Welcome to The Educating Parent Beverley Paine's archive of articles about homeschooling and unschooling written over a period of 30 plus years

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Life's Balance Beam - How to Keep From Falling Off

Lori Radun

reprinted with permission: first published in Metamorphosis: Tools for Transformation a weekly newsletter by Peter Shepard www.trans4mind.com

Have you ever watched children walk along a curb, or along the railway ties lining the local playground? They walk with their arms straight out, placing one foot in front of the other, as they teeter from side-to-side. They have to stay focused in order to keep their balance. As adults, we also need to focus on balance in our lives or we may end up falling off - not off a curb or a railway tie, but off our path in life.

I know what you are thinking: "Who has time to think about balance? I have enough to think about. I have to work, clean the house, do laundry, be a good friend, volunteer at church, parent my children, and find time for my marriage." I understand. However, I would like to encourage you to take a few minutes to read this article - and maybe to reflect on what balance would look like for you.

Personally, I need a little from all areas of my life. It is important for me to exercise and watch what I eat, and it is also important for me to have fun and express my creativity. My career as a life coach is my passion, and I am also passionate about spending time with my family. My church nourishes my spirit; spending time with my husband every day nourishes our marriage.

Finding balance in life is different for everyone. Some of us want to slow life down a little and lighten our load. Others may love the fast-paced lifestyle of the "Energizer Bunny," as they go-go-go. It is important for each of us to think about how we want to spend our lives and about what is most important to us as individuals. If you find yourself driven by circumstances and not exercising your power of choice, you are probably living "out of balance." For instance, how often do you hear yourself say, "I can't, I have to, or I need to"? Are you giving up your right to choose? Do you insist on doing things a certain way without ever asking why or looking for a better way?

Balance in our lives enables us to make choices that are right for us - for the right reasons. We learn to say "no" to things we don't want to do. Or to change our attitude about those things that really must be done. We become willing to look honestly at what is not working in our lives. For some, it may be as simple as handing over household chores to a housekeeper in order to pursue a hobby. Others may find that seeking out a biking partner helps motivate them to exercise. Keeping balance may require saying no to a child's extracurricular activity to make time for a family night. Trying out new ideas one at a time can help each of us achieve the balance and fulfillment that may be missing from our lives.

It is important to remember that balance is a process and is constantly changing, just as our lives are constantly changing. Balance is not some static goal that we achieve and then move on. We achieve balance in the moment, understanding that in the next moment everything may change.

Look at the balance in your life over time. If life seems smooth and fulfilling, you are probably on the right track. If, however, your road through life seems bumpy and you are often unhappy, making changes to help you move towards greater balance could be the answer for you.

Lori Radun, CEC is a certified life coach for moms. To receive her newsletter, other coaching products, and the special report, "155 Things Moms Can do To Raise Great Children," go to True2You Life Coaching .

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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.

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 supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since 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. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine

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