Newsflash: I’m homeschooling. I’m not perfect.
Fortunately, my children were already well aware of this. I didn’t have to burst their bubble, so to speak. My husband was supportive of the homeschooling so he greatly contributed to its success.
But my own mindset needed some adjusting.
- I had my own ideas of how the days should go.
- Of how the house should look.
- Of appropriate lunches and snacks.
- Of playdates and extra outings.
- Of time for myself to recharge, read my Bible or even nap!
Parenting in general changes you and you learn to make extreme sacrifices for the cute little someone who has come into your life. You can’t really imagine beforehand that you could get up every 2 hours night after night and still live a semi-normal life in the daytime. I was always amazed at the strength and resilience of my body to do without restful sleep night after night. Which brings to mind a t-shirt my daughter had:
Let me know if we need to get a batch of these t-shirts printed up!
Homeschooling: Don’t Lower Expectations
Could we rather say, We may need to temporarily change our expectations for our house, our meals, our times away from the house, and our time for us?
There will be a time again when your house can be picked up and ready for company with a 15 minute notice.
There will be a time again when you fix a tempting gourmet meal and everything is ready at the same time.
There will be a time again when your trips to the grocery store don’t involve changing diapers first, making sure the older ones have gone potty, strapping people into car seats and someone crying for basically no reason.
There will be a time again when you can get 15 minutes of reading time for yourself without having to stop and fix a snack, answer 7 questions about what you are doing, and explain what the greatest common factor means.
But maybe that time is not yet.
And that’s okay.
Have a New Homeschooling Mindset
For now, your season of life may look very messy, or not quite organized or a bit scattered. You may find yourself raising your voice more than you want. Or getting frustrated because you have to fix dinner again.
You’ll get there. A lot of life at this stage is figuring things out, trying one system after another to see what works for your family, re-arranging schedules because of illness, fitting in doctor’s appointments, etc.
I don’t even know how many planners I looked at until I found one that I really liked. I finally found a menu planner that I thought was cute and actually helped me figure out what we were going to (probably) be eating the next week.
Watching Food Network may seem like a good idea but I have noticed that they never added in a fussy toddler while the chefs were running around cooking.
I did better when I used very simple recipes. I fixed a lot of casseroles for a while and made good use of my crock pot- but we did get healthy meals!
So if you are homeschooling and things aren’t perfect, I would say that is what 100% of the other homes look like as well.
100%. Really, really.
Tackle one thing at a time. I liked to make sure the kitchen was clean to start with and move out from there.
15 minutes a day per room for straitening and putting away will add up over a week.
I liked doing a load of laundry a day instead of doing it all in one day- but whatever works for you.
Are the drawers a mess? Clean out one a day until they are all done.
Delegate chores to your children as soon as they are able. It is amazing at what a 2 1/2 or 3 year old child can help with. This sets the stage for helping mommy the rest of their life!
Saturdays are the day to clean out the refrigerator. Leftovers need to get eaten and all that other stuff- throw it away and start new. Who is really going to eat that tablespoon of leftover beef stew? Not me!
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There are very good boxed all-in-one curriculums out there. I used mainly one curriculum: BJU Press Homeschool curriculum for all my kids K thru 12. It is a Christian curriculum. I knew some people that worked there and we really liked it. It is a curriculum where the subjects are integrated (like the spelling words are in the reading and science lessons.) You can do parent led where you teach or purchase the DVD’s or get the same material through the computer. For any of those ways, there are recommendations for grading or they do it for you. I love the BJU curriculum because they have thought of everything. Subjects are well put together, they list tons of extra resources if you need it and all the prep work is done. On day one, you teach lesson one, etc. So the value of that kind of complete curriculum was worth every penny to me. You can see their curriculum here.
ABOUT ELIZABETH ESTELLE
Elizabeth Estelle, homeschooling mom of four amazing children, and now a grandmother. She has been married to her college sweetheart for over 38 years. She loves the Lord, teaches, writes, mentors ladies, and likes to cook. She cleans as needed. In her spare time she enjoys teaching art. She led a homeschool co-op for 24 years. Now, she wants to encourage homeschooling families to persevere and be successful in their own homeschool adventure, kindergarten through high school.