We are 5 weeks into our school year.
Here are the 5 things I’ve learned I need, to keep my sanity:
- I need to make a weekly schedule, then take a chill pill and relax when things don’t go exactly as planned. I like feeling organized, I like routines and goals. I need goals, otherwise I tend to get lazy. But we homeschool, and one of the perks to homeschooling is that you don’t have to follow a schedule! My goal every day is to hit the gym by 7:30am, return home showered, dressed (looking fabulous) and ready to go (I know, right?). I like when my husband has got the kids up, dressed and fed, so that when I return we are ready to get going on school by 9:00. It doesn’t usually go that smoothly, but it’s our goal. I’ve learned not to beat myself up when it doesn’t happen quite like that (or at all like that).
- We all need breaks. For the kids: If you’re half way through a math lesson and your child has mentally checked out and seems completely unresponsive after numerous attempts, have them get up and take 5! Do a lap around the house, sit on the couch and rest, read a book, or eat a snack. Then, get back to work. For me: I need down time at least once a day to keep my sanity, regardless of how productive or unproductive the day has been. I strictly enforce nap time/quiet times here at our house. While my one year old sleeps, the four year old naps or plays quietly in his room and the five year old sits on a bed with books or at a desk to color. Since my 1 year old is still taking a good 2 hour nap mid day, the rule for my other 2 kids is to stay quietly in their rooms until she wakes up.
- I kinda need a clean house. I find that my sanity is directly correlated with how clean my house is. Everyone in the family contributes to a general clean-up of everything before going to bed at night. We usually start the day off pretty tidy, but by noon, things can look like a disaster zone! After lunch, we do a round-up of all the toys, my 5 year old cleans the table off and my 4 year old vacuums up crumbs with the dust buster. I’m no clean freak, I’m all about letting the kids be kids and have fun with their toys, but a little mid-day organization in the midst of chaos can be very therapeutic!
- I need unconditional support from my husband. Maybe it’s all in my head, maybe it’s reality, but I feel a lot of pressure as a homeschooler. I know there are people watching what we’re doing; fellow bloggers, blog readers, friends and family members. I know there are some people watching out of general curiosity, and others that remain very skeptical. I know that on top of our parenting responsibilities, taking on the sole educational instruction of our children is no small task. Because of this, I have my moments of emotional breakdown, and I need to know my husband is behind me 100%.
- I need to get out of the house and have alone time. For this reason, starting my day at the gym really does help. At the end of the day, I can at least say that I got out of the house at one point! Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. I love having them at home and I love being around them all day. But I know my limits, and so does my husband. He is pretty good about picking up on my vibe that says “Help! Get me outta here!” Sometimes all I need is a change in scenery :)
*For further encouragement to chill out, read this cool little post: Dear Moms, Jesus Wants You to Chill Out For the record, I read that right after publishing this post and found it very fitting to include here :)
What a great post. I will pray that you can keep this important statement:
“relax when things don’t go exactly as planned”. That is something to learn and to do it at your age – powerful.
May you continue in your homeschooling with all the fruit of the Spirit.
I so appreciate this! This is my first year homeschooling (my oldest is a kindergartener), and I’m still trying to find my groove. I LOVE it, but its making me kinda crazy, too. The house is a big one for me-I feel sooo stressed inside and just am kind of a mess if the house is a disaster, but infect badly for that, so it made me feel better to see you’re like that, too. I’m actually a really laid-back momma, so it’s surprised me at how neat I need the house, but I do-at least the kitchen! If the kitchens a wreck so am I! Lol. Anyway, enjoying your blog and will be a reader! :)
Thanks so much, Anna, for reading and sharing your thoughts! I just hopped over to your blog and checked it out as well. Loooove the first few things I read. Keep up the great work. You have a great story and testimony to continue sharing – it was very inspiring to read just the little bit that I did. We will have to stay in touch :)