How often do you look around your home, think about your homeschooling, and family life routine and simply feel completely burned out? I bet it happens more often than you'd care to admit.
When we live in our home, work inside our home, educate inside our home, and spend nearly all of our family time inside the home it can quickly become tiresome. We need to bring a bit of excitement back to the mundane routine of being a stay-at-home, work-from-home, homeschooling mom.
I think too often we get caught up in thinking that homeschooling is about being at home. Yet, we're the first to tell the naysayers that we DON'T just school at home, we take field trips, and go to co-ops and other social gatherings as we try to defend our choices.
But is that enough? Those things can also become routine. Those things can add to the burn out feeling that sweeps over many homeschooling moms after the first quarter back to school. Why? Because it keeps us busy and we're surrounded by littles all needing our attention at the same time, and we get tired and worn out.
We need a little something to mix it up. We need some excitement that shakes up the routine and gives us something to look forward to during the long months of schooling, especially, when you school through cold winter months.
But, how do you do that? How do you shake things in order to stay motivated to continue homeschooling your children through all the education years?
5 Ways to Stay Motivated for Homeschooling
Do a Homeschooling Swap
Call up one of your best homeschooling friends ask her if she'd like a day off of homeschooling. You know she does! Then offer to take her kids into your homeschool for a day if she would then be willing to return the favor. She'll get a day to do whatever she needs/wants to do. You oversee her kids lessons for one day. In return, she takes your kids manages their lessons for a day while you get a day off to do whatever you need/want to do.
Take a Homeschooling Break
One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is the ability to control your own schedule. No one says you have to school every single week. You actually can take a break unexpectedly during and throughout the school year. When you see that you are feeling burned out, or your kids are struggling to focus simply move your schedule forward a week, or two. Let the kids go outside and play, or play video games for a day if that's what they want to do.
What do you do during this time, mom? Whatever you want! Read a book, take long hot baths, go for walks in the cool autumn air. Invite a friend over for coffee while the kids play in the other room. The point is to think outside the homeschooling routine and just do something that helps you and the entire family relax.
Moms Night Out
Moms, it's time to call up your homeschooling friends, and plan a night out. Moms only! Plan to meet up for dinner or a movie, or both. Simply ask your husband to manage the kids for an evening while you go out for some much needed adult conversation with other moms.
Of course, you'll talk about homeschooling and other family life things because that's what your life is about. But, it will help you to see that you are not alone. They, too, get overwhelmed, worried, and end up in a rut too. But you will hug and walk away feeling re-energized.
Plan a Date Night
Call up your husband and say "Hey babe, if I get a sitter can we go out just the two of us?" You KNOW he's gonna say yes! Schedule the sitter, order pizza for the kids to be delivered, make dinner reservations at a nice restaurant. Then shower, shave your legs, put on some make-up and ditch the yoga pants for the night and put on something a bit dressy. Just the excitement of getting ready will be thrilling.
When your husband arrives home give him a big kiss and head out for an evening with your man.
Schedule a Spa Day
Maybe you can do this on that day when your friend does the homeschool swap with you, or, you can call a homeschool teen to come sit with your kids. But it's time, mom, for a little homeschool mom pampering.
Depending on your budget, it might just be getting a haircut at your favorite salon. It could be getting a mani/pedi to brighten your mood. Then again, maybe you need to book a one-hour massage and get those kinks worked out of your muscles. I know all the studying I do gets my back all in knots. It could totally be a full-on spa day experience where you get a bit of everything. The point is, it's time for you to take care of you.
As homeschooling moms, we carry a lot of weight on our shoulders. We get bogged down with the daily lesson planning, the meal making, and housework. But, we also find ourselves taking on other roles such as; co-op leader, Bible-class teacher, field trip organizer and so many other things that we fail to manage our own self-care. It really is o.k., moms, to take time for yourself. In fact, it's vital to take care of you so that you can take care of others.
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.