To have a happy home while homeschooling is like earning Master’s Degree Course in wrangling cats. Crazy.
Ok, not crazy. But the truth is that if you neglect keeping a balanced life, homeschooling will eat you alive. Make a conscious choice to seek balance every day.
By balance, I do not mean yoga. Although I have nothing against yoga.
Balance means having all your ducks in a row as often as possible.
First, Take care of yourself.
Get a good night rest as often as possible, eat well, and exercise at least a little bit every day.
Wake up before your crew. The key is getting to bed early enough to make this one possible, but it’s important. I purpose to get up, shower and to enjoy a cup of coffee with my Savior before the first child rolls out of bed each day. There are seasons of life that make this one a bit impossible.
I’m trying to encourage you… I had seasons with three under 3 years old and a child recovering from major surgery. I was lucky to wake up at all. Showers are optional in this season of life. So is make-up.
Second, Take care of your Husband.
I know it seems impossible when the kids are little and demanding so much of you. Remember that the best thing you can do for your children is to love their daddy…
Plan clothes, meals, laundry, outings, oh yeah… and plan school. I try to have at least 5 weeks of school penciled in.
Kids can smell an unplanned day from a mile away.
Now, just because you have a plan does not protect you from life. Life happens. Having a plan keeps you in front of the ball most of the time:).
Fourth More. Plan for tomorrow today.
Wait, what? That’s right planning is key. While you are wrapping up today’s load of to-do’s, write out your plan for tomorrow. Pull out tomorrow’s schoolwork, find the materials needed for that science experiment, gather art supplies, etc.
Fifth, Teach your kids to plan.
I have monthly and weekly planners for my kids.
Each child has a month view of their work as well as a weekly plan for their lives. It maps out exactly what they are to do each day- from chores to soccer, math to history. By the time they graduate from high school, you can hand my kids a syllabus or a project and they will sit down and map it out into smaller and smaller chunks so they can “eat the elephant one bite at a time”. Huge life skill!
I do all the planning for my kids until they hit 8th grade (so far). Once they hit their 9th grade year I begin teaching them how to break down a plan/syllabus into monthly, weekly, and daily chunks. With my oldest two this process took a year of weekly planning meeting. I am currently training son number three. It is a long process, but one that takes concentrated hand-holding and is completely worth all the effort.
More Happy Home Tips:
- Have a weekly/monthly menu and stick with it.
- Double recipes and freeze a meal at least once a week so you always have something ready for dinner when life happens.
- Run errands after school whenever possible.
- Get outside every single day. Remember, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!”
- De-clutter your life and home. (a little at a time)
Play games, laugh, pop popcorn and watch movies, hike, plant gardens, lay in hammocks, explore, read together. Learn and grow TOGETHER!