This post is graciously sponsored by Brave Writer. Disclosure.
It’s often the last thing on the to-do list: Ourselves. Moms have a million things to do to take care of our families and our homes and our jobs and our many commitments. Add homeschooling to that and you can almost understand why well-meaning friends and strangers say, “I don’t know how you do it.”
Here are 5 Ways to Care for Yourself as a Homeschoolng Mom
- Find Your Tribe. Whether it’s a couple of other homeschool moms, a whole group, on-line or in person, find people who get you and get your family and your style of homeschooling. Run stuff by them: your curriculum plans, your struggles, your triumphant moments. Lean on them as needed.
- Seek Out Mentors. This is different from your tribe. Your tribe is in the trenches with you. Mentors have gone before you and have the advantage of hindsight to share with us. You can find them in real life, or by reading blogs or forums on the internet. They are there and they are wise. Soak it in.
- Find the quiet. What quiet?, you ask. I know. My house is loud, too. Find a time of day when everyone is asleep that is also the time that you are most likely to be able to be awake. Stay up really late or get up really early. I’m a morning person so guess what time it is when I am writing this? It’s 6:20 a.m. I have coffee and it’s quiet here.
- Let It Go. Sorry for the Frozen reference and now you have that song in your head. Again. But, picture this instead. You carefully plan and prepare learning activities for your children. Perhaps they even looked up at you with big eyes and said, “Mommy, can we learn about SPACE next?”
And so you stayed up late cutting out cute planet printables and gathering supplies for an asteroid experiment and planning a themed snack to eat while you read the library books you reserved and checked out on the subject. You are pretty darn proud of yourself for being so organized.
And then the next day, they hate it. They refuse to do the printables, reject the snack and fuss and whine, “Whhhyyyy do we have to read this book? It’s so boooooring.”
You’ve invested so much time and effort and you think, This is what we are going to do today, darn it. Don’t. Let it go. Go outside and tromp around in the woods instead. Go visit Grandma and let them eat too many cookies. Build giant forts or Lego towers. And then look for the learning that did happen. I promise it is there. It’s just not the learning you planned for that day. It is the physics of the Lego tower, the family history lesson of Grandma’s stories, the science of bugs and plants in the woods.
- Restore your faith in homeschooling just a little bit each day. I’ve been reading Julie Bogart’s new book, A Gracious Space: Daily reflections to sustain your homeschooling commitment. If you follow Julie’s Brave Writer page on Facebook you are familiar with the gems she shares that encourage homeschooling moms. I reshare them on the Creekside Learning Facebook page often. The book takes all that wonderful wisdom and presents it in 50 essays, designed to be read one per day. It’s like a homeschooling mentor mom has come into my kitchen and handed me a warm cup of coffee and this wonderful little daily dose of encouragement to start my day. Here’s an excerpt from the book:
It’s so easy to feel behind, or like you aren’t doing enough. In fact, when our kids are good at their schoolwork and get finished quickly…we might be tempted to undervalue the effort…Pay attention to the things that are working, to the peace you feel, to the smiles on your kids’ faces, to the well being of your family.Value what you are doing well. Celebrate it! Trust that ease in your day is a sign that you are on the right path.
More About the Book
A Gracious Space is a beautiful collection of 50 essays designed to be read one per day and “intended to help you sustain your brave homeschooling commitment. Restore your faith in yourself, your hard work, and your children. Take a little time each day to remember why you do what you do.” Deep breath. Don’t we all just need that?
This is the Fall Edition (first in a series). It comes in PDF, iBooks, and Kindle formats and you can order it right from the Brave Writer site. It’s $9.95.
Win a Copy of the Book
Julie Bogart has generously offerred to give away 5 copies of her book to Creekside Learning readers.
Julie Bogart and I are collaborating on Pinterest to gather more resources that support homeschooling parents. Follow along: Follow Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning’s board Support for Homeschool Parents on Pinterest.