Sometimes homeschooling is the most rewarding thing you will ever do. Some days you wake up ready to teach and excited about the learning that will happen. Some days are filled with amazing lesson plans and lots of laughter. Some days aren’t. Today I want to share some tips and tricks for you to help you overcome homeschool apathy on the days when you just can’t do it.
Overcome Homeschool Apathy
Many homeschool moms do it. We start the school year out with big ambitions and then the apathy day hits. You know the day. It’s the day when the thought of sounding out one more word or working through one more math problem leaves you hoping to go back to bed. We all have those days. First, let’s talk about the why of homeschool apathy. Then I will share some quick tips to help you overcome it.
I am the worst at over-scheduling. I must think I am superwoman because I constantly don my cape and over-plan our days. Do you know why this leads to apathy? When you do too much for too long without any relief burn out is soon to follow.
Look at your schedule. What needs to stay? What can be removed to make your day easier? If you don’t over-schedule it will help you to keep your joy in homeschooling.
Unrealistic expectations are the thief of joy. If you are constantly concerned about meeting some unrealistic standard you will burn out quickly. It’s not always intentional. Sometimes other people just have such an amazing homeschool it looks like we should imitate that.
Give yourself a break. I know that seems too simple but it’s true. If you will give yourself and your kids a break you will find that the apathy will leave. Find out what realistic expectations should be for the children you have, not the children others are raising.
The laundry piles up. The kids are fighting. If one more dish goes in the sink it may collapse from the weight. We won’t even talk about the floors. If this sounds like you then it sounds like you are living in chaos. It’s almost impossible to homeschool in chaos. Not only will you be distracted, it will also be harder for kids to learn with a frazzled parent and a messy home.
This isn’t where I tell you to have a magazine worthy home. I think a home should be lived in. That being said, take a second and look around the house. What are five things that are stressing you about the home right now? If you fixed those five things would the bulk of your chaos come under control? Sometimes we need to look at smaller portions of a problem and conquer those. If that doesn’t work for you, it may be just the day to cancel school and spend the day cleaning up the chaos.
If you are like me around 3 my stomach starts to growl and my eyes act like staying open is a Herculean task. As homeschool parents, it can become normal to pour all of yourself into someone else. While this is beautiful and noble, it’s also exhausting. One of the quickest ways to become apathetic to homeschooling is to be exhausted.
I know that more sleep isn’t always the answer. In fact, there will be days where you run on barely any sleep. There are ways to get through this though. I am a big advocate of quiet time each day. Whether it is five minutes or an hour, set a time when your children are expected to take some time to themselves and be quiet. That time will give you a chance to recharge your batteries and reset before continuing. Find those moments of peace in your day to recharge you. You can do this.
Facebook is so fun. Let’s not even talk about the black hole that is Pinterest. Add to that TV, video games, and tablets and we have a tech overload. These things aren’t bad but they can distract our time away. With so much out there to consume it can be easy to get distracted. I know it has happened to me. I was working on the blog while the kids were playing the video game together nicely. I thought to myself, “it would be wrong to break them up when they are being so nice.” After some time, I realized that I had wasted our prime learning time. It’s very easy when you reach that point to just say forget it.
Set boundaries. We have a few rules in this house that help us a lot. The kids are not allowed to touch any technology until their school work is done for the day. This motivates them to finish because they want their shows or games. I also have boundaries for myself. I set a timer on my phone for when I will be online and when that goes off everyone knows it’s time for school. My way may not work for you but make sure to find a system that will. Don’t let technology make you apathetic to homeschooling.
It happens to the best of us. The kids get sick and we fall behind. Life happens and a lot of it. Before you know it, you are looking at a mountain of a to-do list and the thought of it makes you cringe. With so much to do it becomes easier to just give up and decide that school will have to take the back burner for a while.
I love the old question, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” If you are overwhelmed don’t look at the big picture. Instead look at what things you can manage in that moment. You don’t have to do the entire list now. You just need to tackle the next item on your list.
Did I leave something off this list of ways to overcome homeschool apathy? Comment and let me know. I would love to add to this list to help you and others out.
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