Friday, April 18, 2014

The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling #5- Be Extraordinary

Sorry for the long delay in getting this series finished. I made the decision to go to Duluth last week sans computer and it was a mixed blessing. Anyway, I got home on Sunday, after 4 long days of driving and working the conference, while battling the flu, and hit the ground running again on Monday. Today is the first break I've had to get back to really blogging, so thanks for your patience! 

And, without further ado, here is my last post in the Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling: 
Be Extraordinary.

Which fits in perfectly with my blog; Golden Grasses, because my tag line is "Crafting the Extraordinary from the Ordinary." Maybe it's my birth order, having been raised by therapists in the 70's, or latent adrenaline junkie tendencies, but I have a really hard time letting my life being determined by the status quo. I'm constantly reading, learning, musing, thinking, talking to folks, trying to understand others perspectives and figuring out how to cook delicious, organic food on a budget while not spending any time in the kitchen (which you know if I master, I will attain Queen of the Universe status!). Of course, this is all easy to do when one is single and solitary. Add in some other humans, lack of sleep, too much to do, irritating, selfish others, selfish self, kids who don't mind or won't learn, frustration, computers that don't cooperate, etc. and my desire to understand any one's perspective beyond my own goes out the window. 

You know what I mean, right? We all have the ideal of who we want to be. We might actually be that on some days. And then we have the days where we go into public with puke on our shirt, or to church with 2 different shoes on, when we really do lock ourselves in the bathroom to hide and if one more person asks you to fit one more thing in, you might scream, throw the phone or scream into it before refusing to answer it again. 

It's hard to be extraordinary when life is so demanding and time is so short. But even so, I would lay bets that you know what extraordinary would entail. I do. I live with ideals in my head. Which, most days, is better than living with voices in my head. 

For instance, I know what my ideal educational paradigm would be. I've tried to create it a few times, and almost came close. Right now, my ideal isn't available so I do what's within my power to create that with what I have. For us, that's homeschooling with a neo-classical pedagogy and lasagna homeschooling, enhanced by my work with the extraordinary TOS Crew.  

 I know what my ideal professional environment would be. I keep pinching myself because in many ways I have that right now; in two areas that I actually get compensated for. Lucky, lucky me. (Well, since I don't believe in luck, a more accurate statement would be, I am blessed!) Even with that, having just done a review that included professional development goals, I can tell you that there are things I need to do to improve. Lucky blessed me again because I have get to read books on my list anyway and have the opportunity to get some computer training paid for by someone else. Two-fer.

I'm always on the look-out for ways to improve things -and being a melancholy personality- there is so much to improve. But frankly, time and energy- as you know- are limited quantities. So, I'm going to focus on the things that are non-negotiables and let go of some things that can't be fixed. 

One of the things I truly love about Covey's work is when he talks about surrounding yourself with extraordinary people, which leads to synergy- 1 +1 becomes greater than the value of it's parts. It's really important to seek out people who are smarter, wiser, more skilled and have greater energy than you. Learn and grow from them and listen when they point out areas you need to improve. Do your part and then let them do theirs. Honestly, that's why, I'm privileged to say, our homeschooling community offers Drama Camp, Tantara, Poetry Outloud AND a Shakespeare Camp each year. Love.

I'm going to fall short. So are you. We can't be extraordinary all the time. When I hear new homeschoolers confide that they are terrified they'll leave "gaps" in their kids education I smile. I smile and tell them I'm going to relive some anxiety for them by assuring them that they WILL leave gaps. So does the public school. It's o.k. It's important to determine what gaps you are willing to live with and which ones you are not and then go after your list of non-negotiable. And when you go after your list of non-negotiables, do it with panache, do it with flair; do it like the extraordinary woman you are. Because only you bring to your kids education, and your job,  your skills, abilities, perspective, faith and hopes.

For me, it's easier to focus on just a few things at a time to really focus on. I do love Outliers and think there is a lot to think about in terms of TIME invested (you know, 10,000 hours = an expert). But the thing Gladwell doesn't touch base on is focus while investing time. In my experience intensity of purpose is just as important as time invested.  For us, that is why we have gone with a neo-classical pedagogy, that is why working from home is ideal, that is why word rather than image based is important to us. 

Call to Action
Determine your Non-Negotiable in Homeschooling and determine how to make it happen
Determine your Non -negotiables at work and determine how to make it happen.
Create a short list of areas in which you want to excel- to truly be extraordinary- (physical, mental, spiritual, social) and then create a plan of action to complete it.

Be sure to stop by my fellow Crewbies for some more great reading this week.
Kathy @ Kathys Cluttered Mind ~ Fieldtripping Fun
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road ~ Great Kids Reads
Shalynne @ Wonderfully Chaotic ~ Birth and Babies
Lisa Marie @ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ Canadian Teachers Pay Teachers Stores
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized ~ Homekeeping for Girls and Boys
Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity ~ Planning Your Homeschool Year
Nikki @ Angels of Heart ~ Easter: The Cross for Preschoolers
Jenn @ Treasuring Life's Blessings ~ Family Friendly Finger Food
Lisa @ Golden Grasses ~ The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

No comments: