We recently finished our first week of homeschooling for this new year and it went much better than I had expected. My boys enjoyed what they were learning. But I had to modify my plan for the week to make that happen. Apparently, even though we’re starting our 15th year of homeschooling, there are still plenty of lessons for me to learn about the process.
The latest lesson I’ve learned is that sometimes less isn’t more.
When Less is More
There are plenty of times when less IS more:
- When your son has done something wrong, rather than droning on and on about it, try to keep your correction of him short and sweet.
- When you’re using a textbook, some of the lessons are redundant and aren’t worth completing.
- When your son is doing a page of math problems and he demonstrates that he knows how to complete them, often it’s enough to just do the even or odd problems rather than all of them.
- When talking about clutter, saving papers, or eating cake, less is usually more.
When Less ISN’T More
There are also plenty of examples of when less ISN’T more:
- When it comes to how much your husband talks to you.
- When it concerns how many hugs your kids give you.
- When coming up with ways to make homeschooling more epic.
Let me explain that last point. As I was coming up with a plan for our new homeschool year, I determined what classes I would teach each of my boys. I added these classes to their transcripts and came up with my general plan for the year. I always take into account their various interests and try to cater to these passions as much as possible.
For instance, both of my boys are extremely interested in writing a novel, so for writing, I’m having them go through the One Year Adventure Novel rather than just focusing on essay writing or some other type of more schoolish writing class.
And for their foreign language class, I’m having them learn Brazillian Portuguese because our church youth group takes a trip to Brazil every few years so I know that learning that language will be helpful for them when it is their turn.
But this year, my boys have suddenly developed a bunch of interests. I like to try to keep their class load around 6-7 classes at a time, but this year, each of my boys is taking several above that number so that they can focus on more of their passions.
I was concerned that they were attempting to take on too much work at one time, but I’m finding that when your kids are excited about a subject, they can handle a lot more than if they are studying things that they don’t really care about.
4 Ways to Keep MORE From Becoming TOO MUCH
If you want to add some more delight-directed learning into your day, be sure to keep these tips in mind:
1 – Add One New Thing at a Time
Before adding any additional work to your child’s day, be sure he can handle what you already expect from him.
2 – Vary the Subjects
It isn’t necessary for your son to do every subject every day. You may decide to have him do his math and reading every day, but spelling, history, or an extracurricular activity may be something you only have him do 2-3 days a week.
3 – Don’t Make Everything a School Subject
If your child is interested in something such as blacksmithing or photography, consider allowing it to be a hobby rather than something you actually schedule as part of homeschooling. You may want to keep track of the amount of time your child puts into this hobby, however, so that you can add it to his transcript if he does end up spending lots of time learning about it. But allowing him to choose when he works on it will take some of the pressure off of him and keep it fun.
4 – Adapt Some Subjects into Unit Studies
If your son is interested in the space program, volcanoes, dinosaurs, or anything else scientific consider dumping your regular science program and allowing your son to do a deep dive into the specific subject which interests him. You can also do this very easily with history, by allowing him to study the time period which interests him, various wars or kings, etc. And you can do this with reading as well by allowing him to read specific genres or authors.
Remember that homeschooling is flexible. One of the huge benefits we have is that our children have the time and ability to explore the world and the things which interest them. There are some subjects that we should be covering with all of our kids, such as reading and math. But our kids are unique individuals and they will benefit from being able to pursue a unique education as well.
If your homeschool has started to feel a little bit cookie-cutter, consider implementing my new “More is More” philosophy. Ask your kids what interests them. Watch see what they choose to learn about during their free time. Or remember what types of questions they ask.
Then, come up with a way to sprinkle in some of these more delight-directed subjects into your day. If your goal is to help your kids fall in love with learning, then this is one sure-fire way to do just that. Remember, sometimes less really isn’t more.
I’d love to hear how you’ve implemented delight directed learning in your homeschool. Please leave a comment below!