Any homeschool mom can tell you that even in a good season, homeschooling presents its share of challenges. Homeschooling involves a learning curve for most moms—from the trial and error of finding a functional daily rhythm, to figuring out curriculum, to managing home and extracurriculars, to learning your child’s learning style. And heaven help you if your kid’s learning style differs from yours!
When we find ourselves in the middle of rough times, whether it be weeks on end of family illness, relational conflict, financial strain, career stress, or any number of other burdens that weigh on us, we are still responsible for home educating our children. This task, though a privilege, can become quite overwhelming, even daunting without some tools in our toolbelt to help us.
Here are Ways to Simplify Your Homeschool During a Rough Season:
1. INVITE OTHERS TO HELP YOU
Sometimes we homeschool moms can wear our home educator roll as a badge of honor and feel pressure to “do it all” on our own. While it certainly IS an honor and blessing to be able to homeschool, we can invite others to help. Co-ops, clubs, private tutors, a willing and eager grandparent, maybe a trusted friend…these are just a few examples of ways to invite help into your child’s learning experience with real (vs. online) people who would enjoy the opportunity to teach your child in some capacity.
2. PLAN FOR SELF CARE
Self-care can be a bit of a controversial subject these days, but for the overall health of you and your family, I highly recommend planning a little time and space just for you. Have a sane thought and take a breather. This could be simple, like taking an Epsom salts bath, reading a book in a kid-free zone with lit candles, a coffee date out, or just a 15 minute walk outside, alone. I make sure to wake before my children to get some quiet time each day. You can always jazz things up a bit more if your time and budget allow!
3. UTILIZE ONLINE RESOURCES
I personally try to shy away from using screens too much in our home, but they do have a time and place and can be a valuable resource. You can research to find a plethora of online classes for various ages, make a list of desired documentaries, and use YouTube for many great educational videos. My kids have also enjoyed listening to audiobooks on YouTube and Audible.
One of the easiest and most helpful things a mom can do is learn to delegate home care to others in the family who are old enough to help. If you’re a mom of littles, it might be good to reach out to your community for a mom’s helper. When others help with simple household chores, show a younger sibling how to clean up toys, or simply take the responsibility of making simple sandwiches for lunch, it can free you up to focus on other needed areas. When family members can learn to help one another, it fosters compassion and adds to the harmony of the home.
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5. FOCUS ON WHAT YOUR FAMILY ENJOYS
When life throws you curve balls, or you feel like you just need a reset during a hard time, lesson the intensity on academics and take time to do what you and your kids enjoy! Baking, nature walks, cuddling up with a favorite book, watching an old tv series? Playing board games? Doing science experiments day after day? Whatever it be, go for it and resume more formal academics when you can. Life learning IS learning!
6. GIVE YOURSELF GRACE
Give yourself grace during the difficult times! Homeschooling isn’t for the faint of heart. Join a community of like minded moms, like The Simple Home Community, so you can see how not alone you are in this season. Read lots of good books, watch educational movies, pray with one another, and do what you can in the season you are in.
I hope that by trying a tip or two mentioned above, that you’ll feel a bit of weight lifted in this season! You’re doing an amazing job!
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