If there is one thing I could stress to homeschoolers, or parents in general, it would be to enjoy the journey. Yes, parenting and homeschooling are highly demanding, but don't let the weightiness of importance turn this time into a burden. Here are a few easy tips to add joy back into your homeschool.
- Lighten Up - No I don't mean go on a diet, I mean lessen the school load. Before you start throwing tomatoes at me, hear me out. More doesn't always mean better. If you put too much on your child's academic plate, they aren't going to be able to digest it all. Sometimes it's better to leave them hungry for more, this gives them the opportunity to pursue interests and knowledge (just like they chase down snack foods after dinner).
- Stop Comparing - You are not Susie homemaker, or the Genius Baby Maker down the street, and your kids probably aren't Doogie Howser (google it). It's ok. I'll give you a startling revelation here....Susie homemaker shoves everything in the closet and under the bed right before you arrive at her house. And Genius Baby Maker? Well....just because her kids can spout off random facts and are fluent in Latin does not mean her kids are geniuses, it may just mean they are well programmed little robots, "Stepford Children" perhaps, (again, google it).
- Take Up Drinking - TEA y'all, I meant tea. Geez. Seriously, you would be surprised how much a pot of tea and some clearance rack cookies add to the well being of your homeschool. This little 15-30 minute little sanity break gives you and the kids an opportunity to unwind, chat and just enjoy each other's company. You'd be amazed at what you can learn about your child over a cup of tea, or cocoa, or coffee if you must.
- Get Dirty - Paint, craft, garden...do stuff that is not neat and tidy. It may seem trivial, but just allowing kids (and yourself) the liberty to do life outside the lines is so liberating. If you're a neat freak, take baby steps if you must, keep a stash of old shirts to use as smocks.
- Just Say No - This is HUGE! People will assume that "just because you're home all day" you're available at the drop of a hat. "No" is a complete sentence. You will, on occasion, run into someone who insists on an explanation to accompany "no". You do not have to indulge these people, however something like "I'm sorry, but homeschoolers are close kin to vampires and we can't be out in the sunlight" should suffice.
Linking up with 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents.