A new school year can be so exciting. There are newly sharpened pencils, colorful markers and new books with crisp white pages. New rhythms, morning baskets, and poetry tea times make for a bright school year.
Imagining all of the rabbit holes of learning we’ll tumble down this year is exhilarating!
Most of us spend plenty of time planning the homeschool curriculum for our children. We go over carefully in our minds or in our planners what each child needs to focus on, strengths and weaknesses. Yet how many of us put as much emphasis on ourselves?
Following My Own Interests
I love my kids. I love spending time with them and homeschooling them every day. But sometimes I get stressed out. Sometimes life gets intense. Can anyone else relate?
This summer I started taking a ballet class.
It’s not so strange that a 30…something…ish woman with no physical prowess or grace is taking lessons to learn something that she isn’t great at but admires…is it?
I’m known to trip over my own feet and invisible gopher holes.
My children have inherited my lack of grace.
Fortunately, they have taken to ballet brilliantly!
I, on the other hand, still feel like a newborn giraffe trying to, not so gracefully, grande jete across the floor. Just let that image sink in for a moment…
Lifelong Learning and Self Care
I used to think that continuing my own learning by picking up hobbies, reading up on interests, or decompressing by taking a class was selfish. I felt that I was somehow taking away from my children and their homeschool by focusing on myself.
But I’ve come to realize that by doing those things, even just once a week; I am giving my children an example of what lifelong learning looks like.
I’m also filling my own proverbial cup, or pouring into myself the things I need.
A stressed out homeschool mom isn’t doing anyone any good.
Discovering myself and my own interests is beneficial for both myself and my family.
Calming Routines for the Stressed Out Homeschool Mom
Over the years I’ve learned to knit, taken yoga classes, and now I’m taking ballet. Just an hour a week has proven beneficial for me but sometimes getting away isn’t always possible.
Beyond taking outside classes (which aren’t always feasible) there other ways that I stay calm and focused.
What can a stressed out homeschool mom do to instill a calming routine?
- I’m a HUGE fan of quiet time – in the afternoon or anytime the stress is overwhelming. The children will put on their headphones and listen to a favorite audio book and color or build with Lego’s while I take the time to sip on a hot cup of coffee or tea and decompress.
- Read a Book – Audio books count too and sometimes they are easier when you have a rambunctious 4-year-old running wild! The kid’s quiet time is a great time to snatch a chapter or two of a book totally for mom.
- Call or Message a Friend – I find my fellow homeschool moms to be a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. They also understand those moments of overwhelming frustration when your child claims to have never seen the word “I” before… or have forgotten how to add… or that time the blue sand sensory bin ended up ALL OVER your kitchen…<ahem> Reach out to them. They will understand.
- Keep a Hidden Supply of Chocolate – Or COFFEE for the coffee addicted moms out there. Trust me. Keep it hidden. Keep it safe. It’s a life saver for those times you may need to hide in the closet…because…you know…you’re playing a game of hide and seek with the kids…yeah…
- Exercise – taking a walk or doing a bit of yoga does amazing things for our mom brains. Many times places like the YMCA will have childcare for members while they workout. Or take the kids with you on a walk around the neighborhood. The fresh air will do you all some good. You could also incorporate the kids in some exercise in the front yard if you don’t have a sitter. I’ve done all of these things!
Stressed Out Homeschool Mom Favorite Resources
I have a few go to resources that help me keep things in perspective when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Teaching From Rest: A Homeschoolers Guide to Unshakable Peace – This is a perfect book for those homeschool moms that have found their homeschool full of anxiety, worry, and stress. This is a favorite of mine to re-read at the beginning of a new school year or whenever I find the stress creeping up on me.
A Gracious Space: Fall: Daily Reflections to Sustain Your Homeschool Commitment – This book offers daily readings of encouragement, inspiration, and insight during your homeschool experience. I read this book last year and am in the midst of re-reading it again.
Julie Bogart, the creator of Brave Writer is a wealth of encouragement especially when you’re having a stressful homeschool day! This seasoned homeschool mom has live videos where she champions homeschool moms and their kids. I always come away from her videos feeling inspired and ready to lovingly take on the world.
The Homeschool Sisters Podcast is another source of encouragement for me. The creators Cait and Kara are just two homeschooling moms, like us, sharing about the ups and down of this homeschool life.
Sara Mackenzie, the creator of Read Aloud Revival is another awesome homeschool mom that always reminds me that even if I’m stressed, I can still make meaningful connections with my children. Plus, read alouds are always a great idea!