy all my old blog posts and resources. I love when creators leave a trail that leads to the very beginning of their journey. In my case, that trail began when I had zero readers.

I admit I wasn’t writing for anyone then. I was writing for myself. My blog simply served as memoirs—”aha moments” that I wanted to document for the purpose of looking back on. To this day, I revisit my old blog posts and am reminded of important lessons I’ve learned along my journey. It was always my pleasure sharing these moments and life lessons with all of you.

Welcome to The Homeschool Genius!

And this is where The Homeschool Genius comes in. After five years of homeschooling, I’ve realized God has been helping me become the mastermind of my homeschool journey. In that, I’ve learned to draw out the little genius within my children, rather than forcing society’s one-dimensional view of intelligence onto them.  I want to share what I’ve learned with all of you!

If you’re like me, you’ve tried homeschooling other peoples’ way. You’ve tried implementing popular methods, incorporating popular curricula, and imitating popular homeschool influencers. Or, maybe you’re just getting started and you’re intimidated by what you see online.

Can I just say the first few years of homeschool are challenging? Especially when we try and follow what every other homeschooler is doing on social media or in the books we read. Sometimes we need someone to tell us:

We don’t need an expensive curriculum.

We don’t need a homeschool room.

We don’t need to over-schedule our children.

We don’t need to push early reading.

And, we don’t need to have the perfect circumstances to homeschool.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you don’t need to be like that homeschool family! You know, that perfect social media family with the hot mom, perfect kids, and immaculate home? Yea, even that mom wants to be like the one she portrays on the Gram.

I could go on and on with my list of “don’t needs,” but I digress.

So, what do we really need?

We need to mastermind our own homeschool, rather than copying and pasting a highlight reel we see on the Internet and wondering why it’s not working for our family.

With that said, I want to share my homeschool journey with a bit more purpose. I want to share exactly how I’ve become—and am continuing to become—a mastermind of my own homeschool, and I want to help you become a mastermind of yours.

You Are a Homeschool Mastermind

So, what’s a mastermind? We’ve all heard of the word and probably used it at some point but allow me to submit the definition to ensure we’re all on the same page.

The good ol’ Merriam Webster thesaurus defines a mastermind as “a person who designs and guides a plan or undertaking.” Such a person is deemed one with outstanding creative intellect. Synonyms for mastermind include words like director, leader, manager, planner, developer, and of course—genius.

Do I even have to explain why I chose the word “mastermind” to define homeschool parents? It takes outstanding creative intellect to design and guide a plan for homeschooling. We are essentially all the synonyms I mentioned above and then some! Yet, most of us don’t feel that way because we’re burdened with feelings of inadequacy. We don’t feel like we’re enough. Whether we feel we’re:

…not planning enough.

…not smart enough.

…not teaching enough.

…not patient enough.

…not put together enough.

Or whatever other “enoughs” we can think of.

Let’s Get Started!

I’ve got the cure. Or, rather I’ve got the C.U.R.E for those feelings of incompetence that creep into our minds and make us doubt ourselves. Here’s how you can start becoming a mastermind of your homeschool today.

Construct a clear and concise vision and mission that aligns with your core values.

Unveil your child’s inner genius and allow it to drive your unique journey.

Remember self-care is giving your family the best of you, not what’s left of you.

Embrace failure as a teaching moment and an opportunity to succeed later.

The Homeschool CURE Chart

Download a free copy of The Homeschool C.U.R.E. Chart, Here!

The Homeschool C.U.R.E. Chart is more than just an acronym, it’s a surefire way to help you homeschool with purpose and stay focused on your unique journey. Print it, laminate it, and hang it in your office or schoolroom for inspiration. I’ll be sure to further explain how to make The Homeschool C.U.R.E. applicable to your homeschool journey in future posts. For now, I just wanted to say hello and offer a little explanation for the new direction of this blog.

More Resources

For more homeschool management resources, click here.

Read about how I plan for my homeschool here.

Your Turn!

Tell me: how can I help you become a mastermind of your homeschool? What type of content would you like to see? Let me know!

Until next time, friends…

34 Things You Didn't Know About Nike Anderson

34 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Last year, I wrote a post titled, 50 Facts About Me, to welcome my new supporters to the family. The post consisted of random questions I pulled from Google’s search engine that varied from where my hometown is to what countries I’ve traveled to. Considering this post garnered a lot of traffic to my blog, making it among my top ten blog posts of 2018, it’s safe to assume you all enjoyed it—or at least thought it was interesting enough to click on?

In any event, we’ve got some new members to our blogging family and I figured I’d write a similar post to help everyone get to know me even better. Last week, I celebrated my thirty-fourth birthday, so it’s fitting that I offer thirty-four fun facts about me that I haven’t mentioned yet. The first few questions are related to blogging. The rest are random, yet interesting. I hope you enjoy this post!

34 Things You Didn't Know About Nike Anderson

 

1. How did you first get into blogging?

I believe it was the year 2010 when I first got a taste of the blogging world. I sort of fell into it. I joined a social media platform for women with natural hair and started sharing my natural hair journey with other women of color. Although this platform no longer exists, some of my writings are still floating around the Internet to this day.

 

2. What inspired you to start your recent blog?

Loneliness. When I started homeschooling my children, it felt like we were the only black homeschool family in the world. My blog allowed me to connect not just with other black homeschoolers, but with homeschoolers from many racial, cultural, and geographical backgrounds. It was my way of saying “I’m here and I’m with you” to all those homeschool moms that felt the same loneliness.

 

3. What is your greatest blogging failure so far and what did you learn from that?

Hmmm. I would say not doing adequate research. When I first started blogging in 2010, I would share any old info’ that popped up in my search engine and it came back to bite me. These days, I seek scholarly sources and am more thorough with my research when applicable.

 

4. What is your proudest achievement as a blogger so far?

Hands down, the number of people I’ve helped. Whether I’ve helped them find a valuable resource, peace of mind, or encouragement, it always warms my heart to open an email from someone who just wants to say thank you.

 

5. What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?

I’d have to say my mental and spiritual growth. My skin’s a little thicker, I’m more confident, more spiritual, and am pretty much happy and thankful to be who I am and where I’m at in life.

 

6. Who are some of your favorite bloggers?

 

7. Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?

My blog is definitely a hobby right now. While it has helped me earn money, I simply haven’t had the time to make this a full-time gig yet. Contrary to what some people think, even blogging part-time is very time-consuming.

 

8. How often do you communicate with your followers?

Pretty regularly. Join me on Instagram where I post family snapshots and video stories at least four times a week. Follow me on Facebook where I share inspiring stories, budget-friendly resources, and snapshots of our day-in-the-life. I also like to read your blog posts on a weekly basis (if you’re a fellow blogger), so it’s likely you’ll see me drop by with a like and/or comment!

 

9. What do you do in your spare time?

When I’m not blogging or teaching, I’m creating educational resources for Nike Anderson’s Classroom, reading self-help books, writing musings, listening to motivational podcasts or Youtube videos, getting my blood flowing, helping my husband run the family business, exploring local (or far away) beautiful places with my family, eating Mexican food, window shopping, hanging out with friends, laughing until I cry, drinking coffee, or sleeping.

 

10. What are some red flags you watch out for in daily life?

It may seem weird, but too much praise. Sincere compliments are wonderful, but too much flattery makes me suspicious of a person’s intentions. Why? Because it NEVER, I repeat NEVER ended well when my relationships/friendships started off with incessant praise. Sometimes people use flattery as a manipulation tool, so be careful!

 

11. What “old person” things do you do?

Use slang incorrectly, say things like “Is that what the young people are doing these days?” or “What happened to real music?,” declare how “hip” I am, get excited about coupons, retell the same stories to anyone who’ll listen—okay, I’ll stop embarrassing myself now.

 

12. What makes you roll your eyes every time you hear it?

“Natural hair is not for me.” Oh, the irony of that statement. God gave it to you. It’s for you, boo.

 

13. How do you judge a person?

By how they talk about other people and/or treat people with lower economic status. I once read a statement that said, “How people treat others whom they believe are beneath them is very telling of their character.” So far, so accurate.

 

14. When was the last time you were snooping and found something you wish you hadn’t?

I Googled myself once (under my then blogging alias about 8 years ago) and found someone had shared one of my blog posts. The comments underneath that shared post were hateful and non-constructive. It took a while for me to get over it. But it was a lesson learned in so many ways. The primary lesson? It’s none of my business what other people think about me. 

 

15. If you were moving to another country, but could only pack one carry-on sized bag, what would you pack?

  • My Bible.
  • My cell phone.
  • My laptop.
  • My intimates (bras in my size are difficult to find and are expensive).
  • My family photos.
  • My important documents.
  • My makeup.
  • My good jeans (they’re high waisted and very forgiving).
  • Some leggings and comfy tops (I know how to pack military style).
  • My favorite bathrobe.
  • My Ninja to make smoothies.
  • My natural hair products.
  • A converter for my plugs.
  • A pair of heels.

 

16. If you could have an all-expenses paid trip to see any famous world monument, which monument would you choose?

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It’s currently the tallest skyscraper in the world and I would love to take my boys (who love architecture and skyscrapers) to see it in person.

 

17. What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought?

During my undergrad years, I thought I was purchasing a $99 refurbished laptop from eBay (I know, I know). It was supposed to be a gift for my fiancé (now husband). Turns out when I received it, it was basically a shell with NOTHING inside. No motherboard, no nothing. The computer techs practically laughed us out of the store when we asked if there was anything they could do to “fix” it.

 

18. What outdoor activity haven’t you tried, but would like to?

Zip-lining. My husband just tried it last weekend and I would like to work up the courage to try it one day.

 

19. What’s the worst backhanded compliment someone gave you?

“I love your home—My husband and I are considering downgrading to something small like this.” It’s probably not the worst backhanded compliment, but it’s all I can think of at the moment. Believe me, homegirl was being super shady when she said it. It was a home my husband and I shared when we lived in Atlanta, Georgia nearly seven years ago.

 

20. If you were given one thousand acres of land that you didn’t need to pay taxes on but couldn’t sell, what would you do with it?

Grow crops for food. I’ve been liking the idea of growing my own food more and more lately, and I just might do it one day.

 

21. What about the opposite sex confuses you the most?

The thought-process behind throwing dirty clothes onto the floor NEXT to the laundry basket. Didn’t know this was an epidemic until I spoke with other wives with the same problem. Love you anyway, hubby! It’s all in fun!

 

22. What kinds of things do you like to cook or are good at cooking?

I’m told I make a great spaghetti meat sauce, baked mac n cheese, homemade BBQ sauce, and homemade chewy sugar cookies—just to name a few. I actually don’t like cooking, but I love when people enjoy my food—especially my hubby and children.

 

23. What life skills are rarely taught but extremely useful?

How to handle and overcome adversity. I think too many people give up way too soon. We’d have more successful people if we were taught to expect adversity and were given the tools to come out on the winning side of it.

 

24. What’s the most historic thing that has happened in your lifetime?

There are a few; the 9/11 attacks on the WTC, having the first black POTUS, and the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria—which was the most important election in that country since 1999, and I happened to be visiting during that time. I missed my flight back home to the States due to demonstrations happening in Lagos.

 

25. What’s the most awkward thing that happens to you on a regular basis?

The long, awkward pause when someone asks me how old my children are, what grade they’re in, how many years I’ve been married, or how old I am. For some reason, the answers don’t come to me straight away. Like, I swear I know how old my kids are, haha.

 

26. What’s the most annoying noise?

The sound of my children asking for water for the umpteenth time after going to bed. Haha.

 

27. What animal is the most majestic?

I love lions and tigers (you know you want to finish the song). But seriously, I am a fan of big cats. Have you ever looked into their eyes? So beautiful and regal.

 

28. What seemingly innocent question makes you think “It’s a trap!”?

The good ol’ “What do you do for a living?” I think most creatives hate this question because it simply can’t be summarized in a way that’s pleasing to itching ears. Also, I’ve found that this question stems from one of two places; 1.) Someone wondering how you can afford something they deem a luxury. 2.) Someone waiting for the opportunity to brag about what THEY do. Whatever the case, either your answer will cause them to feel inferior or superior. Neither is a good outcome. I do understand, however, that in some cases this is harmless small talk.

 

29. What small change greatly improves a person’s appearance?

A genuine smile. There’s nothing more beautiful than a face that reflects a heart at peace.

 

30. What topic could you spend hours talking about?

Ugh. natural hair. I low-key get excited whenever someone brings up the topic. I love everything about natural hair from the spiritual journey I’ve experienced, the discovery and acceptance of self, to the science of taking care of it. It’s all so fascinating. So much so that I was once a regular contributor to an online natural hair care magazine. Best hobby ever. But actually, I like talking about anything that’s helped me grow as a person, really—faith, homeschool, family, parenting, you name it!

 

31. What’s the weirdest thing that has happened to you while working at your job?

A couple years ago, I was hit on by a married man in front of his wife (and ALL my colleagues). I was working the front desk at a part-time job after relocating from Atlanta to Middle Georgia and the man blatantly flirted with me while his wife was standing next to him. She said nothing at all but stood there nervously smiling. And, yes, I’m sure it was his wife as I was helping them fill out pertinent paperwork. I thought I was on a prank television show or something. I couldn’t fill out his paperwork fast enough. Mortifying.

 

32. What are some of the most common misconceptions people have about you?

  • That I’m shy.
  • That I’m high maintenance.
  • That I don’t have a sense of humor.

In all fairness, I can see why that’d be an initial impression, as I’m a woman of few words around people I don’t know very well. That’s because I’m trying to discern what type of people they are. You’ll discover a lot about people when you close your mouth and just listen to them speak.

 

33. What was the biggest realization you had about yourself?

I am super TMI. Typically, this happens around people I’m comfortable with. I don’t know how many times a friend has lovingly said, “I didn’t need to know that.” I’m getting better though. It took a few unfavorable experiences for me to wise up and learn when to keep things to myself.

 

34. What values are most important to you?

Faith, peace, love, family, education, health, authenticity, and persistence. But above all; faith, peace, and love.


 

Can you relate to any of my answers? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, friends…

Merry Christmas Black Family

A Christmas Note For You

Merry Christmas, friends!

I hope this greeting finds you full of health, joy, and prosperity. I just want to hop on this blog quickly to wish you well. And since it’d be awkward to write a two-sentence post, I’ll share what we’ve been up to.

Yesterday, we enjoyed a relaxing day with our family. I was able to just be because I’d already completed my Christmas shopping before December and did most of my wrapping this weekend. I also organized and got rid of a ton of stuff via donation.

Family Christmas 2018

It was a great day here in Middle Georgia. It was an unusually warm winter day. All we needed was a light jacket and a smile. The sun was blindingly beautiful and very much welcomed after a couple days of gloomy weather. My boys took full advantage and rode their bikes up and down the street with their friend next door.

Later, we had a gift card to Chick-fil-a so it only made sense to bypass cooking and have a tasty drive-through dinner at our favorite fast food joint. Their spicy chicken deluxe sandwich is my fav! I love how our local Chick-fil-a decorates during this time of year. The giant cone tree filled with sparkling lights. The bedazzled manicured bushes. The fairy-light trimmings adorning the building. It’s so fun and festive!

FYI: My meal didn’t survive the drive home.

That night, we let the boys open one gift. When I was a child, my mother always allowed us to open one present on Christmas Eve, so we kept up this tradition with our children. The boys ended up opening their gifts to each other. I love to take my boys on individual shopping trips to pick out gifts for one another. It encourages them to be thoughtful and strengthens their bond.

Since my little-one loves stuffed animals, his brother got him a plush horse. It walks. It’s loud. It’s annoying. But little brother LOVED it. Although judging from the disapproving look on my husband’s face, I think Munchie will have a mysterious disappearance soon. And, yes, Munchie is the horse’s name.

For older brother, my little-one picked out a Perler bead kit. My eldest son had asked for this kit (and many other things!) during one of our shopping trips to Hobby Lobby. But it was NOT on the list, so I said no. No worries, though, little bro had his big brother’s back and gifted him the kit full of thousands of beads that’ll probably end up in the vacuum. Big brother loved it and the entire family had an impromptu crafting session.

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During our crafting session, I asked the boys what they thought Christmas was all about. We’ve had this conversation last Christmas, but I was curious as to what they’ve extracted from it. I love hearing things from a child’s perspective. My eldest son said it best, “It’s about celebrating Christ being born and saving us from our sins.” Oh, how this celebration should take place every single day of our lives!

After watching Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas on Netflix and sipping some hot cocoa, the boys were fast asleep. Soon, the presents rolled out of the closet and made their way underneath the Christmas tree. Join me on Instagram to get a glimpse of my Christmas Eve winddown on Instastory.

When it’s all said and done, I’m truly thankful for the life God has given me.

I want to end this post by saying this Christmas, please take the time to pick up the phone and call someone who could use it right now. Some people have a difficult time during the holidays. I, myself, have a friend who’s entire family literally just fell apart after her husband walked out on them. Today will be tough for her and her children.

And if you’re the one going through the holiday blues right now. Take heart. I empathize with you. I know there’s very little I can say to ease your pain. But just know that nothing lasts forever. Your pain won’t last forever. May you experience comfort during your season of grief, sadness, depression—or whatever you’re going through. May your suffering not be in vain. May you smile for the first time in days. Weeks. Months. May you make it through this difficult time stronger and more resilient.

Peace be with you, my friend.

Until next time…

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Do We Still Homeschool?

Do We Still Homeschool? Where Have I Been?

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been on a hiatus. I never intended to take this long of a break from this platform. But here I am six months later writing this post.

During my absence, some of you wanted to know the answer to two questions:

  1. Do we still homeschool?
  2. Where have I been?

Yes, we still homeschool. We’re finishing up the first semester of our fourth year and it’s been great so far. One of the better years, for sure.

But where have I been and why do I keep disappearing? I hope the following sentiments help you understand what is going on inside my head.

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The pride of life. That’s the phrase that kept ringing in my ear whenever I thought about social media. But I never gave it much thought until I heard someone quote 1 John 2:16.

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

1 John 2:16 For all that is on the world

This scripture convicted me, but I didn’t fully understand the extent of that conviction. Desires of the flesh and desires of the eyes are straightforward, but what does the pride of life even mean? Shouldn’t we be proud of the life God gave us and the blessings that come with it?

During this time of conviction, I lost my desire to partake in social media. It started the day I caught a glimpse of my children snuggled on the couch with their dad. As someone who used social media as a platform to connect with my readers, of course, I thought this precious moment was worthy of being captured for the world to see. Only, I picked up my phone to discover it wouldn’t turn on. I’d forgotten to recharge it. I let the moment pass, but couldn’t shake the way I was feeling. Why did I feel so annoyed that I didn’t get to capture that moment? 

I started paying closer attention to my thought process. For self-examination purposes, I scrolled through my Instagram page to get a better understanding of what I chose to post and why. The reality sobered me. There were some questionable posts that I know for certain didn’t come from a desire to inspire or help others. And while I’m typically mindful of refraining from overt bragging, there were many “humble brag” posts that slipped through the cracks.

What are humble brag posts? Posts with an ulterior motive. Posts that look like humility on the surface, but the real motive is to show how good-looking you are, fit you are, intelligent you are, spiritual you are, blessed you are, or successful you are. These posts are typically under the guise of inspiration, tips, ideas, advice, or spirituality—and they are designed to showcase you in the best light possible.

So, I had to ask again; What does the pride of life really mean?  My quest led me to this definition:

“The pride of life can be defined as anything that is “of the world,” meaning anything that leads to arrogance, ostentation [showiness, flashiness], pride in self, presumption, and boasting. (Words in brackets are mine.)

Quotes about Prideful Person

 

Let’s go a little deeper, shall we? What do the pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes have in common? They are notoriously known as the “three temptations of sin.” Biblical scholars note the very first illustration of these three temptations is in the story of Adam and Eve. We all know the story; Eve sees the apple as desirable to eat (lust of the eyes), good for food (lust of the flesh), and desirable for gaining wisdom and becoming like God (the pride of life). It is the same approach that Satan used to tempt Jesus.

But why is the pride of life so significant? Because it is the vehicle for the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes. Everything we do that displeases God is driven by the pride of life. I won’t even try to think up better examples for the pride of life, as Revelation.co summed it up nicely, here:

  • Desiring to get credit or glory for things that others (or God) did.
  • Desiring for others to worship us or hold us in excess esteem, “to make a name for ourselves.”
  • Desiring to feel valued or more important than others around us.
  • Desiring to have positions of power over others in a way that puffs up our own ego for the sake of bragging rights (Jesus said that those who desire to be great should be the greatest servant).

So, you see, social media platforms are successful because they play off the “pride of life.” We are looking for praise from others, worship from others, status above others, or power over others. Scroll through your social media pages and be real with yourself; how many of your posts fell into any one of the above categories? How many of your posts are disguised as inspiration, ideas, tips, or spirituality, but you can admit that the real motive fell into one of the above categories? How many times did you look at someone else’s posts and covet what they had? Judged them? Or felt superior to them? I am not here to condemn, but to enlighten:

If you are a Believer using social media as your platform, you MUST examine yourself OFTEN!

This is why I had to step away from these platforms. I needed to reevaluate myself. I didn’t want to return (if I ever returned) until I had a clean heart and clear conscious. Make no mistake that God does not place Himself into a box. He can and will use whatever He desires to further His Kingdom agenda—yes, even social media. However, as a Believer I ought to be sure that I’m pointing others to Christ, not myself. I love this quote that I stumbled across, but forgive me for not recalling the author:

A prideful person uses himself as the standard for others’ performance. But a humble person looks at the life of Jesus as the example and points people to Him.

Quotes about Prideful People

 

This quote reminds me of 1 Corinthians 1:31; Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”  It is my prayer that whatever I share from here on out reflects this truth.

The truth is our homeschool journey is a miracle. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without God.

During this season of my life, my desire is to inspire women who are called to homeschool; to allow my journey to serve as testimony that you don’t have to have the perfect circumstances to walk in your calling. If you’ve been trekking with me, you know that God called me and my husband to homeschool at the MOST inconvenient time. With limited finances and resources, homeschooling took a huge leap of faith. And, yet, here we are well into our fourth year! We’ve grown businesses, made awesome friends, and have everything we need to homeschool successfully.

Lately, I’ve been receiving emails and increased visits to my blog. Some of you have written me lovely messages describing how much my posts have inspired you during your homeschool journey. I want to take the time to say thank you! Your encouragement reminded me of why I started this whole thing in the first place. Blogging has been the perfect way for me to combine my love for writing with teaching and inspiring others. Instagram and Facebook have been fun ways to connect with all of you outside the blog and share day-in-the-life videos and posts.

They are not my “platforms,” they are ways to connect with those of you separated by distance. In fact, my prayer is that I make a conscious effort to make God my platform. He is the only foundation on which I should choose to stand.

I’m not saying that everything I do from here on out will be perfect or that I’m now exempt from falling into the pride of life. What I will say is that my goal is to simply be a light in any way the Lord calls me to do it. And as a fun fact: I actually wrote this post in July 2017 during one of my first social media breaks. I never posted it because I wasn’t even sure it was coherent and thought it was too preachy. But whatever the case, it was on my heart to share this just as it is. So here you go!

If you have any questions about faith, family, or homeschool, feel free to drop me a line. Until next time, friends…

 

Homeschool of Shame

Homeschool of Shame | 8 Things I No Longer Do

There are many wonderful things we do at our homeschool that I’m always eager to share. Now, it’s time to share what we don’t do that many moms think we probably should. Up until very recently, I used to do ALL these things as religiously as possible. These days, I’m becoming more aware of what works best for my family. That means doing away with some practices I’ve forced on our family for so long.

I’m not suggesting you stop doing the things I’m about to mention. My hope for this post is to inspire homeschool parents to get rid of what’s not working and do what suits their family instead. Here are eight things I no longer do now that I’m in my third year of homeschool.

 

1. Wake up before my kids:

That’s right. I no longer make it a priority to wake up before my kids. That’s not to say some days (like today) I don’t, but these days I refuse to punish myself for not living up to the unsaid expectations of stay-at-home moms. I’m a night owl by nature and often forced myself to turn-in early to awaken before sunrise. Not only is it extremely difficult to fall asleep before midnight, but late nights are often when I’m most productive. My body would rather work until 2am and awaken at eight in the morning than go to sleep at 11pm and awaken at five in the morning to get work done. I’m learning to accept it.

 

2. Morning devotionals:

Nope. I typically do my devotionals at night and my declarations in the morning. It just feels right. I like to do my declarations as soon as I open my eyes. This includes thanking God and declaring some truth over my life according to scripture. Declarations are not just a morning thing, they are something I speak whenever I start to fall into negative thinking. I’m not perfect at it, but it’s becoming more of a habit with each day. Here are some examples:

I. Negative thought: Replaying failures in your mind.

Declarations: My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26). I will focus on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, and anything that is excellent or praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).

II. Negative thought: Comparing yourself to others.

Declarations: I will examine only myself and be proud of my own accomplishments without comparing myself to others (Gal. 6:4-5). I refuse to let envy destroy me, but I choose to have a peaceful heart that gives me life (1 Cor. 3:3).

III. Negative thought: Feeling angry or frustrated.

Declarations: Today, I choose to be patient and kind. I refuse to be rude, easily angered or keep a record of wrongs. I will persevere because love never fails (1 Cor. 13:4-8).

IV. Negative thought: Worry and fear.

Declarations: I refuse to worry about my life. I know that God will provide everything I need (Mat. 6:25-34). God did not give me the spirit of fear but His Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Tim 1:7).

 

3. Read about homeschool:

I noticed the more I read about homeschool, the more I compared myself to those seemingly perfect veterans. I stopped making a habit of this. I guard myself by limiting my exposure to any triggers. When I find myself falling back into the negative thought-pattern of comparison, I arm myself with some of the declarations I mentioned in my second point. I’d like to remind you that your homeschool is unique to your family. You don’t have to do it like everyone else!

 

4. Mimic the traditional classroom:

My teaching method once very much mirrored that of the traditional classroom because that’s all I knew. These days, we learn side-by-side wherever we are comfortable. That can be the couch, dining room table, the library, or outdoors. We LOVE our classroom setup, but we aren’t bound by it. Truthfully, we get tired of being in there by the third quarter.

 

5. Plan enrichment activities:

I’m sorry for those of you who followed me for the awesome enrichment activities. I simply don’t plan them much because I don’t have to. These days, most enrichment activities we do are those our curriculum suggests. If I happen to think of something extra fun, I’ll execute that idea. Other than that, I simply can’t be bothered. I now have several side projects that consume the bulk of the free time I once administered to being crafty. In the end, I realized I was only creating more unnecessary work for myself.

 

6. Follow the curriculum verbatim:

I’m more interested in staying true to our homeschool vision than applying ineffective aspects of a curriculum. I’ve seen some moms suffer through a curriculum for the sake of completion. Not at our house. If it doesn’t work, I don’t force it. I recently had to do away with the entire third quarter of my son’s reading curriculum because they assigned reading he simply couldn’t relate to. Forcing him to understand medieval language became counter-productive. Instead, I assigned reading he could enjoy and required him to write summaries of the assigned chapters. Yes, there’ll be some things in his curriculum he MUST do, but I decided the originally assigned reading was not one of them.

 

7. Get dressed every day:

If we don’t have plans for the day, we don’t accumulate laundry. That’s that. I figured it was more important to be resourceful than picture-perfect. So yea, you may have noticed on Instagram that my kids are sometimes wearing pajamas or “house clothes” in the afternoon. I know there are tons of articles that make compelling cases for getting dressed even if you don’t go anywhere. However, I’m at a place in my life where, if I want to be super productive, my pajamas sure aren’t going to stop me. More importantly, my boys don’t seem any less productive than before. This is not to be confused with self-care, which they are most certainly required to do every day.

 

8. Uphold the perfect homeschool image:

I was trapped by expectations. Not so much on this blog (where I share my not-so-perfect moments), but in my daily life where other homeschool moms gave me a smug look if I mentioned using a free curriculum, not participating in expensive extra-curricular classes, or not vigorously training my then toddler how to read Shakespeare or multiply fractions (slight exaggeration, here). This blog felt like the ONLY place where I could speak freely about homeschooling on a narrow budget and in a way that works for ME. These days, I endure smug looks for the sake of releasing another homeschool parent from the bondage of other people’s expectations.


 

Well, that’s all I can think of for now. Kudos to all the homeschool parents that do all of the things I mentioned and it works for YOU. This post is no way saying that these practices aren’t valuable. They just no longer serve our family. Let us know in the comments some things you’ve done away with in your homeschool. See you next week!