Previously: Part one: Adequate nutrition, adequate sleep
Part two: If you need a break, take a break
Less is more.
The third thing I did to avoid homeschool burnout is to reduce my workload by identifying the core components of a true education, which teach the tools of learning; teaching those components, and resisting spending time on the other stuff. The other stuff may be fun and interesting, and your rhetoric stage child can study them on his own, with nothing more from you than a list of books to begin his study. (More lists here and here.) In addition, anything can be learned in college and as an adult. The purpose of K-12 education is not for a child to learn all there is; the purpose is of K-12 education is for a child to learn well those things which enable him to go on independently (this means without you) to learn all there is, or all he will need. In essence, a true education teaches a child to recognize and identify truth, to analyze the statements of others for truth or falsehood, and to communicate truth to others effectively.
Piling on more to please a parent’s sense of accomplishment, to look good in front of others, or to assuage a feeling of guilt adds nothing to a child’s true education.
So what are those core components? Bible. Language (which is, grammar (English and /or Latin or Greek), logic, and rhetoric, or the art of communication, of speaking and writing). History. Mathematics. That is really it.
“All schools … ought to teach far fewer subjects, and teach them far better.” – C. S. Lewis
To be continued …
Update: Part four continued in Solve family problems
I really like this post! It sounds achieveable. It is much like we are doing except I try to be “identity directed” for each individual as well as incorporate their interests into their studies.
I really agree with your sentiments here. And sometimes, within the homeschool community/movement we can put this peer pressure on ourselves, but it still isn’t right. 🙁
While I’m here, I’ll take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude for you and your website, which I found a few years ago. I really appreciate the site and all the work and effort that you do. 🙂
I thank you for this!
I will tell you, my state requires certain subjects every year, and so we are required to do other stuff in addition to what you listed. Science all through elementary, Jr. High, and then 2 years of high school science.
However, for my non-science child who is required to take 2 years, I have been praying about what to do … and finally realized that the answer is right at AiG (they have the study guides and everything) and can fit right into defending the faith, logic, rhetoric, you get the picture.
I have been going through a really hard time lately with my high school son, who wants to “get it all done” and move on to college. We had a list of what all needed to be done, and we were not nearly through with the list due to lots of life happening the past couple years. After reading this, I realize that if we focus on just a couple things yet, he can still reasonably consider college this fall instead of another year down the road. Thanks!