I absolutely love homeschooling. Seriously, I can’t get enough of it. I cherish the little moments that I sit and read with my kiddos and the tiny blessings God grants me each day. However, I did not always feel this way. I was the mother who vowed that the earth would come crashing down before I would ever homeschool my children. There was no way we’d all survive if I homeschooled. I didn’t have the patience.
It’s quite hilarious when I think back on my thoughts. I, the woman who could teach (and manage) a classroom of 28 five-year-olds by herself, did not feel equipped to teach my own (one) daughter. When I made the decision to homeschool, I embraced the new adventure. And then quickly learned that homeschooling is not school at home. It’s so much more. At the end of last year, I evaluated myself and our homeschool and set out to make some changes that would revolutionize our homeschool. Not all homeschools (because each one is unique), just ours.
I Stopped Obsessing About Getting It Done
As most teachers can attest to, I tried to get “everything” done in our homeschool. I began the year with lofty expectations of accomplishing each curriculum page and working my way getting it all done each day. Ha! Was I surprised when it didn’t happen. At first, I felt stressed, guilty, and underqualified. So, I set aside time to re-evaluate.
Establishing My “Why”
When the second half of the year arrived, I started analyzing my “why” behind each thing I did. Was everything I was trying so hard to accomplish even necessary? Or more importantly, purposeful? So, I stopped doing everything. I chose the things that were most important and everything else fell into place.
I Spent More Time Reflecting
I believe it’s so important to spend time reflecting each day. Taking the time to think about what went well during the day helps me think about what I can do to make it happen again. On the other side, reflecting also lets me see the areas I need to improve. I now spend more time reflecting on my personal life and ways to draw closer to God.
I Committed To Daily Prayer
This was the most important thing for me. I came to the realization that I can do nothing apart from God’s strength. By committing each day to prayer and reading His Word, it brought more peace and calmness into our homeschool and emptied our days of anxiety and worry.
I Purposed To Rest
Ah, rest. For the longest time, I defined rest as sleep. Imagine my surprise when I learned that rest is so much more. Rest is a practice. For me, learning to rest is a hard thing. I want to do all the thing and do them well. But, I realized that I can’t do anything without the rest to refuel me so I can fill my “basket” and give the best I can to God and my family.
So now, I actually take “teacher work days” like other schools do. This usually consists of attending an online homemaking conference or homeschool conference for a couple of days. It reminds me of my purpose in homeschooling.
Need more inspiration on slowing down? Read this post on how to begin.
I Realized Who I”m Working For
(Warning: confession moments ahead) I spent many years working for administrators, parents, other teachers, friends, and family. By nature, I love words of affirmation that solidify I’ve accomplished something and done it well. I think many women are like that.
When I left the workplace to stay home, I realized I was working for my family from sunup to sundown and quickly discovered the days were not what I intended. The work was harder, longer, and there were more tears (usually from me).
I realized that I needed to hear ‘Well done” from God. Not my family, friends, or anyone else. Just God. When I realized that, I was able to slow down each day and create a calmer atmosphere in our home and our homeschool.
Whether you homeschool or not, what changes are you wanting to make in your home? I’d love to hear about them!