Updated: Nov 28, 2021
Home educators are busy people. There is SO much to keep on top of that sometimes the sheer thought of slowing down, even just for a minute of reflection sounds like crazy talk! We do need to insist on this one, that reflection really is something that benefits EVERYONE in your homeschool. Let’s start with the home educator.
Reflection for yourself
As a home educator the most valuable outcome of reflection is that it allows you to see how you’re tracking against the goals that really matter and make adjustments so you’re doing more of what matters and less of what doesn’t.
One way you can do this is by noting the work that brings the most joy to your homeschool. The days that are the most relaxed and enjoyable, the projects that REALLY ignited a love of learning for your learner. Find the patterns, and you can learn so many things about what your learner responds to in the best way.
Reflection also leads you to better understand your teaching style. It’s getting to the core of your values, understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are as a parent/carer and a home educator. Being aware of these things can truly help us understand why some days seem harder than others, and approaching things differently can make all the difference!
Reflection for your learner
For kids, self- reflection needs to be learned and the best way for them to learn is to have it modelled to them.
Reflection is a special gift you can give your children. It gives them the tools they need to understand how they got to where they are. To feel happy and content with their efforts and to have that motivation to keep persevering to reach their goals. Without reflection things can get mundane, or interest led projects that once were filled with excitement, can be dropped and forgotten.
Reflection helps kids discover themselves, it helps them understand why they think and act in certain ways, this can be so helpful for kids that sometimes act impulsive or get overwhelmed easily.
So, really, reflection is a life skill and, if you really think about it, it’s a pretty valuable one.
How do we teach self reflection?
You can start by talking! For some kids, setting the scene can help. Make it a relaxing trip to a coffee shop for cake or milkshakes. And when it feels right, start sharing things that you like about yourself with your kids. For example, “I love cooking and I think I’m good at it”, or sharing childhood stories of overcoming something you were afraid of and asking them if they have had to do anything like that before. Try to not assume or finish their sentences, these are new kinds of thoughts so they may take some time!
It can help by saying things they’ve told you back to them to show that you really listened. Hearing it back can help them come to realisations about themselves too. Once you get talking, the ideas will flow and, in my experience, kids love being asked questions like these and they also love hearing these kinds of stories.
Traditional times to reflect, like nearing the end of a year is a great way to introduce reflection into your homeschool.
I’ve created a printable pack that might help strike conversation with your kids and encourage them to appreciate their unique and special qualities and maybe even appreciate their educators too!
Hot tip: Kids can struggle for inspiration when there is a blank page in front of them. Doing the activity yourself or sharing what your answer would be will not only bring them great delight, but as you share your answers and model your thought process out loud it can help inspire their own answers.
Please do tag Freely if you use these in your homeschool, I’d love to see them in action!