It does not matter if you are a newbie to homeschooling or a vet, there are moments when being your child's teacher stinks. Most days are great and productive--the kids are attentive, you are enthusiastic, and concepts are quickly grasped. Other days you are winging it, someone ends up crying (possibly you), and lessons are not completed and threats of naps, timeouts and even mentions of transfers to public school are thrown into the mix. You aren't alone.
Every homeschooling family has experienced these things. You may feel pressure to perform, to create a phenomenal educational experience for your children and to prove all those anti-homeschooling family members and friends wrong. You are being too hard on yourself. Take a deep breath and consider these suggestions on how to homeschool when you don't feel like it.
“You is smart. You is kind. You is important.” That is one of my favorite quotes from the book and movie, The Help. In the movie, those words are spoken daily to a little girl by her housekeeper/nanny. Although the quote badly violates English grammar, it is quite powerful. If everyday you heard similar words, you would undoubtedly start to believe them. When things get a little chaotic in your homeschooling world, find the strength to speak words that will encourage you in your journey. Here are some examples:
I was made for this.
I am my child’s best teacher.
What I do is important.
I am absolutely capable of completing this task.
Today is a great day for learning.
I have purpose.
I am making a difference in my child’s life.
Give Yourself a Break
There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a moment to breathe. You may need just a few minutes of alone time to gain motivation or an entire day off from teaching. Your kids and their lessons will not suffer -- in fact, you will do them a service by allowing yourself to be your best self. Grab some coffee, a book, or even take a nap to get you back on track.
Playdates or meetups with other homeschoolers will allow both you and your children to get a break from your lessons. Schedule a field trip or an outdoor activity to get a breath of fresh air.
Find Support From Fellow Homeschoolers
Did you know that Educents wants to help answer your questions regarding homeschooling and more? If you need insight on a particular topic and want to hear directly from other homeschoolers, check out Educents’ Community. Community is a place for parents to ask and answer questions about parenting and education. Join discussions now!
Sometimes it takes a little disappointment or hurdle to help you gain momentum again. Educents’ Guidance has a ton of articles that are sure to inspire you in your homeschool journey. The topics and ideas shared will help spark creativity and motivation in any educator.
Find a Co-op for Supplemental Education
Homeschool co-ops are perfect for breaking up the week and providing students an opportunity to get together with other homeschoolers in the community. Typically, they require parents to contribute to the group by volunteering to teach a course. Depending on which co-op you join, you can find one that allows you to teach one course (or assist a class) then use the rest of the co-op time to chat with other parents, catch up on reading, or absolutely, if you so choose. You can rest knowing your children are still learning while you get some time to connect with others or yourself.
Remember Why You Started
When all else fails, go back to the moment you and your family decided to homeschool. What was it that moved you to this place? Maybe you started homeschooling because your child struggled in a traditional setting. Possibly you knew before your first child could talk that educating them throughout their entire educational career would be best for your family.
Whatever your reason, remember that your decision to homeschool was one of the best decisions you could have made for your children. You are their best teacher and your efforts, if you cannot already see them, will reap benefits. Don’t quit! You can do this! In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Do what you can with all you have, wherever you are.”
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About the All-Star Blogger
Teri Watters is the creator of MommyWifeLife.com, where she regularly blogs about ways to keep the family connected through education, activities and new products.