Who's got time to study? I'm busy!
A few thoughts about self-education
Last week I posted about the importance of self-education and I got quite a few emails and messages about that post. Here are a few of my favorites:
Leah had a great thought to share - There have been many times that I was searching for the “perfect” curriculum and then realized that with a little time and a little study I could make/do exactly what I was looking for instead of wasting all my time looking and looking and looking.
I'm there now with history. Instead of using a full-out curriculum for next year we are piecing together our own study. Here's another great thought that was shared:
Some of the best money I've spent hasn't been on curricula, but rather on materials that educate ME and make me a better teacher. It's easier to adapt to the changing needs of my children or their varying interests than if we're locked into plugging and chugging through the curriculum. But to adapt, I have to know what I'm doing and why we're doing it.
That is exactly where I'm at now! I've learned that it's actually easier for me to find I program that I can teach from easily and tailor it to the needs of my child instead of searching for that elusive 'perfect curriculum'. For many things that means just learning more about the subject myself and then finding ways to teach the material. Some subjects I spend a little more time searching for something that I can teach (math & Latin). But, if I am comfortable teaching the material, I can easily adapt the program to meet the needs of my child.
Making time for study
Okay, this is where we move from the theoretical to the practical. Finding time in our already busy days to cram in something else! Someone recently asked me where I found the time to read. The short answer? I make the time.
The slightly longer answer? It's a matter of priorities.I'm okay with a floor that's a little dirtier than I like if it means that I can be prepared to discuss a book with TJ.
I do need to schedule specific times in my day for studying otherwise it just won't get done on a regular basis. (It also has to be away from the computer because the lure of checking my email or Facebook is often more tempting than a history text.)
Here are a few rules that I keep for study time:
- Reading time happens for everyone (even Nick, if he's home at our specific reading time). I give TJ daily history, science, and literature reading assignments. And, while she's reading, so am I. The housework (and Facebook!) can wait until another time.
- All screens are offduring school time, even for mom. If I'm waiting for TJ to finish up something during our specified school hours I read or study. It's a good time to review those Latin vocabulary flashcards before she gets too far ahead of me!
- I don't feel guilty that I'm not able to do it all. Let's face it, we are busy women. We've got kids to teach, houses to clean, dinner to get on the table, laundry to do, and hey, maybe a bit of blogging! So I have to let a few things slide or not expect the house to look perfect all the time. If I wanted a perfect looking, company-ready house then I wouldn't be homeschooling!