Keyword: homeschool mom encouragement
Do you need some homeschool mom encouragement? I want to share some encouragement!
We need our own brand of encouragement because we have chosen to shoulder more responsibility.
You are not alone.
We all feel inadequate. We all question our ability to teach our kids.
In my own experiences, I have observed that this falls into 2 general categories: Academic Overwhelm and LIfe Overwhelm.
Academic Overwhelm and Homeschool Mom Encouragement
I had an easy time in school, but that didn’t stop me from experiencing challenges. Especially when I transferred to a boarding high school forged on academic excellence.
I’ve never had a lick of educational training.
Yet, after 10 years, I have enough experience to know that doesn’t matter.
After seeking out information on the learning process, and along with hours upon hours of doing school work, I have learned exactly what keeps my kids motivated and eager for learning.
As homeschool moms, we are not teachers. Therefore, we do not have to push our kids down a stagnant path.
We are facilitators, coaches, and cheerleaders.
And this puts us in the precious position of models the learning process. It means we have to show our vulnerabilities and admit that we have our own learning gaps. That’s not easy.
But suppose we shift our ideas about education from the traditional model to one of learning as an immersive activity. In that case, we can be open about insecurities. And start learning with our kids.
Is Learning Linear?
No. It’s absolutely not.
We are constantly told that our kids have to learn specific skills by certain ages.
And for the most part, we must keep up with our kids’ milestones, but we also have to make sure that we remember these are just guidelines.
It’s ok if your kids don’t catch on to everything in a flash. It’s ok if you discover a learning gap that you thought your kid had mastered.
You can go back and fill it in.
Learning isn’t linear. Embrace it. Let it reassure you that what you are doing is enough.
Actionable Tips for Homeschool Mom Encouragement
I hope I have encouraged you to remember that you are not supposed to be perfect or a genius to homeschool.
But here are some actionable tips to give you a starting point in your overcoming your struggles.
- Seek Support
- Don’t be afraid to seek out tutors, friends, or family members if you feel comfortable.
- You can also ask for virtual homeschool support groups on websites like Facebook.
- You can seek out other perspectives by seekings examples on sites like Youtube or Quora.
- Experiment with different programs, schedules, and learning styles
- Don’t be afraid to change your curriculum. I made my own for years.
- Schedule changes can be a potent tool. For example, my oldest had Wednesdays and Sundays off for years because of his dad’s work schedule.
- Experiment with different types of activities to learn what inspires your kids the most. For example, I recently bought my littles shadow boxes. The kids filled it up with rocks and a mummified frog. I taught them how scientists collect specimens then study them by drawing, measuring, and describing them. That led to my kids doing the same (or their best imitation) with their collections.
- Start with the essentials and add subjects in to the schedule
- This frees up time and energy to delve deeper into both of your weaknesses.
- Once a child has motivation and the skills needed to learn, they will learn more than you could ever teach them independently. So focus on the method instead of checking boxes off the to-learn list.
One thing that has always amazed me is that people expect my home to be immaculate. And when they realize that my house is far from it, they always say something like, “But your home ALL THE TIME?”
No, I am not. But I am here a lot. And all 5 of my kids are here, A LOT.
So we use almost every inch of this space.
It seems like there is always food being made, someone changing clothes, and kids strewing toys, art stuff, and grim everywhere. And I won’t even start talking about all the things that pull us out of the house.
I am overwhelmed. You are overwhelmed. We have to sort through that sludge and pick our most important tasks.
As a homeschool mom, I learned to prioritize a long time ago! I have been homeschool for 10 years as of 2021.
When you have a clear view of your priorities, you can prep as much as possible. And preparation is the key to making your day flow smoothly.
Preparation and Homeschool Mom Encouragement
I know that it seems like taking the time to sit down and make a plan for the week is counterproductive. Still, it’s the secret to freeing your mind from executive dysfunction that comes with overwhelm.
It can be general.
For example, my littles are all doing much of their schooling through online games right now, so I picked a program that keeps track of their scores and quickly shows me their weaknesses. Then, I use that info to create supplement assignments to work on their weaknesses. It takes me 10-15 minutes per child.
I also will gather a few board games to offer as variety without forcing them into the schedule.
Somethings are easy to prep. For example, keep all your art supplies in a tote so you can pull out the tote and pack it up.
An actionable tip: Keep puzzles, art supplies, Legos, board games, and other toys with small pieces that make big messes out of kids’ reach. Keep the cabinet locked if you must. This will prevent your kids from pulling it all out and making a colossal mess. Trust my first-hand experience.
What to Prep to Make Days Smoother
So what things can you prep to make days smoother?
- Clothes — Make outfits accessible, even pick them out the night before
- Shoes– Always keep shoes in the same place
- Art Supplies, etc. — Keep everything in 1 tote so you can pull it out and keep it up.
- Food — Buy easy to eat food and/or convenience food, freezer cook, order groceries online and pick up, etc
- Lessons — Make a general plan of goals gather a few games or resources
- Cleaning — Keep cleaning supplies in easy to reach places, clean as you go, establish a routine
How to Get it All Done.
Please don’t think I mean for you to do this all by yourself. You are not capable, and it’s not fair to ask you.
Get your kids involved in cleaning.
Toddlers can carry laundry. My 5-year-old can pretty much load and start our front-loading laundry washer.
Household cleaning skills are valuable. Help your kids learn them.
Teach Your Kids How to Prep
Kids love to handle and prep food.
Let the littles spread peanut butter and jam on sandwiches. Or practicing counting slices of lunch meat and cheese on sandwiches. Putting them in bags helps learn fine motor skills.
School-age kids can learn to cut veggies, use the microwave, and start flipping pancakes.
My 5 and 7 year-olds LOVE freshly-baked muffins, but even more that, they adore mixing them up themselves. The secret to giving them that freedom is using the just add milk muffin mixes. My local store has them for $1.
And now I can pretty much just turn my 14-year-old loose in the kitchen.
Routines and Homeschool Mom Encouragement
I won’t tell you how to build your routine. But, the possibilities are endless, and you have the freedom to find the best one for your family.
But routines are priceless for running a home that is full every day.
Everything Comes Back Around
Life happens, so I rarely run on my schedule. In fact, I quit scheduling at certain times a long time ago because I couldn’t keep one like I did before I was a parent. Too much happened to throw it off, and then I would stress out over missing things.
Instead, I rest confident in my routine, knowing that if I don’t get something done today, it will come back around in the routine. And I can catch up on that without having to stress out about it.
Kids Learn What is Expected daily.
Routines also help kids learn what is expected of them daily.
Doing chores every day at the same place in your routine will help kids anticipate work and make it easier for them to transition to the new task.
I don’t know how much people define self-care, but for me, it’s all about caring for my body and my mind so I can control negative emotions.
This means that I do sacrifice sleep, food, exercise, or my hygiene for my family. However, I don’t put off doctors or therapy appointments for me.
Self-care is also about ensuring that you have the time to enjoy your life.
And to be honest, if you constantly feel like you can’t play or read with your kids, you are not practicing self-care.
You need to add time for enjoyment into your routine.
When to Seek Help
Sometimes, we can battle overwhelm on our own. But sometimes, you need help to seek help from medical and psychological professionals.
When your feelings disrupt your day, putting a halt to your routine, you may not be battling just overwhelm.
You may be experiencing anxiety or depression. If you think you may have anxiety or depression, pleHelpseek help.
Suppose you aren’t sure where to start. In that case, you need to make an appointment with your primary care provider, who will discuss your symptoms with you and refer you to a psychologist for further treatment.
Feeling overwhelmed and inadequate are prevalent feelings among homeschool moms. And you need to remember that you have ways to seek help and kids to help you with chores. But most of all, you need to remember that you don’t have to be perfect, we all make mistakes, and that you are all your children need.