A “Needy” Conversation

Last week, I wrote about how I want to refocus my homeschooling efforts by focusing on three questions.

  1. What are the needs?
  2. What are the goals to accomplish those needs?
  3. What are the outcomes (how will I know when I’ve accomplished those goals)?

This week, I worked on the first question: “What are the needs that my children and I have right now?” I tried really hard to not limit myself to a certain part of our life, but to just brainstorm and write down whatever I thought.

I started with MY needs. Sometimes, I think as mother-educators it’s really easy to get caught up in what our children need without taking into account what our needs are, as well. But if homeschooling–or any kind of project–is going to be successful, it requires that the environment and systems we set up work for both the mom and the kids.

So, without further ado, here’s a sampling of the “needs” list that I came up with–for me and for my children–in no particular order. There are more to these lists, but I didn’t want to bore you or list something that might come back to haunt me later!

I need:

  • to feel like I’m making a difference
  • to see joyful learning and engaged kids
  • to share my excitement for learning with my kids
  • to have a balance between “school” time and the rest of my life
  • to have my home feel happy and peaceful
  • to be able to spend time with all my children–particularly the youngest two

All My Kids need:

  • to have fun
  • to feel successful and capable
  • to learn to do hard things
  • to serve others
  • to learn skills that will help them be successful adults

Pepper (10) needs:

  • to learn to appropriately show feelings
  • to have space to develop her own interests and goals
  • to learn homemaking skills

Lima Bean (8) needs:

  • to have positive social experiences
  • to have opportunities to share
  • to work on solving problems

Pea Pod (7) needs:

  • time with Mom
  • quiet time to work on her projects
  • stories/experiences to help her learn to face her fears

Bok Choy (5) needs:

  • chances to be in charge
  • his family’s attention
  • lots of mom time doing the things he’s interested in

In reviewing the lists I made, I was amazed to notice (once again–since this happens EVERY time I make these kinds of lists) how few “schoolish” type activities made my kids’ lists. In fact, the only that was even remotely schooly was Pepper learning homemaking skills. And yet, MY list includes seeing them engaged in learning every day.

Is that a conundrum? Can I make those two, seemingly opposite ideas coexist?!?

I believe I can.

So now on to listing process goals to meet these needs. On to focusing on how I can meet EVERYONE’S needs each day. On to how I can leap tall buildings in a single bound! (Hey, I can wish, can’t I!?!)

Stay tuned.

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Filed under Examples and Stories, Theory Behind It All

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