A lot of advice out there is focused on making homeschooling easier for kids. While this is important, it’s also important that it’s easy for you. (Don’t get me wrong, homeschool is hard work, but it can be fulfilling, fun, hard work.) Moms need to enjoy homeschooling. You may have more motivation than the children when you get started, but this doesn’t last forever.
If you work on making homeschooling as pleasant as possible, it will be easier for you to stay motivated. If it’s easy for you, it’ll rub off on your kids. Remember, everyone is different. What one struggles with, another excels at, so make sure that you apply that advice to yourself and your own situation as best you can.
Make Sure You’re Comfortable
Being comfortable while you are working on homeschool tasks with your kids is a big deal. If you aren’t, your attitude isn’t going to be good and your child’s learning will suffer.
- You need to ensure you can read the screen or the page properly. If you have to squint, you may need new glasses. Whether you love a classic style or something a little out there, just ensure you can see properly and are comfortable wearing your glasses.
- You also need to ensure you work from somewhere which is comfy for you. This might be the living room chair, but you’re probably going to be at a table. Make sure the chair you’re on isn’t giving you a backache or causing you other physical discomfort. If it is, it might be time to grab a new one.
- Make sure the lighting in the room where you work on school is nice and bright. If you are straining to see in the dim light, so is your child and that is not good for any eyes, young or old.
- Some moms like to have something to work on alongside their kids in between answering questions. Maybe you have a doodle book, puzzle, or knitting project to keep you calm while your child works. Just make sure it is an activity that is easy to pick up and put down again, so you won’t be annoyed when your child needs help. Having something to do will help you relax during school time instead of rushing your child through their work so you can get back to your own tasks. Kids sense that pressure and revolt.
If you make sure you’re comfortable when helping your child, you’ll be more engaged with the work and not distracted by whatever is making you feel uncomfortable.
Work At A Time Where You’re Most Productive
Everyone is different. You might wake up, make some coffee and be ready to go. On the other hand, you might take a while to wake up. If you are like me, you might need a few hours until you’re really with it. I start the school day by reading aloud, because that is something I can do while I am half-asleep, sipping coffee in between pages, or during the most tense moments, just to tease the kids. ;0
Another great way to start the day is with quick walk. Take the kids with you so they can get their gross motor and sensory input ready for the day. When my kids were little, I would load them all up in the car right after breakfast was cleaned up and take them to the park. I would sit and drink my second cup of coffee while they got out enough energy that they would be ready to concentrate for a bit when we headed home. (They always cleaned breakfast up very fast because they knew we had to leave the park at a certain time to go home and get to work and they did not want to miss any park time.)
Find the time where you’re at your most productive and spend that time homeschooling your child. Of course, homeschooling is a lifestyle and doesn’t fit neatly into one pocket of the time. But at least save the hardest subjects for the time of day when you are feeling best.
What if it is the subject itself making you uncomfortable? Everyone has subjects they excel in and those they’d rather not go anywhere near. Some people hate math with a passion, while for other’s numbers are second nature. Focus on getting better in where you need to when your kids are young. This way you can really give your child the best.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to become a whizz at every subject. Just make sure you understand the basics and tear down any walls of fear that go up when you think about a subject. If you get tense at the word math, or spelling, you are not going to be able to remain calm and make those subjects fun and interesting for your kids.
If there’s something you don’t understand, you don’t want to pass on that hesitancy and confusion onto the person you’re trying to teach. Take some time to read up on the subject to ensure you properly understand it.
As your kids get older they will be able to learn and study on their own, and you will not have to know everything they are learning. You can use teachers from other places (online or co-ops or books that teach directly, or video curriculum) to ensure your child is getting the best. And if they need extra help it is easy to find a tutor to lend a hand.
Don’t be ashamed if you can’t handle teaching something like high school chemistry. Teaching a subject requires a much deeper understanding of a subject than is required to be a student. So just because you aced chemistry in high school does not mean you should be ready to teach it to your child. (Especially after that info has atrophied for 20 or 30 years!) Remain calm and outsource whatever you need to in whatever way works best for your family.
Having a relaxed homeschool is a great goal to have, but remember, as mom, you set the tone for your homeschool. If you aren’t relaxed, no one else will be either. Think about both your physical and mental needs and figure out what you need to do to ensure you are comfortable during the academic part of your homeschool day.