Homeschooling is not easy. Pretending like it is only leads to further pressure and more stress! But how do you homeschool your kids when stress levels are rising and things feel like they’re falling apart?
Read on to find out how to homeschool when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
How to Homeschool AND Take Care of You
First of all, you need to make sure you are taken care of. You cannot possibly hope to be in the best form for your children if you are feeling depleted and stressed.
Follow your own pursuits
When we become mothers, we find ourselves dedicating every moment we have to our kids. We forget that we are also women with our own goals, own desires, and our own dreams. Don’t neglect these! Find time in your week to follow your own pursuits whether its painting, pursuing your own learning, or playing an active sport. Try to do anything to help you wind down and feel happy and content!
How to have a homeschool breaks
Breaks are essential when it comes to homeschooling, but how many of us regularly take advantage of a break? We make sure to give our children breaks from their schoolwork and time for snacks or some fresh air. But make sure you also take a break and not use it as a chance to do other chores or tasks! Breaks are just as important for mum as for the kids. Use this time to have a cup of tea, meditate, or just sit outside for a little bit. These regular breaks throughout the day are extremely effective in refreshing you to continue the day ahead.
RELATED: To find out how a homeschool day looks for us, check out Our Muslim Homeschool’s Day In The Life!
As mums, we also regularly neglect our own physical needs. Make sure you’re eating properly, staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest at night. If you are feeling tired, weak, or hungry you cannot be in the best state to teach your children. By attending to your own physical needs and taking care of yourself, you will reduce the chances of burning out quickly and feeling that all-too-familiar exhaustion!
Just like your kids get rewards to motivate them and keep them on task, mums should have rewards too! As you work your way through each day, week and month of homeschooling, reward yourself. You deserve it! Homeschooling is just as challenging for you as it is for your children and you should celebrate your achievements. Whether that’s buying yourself something, taking time out to be with friends or even having a quiet night in with a bubble bath!
How to have a homeschool mentality
The beauty of homeschooling is you can be as different from school as you want to be and keep the features you love. This is YOUR homeschool. So, make it yours.
Everyone has a unique way of homeschooling because no two families are the same. Sure, we may borrow certain ideas from each other, but even our execution of those ideas varies depending on the unique differences of our children. We each face different struggles, so never compare your progress to those of other homeschools. You may be achieving things another mother struggles with. Remember, people rarely share the extent of their difficulties on social media, so avoid comparing yourself to the people you see in your Instagram and Facebook feeds.
Keep it simple
This is your homeschool with a limited number of children. You don’t have to accommodate for a class of 25-30 children. So, do yourself a favour and keep your life simple! Start with the basics of reading, writing and mathematics. Then you can slowly work your way into other subjects, some of which may only require you to read a book aloud to your children and encourage some discussion.
If something isn’t working for you or your children, SCRAP IT. You don’t have to prove anything. Some things click with some families but cause complete chaos in another. You’re in charge, so you choose what you do as a family. When you spend time and money on a new curriculum or resource it can be tempting to keep going with it no matter what, but if it is creating negative learning experiences for your child, don’t be afraid to stop. With any new curriculum, especially the pricier ones, it’s always best to try some form of trial or sample before you commit money to it. Make sure it’s something you and your children will benefit from.
Always be gentle with yourself, particularly at the beginning of your homeschool journey. This is a hard road for even the most experienced veteran homeschoolers. It doesn’t necessarily get easier, you just get better at troubleshooting and knowing what works for you. Every new year can be like starting again and learning new things as your child grows and enters a new year/grade. Take one day at a time and celebrate the small wins.
How to make homeschool easy
Having the right mentality is one thing, but this is much easier if you have made practical steps to making your homeschool tasks easier. Whilst the ideal scenario is sitting and working with your kids as they complete magnificent, sophisticated pieces of work, this isn’t usually the reality. Some days you’ll be lucky if you read a single book together. And that’s ok. But there are things you can incorporate into your homeschool day to make lessons a little easier.
The joy of reading aloud
Reading aloud is probably the most popular homeschool activity. And for good reason – it is highly effective! Give your children something to work with such as Lego blocks, jigsaw puzzles or colouring. Then select a book to read to them. This can be a fictional book which is above their reading level or even a non-fiction book for subjects like History or Science. Read aloud to your kids and then discuss the contents together. You’ll be surprised by how much they absorb!
RELATED: Click here to find out what books we’ve read in our homeschool.
Learning through play has always been the primary way children learn at a young age. Thankfully, there are plenty of games out there with education and key skills built right in. Head to Word United to see some amazing examples of games with purpose. When either you or your children feel the frustration rising and the workbooks are being discarded in a huff and a puff, grab some games! Your kids won’t even realise they are still learning as they enjoy the delightful change of pace!
Get them online
The internet can provide more than resources for us to print and laminate. There are multiple websites which are designed to help children independently take charge of their learning. Khan Academy and Khan Academy Kids are perfect examples of programmes which facilitate your child’s learning in a range of subjects. And it’s completely free! The fact that your children can navigate these websites pretty much independently means it can grant you some extra time for a break or to get some other things done.
In the end, there is no greater remedy for feeling overwhelmed than going outside. Just breathing fresh air and having gentle exercise each day will help both you and your children feel refreshed. If you want, your children can take their nature journaling supplies, but it’s not necessary. You’ll be amazed at how much learning and development happens when children are just relaxed and having fun in nature!
How do you homeschool?
There is no doubt homeschooling WILL feel overwhelming at times, but make sure you look after yourself and take advantage of the flexibility homeschooling provides.
How do you make life easier when homeschooling gets overwhelming? What tips do you have for making homeschool life smoother when it feels like it’s spiralling out of control?
Drop all your tips and advice in the comments below!