Ten Tips on Reducing Homeschool Stress
Homeschooling can be stressful. I know that when I started homeschooling I thought “I have so much to do now, how am I going to manage this too?” It does not matter if you are homeschooling one or many, you still deal with stress.
Most of our stress comes from trying to do too much. We set very high expectations for ourselves and our children and don’t allow enough flexibility into our lives. Here are some tips that may help you in your daily walk:
1. Slow down. We are reaching for an imaginary bar that does not exist. Your children are learning and they are in a safe and happy home. You are doing a good job.
2. Get Organized. This weekend I did some spring cleaning in my office and my home. The clutter and not knowing where anything is was causing stress. Since doing this I walk through my home and can sit at my desk without feeling anxious about my surroundings.
3. Cut back on extracurricular activities. As homeschooling parents, we want to make sure that our children are happy, well-rounded individuals. We seek opportunities for them to be with their peers. However, we are not obligated to sign them up for every class that comes along. Not only are you tired, but chances are the kids are too.
4. Make a list. List your priorities instead of trying to do everything at once. Identify the most important goals to meet that day and concentrate on that. Do not overwhelm yourself with in between stuff.
5. Have a back up plan. We work from home. Therefore, things happen that interfere with our homeschool utopia. Cars and appliances break down, repair people come in our homes, and we get sick just like the kids. For these occasions have a plan. Whether it is educational computer games, videos, or reading books. Let the children have self-directed learning. This way you are not stressed out that your children have missed a day of school because of the interruption.
6. Exercise. This is important for us and our children. Walk daily, ride bikes do something to be active. I know that with our busy lives it is hard to find the time. However, not only is it good for us physically but mentally it will improve our outlook.
7. Simplify, Simplify, More. Simpler meals, simpler ways to houseclean, more play.
8. Ask your kids for ideas. Your children can give you a totally different perspective on things. Ask them for ideas on simplifying your daily routine. You may be surprised!
9. Seek support. Often it seems like we are on this journey alone and no one else feels like we do. Not true. Seek support from other homeschool families whether it be a local group or right here at our Homeschool Forum on Families.com. We are here to encourage each other and offer advice and support.
10. Daily Prayer. Someone suggested this to me and this is really the most important one. With our daily busy lives, sometimes we just cannot find the time or the energy to really sit down and pray. These are the days that we are the most overwhelmed. Take the time. This is my grandmother’s favorite scripture “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me Philippians 4:13.” Hand over all of your anxieties and remember his faithfulness. Ask for his blessings on your home and seek his direction. Your days will be much more confident and directed when you remember this important last step.