Previously posted on September 8, 2016 @Homescool.ph
We chanced upon our box of puzzles recently and have begun doing puzzles before we started our lessons this week. These puzzles must be so happy. Some have faded or lost a piece or two but truly seeing them all brought back happy memories of homeschooling our 4 children.
When our set up was more geared for the preschoolers and lower primary years, we had various boxes for puzzles, tinker toys, blocks, play dough, card games, pretend play stuff or music tools. Activity sets were gems for those who had multilevel children. They were valued in terms of “how long it can keep your child engaged” currency!!! This was important as you tried (and tired!) to teach 4 children at the same time!
Our puzzles then ranged from 4 to 200 pieces. Gino, who has not seen these puzzles for a while, was just too excited to be reconnected with them!
However, I noticed that he struggled with one set and needed my help a bit. I sort of gave reminders on how to attack a puzzle. At that very moment, I recognized that the main challenge for him was not having the “bigger picture”. Since the boxes of the puzzles were bulky, I had thrown them away. So, there was no image to base the puzzle pieces on. We had no idea (or totally forgot) what that puzzle was all about.
It then dawned unto me how this often is the scenario for many homeschoolers. We can get lost in the daily tasks and lesson plans, we can get lost in putting the pieces of the so-called puzzling life of a homeschooler and totally forget the bigger picture. Before we know it, a little bit of irritation or frustration here and there snowball into discouragement and desperation. If you need to see the bigger picture again, please check out a series of blog posts on setting a <a href=”http://homescool.ph/2016/06/11/dear-first-time-homeschooler-part-2-mission-vision-lets-do-this/”>good homeschooling foundation</a> and working on the <a href=”http://homescool.ph/2016/07/01/dear-first-time-homeschooler-determining-your-core-values-part-3-of-a-series-in-creating-a-strong-foundation-for-your-homeschoooling-family/”>bigger picture</a>for your<a href=”http://homescool.ph/2016/05/14/dear-first-time-homeschooler-series-help-for-those-who-have-taken-the-plunge/”> homeschooling journey.</a>
The “big picture” is our true North. Our compass on tough days. An anchor to remind us to press on. My son could have gotten so frustrated, but he puzzled on! Without a literal “image” to base how pieces fit together, he had to rely on some tactics in creating the image from “scratch”. Such is life, right?
Eventually, the image became clearer. We realized it was “duck mailman” putting letters on different mailboxes. As he “envisioned” the image more clearly, the task at hand became easier and he became faster in fitting the pieces and eventually completed the puzzle. Well, that’s what we thought was coming until we realized we were missing one piece. Such is life indeed. You can try and do what is within your control but in the end, there will be glitches. There is no perfect way to educate our children. There is no perfect school, and yes, there is no perfect homeschool.
For as long as we have set our goals, and know where we want to go, for as long as each day somehow brings us closer to that goal, then all will be well. We then must know the “image” of our puzzles, with the pieces representing each homeschooling day. That’s how we stay on course and press on. Remember the pieces won’t automatically fit together, right? So, you really need to PRESS ON.
Apart from creating a solid foundation (with the links I have uploaded in this post) of our own homeschooling, participating in milestone homeschooling events is also one good way of recalibrating and realigning ourselves to our goal. I really look at homeschooling conferences as BIG picture events. It’s such an amazing reminder why we have chosen this journey as homeschoolers. It is also the best way to get all pumped up and receive all the encouragement that can last you all through the years of your homeschooling. May I then invite you to consider joining the Philippine Homeschooling Conference 2016 this October? Please check this link to know more about this exciting event coming for all homeschoolers of the Philippines. To register, click here.
(The Message) “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.”Provers 29:18
P.S. If you can incorporate puzzle activities for multilevel kids, go ahead, It’s really a superb, mentally challenging way of bonding with one another. See what cooperation can do!!!! Similarly, in pushing the homeschooling movement here in our country, we all have a part to play: a puzzle piece to contribute so let’s join forces and see each other on October 22, ok?