Dear friends, today I had a comment left on my blog with the following question:
I am considering homeschooling my two children (currently 3 and 1). I have ONE Huge concern. It is “can I do it all”? How to you have the energy to keep house, make meals, care for children, and teach? How do you do it? I want to homeschool SO Badly but, I am afraid that I will be drained… Give me some insights…Thanks in advance
First of all, I want to say that if any of my other readers would like to chime in with their answers to this question, PLEASE feel free to do so in the comment section! I would love to have some of your answers to this question and come back and put them all into one big blog entry!
Ok…on to the question. How do I do it all?
First and foremost, I had to LET GO of the idea of “doing it all!!” Seriously, this can be the MOST important thing you will do as a homeschooling and stay-at-home mom. Most of us (I would almost say all!) will admit that we do NOT ever get it all done. Some days I struggle with this, some days I am at peace with it.
Some days, homeschooling goes really well, but the house didn’t get picked up. Some days, I focus on deep cleaning one room and we don’t get much homeschooling in. I find that for me personally, my house suffers more often than the homeschooling, but each family is different!
My tips for homeschooling moms would include:
*Take time daily to “cool down.” Even if your kids are past nap stage, have a “quiet time.” This is my sanity saver! Sometimes I actually lay down and rest, some days I do my quiet time during this time, some days I just veg and read blogs to relax. The point is, we need some “down” time.
*Take time to get out of the house – just you. Sometimes going to walmart by myself is a treat! HA! Weekly or even monthly, try to get out either with a few friends or just head to the bookstore by yourself and spend a few hours out of the “chaos.”
*Meal plan! Do as much as you can AHEAD of time in the kitchen! I know moms who do monthly freezer meals…take 1 Saturday (or another day) and make 4 of 1 meal, and put them in the freezer, etc. Have a list of meals for each week…and stick to it! This helps eliminate the frustrations of getting through a long day only to wonder what in the world is for supper. Grocery shop according to your meal plan. One other thing about meals…keep them as simple as you can! (unless your husband and you have agreed to something different.) If at all possible, just find meals your family loves that are not difficult and time consuming in the kitchen!
*Accept HELP! From your husband, from your mom, from your mother-in-law, from your sister. If anyone offers to help you – do not be too proud to accept that help! I am sooooo blessed to have a husband who helps around the house AND a mom who comes over weekly to help me out. She lets me get out of the house every Monday afternoon. While I am gone running errands, she watches/plays with the kids and has laundry going the whole time!! (I know, I am spoiled!) I also want to add here that I know of moms who use a mother’s helper! I had one also at one time! Fabulous!! Look around your church or homeschool co-op and find a teenage girl that could come over 1x per week and either watch the kids while you clean or keep the kids while you run errands, etc.
*I should have listed this one first – but spend time with God and in His word…daily. This for me can really be a day breaker. I have noticed how quickly my attitude goes down the drain when I don’t have that time in the Word. I struggle with frustration and irritability with my kids on a daily basis. But I have noticed that on the days where I have time with God (and enough sleep, too) that I’m leaning on God more and He is right there helping me every step of the way. He would be there regardless of my time with Him, BUT, when I make that priority of spending time with Him, I am so much more focused on Him. I do not always get to this first thing in the morning. Alot of times I really, really enjoy having my kids rest time as my quiet time with the Lord. I just need that “recharging” in the afternoons and love spending that time in the Word. And, to be honest, I know this sounds cliche…but I really, really think that through homeschooling, God has changed ME, He is working on ME. Yes, I homeschool for my kids…but through it, God is giving me more patience, He is showing me more of Himself and He is reminding me daily that I can NOT do this on my own and I so desperately need Him. Homeschooling has been so good for my sanctification!! 🙂
*I mentioned this earlier, but get enough sleep! This is very important! May sound silly and not very important, but for me personally, when I don’t have enough sleep, my attitude goes down the drain!
*Remember that it won’t be easy. This is another one that sounds kind of silly. But sometimes I think I am surprised by how hard life is! Why, I don’t know? God tells us there will be trials in this world. He uses those times to draw us to Himself. Well, homeschooling fits in with that perfectly. I have such struggles (daily! multiple times a day!) with my oldest daughter. I have cried, prayed, screamed, prayed…you get the point. Over and over again, though, God has shown ME where He is at work in ME. And I trust Him.
*Preschoolers (and babies) add a different dimension to homeschooling too. We can’t expect to have babies, toddlers and preschoolers in our home and have a perfectly clean/straight home all the time! I mean, we live here and we are HERE all day unlike those that go to work all day. We really and truly LIVE in our homes. There will be messes. There will be interruptions. But, those are fleeting. It is a season. Try as hard as you can to cherish the moments. (I’m preaching to myself here!) Remember they won’t always be following you around the house crying and screaming to be held! 🙂
*Take care of your health! This for me is very timely. Ask me again in a few months how this is going, but I have been exercising regularly for a short period of time now and cannot believe how good I feel. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I felt this good. My attitude is better, I have more patience and I just feel better all around. I hope I can keep up this motivation because I want to keep this up!
*Remember what is most important. A few years ago, I read about a homeschool mom who had decided for herself that if she and her kids ONLY got through their morning Bible time, that they had gotten through the most important part of the day! If nothing else gets accomplished in my day, I have spent time praying with my kids and reading/discussing God’s word with them. This is why I start everyday with prayer and Scripture memory work, Bible reading time. Our time together is far from perfect, but if nothing else, we are doing what is “best.” We are putting God’s word into our hearts and praying together. Think about what is most important for you concerning homeschooling…and remember that as a focus and goal. Don’t lose what is most important in the details of a busy life!
As I close, I want to share a few scriptures with you that have encouraged me. Some days I really do struggle with not being able to get it all done. Those things I listed above are NOT things that I have perfected in my own life. It is a journey. And thankfully, we have a God who brings us comfort and encouragement along the way if we will just turn to Him!
“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, most gladly will I boast in my infirmities (weaknesses) that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor. 12:9-12
“…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Phil. 2:13
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:12-14
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Col. 3:1-2
Dear friends, today I had a comment left on my blog with the following question: