4 Tips for the Frazzled Homeschool MomJanelle Knutson
Homeschooling while trying to manage the rest of life often leaves a mom frazzled. With groceries to buy, laundry to fold, meals to prepare, and lessons to teach, a homeschool mom can easily become overwhelmed by all the balls she is trying to juggle at one time. If the first few months of homeschooling have left you feeling frazzled, don’t despair. I want to share four tips that will hopefully help any frazzled mom find relief.
1. Create Routine
All people —adult, teen, or child —are more secure when they know what to expect and what is expected of them. Creating a routine simply means that you are establishing an order of events that will carry you through your day. Families with younger children might have a simple routine that includes getting ready, doing school work, having a snack, playing outside, eating lunch, and taking a nap or having a quiet time before afternoon activities or errands.
As children get older and more hours are needed to complete school work, time slots can be added to your routine. For example, breakfast and morning chores must be done before starting school work at 8:00 am. Math and English need to be completed between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., and so forth.
A routine alleviates the anxiety that is created when everyone is trying to guess what is coming next. It provides the structure you and your kids need to have a calm and successful homeschool day.
2. Prioritize Housework
Homeschooling usually means that a lot of your time is spent educating your kids instead of attending to your home. If your long to-do list is weighing you down, take time to prioritize your housework. I don’t mean that you make housework your top priority above family time, exercise, and homeschooling. I mean that you create a list of household chores and put them in order of importance.
Use your household pet peeves as a guide. Make those irritants the tasks you try to accomplish first around your home. For example, if an unmade bed drives your husband crazy and a sink of dirty dishes affects your emotional well-being, then make those the two things you attempt to accomplish each day.
It’s okay if the rest of the housework goes unfinished for a while. You can tackle other tasks at another time. Setting aside a few days or weeks throughout the school year to catch up on housework is often easier than trying to juggle housework and homeschooling on a daily basis.
3. Let Go of Lofty Expectations
As homeschool moms, we often set ourselves up for failure with our lofty expectations. We want our homes to be perfect and our children to be the brightest. We spend hours researching the best curriculum and planning the most educational activities only to become discouraged when our kids hate the curriculum and our house is in disarray.
You need to set aside your lofty expectations for realistic, God-given goals. Taking the time to pray, asking God for direction in setting reasonable goals for your family, your home and your homeschool.
4. Stick to the Basics
The quickest way to burn out is to take on too much. If you are frazzled, then take some time to evaluate your homeschool load. Setting aside the extras and sticking to the basics can bring a wave of relief to you and your kids. Sometimes a few weeks of lighter workload of work rejuvenates everyone to jump back in full speed. Don’t be afraid to put other subjects on hold during busy seasons of life.
Creating a routine, prioritizing your housework, letting go of lofty expectations, and sticking to the basics will hopefully help you transition from frazzled to fabulous.