Do you remember those books and t-shirts from the 90s that said: “Everything I needed to know I learned from…….”? I had a Star Trek t-shirt with about 20 things “I learned” from it. Adam West’s birthday is on September 19, and in my mind he’s most famous for playing Batman in the 1960s.
To honor that, here’s what I’ve learned from Batman to apply to homeschooling.
1. Know your goals.
Batman always had a goal in mind: to rid Gotham of crime. Do you have an end goal in mind? My end goal is to raise kids who love God and follow hard after Him. If they can do that, then all else will fall into place.
2. Have a plan.
Batman always had a plan.
3. Know what it takes to achieve your plan.
When Bruce Wayne decided to fight crime he went out and learned all the fighting styles he could find. He learned all he could about crime labs and science. He disciplined himself. How disciplined is your homeschool? Do you know what it will take to achieve your goals? What do you need to get for this year? What will you need two years from now? Have you thought beyond this year?
4. Have a back up plan.
Not only does Batman have a plan, he has a back up plan, and a back up for that plan. Batman has contingencies for contingencies. Now, I’m not suggesting you go to that extreme, because that has its own problems. But, do you have an idea of what you might do if things change? What happens if you get sick? Do you have lesson plans for that eventuality? Do you have extra time built into your schedule for the “Oh crud company’s coming and I have to clean!” week?
5. Know your strengths.
Batman knows full well that he does not have super powers, but he is stubborn, and will go to extremes to learn everything he needs to. What are your strengths? I’m good at being flexible. I can come up with a lesson on the fly and can extend out things that should have been a five minute activity into a 30 minute time stretcher.
6. Know your enemies strengths and weaknesses.
Batman knows everything about his enemies. This allows him to predict where they will strike next and how to trap them. I’m not saying your kids are your enemies, but they can feel like opponents at times. Like say when your five year old is staring at you saying “I won’t do it!” Do you know how to encourage your child to do what they need to do? Do you know when to use the carrot and when to use the stick?
7. Know your friends’ strengths and weaknesses
Batman does this so if one of his super-powered friends goes off the deep end he can contain them. Batman keeps kryptonite just in case Superman is controlled. What do you know about your friends? Do any of your friends have a skill that could help your plans? We visited friends with horses when we studied horses. It was a great field trip and we all learned a lot.
8. Know the lay of your city
Batman knows every inch of Gotham. He knows the shortcuts and where to go for information. Do you know the great field trips in your area? I’ve discovered so many great field trips in my surrounding area. Small local museums, rescue zoos, parks. What is in your area? What festivals are there? Think outside the box.
9. Have a good support system
Batman has Robin. He also has Alfred, Nightwing, Batgirl, Oracle, Huntress, Batwoman, Commissioner Gordon, AND Superman. If he needs help, there is someone there to help him.
Who is there to support you?
Do you have a homeschool co-op, or a group of friends you can turn to when you need that support?
10. Train someone to follow after you
Batman trained Robin, actually, he trained 3 Robins, well 4 if you count Damian, but I’m still on the fence about him. Bruce Wayne trained Dick Grayson so well he was able to take over as Batman while Bruce Wayne was incapacitated. Who are you training up? And I don’t want you to just think of your kids, but who else are you mentoring? Is there someone at your church or in a boy scout troop that you’re teaching?