Most of us start the school year with great plans and high hopes but it often doesn’t take very long to realize that we just don’t live in a perfect homeschooling world.
Are any of the following true for you?
- Your children don’t like the curriculum.
- You don’t like the curriculum.
- Your meticulous scheduling isn’t working out very well.
- There are too many interruptions during the day.
- You’re already feeling isolated and cooped up.
- The house is getting messier by the moment.
- You are irritable and overreacting to minor issues.
If you see yourself in any (or all!) of the above scenarios, don’t despair. Read on for some ideas to help you move beyond these road blocks.
- Be flexible. If something isn’t working, be willing to try something different. If there are tears or tensions on either side, put aside whatever you are working on and take a breather. Try playing a game, reading aloud from a funny book or going to the park. Remember why you are homeschooling! This is a whole-life experience and if you stop for one day it is not going to ruin any child’s life.
- Limit scheduled activities. When the schedule starts feeling overwhelmingly full, you have the power to control it. Homeschool moms have a tendency to schedule way too many activities both inside and outside the home. Look over your schedule carefully and decide what is really necessary. Say no to the ‘good things’ so you can say yes to the ‘great things.’
- Get support. Get Dad involved (but you’re going to have to TELL him that you need his support and help; he’s not likely to just pick up on it). Join and attend your local Homeschool Support Group. No group in your area? Join an on-line support group or a telephone support group. YahooGroups.com has many homeschool related email groups. Hire a Life Coach who specializes in helping homeschool moms.
- Change your teaching style or curriculum. If the curriculum isn’t working, give yourself permission to stop using it. Mary Pride suggests asking yourself: “Am I overdoing it? Am I making simple subjects too fancy? What can I eliminate? Do I need to be doing this at all? Is my child not ready for this subject? Should I give it a rest? Are there other worthwhile things we would like to study or do and come back to this later?”
- Engage everyone in the household chores. Don’t do everything yourself! Take time every day to train the children to pick up their rooms, do simple chores and keep the house in a general state of order. It is well worth the time and energy it takes to get this part of your homeschool life organized.
When motherhood, homeschooling or life in general is overwhelming, stop and simplify. So often when we see problems in our life, our tendency is to try and do a major overhaul. Take some good advice from Charlotte Mason: implement only one new habit or idea at a time. With focus, diligence and consistency you will soon see improvement in this one area and you will not feel overwhelmed by trying to change too many things at once. When the new habit is solid in your life, go ahead and move on to another one….but JUST ONE. Success in changing habits depends on setting one small goal at a time and achieving it.
Charmaine Wistad has successfully homeschooled her own two children from pre-school through high school. Now she is turning her attention toward helping other homeschool moms. Through personal coaching, Charmaine helps homeschooling moms thrive… not just survive! Visit her website to try a complimentary no-obligation telephone coaching session.