I know what you are thinking, this is not a possible task. And I’ll be the first to admit, some days it is not! We are mothers with our children around us day in and day out, the sanity is bound to leave us on occasion! But the good news is it doesn’t have to be daily. I want to offer you a few basic tips on how to homeschool while still holding on to your sanity.
5 easy ways to keep your sanity while homeschooling
Morning High Five
Now I am going to preface this right now with telling you that I did not come up with this idea. I saw it on another homeschool moms instagram (I think Lindsay Wilkins) and also my lovely friend Andrea has used it. But I am going to tell you about this great idea anyhow since it has played a huge part in helping me hold on to my sanity!
Now the morning high five is just as it’s named: your child has morning tasks to complete before coming to give you a high five. You just need a piece of paper and a marker! You trave your childs hand on a piece of paper to begin. (I traced my girls hands generously since they have tiny hands and I needed room to write!) Then you are going to fill up their 4 fingers and thumb with 5 morning tasks for them to complete after breakfast. Now I am a little embarrased to show you my girls high five charts for 2 reasons. 1) I am fully aware that “change undies” should not have to be on a to do list. But alas, here we are. I hope to soon be able to replace that with something more helpful. 2) My youngest daughter can’t read so i tried to draw her 5 tasks…it was not pretty. I am many things but an artist I am not. So be kind and don’t judge my sad little drawing!
So now your chart is made! Go over it with your child so they know the expectations. Let them know that after breakfast they are to complete their high 5 tasks and then come give you a high five. It really is that simple. But it gets a few tasks done and out of the way first thing in the morning. I look forward to the day where I can replace “change undies” with “do dishes” or something but for now…clean undies is a priority! haha
afternoon quiet time
Some of you may still have children that nap and I wont pretend I’m not jealous of you. I’m a few years past the napping stage now and something I have found to help is that I have implemented “reading time” after lunch. It is really a quiet time but heaven forbid I would label it something so horrifying. When I call it reading time it is met with much less backlash. This afternoon time has been new for the past year and it has been life changing and life giving. So after lunch and lunch clean up we all go to our seperate areas with books (or notebooks). My oldest daughter reads and / or listens to Adventures in Odyssey, my youngest listens to books that come with a read along CD (cheap and so many options on amazon), and I drink tea on my couch and read. I have really been strict with myself to take this time to sit rather than to work. It has quickly become a much anticipated part of my day.
When we homeschool we are giving so much of ourselves and our time to our kiddos and this is a great way to have a little bit of time to regroup. It also gives everyone a little peace and quiet to reset for the rest of the afternoon.
Routine over schedule
I have a whole post on this coming up but basically it is about not trying yourself down to a set time frame day to day schedule but instead having things that happen each day. I plan what I want to get done for the day in school and on a typical day I would shoot to have it done by noon, but I dont have a set time. Same with reading time, it’s not a set time, just when we are done lunch clean up. The only real set time is bedtime because mama needs her quiet!
find something for you
You are going to spend so much of your day teaching your kids (and don’t get me wrong, thats how it should be) but a little time for yourself can go a long way. It doesn’t have to happen every day but make sure it’s happening. I attend a ladies class at our local gym 3 mornings a week before my hubby leaves for work. It’s not much but that is 3 hours a week I am out of my house doing something I enjoy. I’ve only recently started this and it has made a big difference for me and my mental health. I also like to just plop my ear buds in and listen to a podcast while I walk my dog in the evenings if my hubby is home. It doesn’t have to be fancy but just try to find yourself a few quiet minutes to get out of the house alone.
remember why you are doing this…and pray!
You chose this for a reason. Remind yourself of it. Write it down and post it if you have to. There WILL be hard days and I’d be doing you a disservice to deny that. There will be days you wish you could send your kids to school and have the time alone. When that happens, don’t assume you aren’t meant to homeschool. It happens to the best of us! Remind yourself why you are homeschooling and try again tomorrow. If God has called you to homeschool, He will equip you to do it. He already has everything you need to succeed and He will provide it to you! Ask Him for patience or wisdom or whatever you feel you lack. Blast some music, have a dance party and enjoy your kiddos! Tomorrow is a new day!
What is your favourite way to keep your sanity while homeschooling?
Or what is stopping you from implementing these strategies? Let me know in the comments!