The importance of self-reflection as a homeschooler

As homeschool parents and grownups, we may sometimes feel pressure from outside sources to “keep up”―or we notice ourselves comparing how we homeschool or spend our days to others. But comparing is one of the number one ways we sap joy from our homeschool experience!

Instead, we encourage you to reflect on your own homeschool―what you have accomplished so far and what you would like to do in the future.

Our actual jobs as educators and facilitators—and the actual purpose of early education—should not be to check boxes that others have created for us. It should be to demonstrate for our children the value of learning.

Learning and education are lifelong processes—ones that nearly always require pivots and restarts (and repeats!) as long as we live. Reflection helps us focus on what is truly important to us, to take note of the milestones our child has reached, and to make learning a part of our family culture.

Reflecting on our homeschooling choices and methods doesn’t mean comparing our homeschool to others in our community or online. That’s because there are many ways to approach homeschooling—and they can all be right if they work for the family using them.

At L+L, we value many homeschool philosophies, which is why our program is so eclectic. It can often feel tempting to see someone else’s homeschool and feel the urge to mirror it exactly in your own, but we encourage you to learn from others by emulating the things you like into your home but not by trying to create a carbon copy. Because no other family is like yours, and no other kid is exactly like yours either.

So how can you get started with constructive reflection? We want to help! That’s why each of our unit studies includes a books + skills tracking document to record what you work on with your child each week. But because we know there is so much more to homeschooling than the unit studies you work through, we are excited to release the Learn + Live Letter Reverse Planner!

This printable PDF is available to all members as a free download. Unlike typical planners where you write down what you plan to do, a reverse planner is a place to record what you have already done. The planner includes an introduction page that explains how to use each page. You will find pages for tracking the books you read, recording the field trips you took and other learning experiences your family has had, and journal pages for you to write your reflections for the week.

As you make notes, focus on the successes, the wins, and the progress you and your child make. (Including the surprise connections and laughs you and your child shared!) This positive lens will help you as a home educator when doubts or insecurities start to creep in because you can immediately check in on all you and your child have accomplished throughout the year.

Instead of worrying that you haven’t done “enough,” we encourage you to celebrate what you have done. We hope our planners will help you do just that. We are proud of you—and you should be too! 

Published by The Learn + Live Letter

The Learn + Live Letter is a play- and project-based homeschool curriculum for children ages 3-12.

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