Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Review: Only Passionate Curiosity

This is a different kind of homeschool review. This is a review for a product that is not, directly, for your children. It is instead a product that is intended for YOU. Homeschool Rescue from Only Passionate Curiosity is intended to help the weary homeschooling mom. It is a product for YOU.

Only Passionate Curiosity Homeschool Rescue

So how does this product work?
  • Well, the first thing you should know is that this product is a website. It is not a book or anything that comes in the mail. It is an online program.
  • This website includes five different "modules." Modules include things like triaging your homeschooling, managing your time, curriculum planning etc. 
  • Each module includes separate lessons that you can work through.
  • Each lesson includes a video, homework, and other recommendations (like additional reading or resources or links). 
However, in addition to a very well laid out website (and seriously -- I LOVE this website! It is super clean, super easy, and super quick to navigate!), members also get access to, among other things, a Facebook community full of amazing people taking the time to discuss the challenges of their lives and their attempt at homeschooling.

There are so many GOOD things to say about this program, but I thought it would be most helpful if I focused on two separate lessons that I got out of.

The first one I wanted to spend some time on was entitled: TAKE YOUR PULSE. This was actually the very first lesson in the series, and the reason I chose to share about it in this review was because it immediately resonated with me and gave some quick, substantial, and realistic things I could do to help me in homeschooling. I was especially excited about some of the quick tips offered for when we have hit a homeschool WALL. Some of these tips included:
  • Have an independent learning day (they can learn whatever they want that day!)
  • Go to the library and let them pick out books and just read them home!
I loved these ideas, and in fact I immediately put them to use. We had just finished our homeschool co-op for the year, and the kids were bummed because that meant that Mondays (which were a day we do not do "real" schoolwork and instead went to co-op) was now just another day for "real" schoolwork. So I decided that every Monday, we would implement one of the bullets above. And in fact we did. The very next Monday, I let the kiddos pick what school assignments they wanted to do for the day. They got to pick ten things and divide them up into twenty minute increments. 

Here's Isaac with one of his chosen twenty minutes: doing legos with Grama. (I let them choose one "borderline" school activity :) 

Here was what Isaac chose in total:
  • Legos with Grama Joni
  • Piano
  • P.E.
  • Reading
  • Math
  • Spelling
  • Bible
  • Writing a letter to a friend
  • Mom read
  • Art
Again, this wasn't necessarily our most productive school day in terms of core content, but the kids still got something good out of the day and had fun doing it while feeling that they had some power in their decision. It truly was a GREAT start to our week.

Only Passionate Curiosity Homeschool RescueAs the lessons progressed, I got more and more seriously helpful ideas. I really thought that the suggestions might just be FLUFF. But instead, I found myself truly gaining great insight.

One thing that Heather brought up that I hadn't thought of before was that I can monitor my own screen addiction as a parent so that I can focus on homeschooling. I haven't tried this yet, but she actually suggested a productivity app which has a timer that goes off to help keep you from ending up on Facebook for more hours than you should. I really took these suggestions to heart. I have been making a point to only take my phone out to check text messages at certain times of the day. I've turned off my sound and am simply trying to "be" with my kids instead of multi-tasking. Heather reminded us that multi-tasking really isn't helpful and really doesn't work. We end up losing time.

Another lesson that I got a lot out of had to do with learning to say no. Oh man. Don't we all need to do this?! Honestly, I wasn't sure how I could get a fresh take on something I've struggled doing my whole life. But I really got some great ideas. And it started with a quote that I just love:

"Be who you are, and say how you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Dr. Seuss

Something has to give! I spent some time thinking about some of the following questions and ideas during this lesson:
  • Are you saying yes to a good curriculum instead of a GREAT curriculum?
  • Are you saying yes to a co-op when your time would be better spent somewhere else?
  • Consider the opportunity cost! What will this cost you in time spent? In energy? What will your kids be sacrificing? What will it cost financially?
  • You can say NO to babysitting requests
  • You can say no to being a sounding board for needy friends if it is interfering with your school days.
  • You can say NO with grace by using statements like:
    • "I'd love to but ...."
    • "This is not a season where I can ..."
    • "That won't work for me right now."
    • "Thank you for thinking of me."
    • "Have you considered asking ..."
  • What are your triggers, pain points, energy-zappers?
Honestly, I could go on an on and on and on talking about this product. Yes it does cost something. And yes you are spending money on something that isn't technically curriculum for your child. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed, alone, lost, confused, over-scheduled .... this product can help! I didn't consider myself in a homeschooling crisis when I received this product; but I feel like I got a big breath of fresh homeschool air. And you can too! 
Check out Homeschool Rescue from Only Passionate Curiosity on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+
Homeschool Rescue {Only Passionate Curiosity Reviews}
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