Do you want to know how to not lose your sanity while homeschooling?
In this post, I’m going to show you how you can stay sane and enjoy homeschooling your kids.
Many moms choose to homeschool their kids for various reasons.If you’re like me, you probably started your homeschooling journey with a lot of excitement mixed with some trepidation.
But somewhere along the way things got a little bit out of hand and you started feeling overwhelmed. Suddenly what was supposed to be a great experience turned into a chore.
If this is your situation, do not despair because all hope is not lost. You can still get back on track and save your sanity in the process.
Here are some tips to help you in your homeschooling journey.
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HOW TO STAY SANE WHILE HOMESCHOOLING
1. BE FLEXIBLE
I have been homeschooling my kids for six years (though I discovered homeschooling back in 2007) and if there’s one thing I have learned it is the importance of being flexible.
If you want to enjoy homeschooling your kids, you have to be willing to make changes and pivot when things aren’t working. There’s just no two ways about it.
Trying to stick to your guns or some ideal is only going to lead to frustration, tears and lots of whining.
Homeschooling is a life-learning experience and we must embrace it as such.
So don’t be afraid to adapt or admit when something isn’t working. Yes, that includes curriculum choices and classes your kids have signed up for.
2. TREAT EACH CHILD AS UNIQUE
I am always amazed when I observe the differences between my children. Their approach to things couldn’t be any more different.
In my six years of homeschooling, I have discovered that there’s no custom or one-size-fits-all when it comes to learning styles, curriculum or interests.
Trying to “force” every child to do the same things is usually ineffective. I have learned that the hard way.
One of the reasons I decided to homeschool my kids was to allow them freedom to pursue their own interests. To enjoy different things and to be their own person.
I am sure it’s the same for many of you. Unfortunately, the rigors of homeschooling can make you forget that along the way.
But remember that each child is different. What works for one may not work for the other. For example when it comes to math, one child likes MEP Math while the other one struggles with it.
I had to try a few math curriculum before I found a “perfect” fit for each child.
Also, when you have multiple children, you may find some need a little bit more structure than the others. Treating each child as unique will allow you to meet their individual needs.
3. TRUST THE PROCESS
Okay, I admit that I really struggle with this.
One of my biggest fears as a homeschooling mom is that my kids will have big gaps in their education. As a result, every now and again I end up trying to do too much and second guessing myself.
When panic hits, I may end up increasing the kids workload by adding unnecessary materials and making everyone miserable.
Instead of enjoying some really lovely books and activities with my children, we end up rushing through them because I am trying to cover too much within a set time.
As you can guess, this isn’t very effective. When you homeschool your kids, you need to approach it with a heart of faith and not fear.
As long as you’ve done your due diligence, you have to believe that your kids are going to be alright.
Remember there’s no end to learning and gaps can be filled. So there’s no need to drive yourself crazy or put too much pressure on yourself.
Life is full of uncertainties and homeschooling isn’t any different. If we let fear rule our lives, we would end up short changing ourselves and not enjoy all that life and homeschooling has to offer.
4. CHOOSE A SCHEDULE THAT WORKS FOR YOU
One way to stay sane while homeschooling is to choose a schedule that works for you and your family. For me that means we homeschool year round and schedule breaks throughout the year.
We use the Ambleside Online Curriculum which we love very much but we don’t follow the calendar (12-week terms) very strictly. Sometimes one term may be longer than twelve weeks, sometimes shorter.
The beauty of homeschooling is that you can tweak your curriculum and create your own schedule.
Our curriculum doesn’t control us, we control it. When you create your own schedule, there’s no pressure to get things done by a certain time or date.
To be clear. This doesn’t mean procrastinating or not meeting important deadlines. It just means you don’t have to follow your school district’s calendar if you don’t want to.
When you create a schedule that works for you, you become less frazzled and anxious and you can focus on doing the most important things for your homeschool.
5. BE A MOM FIRST, TEACHER SECOND
Okay, I am going to get real honest here. Allow me to preach to myself for a second. Yes, it’s true that I want my kids to have a good education. It’s true that it’s important for my kids to make progress in their education, but it’s also true that I am a mom first.
I am sure some of you know what I am talking about.
At times the lines get really blurry that I forget this important fact.
For example, I loved math as a kid so I can get a bit impatient and unkind if my child struggles with what I consider “EASY” topics. I get so hung up with trying to make the child understand a simple concept that I forget that I am a mom first and foremost.
But I am working on this. I am learning how to be a mom, then a teacher.
So if you have been struggling with this, it’s time to take a step back and change your approach.
Your kids need you to be their mommy first so don’t forget to have fun with them.
Don’t forget to listen to them or play with them. Trust me things would be easier and less stressful when everyone is happy.
I know some of you are under pressure from family members, friends or even church members because of your decision to homeschool. This can make you even more desperate to succeed so you can prove them wrong.
If you find yourself pushing too hard, remember that you don’t owe anyone anything and you don’t have to justify yourself to anyone.
So just relax and enjoy these years with your children because they go by so fast.
Remember when all is said and done, your kids will remember the kind of mom you were/are and not the kind of teacher you were.
6. HAVE A PLAN FOR DOWN TIME
As a homeschooling mom, life can get pretty hectic that’s why you need to be intentional about taking breaks and getting some rest.
Kids can sometimes get a bit too much if they are indoors all the time so give them an outlet to burn off all that excess energy.
If the weather permits, let them spend some time outdoors each day. They really don’t need any organized activity. They can just run around, play catch or whatever.
You can use that time to unwind or get a few minutes alone to catch your breath . Better still, you can join in the outdoor fun.
In the winter when playing outdoors may be a little bit more challenging you can have some quiet time indoors.
During your quiet time, each kid can do whatever they like as long as they stay relatively quiet. They can read, enjoy some music, work on some crafts or handiwork. It has to be something they can do alone.
If you have younger kids (babies and toddlers), you can plan the quiet time around their nap times.
Planning for down time can also include having a routine to end your day. I find that having routines really helps to cut down on arguments and whining from the kids because they know what to expect.
My kids enjoy it when I read aloud so that’s our end-of-day routine. I have a 13-year old and and a 10-year old and both of them still enjoy it.
Reading aloud is an opportunity to enjoy some great books with your family. It’s also an opportunity to bond with your kids.
Some of our favorite books include:
I really love this routine because most nights everyone goes to bed happy and laughing after reading aloud.
7. KEEP THINGS SIMPLE AND STAY FOCUSED
When you are a homeschooling mom, time is at a premium. Since there are only 24 hours in a day, it means there’s only so much you can fit in, that’s why it’s important for you to stay focused and keep things simple.
Try to simplify your life by getting rid of any excess stuff that takes up some of your valuable time.
This may include activities and other commitments you really don’t need. It can also include clutter in your home. More stuff means more time cleaning and organizing.
Also try to stay organized and minimize chaos in your home. I know it can be challenging keeping an organized home when you have kids at home.
Your home doesn’t need to be perfect or look like a magazine but some semblance of order would go a long way to maintaining your sanity.
Find ways to work smarter. If you can afford it, invest in time-saving gadgets,tools or resources to make your life a little bit easier.
Another thing you can do to keep your sanity is to embrace simple meals. Not every meal needs to be cooked from scratch or home made. Also start meal planning and batch cooking if you aren’t doing that already.
You can save a lot of time when you meal plan, shop in bulk and embrace batch cooking. Here are some batch cooking recipes to get you started.
Now let’s talk a bit about staying focused to stay sane.
How Do You Stay Focused When Homeschooling?
The easiest way to stay focused when homeschooling is to focus on your homeschool priorities.
When you do that you can ignore all the noise and distractions. Don’t compare yourself with other moms or families. You don’t have to do things just because some other family is doing it.
Make a list of your priorities and let that guide your decisions. Homeschooling is hard enough without falling into the comparison trap.
Keeping things simple and staying focused will help you to keep your sanity and thrive as a homeschool mom.
8. DON’T NEGLECT YOURSELF
I saved this one for last in case you scrolled down to the end. Seriously, this cannot be said enough.
I see some home school moms getting burned out because they fail to take care of themselves.
I am afraid if you keep going and going without taking the time to invest in yourself sooner or later you are going to start running on fumes.
Take the time to pursue and enjoy your own interests. Find some time when you can just be alone to recharge your batteries.
Have some hobbies of your own, meet with a few friends every now and again.
Self-care is crucial when you’re a homeschool mom. Also don’t forget to keep learning and growing. You can learn alongside your kiddos and continue to fill any gaps you my have in your education.
Learning never ends.I have learned so much since I started homeschooling and no doubt I will continue to do so.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOW TO STAY SANE WHILE HOMESCHOOLING
It’s possible to stay sane while homeschooling and even in the midst of challenging circumstances.
If you feel overwhelmed homeschooling, you just need some tweaks to your routine.
I hope these eight tips will help you to figure out what you need to do so homeschooling can continue to be a blessing to you and your family.
How do you keep your sanity as a homeschool mom? Share some of your tips and advice in the comments.