Tips to Reduce the Chaos in This Season

So I know a lot of people, just about every one of you guys who has kids. You, your spouse, you’re experiencing what it’s like to school them in the home. I know a lot of you guys probably already do that. You’re homeschoolers. And so one of the things I’ve been enjoying is just: what are the tips, the really low-hanging fruit things that you might not think about … but when you have your kids home a lot more than normal, even for homeschooling families, we’re not going out a lot. What are the things that you really need to do that might help you get through this in a way to reduce the chaos and really take advantage of this time?

A friend of mine, Chandler Smith, she wrote an awesome article on this. And she gave 13 different ways, but there was three of them that stood out to me that I was like, “Ooh, those are really easy.” And I think … and we’re really clear. It’s not at all easy. But I think that could really help families as we make this transition. One of them is go outside, no matter the weather. So, figuring out all kinds of ways to get out energy. Really think through that. Be outside a lot. Obviously, the weather in a lot of places in America is changing now and it’s getting warmer. And so I think being thoughtful about that, but even during rainy weather, I think it’s really important to help especially younger kids burn off that energy.

Read and listen to classic children’s literature. This is a great time to really hit a little bit longer books. Stretch your kids literacy. There might be a situation where you guys are just reading kind of board books, those kind of shorter picture books, but they might be ready for something a little bit longer. And the third one is wake up before your kids. I thought that was a good idea. Sometimes you have to do some planning. It’s really important to actually be prepared. You want to go into the day with energy, optimism, and have a plan. Those are just her three suggestions.

Yeah. This episode we could do an hour on because I’m very passionate about it. But a couple things. I think first just connect with your kids. That’s the whole point and premise. They’re at home, so connect with them. Talk about their heart, ask them questions, do a project with them, do dishes with them. To me, teaching them how to do dishes while you’re having a conversation about fruits of the spirit is more educational than like, “Hey, here’s seven problems in math. Boom.” Right? Or something like that.

Your child is not a receptical to dump information in. One of the worst mistakes you can make is the only reason we do schooling in such an industrialized way is because of the scale. The only way you can possibly teach 1,400 people in one school is if you say, “Sit your butt down so I can talk to you for eight hours. Open up the brain receptacle, and I’m going to dump information.” That is completely unnecessary when there’s one person.

It’s a crowd control issue. It’s a scale issue. It’s an efficiency issue. That’s why we do it that way. But when there’s only one person in the home, why on earth would you do it that way? That’s ridiculous. Don’t put yourself in this mode of like, “Oh my goodness. This is what they’re doing at school, so I have to do it here.” It’s the exact opposite. I just feel like the sense of freedom when it’s like, “Oh, I don’t have to do any of that because there’s just one kid here, or five kids here, or two kids here.” So, you’re free to do whatever you absolutely want.

And another thing too is just I just feel like you have to look at life. Your kids are not a receptacle for information. I don’t know what the positive of that would be. They’re more like … I don’t know, an electron bouncing around with energy that’s inquisitive to connect with things. I don’t even know science. I don’t even know if electrons do that, but you know what I mean. They’re energy balls that are inquisitive to learn, and figure, and tinker. Not just like, “Oh, dump information into me.” One’s passive. One’s active.

Think about this. Whatever you’re doing at home is more active. Let’s just walk around the house and ask questions. Let’s go dig up in the backyard. Let’s go break stuff. Let’s go build stuff. Let’s go figure out things that don’t make sense, but I bet we can maybe make sense. You can just go on, and on, and on. And to me, it’s like just if you center it on that … And then another thing I would say is I think especially if you have kids in the younger years, I think it’s less about giving them information and more about character building.

What I mean by that is concentrate less on subjects, and concentrate more on who you’re building the kid to be in regards to character. Because that is the most important thing, and that’s the thing that gives you the ROI later in life. If you have a person who’s full of faith, full of love, inquisitive, asks questions, is critical in thinking, is analytical, logical … well, then those will be the tools that allow them to endlessly learn for the rest of their lives. Who cares if they learn that when they’re seven? Give them the tools, not the information. I think that’s a big difference.


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