We are in our 3rd year of homeschooling this year - I've got an 8 year old, twin 6 year olds...and a 1 year old! While homeschooling has been a huge blessing, it definitely doesn't come without challenges and tests to my sanity. It's a full-time job with not many breaks, sick days, or paid vacations.
But don't let that scare you! As a type-A personality, there are definitely lessons I've learned even in my 3 short years. I've listed out a few tips below to help you on those rough days. Most importantly, know that all the pressure is worth it - you're doing a great job, homeschool mama!
Tip #1: Prep the night before.
You hear this with everything, but it is sooo helpful to prep the night before as much as possible.
I find that on the days I can commit to this, I have a much more level-head and get so much more accomplished throughout the day.
One of the best things I can do the night before is make sure all the dishes are done - the sink is clean, counters are decluttered, etc. It is so nice to wake up to a clean kitchen ready to start the day!
Finally before heading to bed, a quick check of the next day's schedule is a must, and jotting down any reminders on our kitchen whiteboard (to get them out of my brain) is also helpful.
Tip #2: Begin with the Bible.
This doesn't have to be too complicated - it certainly could mean beginning the day with your Bible lessons or a family devotion, or it can simply mean beginning the day in prayer.
We love taking turns and having each member of the family lead prayer each morning.
When you begin the day by focusing on the Word of God, it can do wonders for your sanity!
Tip #3: Rise early.
This one has been so difficult for me this school year as we have had a little one toddling around (and I am very sleep deprived most nights still!), but it's really important. And when I don't make an effort to get enough sleep and wake up at a decent hour, I find our entire day can suffer.
Waking up before your kiddos so you can have a quick cup of coffee (grab one of our fun mugs for this!), or get in your workout or personal time with the Lord can set a great tone for the day.
Tip #4: Chores and routines.
This tip might not be for you, but I am a person who thrives on routines. You don't have to have a strict schedule ruled by times, but, having an outline of what needs to get done (and in some sort of order) on a typical day can be very helpful.
Creating a good chore routine or checklist for the kids and having it in the schedule is also great. It helps teach responsibility and how to help out around the house...and it helps YOUR sanity because you have that extra help!
(This can backfire if you have littles that might not do chores *perfectly*...give them lots of grace and praise for helping with what they can! Little ones are often excited to help out. I am learning a lot personally in the process of our kids learning how to do chores regarding giving up some control!).
Tip #5: Meal prep.
Here is a product I love to use for our weekly meal planning: Bloom Daily Planning Pad. It just hangs out on the fridge so I can easily plan and see what I am cooking during the week.
I typically use the list space on the side to list out other meal options I have ingredients for that I want to plan for in the upcoming weeks.
Whatever your method is - having a plan for mealtime is key to saving your sanity! If your kids are older, enlist their help in planning out meals, and even grocery lists and budgets.
Tip #6: Skip lessons.
One of the biggest sanity savers I learned is that it's ok to skip lessons if my kids already know the material and have demonstrated that to me - you don't have to do EVERY SINGLE THING in the curriculum you have purchased.
That can be tough for all of us type-A-ers, but trust me...it will be ok if you skip around or don't even finish curriculum all the way (especially if it's not working for you - move on!).
Tip #7: Take a break day.
This one is sort of related to #6, but if you are having a tough day or the kids are bouncing off the walls and you just need a change of pace...take a break.
I love this idea of "just because we can" days from Sarah Mackenzie at Read Aloud Revival. Fit these into your homeschool months, delight in your kids, and use an "off" day to remember why you are homeschooling in the first place.
What would you add to the list? What are your biggest sanity-saving tips as a homeschool mom?
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