Welcome to The Homeschool C.U.R.E. series, where you are healing your homeschool one letter at a time. The Homeschool C.U.R.E. is for anyone looking to start a healthy homeschooling journey—or mend the journey they’re currently on. If either one of these is your goal, you’re in the right place!
This final week, we’re talking about embracing failure, one of the C.U.R.E. strategies that help you approach your homeschool journey with confidence and purpose. I saved this topic for last because it’s probably the number one culprit to feelings of inadequacy in the homeschool community. However, through the years I’ve learned failure is simply a teaching moment; an opportunity to succeed later. Keep reading to learn the three types of failure in homeschool and how to transform them into success.
So, You Failed. Don’t Fret.
Just about every homeschool mom thinks she’s failed at some point. I’ve met moms who think they failed because their child reads or performs below grade-level. I’ve met moms who think they failed because their child hates homeschool or refuses to do the schoolwork. I’ve also met moms who think they failed because they suffer from depression or chronic illness and their homeschool days are a struggle.
Listen closely; if you haven’t given up, then you haven’t failed. Rather, your success has simply been delayed by an obstacle. Some would even argue that failure doesn’t exist, because, at the end of the day, what we perceive as failure is merely a lesson in disguise.
Three Types of Failure
So, we’ve determined that failures are lessons in disguise; obstacles that delay success. When it comes to homeschool, there are three types of failures. You may call them obstacles if you wish. These failures—or obstacles—are typically the result of lacking the following elements:
- Method—Failure of method happens when you follow a strategy that fails to produce desired results, despite your best efforts.
- Action—Failure of action happens when you omit required steps of effort needed to produce desired results.
- Vision—Failure of vision happens when you don’t set clear goals, or you adopt a vision that doesn’t align with your core values and goals.
Remember, a cord of three strands is not easily broken. Think of method, action, and vision as those three strands. They are the foundation of your homeschool. If you fail in one area, it is quite inevitable that you’ll fail in the others. For instance, if you discovered a great method that worked for another homeschool family but it doesn’t align with your vision, that method will fail despite how much effort you put into it. Similarly, if you’ve discovered a great homeschool method that aligns perfectly with your vision, but you never take the required action to implement it, that method will fail. You need to carry out all three elements for your homeschool to run successfully.
Remedies for Failure of Method
So, what happens when your method fails? The first step is to decide if it was because you had a failure of vision, a failure of action, or both. Remember, a failed method can happen despite your greatest efforts. Here are some remedies to apply when your method hasn’t been serving your homeschool family well.
- Just do it! Sometimes we don’t know if or how a method works until we put it into practice. During the beginning of your homeschool journey, you may have to try out several methods before you find one that suits your family. You may even have to combine philosophies from various methods to create a new method unique to your homeschool needs.
- Assess and revise. Plan a day when you are going to take inventory of your method and how it’s working for your family. It could be weekly, quarterly, annually, but remember the sooner you take inventory the sooner you can make necessary changes.
- Don’t get attached. Know when it’s time to try something else. You may have invested time and money into a given method or curriculum, but never hold onto something that isn’t serving your family well. Be willing to let it go.
Remedies for Failure of Action
Failure of action is the omission of necessary steps to achieve desired results. This type of failure usually happens when there’s no game-plan. I like to call this game-plan your objectives. Objectives are not goals, as some typically think. Rather, objectives are the action steps to attain those goals. Here are some remedies for failure of action.
- Get detailed. Getting lazy with details is a surefire way to feel overwhelmed in your homeschooling journey. Make sure you consider your plan of action from all angles to include dates, time, available resources, unexpected changes, etc. It’s also best to consider everyone in your family and their specific needs when writing out your plan of action. Initially, this process will take considerable time, thought, and care, but it’s worth it.
- Measure your results. Your plan of action should have timestamps by which you can measure progress, celebrate wins, or reevaluate if needed. In other words, measuring results helps highlight which methods need to be tossed and which methods are working well. In this way, you can keep a record of everything that’s working effectively and build a great system that can be duplicated for repeated success.
- Consider a facelift. When a plan of action fails, sometimes it’s because you’re holding onto to a plan that needs a facelift. You’ll find that reviewing and adjusting your plan of action will become a regular part of your homeschool. That’s because seasons change. What worked in one season for one child may not work in another season for the other child. What worked when you were a mom of two may not work when you’ve added a new bundle of joy to your family. Catch my drift?
Remedies for Failure of Vision
A homeschool with a failed vision makes an already challenging journey feel more daunting. It is pretty much the foundation of your homeschool. You know you have a solid vision when your method and action work well together. With a solid vision, you can choose the right curriculum, methods, and objectives that are unique to your family and align with your core values. Here are three ways to remedy a failed vision.
- Make it truthful. Your vision should align with your core values and reflect your belief system. Take the time to really discern if your vision is truly yours or just sounds good on paper. It’s very easy to get caught up in writing a vision for the sake of writing a vision, rather than allowing time and space to really reflect on a vision that’s true to you and your family.
- Don’t compromise. Is your vision for your homeschool non-negotiable? Or do you allow doubt to tell you that your vision is too unrealistic, too unattainable, too unconventional, or whatever other too’s you can think of. This all boils down to building confidence in your vision and deciding what you’re not willing to compromise.
- Give it back. Sometimes your vision isn’t your vision at all. It’s one you’ve adopted from that other homeschooling family who seems to excel in everything they do. This can be tricky because you may share the same values with said family, why not just copy and paste their vision, right? If a vision isn’t tailored to your family, it won’t work. Core values are just one aspect of a vision, but there are other variables to consider such as the personality, interests, and preferred learning style of each family member, just to name a few. So, give that vision back to the family you stole it from and take the time to craft your own.
Need to Catch Up?
That concludes the series, The Homeschool C.U.R.E. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed sharing this information with you. If you need to catch up, consider reading the following posts.
Tag, You’re It!
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