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Homeschooling my children has been the most rewarding thing I have chosen to do in my lifetime. At the same time, it has been one of the most stressful, emotional, and difficult things that I have ever done! There have been so many days where I was ready to throw in the towel. So many days that our lesson time did not go anywhere close to how I imagined it or prepared for. During our first year, I found myself often canceling our daily lessons just to save my sanity. Things were just too crazy and not working.
Every day I struggled to get out of bed to wake up the kids, knowing that things may not go well. Our mornings were always chaotic- the girls were groggy and the boys were ready for a day of play. Dishes were piling up, and then there was me, with no time to enjoy my coffee (which every woman knows is important!). I HATED the way things were! I decided things had to change.
Have you felt this way? It is almost unbearable, right? Well, I can promise you that things do not have to be like this! There are things you can do, just as I did, to never feel this way again! I have compiled the 5 biggest changes that have made almost every homeschool day run well- not flawlessly, but well. Just remember to start small and build up to your goal!
Get Up Before The Kids
Whether it be 30 minutes or it is an hour, make it a point to get up before your kids. This will allow you to tackle some of those things that you wish you got to before starting your daily activities. This helps to reduce some of your stress and chaos throughout the day because “that thing” will already be done before you even begin to dwell on it. You can even set up your homeschool supplies and worksheets before the kids are up so that you are well prepared for the day before they are. This will make you feel accomplished early on. Hey, you may even have some time to get in a few pages of a favorite book or read a few scriptures.
Have A Routine For YOU
Dear Mom, you not only deserve it but you NEED it. Give yourself time each morning before everyone is up, or even after they go to bed, for you! Whether this is going for a walk, reading a book, having a bible study, or reconnecting with your favorite hobby… you need this. So find a routine for you. You work so hard to prepare your beauties for life, to keep meals on the table, and to keep a clean home- so dedicating some peaceful time to yourself is not asking for too much. Over time this will allow you to reflect, re-energize, and be refreshed for the days ahead.
This one can become overwhelming so be careful. Take it a little at a time. Sure, we all want to have a well-structured plan for our year, and that may work for you or it may not. It is important to detail plan. But, for me, only a little at a time because we all know how quickly things change and how often lesson plans next adjusting, especially with younger children.
Personally, I like to sit down every Sunday, on our off day, and detail my next 4-5 days of lessons. I create and collect printables, journal what ideas I want to touch on, and even find pages in encyclopedias or books that I want to read and review. This allows me to be prepared as the week goes on and I can alter things as I need without having to redo a whole year of planning. I do, however, keep an overview for the year for each subject and goals for what I want my kids to reach so I have some system to work off of.
Be Ready To Wing It
Even with a plan of any kind, there are going to be homeschool days that go beyond off track. Your kids will be excessively moody, completely unfocused, and you will realize quickly that the day is not going to be very productive. Maybe today the kids just won’t do math, or would rather doodle than write. Let’s just wing it! Sometimes you need to just say “Alright if you want to do art let’s do some art and make a story to go with it!” Or maybe try rearranging your schedule a bit; or even better- put on a documentary and grab some popcorn.
As a homeschool parent, we have to encourage a desire for learning before education. Sometimes our littles just can’t focus. Sometimes they are burned out. And sometimes they just want to do something different. Coming from someone who is a huge advocate of routine and its benefits, sometimes we need to wing it! Not only will you be able to get something done, you all will be happier and less stressed instead of fighting to complete practically nothing!
Routine is wonderful. We all need some sort of it. Especially when you are trying to get through a day of lessons with multiple kids. Structure and a plan helps everyone know what is expected of them. Especially as a mother, an educator, a maid, and everything else we need to accomplish. We need a plan! But I am here telling you that sometimes you need to just be that fun mom. Forget those breakfast dishes and the unfolded laundry on the bed. While you are at it- toss the daily lessons and be spontaneous!
Go out for a walk. Go explore. Just go sit outside and play WITH your kids. It is hard sometimes to break free of everything that ties us down and all of the responsibilities we have to keep up with on a daily basis. However, you will never get these days back with your kids. I can also guarantee that they will love and remember the spontaneous moments with you.
*If you struggle with the thought of no plan at all for the day, take a nature journal and some crayons to head outside with and have a nature study break.
I am sure every one of us has felt overwhelmed at one time or another in their homeschool journey. I encourage you to message me or comment below and share what worked for you! Together we can accomplish anything!