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#268 Reflections from when I first started homeschooling

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Hello, welcome to Called the Home School episode #268 Reflections from when I first started home schooling.

Friend, how are you doing today?

How is your summer going?

We have our summer has been interesting this year because we have a wedding next week and so that's where a lot of our time and attention has gone as to this awesome wedding.


Super duper excited for my son and so excited to add another girl to the family.

We are so outnumbered, my daughters and me.

We need some more girls.

So we're excited to have Emma and our family 'cause she is absolutely delightful.

That's my favorite way to describe her.

It's probably sweet and just so delightful, but I'm, I'm very excited about that.


So we've been doing a lot with that.

And then as soon as the wedding's over, then be helping be my son as he gets ready for his mission in El Salvador.

And so helping him get all his clothes and we've been doing a lot of Spanish practice, which has been a ton of fun.

We also need to really review the metric system.


And it's so funny because when they were doing math of just like, why will I ever need to know kilometers?

Why will I ever need to know centimeters?

And it's so funny that it's like, oh, hey, look, and it's coming in handy when you leave the United States, you have to know the metric system.


So lots of fun things over here.

So hope your summer is going well.

So the reason I wanted to do this podcast episode and I just kind of want to talk today.

I don't have a really structured outline today, so just kind of talking off the cuff, but I found my old blog and I totally forgot that I had kept A blog when we were homeschooling in the beginning.


And so just some reflecting from Meg from 14 years ago.

The first blog post was from 2010.

Then I didn't write again for a year.

And I've even had another baby and it doesn't even mention him that I had given birth.

So that's kind of funny, but just it was really interesting to see Meg 14 years ago and what our home school looked like, what things I thought were important, what what I was giving a lot of attention to to Meg now of now we're starting our 17th year this fall and we'll only have three kids homeschooling and just the different ages different, lots of differences.


There's so many more resources now for homeschoolers.

It's just crazy the differences to make.

So I was just reflecting on some of these old posts and it was interesting because a lot of these posts were, they were cute.


I guess maybe that's the word I'm looking for.

They're just kind of cute.

Here are some fun ideas that we did with school, which is totally awesome, totally great.

But what made me giggle is I had forgotten about most of these things that we had done, whether that was taking the kids up to the city and going to Swan Lake.


I had done a life skills class with a couple other families, which that one I actually thought, oh, maybe I'd like to do that for my boys again, just something to get together with another family.

But we had done this life skills class, different painting activities.


We had done just different fun things that we had done throughout the years.

And it was so interesting because not only have I forgotten about those, but my kids have forgotten about those.

And so as I was reflecting about that, and I thought, OK, this is where I am now in my home school.

George would be, I think, 2nd grade this fall, right.


And so probably that's how old my oldest was, probably around that age.

No, he would have been a little bit older.


So just kind of reflecting then, are there things I want to bring back?

Are there things that I would never do again?


And just kind of looking at where at my home school is now through this lens of remembering what it was like in the beginning.

And what made me giggle was how much of it my kids don't remember and thinking when I've interviewed them.


So I've interviewed my four oldest kids and, and asked them their favorite home school moments.

And it was usually playing together as a family going up into the mountains.

So nothing that really was like stressing me out or I had to plan this humongous activity.

It was, it's never been any of those things.


It's been simple fun things, playing with a family, going Outback and playing baseball or doing an event together or just something that was maybe just a natural extension of our family life.

But it wasn't all of these cutesy homeschool things that we see sometimes on Instagram or on Pinterest, like, oh, I have to have this really adorable homeschool.


And if that is your personality, then more power to you.

But as I was reflecting, I thought, that's funny with how much time and energy I put into that, with none of us remembering it.

So as I was reflecting about this and thinking about my home school going forward in the fall of one of the things I did, when I looked back, I, we did way more group activity stuff, like a ton more field trips, different activities, like a life skills class with another family that I thought, you know, I could totally put forth some more effort of getting out and making sure we're with other kids more.


I'm not great about that now just 'cause I, I feel like I don't need to get out as much.

And so sometimes I'm like, well, kids can come over here if they want.

So I am good about having kids come over to my house.

But like me getting out, sometimes I'm like me, I'm, I'm OK.

So I thought, you know, that'd be something kind of fun for my boys to do is to get out with some other kids and do some other group activities that we could bring back.


But I was, I was reflecting on some of the cutesy things I did of thinking like, do I want to bring any of those back?

And it was interesting because I thought I don't, because none of my other kids remember it.

None of my big kids have 4 graduates now and nobody remembers all of these cutesy things that took a lot of time, took a lot of energy, spend a lot of extra money on all these supplies.


And I thought, I don't know, I want to do that.

And so it was just really interesting to review that and get the perspective of those things.

Is that what made my home school successful?

And I don't think it is.

And as I then reviewed and reflected then what did make my home school successful, it was consistency.


And I think it's much easier to be consistent if you are not hung up on.

It has to be the cutest thing ever.

This has to be the most impactful lesson ever.

And I have to study everything about this topic in order to teach it to my kids.

And I'm finding that it doesn't.


And just by being consistent and even learning right along with your kids is where the magic's been.

So just, we do school year round, we'll take off a week for the wedding, maybe not a full week, but probably most of the week for the wedding.

And we take off maybe for the holidays or, or just different things that pop up throughout the year.


But we have done home school four days a week for what, 16 years, right?

And so just those little tiny habits, I'm just doing a little bit of school every single day, those four days a week for most of the year.

Those are what has created a lot of success.


And then as I was thinking about that, with any area of your life, you want to have success, if you want to have success with your finances, just little things, tracking what you're spending, the way you make money, whatever it is like those little simple things, you want help.

It's eating foods for your good, for your body, preparing ahead of time, consuming enough fruits and vegetables, whatever that looks like for you.


So as I have gone back and looked at this, I thought, yeah, that those were some really fun things to look at pictures.

But I don't know for me moving forward if it's a good use of my time and mental energy because those things tend to burn me out if I have to think of a big, huge art project to do every single day.


And then even seeing that my kids don't remember it.

I didn't even remember it.

So is it really worth it?

And can we just have the impact of that connection piece where we're up in the Canyon and that's free, right?

We can just go and do that and it, it doesn't cost me anything and I can just go and do it.


And we have that connection and we have that fun time and just watching that is enough.

And looking at just consistently doing school, that is enough.

And if you feel like you want to add more than more power to you.

But as I have reflected through this old blog that I found, just realizing that a simple schedule is a like helps you to have that consistency.


So if your home school is feeling off or really overwhelming, hold back.

Keep it simple, sister.

Like you don't have to do this big, huge crazy thing.

And you can think about this even if you were in public school, right?

Like, what do you remember?

What are there?


Maybe there were some big activities you remembered or something really special, but you kind of things just start becoming a blur.

But you learn to read, probably learn basic math, you learn some things like that.

And so just by having that consistency, that's where that success is.

And if something is small and simple, you can then keep the keep it going with a lifelong learning.


But if every day is super intense and super long, you can't live life.

Eventually you get older if you have a job, if you're raising kids, having a family and then trying to study six hours a day isn't always realistic.

So but just by having this simpler schedule, a lot of time for connecting, living life and having fun, that's where I'm finding is the magic.


And it's been so fun to review young Meg and seeing where she was and seeing what she did and what she was trying to seeing Meg, who's 16 years in and is about to start her 17th year.

And just seeing where being really intentional with how am I going to spend my time and realizing how much of like the learning time of the structured learning time.


We don't need a whole lot because they learn so much by living and experiencing.

And yeah, so I just want to share that today with you as you are even thinking wherever you are in your home school journey, if you're at the beginning of thinking, how can I keep it simple so it's not overwhelming.


If you are in for a few years and you're like, actually I'm ready for more, more power to you.

But just kind of thinking ahead of time, like what is going to be the most the best use of my time and the best use of my energy and then challenge you to continue on that path and to continue to do those things.


So I would love to hear feedback from anybody.

If you want to send me a message, send me an e-mail of just reflections of things you've seen in your home school, things that you want to keep, things that you know you want to change.

And let's keep the conversation going.

So love you all.

Next week will be a special episode because I'll be talking about my kids wedding.


So super excited about that and have an amazing rest of your day.

Bye friend.



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