Are you meeting your own expectations?

I listened to another lecture by Jessie Wise Bauer called “Homeschooling the Real Child.” One of the topics she addressed in this speech was the frustration homeschooling moms feel because their daily expectations aren’t being met.  But she also pointed out that many home school moms have unrealistic expectations of what they should be able to do in one day.

Bauer suggested that home school moms take a few moments to “Write out what your perfect home school day looks like.”  She said this is a good way to find out whether or not your home school expectations were even realistic to begin with.

I did what she suggested. If you’re interested, here’s my “perfect” home school day right now:

I feed the baby and she goes back to sleep. I complete my morning routine while the girls play quietly. We have breakfast, read the Bible and practice our Bible memory work. Norah starts her morning routine while I dress Avril and feed and take care of the baby. I clean up after breakfast. Norah finishes her morning routine. Norah does her math page while I do math with Avril. The baby plays or naps.  Norah does her reading and skill and logic workbooks while I practice phonics and do skill workbooks with Avril.  Avril plays quietly while I do spelling, language and writing with Norah.  I feed the baby again and then we eat lunch and clean up. We all do history together while the baby naps. Norah reads and does her science narration page while Avril plays quietly. Norah reads a book silently while I read to Avril or we all listen to an audio book. Avril naps and I feed the baby and Norah reads silently or plays a computer game. I start dinner. Avril wakes up and the girls play together until dinner. We eat dinner as a family and then sit and listen to a read aloud as a family or play a board or card game. I clean up and feed the baby again. The girls play until it’s time to get baths, etc. and we all get ready for bed. I feed the baby, do my chores, and then we all go to bed.

Now that I have articulated what I think our “perfect” day looks like I am encouraged because I see that I am usually meeting my own expectations when we spend the day at home just “doing school” and working around the house. But if we run errands or go outside to work in the gardens or meet up with friends at the park, we usually can’t do a full day of school work, too.  I used to get frustrated and quietly stew over what I didn’t get done on the days we were outside or away from home. But when I think about it rationally, I see that it’s not realistic to think we could spend hours and hours away from home and still do everything that we manage to do on a full day at home.

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