One of the things I focus on in our homeschool is teaching life skills and character building. But as a homeschool mom,I also know the importance of cultivating certain personal habits.
In my thirteen years of being a mom (six of them as a homeschool mom), one thing I’ve learned is that the kids are always watching.
As a mom who would like to be one of the biggest influence on her children, I have discovered that the best and easiest way to influence them is to model good and godly character.
Conversely, the fastest way to feel like a hypocrite is to scold your kid for saying or doing something that they learned from you. It’s worse when your child actually calls you out for your hypocrisy.
As parents, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “Do as I say but not as I do,” that’s why we must be diligent about cultivating and modeling good habits if we want to positively influence our children.
Let me give you an example.
Some years ago, I heard my daughter berating her doll and calling her stupid. I was shocked at her language, but I knew exactly where that came from.
Was it a coincidence that happened during a period when the word “stupid” was a regular feature in my vocabulary? I think not.
Imagine how embarrassed I felt when I had to tell my child to stop using that word because it wasn’t a nice word. The confusion on her face seared my hypocritical heart.
I’d be lying if I said that was the last time I slipped up because it wasn’t. But I learned something important that day — the kids are always watching and listening. What do you want them to learn?
Do you want them to learn that it’s okay to be mean to people or do you want them to learn kindness?
As mothers, we’re in a privileged position to influence our children for good. We would be remiss if we don’t take advantage of this privilege.
Let me share some reasons why it’s so important for moms to develop certain personal habits.
This post may contain affiliate links.If you buy anything using my links, I may receive a small commission.
The Importance of Being a Role Model
- Disciplining your kids is easier and more effective when you live by example. Your kids are much more likely to obey you when you model the character trait you’re trying to instill in them.
- It fosters trust between you and your children when you’re consistent in your words and actions. Inconsistencies leave kids confused and frustrated.
- Being a role model for your kids can help you create a peaceful and orderly home since it can eliminate or reduce whining and push backs from your kids.
There are lots of other reasons while being a role model is very important, but the ones above are some of the most important to me.
Now that you know the importance of developing good habits, let’s look at some of the most overlooked habits for homeschool moms.
ESSENTIAL HOMESCHOOL MOM HABITS
Resilience is the ability to pick yourself up when things go wrong. If you have been homeschooling for a while, you know there are lots of things that could go wrong at any given time.
There have been quite a few times in the last six years when I wanted to give up.
Like when my kids weren’t making great progress (mostly because of my lack of self-discipline) or when I had to explain the same math problem for the tenth time to one of my kids. I questioned why I was doing this and if it was worth it.
There are so many things that can make you feel discouraged and overwhelmed. As an example, one of the biggest struggles homeschool moms face is trying to balance homeschooling and housekeeping.
Time after time, I keep hearing”How do you get it done?”
The answer is perseverance.
When you cultivate the habit of resilience, you don’t throw in the towel when circumstances derail you because you know they won’t last forever.
When you have the habit of resilience,you can maintain control of any situation. Instead of losing complete control, you try to come up with alternatives and ideas for dealing with problems.
You don’t go, “Homeschooling is too hard, I give up.” Instead, you brainstorm for ideas, seek advice and help from others and stay the course.
When you’re resilient, you can encourage you child when he wants to give up on something because it’s too hard, or because he thinks he isn’t good at it or will never understand it.
When these situations arise (because they always do), you can look them in the eye and say “No honey. Don’t give up. Let me help you figure this out.”
Resilient moms don’t lose confidence when they face adversity. They don’t blame themselves or think they are homeschool failures.
That’s not to say they never get down on themselves or that they are always optimistic. No one can be positive every single time. But resilient moms don’t stay down for too long because they are always hopeful for better things.
They know their struggles won’t last forever.
If you’re a homeschool mom (especially a first time homeschool mom) and you feel discouraged because things aren’t going well, I want to encourage you to embrace the habit of resilience.
It’s something that we all need no matter how many years we have been homeschooling.
How do you build resilience? Here are a few tips for you:
- Stay positive. Believe there’s a solution to any challenge and be hopeful you will find it.
- Remain focused on your goals and keep looking at the larger picture.
- Be proactive. Look for answers to your problems
- Give yourself grace. Don’t beat yourself up or be too hard on yourself. No one is perfect. Always remember that.
Like everything else, building resilience requires practice and dedication, but I promise that it’s worth it.
2. Discipline and faithfulness
In this post Am I Capable of Homeschooling?, I spoke a lot about self-discipline so I am going to try not to repeat myself here.
Discipline is one of the most important habits for successful homeschooling. Yet, many moms struggle with it.
You’re not going to do a good job of teaching your kids if you lack self-discipline. If you find yourself behind in your homeschool, chances are you may lack discipline (at least in some areas).
I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I know too well the havoc lack of discipline can wreak on our lives and I don’t want that for anyone.
A lack of self-discipline can manifest itself in different ways.
It can be anything from not having regular school hours or days, getting distracted by everything under the sun including your phone,social media or making excuses for your lack of progress.
It’s easy to blame your curriculum, schedule or routines when things aren’t going well but a lot of times we are our own worst enemies.
I encourage you to look deep into your heart and ponder whether you have been diligent and faithful in your role as a homeschool mom.
Do you treat homeschooling like a job? Is it a priority for you or is it something that you do only when you can muster the time and energy?
Are you faithful to your calling?
Discipline must start with us if we want to teach our children good habits.
Motivation is one of those tricky things that can be hard to explain. One minute you may feel so inspired and the next you have no desire to do anything.
Homeschooling requires a healthy dose of motivation if you want to stay the course.
There are days when you wake up and nothing seems to work despite all your planning the night before.
What do you do when your kids start displaying bad attitude or are grumpy because they don’t want to do any school work? How do you handle a fussy baby or toddler who wants all your attention?
On days like these, your first instinct is probably to cancel all lessons for the day and indulge in some self-pity or something else. But when you’re self-motivated, you take a step back, breathe and find a way to change the mood so you can get back on track.
One of the benefits of self-motivation is that it will help you to become a more consistent homeschool mom. Instead of taking the day off or getting frustrated when things aren’t working, you’ll learn to adapt and work through the difficult times.
In my six years of homeschooling, I have learned how to motivate myself because I don’t always have someone to motivate me.
I know life isn’t always cut and dry. Sometimes we have to push through the discomfort to find answers to our problems.
If I have to cancel school every time something comes up in our home or lives, then my kids would probably never get an education!
That’s why it’s so important to be self-motivated when you homeschool. Instead of focusing on all the things that are going wrong, you focus on your goals. That’s how you get things done.
So how do you stay motivated when you feel discouraged and overwhelmed?
- Invest in self-education. Keep learning new things and new ways to do things better.
- Surround yourself with beauty. Read good books like this one and this one. Listen to good and inspiring music. Read some success stories.Focus on the beautiful things around you.
- Self-care. Take some time to refresh your body and mind. Get some rest and enough sleep.
- Make some time to have fun. Add more fun to your homeschool.
Here are some other ways you can motivate yourself:
Cultivating the habit of contentment is one of the keys to enjoying homeschooling.
When I talk about contentment, I don’t mean settling for mediocrity or shoddy work.
As a homeschooling mom, we should strive for excellence and encourage our kids to strive for excellence too.
So what do I mean by contentment?
It means not comparing yourself with other moms or competing with them.
It means focusing on your journey, looking inward rather than outward. This doesn’t mean you can’t draw inspiration from others or look to others for ideas.
It just means you spend more time working on your goals, creating your own memories and trying to be the best homeschool mom you can be.
The truth is some families are going to have more money than you. They are going to be able to do more stuff than you. Their kids will have more opportunities than yours, and that’s okay.
Instead of wishing and getting distracted by the things you don’t have, focus and be thankful for what you have. The only thing that matters is that you have everything you need for your homeschool journey.
So have a grateful heart and continue to cultivate the habit of contentment in yourself and your kids.
There are lots of things I would love to have to make homeschooling easier — like a school room, more space etc. But I know if I keep focusing on the things that aren’t perfect, I will struggle to homeschool well.
So, I do the best that I can with what I have until I can get all the extra stuff I need or desire.
HABITS FOR HOMESCHOOL MOMS WHO LONG FOR MORE
Moms, you can homeschool well but it takes discipline, resilience and motivation.
I don’t want you to read this post and leave feeling defeated. I don’t want you to think you’re facing an uphill battle.
I’m sure there are lots of things you are doing well, so please be encouraged. Believe that you can improve and make your homeschool so much better.
Stay faithful moms!
Are you struggling with any of these habits? What habits have been most useful to you as a mom? Let me know in the comments!