Written by Purva Brown of The Classical Unschooler
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been myself lately. Motivation to do anything has been hard to come by. I make plans and can’t follow through. Things have a way of getting to me. Homeschooling and writing – two things that I truly enjoy – have all but fallen to the wayside.
See, I have always homeschooled my kids. I have even written books on homeschooling. But this uncertainty, this insecurity around us, is novel. All my energy, it seems, goes to just staying afloat mentally. Financially, we’re fine. My husband is an essential worker; these are no small blessings. And yet…
The current situation has turned me into part worry wart, part reactionary. It is only in this last week that I realized I cannot continue in this way. Who knows when this will end?
Would you rather listen to this post?
So here are five things I am choosing to do instead:
1. Set New, Easy Goals
I am one of those people who is energized by doing things that work. As such, it helps me to have a “could-do” list instead of a “to-do” list.
I write down a list of things that I could do and pick the one that seems easiest or gives me the quickest satisfaction. Eventually, I build up enough momentum to get them all crossed off.
But with recent frustrations, it’s been difficult to build momentum. So I’ve started putting some new, simple goals on my list: Looking up new recipes, new weight training exercises, finding new documentaries of things I’m interested in.
Every new little goal counts.
2. Go Back to Basics
For homeschooling, we’re going back to basics. You can never go wrong with reading aloud. So that’s what we’re doing. You can also never go wrong with just practicing a little math every day. So that’s on the agenda, too. Wherever we can, we’re keeping it simple and refining our basics.
Going back to basics doesn’t have to be boring, either. You can always relate it to current events. For example, we read Animal Farm aloud recently and it’s been seminal in other conversations we’ve been having lately.
You just have to find what’s important to your family and incorporate it.
3. Learn Something New
We’re taking the time to learn something new – the children as well as the adults. As I said above, we’re not undertaking any huge goals at this time, but simple ones.
We have a wealth of information and knowledge around us, thanks to the internet. It’s a great time to be alive where new skills are just a click away.
All those things that we didn’t have time for, or decided to do “later, when we have some time” are now on the front burner. I’m reading books and articles I had out off for months, we’re watching more documentaries and YouTube videos than ever.
And you know what? I’m enjoying it so much that I might keep doing school this way long after the quarantine ends.
4. Get Off Facebook
Honest confession: I have been struggling with this. But I have also confirmed that time on Facebook is directly related to a downward turn in my mood. There is much on there – people, articles, opinions – that are good and interesting, but there is also so much that is extreme and has to be weeded through that it tires me out and makes me short on patience.
Not to mention the fact that many use Facebook to rant.
So I’m trying to spend as little time on it as possible. I’d rather read on my Kindle. Again, this hasn’t been easy to do, but it’s a worthy goal I have set lately.
5. Have Every Conversation
When everything is up in the air like this, it sparks some great conversations in our family. Children tend to be great observers, and my husband and I decided long ago that no topic is off limits.
So we’re making space for every conversation. If they’re asking, they’re interested and their interest is not to be treated lightly.
Who knows what seeds we’re planting today?
We take the time to talk about everything they want to talk about. And if we don’t know the answer to their questions, we’re taking the time to find out and learn together with them.
In the past, in the hurry of getting things done, this was one aspect of our homeschool and parenting that was easy to ignore, but now seems to be a good time to reintroduce this ritual.
All in all, these five things have the power not just to help you tide over this time, but to bring you closer to your kids and your vision for homeschooling. I know it did mine.
I am not where I was mentally a month ago – waiting for quarantine to end, planning for what I will do when it ends, bemoaning the current state of affairs.
Working on these five things has energized me and changed my perspective.
May they do the same for you.
What has been a help for you during this time?
What’s Your Homeschool Mom Personality? Take Jamie’s quiz now and receive a free personality report to help you organize your homeschool based on what your personality type needs most!