The following is a post by contributor Angie Kauffman of Real Life at Home.
Homeschooling is such an amazing educational and lifestyle choice. The benefits of it are plentiful, and often get touted by homeschoolers.
There’s another side to homeschooling, however. That other side is that homeschooling can be challenging.
It can drain you mentally and physically. Even if it’s worth it, it is not an easy lifestyle to choose.
On the up side, however, there are things you can do when you’re feeling discouraged in your homeschooling lifestyle to help change your mindset and lighten your mood. Sometimes, it’s just about making changes in logistics and in your thinking.
As an added bonus, it may also help your children feel better too.
Things to do when you’re feeling discouraged as a homeschooler
Make changes to things that aren’t working
Sometimes, despite your best planning, some of the things that you thought would work well in your homeschool just aren’t working.
Make tweaks to what you’re doing or even completely change some of your curriculum choices. Homeschooling can be challenging, and you don’t need to add to it by staying with a curriculum choice that makes it harder.
Take a short break
Even if you live somewhere that has attendance requirements, such as 180 days, it likely won’t shift your schedule too much to take a few days off of school. Sometimes a little time off is just what everyone needs.
Read inspirational books and blogs about homeschooling
Seek out references, such as books and blogs, that fill you up with encouragement.
Likewise, you might consider not reading resources that always make you feel pressured. Fill your reading with things that are going to be helpful while also building your spirit.
Seek out other homeschooling families
When I was upset last year, and just couldn’t shake the constant fears about what homeschooling in high school would look like, I finally sat down at a local pizza place for four hours with a homeschooling friend whose daughter was already homeschooling in high school.
She showed me how they were documenting classes, gave me options that might work for our family, and acted as a sounding board for my concerns.
Nothing else that I did or read helped as much as those four hours with a friend who understood what I was going through.
Photo by Iuliia Sokolovska
Not only can travel be a great way to break up what can sometimes be homeschool monotony, but it’s also an amazing way to learn.
I have always been shocked at how many educational experiences come up while traveling. If I could make changes to things we had done in the past, one would definitely be to travel as often as we were able to do so.
Work on planning ahead more often
If you happen to be one of those people who is always planning at the last minute, then I would highly encourage that you start planning earlier and for a longer period of time.
I’m apt to put off planning and then have had to do a lot of planning on Monday mornings.
Every time that has happened, I’m in a horribly discouraged mood. Not only does that make me dread homeschooling on those days, but it puts my kids in a pretty bad mood as well.
On the flip side, when I have everything well planned, it makes days go more smoothly.
Incorporate some child-led or hands-on activities
If you are not currently doing either of those things in your homeschool, they are a great change of pace.
Plus, as a bonus, incorporating some child-led work into your day or week can give your children a greater sense of ownership over their education.
Photo by Martin Fisch
Take care of yourself
Spend time on yourself. Make time for more sleep and exercise. Try to have some time outdoors every day. Make sure that you are spending time in prayer. Prioritize spending regular time with your spouse.
You won’t have anything to give to your kids if you are an empty shell of yourself. Taking care of yourself is of vital importance.
What do you do when you start feeling discouraged as a homeschooling parent?