A while ago, a homeschooling mom asked if she could get together with me and “pick my brain” about homeschooling. She was a former school teacher and was having a hard time changing the way she viewed learning. She openly admitted that she was STRESSED all the time, and asked me if I could give her some tips on how to relax and chill.
I would describe her as the INTENSE HOMESCHOOLING MOM who:
*Feels uptight and stressed daily.
*Doesn’t really “enjoy” homeschooling; she’s too stressed trying to make it all go perfectly.
*Doesn’t really enjoy her kids because she is too busy with “school.”
*Feels overwhelmed with preparing lesson plans.
*Tends to be snippy about anything that slows down the plans of the day.
*Occasionally feels the need to run outside and scream to relieve the tension. (Yes, she told me she has done that!)
Does this sound like you in any way? If you fit part or all of the description, here are some
TIPS FOR THE INTENSE HOMESCHOOL MOM:
It’s okay to change the plans and veer off into an area of interest, rather than following the lesson plans totally. It’s okay to have fun while learning, too!
Don’t forget that the kids are learning all the time through daily life! Look how much they learned before they started “school” officially.
2. Make the relationship more important than covering the subject matter.
Keeping your child’s heart is the most important thing you can do! Losing that relationship over an academic face-off isn’t worth it. EVER.
3. Remember, your priorities should be building their faith and character, and THEN adding the academics.
This is very clearly seen in this verse:
“…add to your faith virtue (character); and to virtue knowledge…” II Peter 1:5
Some days you may just need to focus on character, and skip the academics. When you address the heart issues and character problems first, you will then begin to accomplish much more with the academics.
4. Teach your kids to do more of their school work independently.
By the time your kids are in 2nd or 3rd grade they should gradually learn to do some of their work on their own. You shouldn’t have to be spoon feeding them at that age. Gradually increase the amount of work they do independently over time. It teaches them to be responsible for their work, while relieving some stress for you!
5. Make time to have and be fun. (You can read more about this in 60 Homeschooling Tips From 60 Years.)
One last thought that should help you relax:
“Everything that your kids need to learn from kindergarten through grade 12, is only FOUR YEARS of material.” (Richard Fugate)
There is much repetition from year to year, with each year going into a little bit more depth. Knowing this should help you to not feel stressed about “being behind,” or not covering everything you need to every day. They really will get it all eventually over the twelve years of school!
You probably won’t enjoy EVERY day of homeschooling, and you WILL have some bad days. However, I hope that these tips will help you to slow down, relax, and enjoy the journey!