Homeschooling Moms: 5 Ways to Take Care of Ourselves Right Now

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.” 

Homeschooling Moms: 5 Ways to Take Care of Ourselves Right Now

Here are 5 Ways to Care for Yourself as a Homeschoolng Mom

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.   
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 

Gracious Space Fall

Win a Copy of the Book

Julie Bogart has generously offerred to give away 5 copies of her book to Creekside Learning readers. 

 
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Julie Bogart | Author of A Gracious Space

Julie Bogart | Author of A Gracious Space

 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.

From A Gracious Space: Daily Reflections to Sustain Your Homeschooling Commitment, by Julie Bogart

 

 

From Homeschool to Public School

Big changes are happening for the Creekside Family this fall.  Firefly, our 10-year-old, will be returning to public school for his 5th grade year, after 4 years at home.  This is not something that was even on our radar a few months ago.  But, after lots of family discussion and investigation into what a return to school might look like, we came to this decision.  

Most importantly, the reason we are going down this path is that it is the right thing for this particular child, at this particular time. That is, after all, why we went down this wonderful homeschooling path to begin with. That is why only one of our children is going to public school right now. That is why, odd as it may seem, I still consider this a part of Firefly’s homeschooling journey.

Will he go on to 6th grade in public school? I don’t know. Will he ever return home for his schooling again?  I don’t know that either. We will make that decision year by year, as we have done every year of his academic life. We will do what works for him and for our family. 

Firefly is happy. He is looking forward to going to school. We are doing many things to prepare him for this big change.  And, we are adjusting ourselves. We will all miss him. There are two younger siblings who have never known homeschooling without their big brother. There is the school’s schedule and time clock that we will all now work with and around. 

Creekside Learning will not change. I will still be writing about learning ideas and activities for preschoolers through elementary ages. My focus has always been to create a place where families and teachers can find resources and get inspired by hands-on learning, regardless of whether their kids/students go to school at home or in brick building. And that will continue. 

There is so much more I could write here, but it feels like such a personal part of our family’s story right now. Perhaps I will write more in the future. For now, I wanted the eyes who so graciously read my blog to know that we are, at this point in time, an academically blended family.  

We feel so very fortunate to have supportive friends and family surrounding us, a neighborhood school that is welcoming us and the experience to know that if our new schooling situation isn’t the right fit, we always have choices. 

 

From Homeschool to Public School | Creekside Learning

Firefly at age 5, our first homeschooling year.

 

 

Homeschool Curriculum : What We Love This Year!

If you start your homeschool year around September–good news! You’re in the home stretch in February. It’s a great time to take stock of your homeschool curriculum. What did you start with?  What’s really working, sparking learning and going well? What are you just slogging away at, trying to make it through? 

Homeschool Curriculum  What We Love This Year

Here’s what’s working for us so far this school year.  [Read more…]

Evolution of a Homeschooling Momma

I am in my own evolution as a homeschooling momma, who was publicly schooled herself, who was and is entrenched in the culture of “school” and what kids should learn and when they should learn it and how they should write paragraphs each day in neat grammatically correct handwriting starting in 1st grade. They should learn about history whether they care about it or not. They should do seated work for hours each day. They should experience the bulk of their learning by listening to teachers talk.

That is what my inner-schooly voice whispers to me when I start to panic because my daughter refuses to do formal reading curriculum, opting instead for her markers because she has another story in her head that she needs to draw on paper right now, Mom. And when I realize that despite all the math my son does, his publicly-schooled friends are doing complicated long division and we haven’t gotten to that yet.

evolution of a homeschooling momma

Panic sets it. Not because I doubt my kids can learn the things they need to learn. Oh, I know they will. They’re bright kids. I panic because [Read more…]

She Can Fly. Oh, Yes. She Can.

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Art Class

We were learning about Monet and Van Gogh, two of the world’s greatest artists, and my 7-year-old daughter asked:

Are there any artists who are women? Ok, I’m on it.

So I introduced her to George O’Keefe.

Then she asked, Are there any great artists who are women, who are alive?  Woah.

So I introduced her to Faith Ringgold.

She was transfixed. She loved Faith’s art. Faith Ringgold, she declared, was her very favorite artist. We didn’t know then, that in just a couple of months she would meet her idol in person.  [Read more…]