Thursday, June 25, 2009

Get Motivated... or how to do what you don't want to do but have to! Part 3

You know how I wrote about staying focused and minimising distractions yesterday? Well, today I'm going to tell you to do the opposite!

That's right: sometimes it is quicker and easier to take care of our distractions and then come back to what it was we were doing before. This is especially helpful if we're fazing out and not really capable of focusing. We need a break and instead of being a distraction it will help us to get back on track!

Sometimes as home educating parents we forget that our children are, after all, only human. Like us, they can't work continually, especially if they are waiting and anticipating something happening later, like a treat or a birthday or visits from friends arriving later in the day. Have a quick chat about their anticipation - this lets them know you realise how hard it is to be patient. It will only take a couple of minutes, and you'll cover another valuable homeschool curriculum topic (under Health and Personal Development) at the same time.

And then there are times when our children are fidgetting and can't sit still. There's nothing wrong with everyone having a quick romp around the room, a silly chasey game that ends in a heap on the living room floor with a manic tickling session and lots of laughter. Or a fifteen minute game of catch with a ball on the lawn. Scheduling some fun playing with the family pet could take care of a couple of chores, as well, so long as you remember not to get too distracted from the original task!

And then there are days when you simply must abandon whatever you are doing to take advantage of that once in life-time learning opportunity: a downpour that turns into a cloud burst and provides an opportunity to witness erosion at a massive scale at the local creek (watched from a safe distance!); rushing to the beach because your friend phoned and said there was a whale and her calf frolicking in the shallows; taking care of an injured bird that just flew into the window, etc.

We homeschoolers need to be flexible and adaptable. Seeing disruptions as learning opportunities will help us feel less distracted. Handling distractions in a positive and constructive way will help us to feel and stay motivated as home educators.

© Beverley Paine

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