You have 3 options.
Just accept that it’s over.
You’re allowed to change your mind.
You can always quit.
Accept, Change, Quit. These are your options.
Perhaps you have heard of this simple framework to help make challenging decisions.
Of course it’s easy to forget about it during especially busy and demanding times. We might also be tempted to dismiss is as too simple, too unrealistic, too impractical.
Choose one of these three options and bam! Problem solved.
Umm, yeah, I’m not so sure.
It’s not that making tough decisions suddenly becomes easy. But it does simplify the process. And honestly, I refer to this simple plan ALL OF THE TIME.
I find that it’s an ideal launching pad for how to address nearly everything in my life. Family, relationships, finances, career, household, activities…seriously, EVERYTHING.
And I especially rely on it for homeschooling.
Let me give you some concrete examples of what this has looked like in my life, specifically my own homeschooling journey.
Example #1 – Accept
This past fall, we signed my daughter up for a 10-week, creative writing class. She and a friend planned to take it together and were really excited about it.
But after the first few weeks, it was pretty obvious that the girls weren’t getting much out of the class. They didn’t look forward to going each week. They felt like they were spending precious time away from other cherished activities. And midway through the class, several students had dropped out.
But we knew that although the girls weren’t benefiting much from the class, it was a temporary situation. They could at the very least, focus on their together time. We felt it was important to see it through for a variety of reasons.
It didn’t seem worth our time or energy to try and change the class dynamics. Nor did we think it was right to quit.
So our decision was to ACCEPT the circumstances.
Example #2 – Change
After years of using two math programs successfully, my daughter was ready to try something new. She had been transitioning over to more autonomy in many of her subjects and there was a certain math program she was excited to try.
All was going well for the first few weeks but we began to gradually realize that this was not an ideal fit for her. She was ending lessons with either a blank look on her face or tears in her eyes. I tried my best to provide clear explanations and assistance but it wasn’t a great fit for my learning style either.
To quit math altogether was not an option. And it seemed counterproductive to accept the circumstances, as it was clearly impacting her self-esteem. We decided jointly that we needed to change course.
What was the ultimate goal here?
To use a program that was thorough and engaging. A program that would provide challenging material, but not cause consistent overwhelm to the point of tears. So we researched additional math curriculum and chose a new program. It has turned out to be a lovely fit for my girl, and she is getting the support that she needs.
Our decision was to CHANGE.
Example #3 – Quit
I have had various part-time jobs throughout our homeschooling journey. At times, the extra money was necessary to contribute to our family’s income. Other times, it was simply a nice supplement.
But a couple of years ago, while working as a remote part-time office assistant and juggling homeschooling, it all got to be too much. Sports activities and additional extracurricular activities had intensified and were requiring a lot of my time and energy.
All of the different hats I was wearing started taking its toll. My husband and I agreed that I could no longer accept the situation as it was. And due to the nature of the position and the responsibilities that were required, it wasn’t something I could change.
So while it was a tough decision to make, I decided that for my own well-being, I needed to QUIT.
Look, I am well aware that some life circumstances are beyond our control.
Sometimes changing or quitting are not realistic options. In these circumstances, acceptance is the only choice available. And this can feel devastating and hopeless.
I know. Believe me, I’ve been there too. The loss of a job, a car accident, a cancer diagnosis, a death in the family. These are circumstances that often leave us feeling shocked, angry, victimized, regretful.
And yet while it’s true that we may have to accept these CIRCUMSTANCES, we do have options available when it comes to HOW WE WILL RESPOND and move forward.
In addition to acceptance, we do indeed have the options to change or quit within the scope of how we choose to carry on.
It’s so important to remember this. That we are never completely helpless.
So as you move forward in your homeschooling journey, I hope you’ll consider this simple framework when you find yourself at a decision making crossroads.
Accept, Change, Quit.
Have you had to make a significant decision lately? Do you have any helpful decision-making tips that helped you through?