Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Yay! Back to school! Some consider the kids’ return to school the most wonderful time of the year. If you are a homeschooling mom, you may not feel that way. I am by no means a homeschooling expert, but I have completed over thirteen years of home educating my children. My oldest child graduated and is off to college so I guess I am what is considered a home school veteran. So here are some of my survival tips to get through the school year.
1. Put God first.
I know this should go without saying, but sometimes we forget. Start each morning by having a quiet time with the Lord. I know it can be hard. After a sleep-deprived night, all I want to do is send my husband off to work and then crawl back into bed. I cannot tell you how many times I have fallen asleep reading my Bible or praying in the morning. At some point in the morning, have some time with God. It will set the mood for the entire day.
2. Pray without ceasing.
I do this a lot. There are those times when one child just is not getting it and the baby is screaming and another child is literally climbing the walls (Yes, my children climbed the hallway walls). All you want to do is run away. That is when you need to pray. God gives us what we need if we ask. All we have to do is take a deep breath and give it over to Him.
3. Get organized.
I’m not talking about daily routines. I’m talking about taking time away from everything and spending that time planning the upcoming school year. You can go over material and familiarize yourself with it. I have previously done this with a group of friends for a weekend. We shared ideas and discussed materials. I also have friends who have gone to a hotel for the weekend. If you do not feel that you can do this, home school conventions are great for getting away just for a little while. This is also a great way to recharge.
4. Don’t get bogged down by schedules.
This does not mean throw everything that you planned out the window. Life happens. Many of us are in the “sandwich generation” where we take care of children and parents. This can be the cause of many unexpected events. If something happens or one of the children get behind, remember, we home school. We can always “catch up” later. Be flexible.
5. Start the year off with something fun.
We always start the year off with baking cookies. I know this may sound strange but I think I got the idea from a home school convention. What we do is I pick out a recipe. I do not help with making the cookies, but I sit in the kitchen and tell each child what to get and what to do. They must follow directions and work together. If anyone fails to follow directions or do their part, they do not get to eat the cookies. This really encourages and helps with listening skills and cooperation. This helps set the tone for the year. If you need to do it later in the year to get them refocused (or you just want the kids to make you some cookies), then do it again. Oh, I almost forgot the most important part–they have to clean up, too!
6. Make time for your husband.
Sometimes we spend so much time being a mom and teacher that we forget to be a wife. Our husbands are just that: husbands, not children. Be there for them and support them. Make them their favorite meal. Listen, really listen, to what they say. Be supportive.
7. Take care of yourself.
As moms, we put everyone else ahead of ourselves. It is hard for us to not take care of everything and everyone and take a moment for ourselves. Take a bubble bath; go shopping; have lunch with a friend; read a book. If we do not take care of ourselves, we will not be able to take care of our children.
8. Have fun.
Spend time playing games, singing together, dancing silly, taking nature walks. These can be fun and educational. Education is not just working through books; it is also experience. Anything can be educational. Homeschooling is not school at home. It is educating the entire child.
We must remember that we only have 18-19 years with our children and it will be gone before you know it. Spend that time having fun.
Do you have any other tips to make back to school the most wonderful time of the year?