What is your superpower? Didn’t know you had any? I disagree! As a homeschool parent, you have a great superpower! And it’s not what you think, either. Sure, you may be able to pull together a delicious dinner that everyone will eat in 30 minutes or less, or maybe you are the organizational wonder parent and never have a paper out of place. But as a homeschool parent, your greatest superpower is adaptability!
Adaptability: The Definition
According to the dictionary, adaptability is “the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions” or “the capacity to be modified for a new use or purpose.”
In other words, being adaptable is being able to adjust to the changing circumstances and conditions around us or being able to modify things to use according to our needs and purposes.
Isn’t that what homeschool parents do well? All the time?
Let’s Put this Adaptability Superpower to Work for You!
Start by looking at how and when you schedule things like appointments, vacations, and even how you structure your day. You, my friend, have options!
Schedule your vacations to take advantage of off-peak seasonal discounts. Whether those discounts involve lodging, activities, admission, whatever, you can take reap the benefits of off-season saving opportunities. Not only will that benefit your bank account, but lines will be shorter, availability will be greater, and crowds will be significantly smaller. What’s not to love?
Do you ever have trouble scheduling doctor’s appointments for your family? Those after school and after work timeslots book out way in advance. Adapt! Schedule midday appointments and avoid the crowds or long wait times.
Even your lesson plan schedules can benefit from adaptability. You don’t have to be rigid in your scheduling and planning. Adapt. If you have been working hard through days of lousy weather, you can adjust your planning to take advantage of a rare lovely day. If you get behind on schoolwork, you can modify and adjust your planning to catch up.
Use your adaptability superpower in your school year calendar as well. If you want to do some schoolwork throughout the summer so you can have a long Christmas break, go for it! If your family schedule involves late nights several times each week, you should not feel pressured to start school at 8:00 every morning. Maybe starting at 10:00 will work better for you.
Adaptability applies to your curriculum also. I know, we all spend so much time trying to find the absolute best materials to use to teach our children. But have you ever gotten “the best” materials and then found that you didn’t like them at all? Adapt! Think about your curriculum as a guide, not a rule book!
If your schooling materials are not working for you, adapt! Modify! You are not required to do every single suggested activity in the teacher’s manual. (Ask my kids – we may or may not have spent WAY too much time on Ancient Egypt!) Pull out the suggestions that will add to what you are teaching but not get you bogged down.
Make your curriculum fit your needs and your children. Your goal is for your children to learn the material you are teaching them. So, what aspects of your chosen curriculum will get you to that goal? Are you finding that they are missing some skills? Is your material showing some deficiencies? Supplement with something else to fill the gaps. Are your kids totally bored with what you are giving them because they already know that material? Then skip what they already know and move on.
Do what works for you! You have options. If your curriculum is not working and you cannot adapt or modify it to make it work for you, move on. Find something better, something that will fit your child better. Better to do this between school years, but if necessary, you can change your materials midyear. I would save this as your very last resort, however. If you are at all like me, you will always think there is something better. I would not advise continually changing to the latest and greatest material. If you can make what you have work, then keep going.
“Adaptability is being able to adjust to any situation at any given time.”John Wooden
Have you priced/purchased math manipulatives? Yikes! Pricey! Don’t you have things around your house that you can adapt to serve the same purpose? LEGOS work as ways to teach fractions. Baking and cooking supplies can serve to teach measurements. So many things can serve to teach sorting skills. Your child can sort all the boxes of screws and nails in the garage by type, size, material. Sorting skills meet garage cleanup.
Use your adaptability superpowers to use items you already have and give them a new purpose. (Refer back to the definition!)
Don’t forget about your superpower when it comes to holiday planning! Incorporating your schoolwork with your holiday planning might be a lifesaver for you. OK, maybe not literally, but you know what I mean. If you missed it, check out the post specifically about this! How to Combine Holiday Prep and Homeschool
Do a unit study about the holiday, whether that is Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July, Easter, Memorial Day, etc. Learn about the special day’s origin, customs related to the holiday, family stories, and traditions. Read books related to the holiday. Literature class could include a themed movie. Who says you can’t watch a holiday movie at night, in pajamas, with hot chocolate, and count it as schoolwork?
Teach life skills! How to prepare a turkey for roasting. How to choose the right Christmas tree. Budgeting skills for Christmas shopping. Shopping for sales and using coupons. Making gifts for others. Baking cookies or pies. All these are life skills that can be taught as part of your homeschool studies. No time for math because you have to bake cookies this week? Math skills are still being used: measuring, doubling recipes, converting from tablespoons to cup measurements.
Embrace your Superpower!
Enjoy your schedule adaptability/flexibility
Adapt your school calendar so it works for your family.
Adjust your curriculum and planning to meet the needs of your children.