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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
A Different Kind of Self-Discipline
© Beverley Paine
I used to believe that my kids were doomed because I was hopeless at self-discipline, especially when it came to finishing projects and activities I had started. However, when others look at what we have achieved in life, it usually amazes them. Our accomplishments are many and most of them are finished projects, although we always have something on the go...
Our life looks and is chaotic because we have so many projects we can work on in any one day. We never finish anything straight away. Is it an attention span problem or a discipline problem? I don't know. I think it's just the way we both work best. Every so often we need to complete something, to feel okay - especially on days when we don't feel confident or there really is simply too much to do. What really bogs us down are deadlines. These can be self-imposed or imposed on us. It's easy to feel overwhelmed when too many deadlines are approaching at onece.
In addition, we are often told that we do too much, and that we should slow down, relax, take some time off.
It's really hard to discipline ourselves to be centred on one job at a time until that job is done. If we're lucky we'll get 90% of the way there and then we'll start on another project, or pick up one of the unfinished ones. It frustrates us sometimes, but only when we're trying to fit into what we think we should be doing.
We usually tackle projects and most chores with enthusiam - largely because we do them when we feel like it, or want to. If you visited on some days you'd think we were total slobs! These might be the days when we finally take some time off and do absolutely nothing at all. Or they may be representative of a very busy patch, where the day to day chores are left undone as we focus all our energy on a time-consuming project.
Because we do things when we are highly motivated we seemed more focussed, and definitely enjoy life more.
I'm not convinced we are at all undisciplined, but it would sure look like it to someone who didn't know us. When we are ready to tackle something we generally approach it in a disciplined way.
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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