Consistency is the Key

A couple of years ago, I read a blog where the author decided not to make any New Year’s resolutions. Instead, she decided to choose one word to focus on for the year.  Her one word was Courage, a great word for any homeschooling family. However, if I were to choose one word as our goal for this year, it would have to be Consistency.

Even if this is your first year homeschooling, you probably already know that life tends to get in the way. It’s so easy to get distracted by the urgent – those things that demand your attention right away. Appointments and other errands somehow seem to fall right in the middle of “school hours”, causing both parents and children to struggle to get back on track later in the day. It happens at our house a lot. Consistent we are not.

But there is incredible value in consistency, no matter what we’re trying to do. As a teenager, I discovered the effects of consistency when learning to play the oboe. For years, I practiced just enough to get through the next week’s lesson, and my skill level reflected it. Finally, when I was a junior in high school, I started practicing every day, improving so much I actually won an award for it.

Consistency also improves academic performance, just as a lack of consistency hinders it. I can’t tell you how many times we began learning the multiplication facts, only to let them slide when things got busy. Then we’d have to start all over again. The result: students who knew some of the facts but not enough to get through a whole math lesson by themselves.

Reading, writing, memorizing, working math problems — all require consistency. Improvement may be hard to see in the short term, but every time your child works at something, progress is made. Just look back to where your child was at the start of the year, and what he can do now. Consistency is the key, and a great lesson for any age.

Photo by: dwstucke

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