When I started this blog, one of my goals was to encourage parents in their homeschooling. So I decided to do a feature from time to time entitled “Homeschooling Is Not For the Weary”. And I dedicate this post to all you tired and weary moms who work with your kids day in and day out.
There are times in your homeschooling career that you do not want to homeschool but you have no other choice except to put your kids in a traditional school. Sometimes you get burned out. How can you stop that from happening?
I know this sounds cliche but you pray. Pray for strength, wisdom, patience, courage and pray that God will show you the way. I always say pray until your knees hurt.
On the practical side, there are things you can do that will help you to keep from getting so tired. So here goes:
- Set goals: goals for the school year, goals for the semester or month, weekly goals, and daily goals. Don’t try to homeschool by the seat of your pants. It’s too important. When setting goals, plan for sick days and emergencies. Look at how many snow days the public schools in your area have taken. While you can homeschool when it’s icy and snowy outside, you can’t when your child is sick.
- Develop a strong daily routine. It’s ok to start school at 10:00 but don’t be surprised when you don’t finish until 4:00.
- Shake it up, homeschool in different rooms of the house, at the park, at the library, even at your local coffee shop. My kids loved to read in bed, so when we did reading, we would do it in my bed.
- Don’t expect your house to be perfectly clean. I’m not saying you have to live like hoarders, but you are at home all day with children and children make messes. I suggest you stop and pick up at lunchtime and again before supper. Invest in a slow cooker and use it.
- Learn how to say no. A lot of well meaning friends think that because you are at home you have time to watch their kids and have coffee dates at the spur of the moment. At this season in life you may not be able to attend a weekly Bible study or sign up for every committee at church.
- Don’t be afraid to stay at home. When I homeschooled, I was afraid that my kids would not be socialized and I over-socialized them. We were so active that at times I neglected the academics. I finally had a “come to Jesus moment”. At that point I made a list of all the activities we were doing outside the home (13 commitments) and had the kids prioritize which ones they wanted to quit. Church was mandatory but everything else was on the table. It surprised me as to what I thought was important and the kids didn’t. We finished up our commitments to those things and then quit.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to farm out some of your homeschooling. Ask your husband to teach a subject. Trade off with a friend, join a co-op. Homeschooling is a big responsibility and sometimes you can’t do it alone.
- Remember homeschooling is a marathon and not a sprint. You do not have to accomplish everything in one school year.
And the most important of all is stop and smell the roses. You are homeschooling your children so that you can spend time with them. So enjoy them because they grow up too quickly. I know, mine are 22 and 26 years old.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.