Do you crave a more balanced feeling in your role as homeschool mom?
Are you having a hard time keeping up with your multitude of responsibilities? Are you wanting to do your best job teaching your kids but you feel pulled in so many different directions? I understand, I’ve been in your shoes; and they are mighty big shoes to fill at that ?!
Over the years of teaching my four sons in different grade levels:
I was also working as a registered nurse,
doing service work through my local church,
leading weekly “mom groups”,
learning to homestead through keeping a large garden and raising livestock,
being the go-to girl for help with health concerns (to the point of being trusted to provide hospice care over the years in our home for 3 precious family members),
all while trying to be a good wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend.
It’s enough to leave you feeling completely drained!
BURNOUT is exactly what I needed to avoid in order to craft a life worth living.
What’s The Answer?
I want to give you my top three ways to do just that; to craft a life worth living that will bring fulfillment and joy to your family as well?. I’m not saying it’s always going to be smooth sailing. Yes, there will be a learning curve, some adjusting and some sweat equity put into achieving your goal of a balanced life…but, oh the rewards are so very sweet!
Listen in as I share the top three ways you can avoid burn out, while bringing balance to you and your family’s homeschool life?.
Hey there everybody, Gina here with Help for Homeschoolers.
Today, I wanna talk to you about something that is so common to moms in homeschooling, and that’s burn out and overwhelm.
What You’ll Get
Well, listen in because in this video, I’m gonna give you…
My top three tips, tricks, hacks, whatever you wanna call them, that are gonna help you as a mom, that’s gonna help your family to run more smoothly, and you’re going to find more enjoyment in your journey as a homeschooler.
Because it’s not a sprint. Okay, this is a journey, not a sprint, but a journey, and I don’t want you to get burned out, I don’t want you to get overwhelmed, so listen in as I share with you.
Alright, ready for tip number one?
How many times have you heard this question, “what’s for dinner?”, and you just think, Oh my gracious, I still have to make dinner, I’m trying to be miss amazing mom, I’m starting this homeschool journey or… I’ve been at it for a while, I’m kinda getting tired.
Also, maybe you’re balancing an outside the home job or your telecommuting, maybe you’ve got little toddlers or a baby, maybe you’re caring for older relatives, maybe you’re doing all of that, and just the thought of having to plan and prepare dinner… It’s just one more thing!
Okay, well, here’s the good news, here’s the exciting part. Part of the beauty of homeschool is teaching your kids life skills, one of those life skills every day… we eat, so you’re going to weave this into curriculum, so this can be science, it can be Culinary Arts, it can be home economics, it can be simply cooking class, whatever you wanna call it, you can Google different names for it. But those are some of the classes that I had for my kids. When I had my end of year review, I would show them how we planned it out, so on a piece of paper at the beginning of the week, we’re gonna plan out what we’re gonna have, so we’re gonna plan five or six nights worth of meals, and…
I wanna tell you as a BONUS, below this video, you’re gonna find a link to where I’m gonna give you a sample of what we had for five nights of meals, and … I’m gonna give you a recipe for one of our family favorites.
Alright, so you’re gonna take notes, they’re gonna write down, you’re gonna plan what you need, and then you can choose what ingredients you need, you can eat seasonally, which is really healthy for the kids too.
You can learn about what fruit, what vegetables are in season, and you can gear it around that. Okay, and then also you’re going to prep with them, so once you’ve got your five or six nights worth of meals, you’ve written them down…
I love to use a grocery app, it’s called Instacart, so I’ll just do my shopping on there and it’s delivered right to the door because we’re already busy enough, so let’s be okay with using the shortcuts that we can.
Alright, and then once we get our groceries… So then each day we’re gonna prep, and I don’t like to prep at like five or six pm, it is such a beautiful blessing soon after lunch, you take that time to do a cooking class and that’s when you’re gonna prep for that evening’s meal, and then they’re actually gonna cook it with you, so this is gonna be age-appropriate, but don’t make the mistake of you standing in the kitchen doing all the work of cooking and prepping and things like that while they’re in the other room and they’re doing computer work, or they’re on their device or they’re just playing.
That’s fun and everything, but how about make this part of your curriculum. This is what I always did. And how many of you wish, like me included, that when you got married, you knew how to plan and prep and cook… I mean they made a joke that I used to be able to burn water, okay, don’t you want more for your kids, so this is a major, major hack, don’t just be the only one in the kitchen by yourself, get your kids involved, age-appropriate tasks, they’re gonna enjoy it.
Sometimes I would even be like, “Alright guys, you pick out the meal for tonight and you all work together to cook it, Now , I wouldn’t start that way, that’s down the line. But that’s the beauty, they will get to the point where they can make meals all by themselves and you’re gonna enjoy it, it’s gonna make you so you’re not burned out, you’re gonna get dinner prepped and ready to cook earlier in the afternoon, it’s gonna count for your homeschooling, the kids are not gonna have that, “I’m bored”. Your household is gonna run so much more smoothly.
Okay, here comes tip number two.
I think this is one of the big reasons that people fuss about their kids being home, because they feel like all they do is make mess, which means all you had to do is clean up more mess.
Okay, it’s almost like a pet peeve of mine, about people complaining, the kids are home … Are you kidding? So I have trained my boys to do chores alongside me to the point that now that they’re going off and they’re working out off the farm or just going away for the day, or if they go away with friends for a weekend or something that I miss them, because I’m like, Oh, shoot, now I have to do the dishes.
This is HUGE
So alright, let me explain, one of the huge tips, one of the best ways to prevent burn out for you as a mom is to let your children invest in the home with you through working with you to keep the house in a good running order.
So from the time my guys were little, they knew that they had a vested interest in our home, that they were part of making our home run well, each morning when they got up, there is a pattern that we get our chores done first, so what does that look like…
How does that look?
So for my boys, maybe one of them is assigned to the living room and the sitting room, so they’re gonna go around, they’re gonna pick up magazines that were left out overnight or books or socks or pillows that were thrown on the floor, maybe another one’s in the kitchen, he’s unloading and reloading the dishwasher, another one, they might be vacuuming, ’cause I have four boys and four boys get messy and we live out in the country, so there’s plenty of dirt coming in and out of the house, there’s lots of things for your kids to do. These aren’t weekly cleaning chores. I’m talking about every day chores, the chores of making their bed, of wiping the counters, of helping to prepare the breakfast, helping to clean up after breakfast. So for us, we would write it down on a piece of paper, and it was on the refrigerator, everybody knew what they had to do, and that pattern… It actually helps your kids.
How It’s A Blessing
I find that when we don’t have a schedule that they kinda get a little bit fussier and they start to complain and then they start to argue and fight with one another, but when there is a healthy pattern… And here’s the beauty of homeschooling, when the world feels like things don’t make sense, when things are changing on the outside, when this headline you hear about it, or this new restriction you hear about… And you’re just like, When is it gonna go back to normal? This is one way where you can make your home a haven and you can create normalcy through a daily pattern of living that you can count on the stability; okay, we wake up, we do chores, we have breakfast together, we get our school started. So that’s beautiful. I find my boys actually like the pattern and it’s fun to have vacation time, but they actually seem to function better and they feel happy and more contented when there’s a pattern for their day.
So When Do You Start?
You start as soon as your child can help, so if you have a little toddler and maybe it’s as simple as they’re gonna pick up the one toy that they were playing with, and even if they’re crawling their little toy and you’re helping them crawl and put it in the basket, you’re not overworking the little, the little one, but you’re showing them that they’ve played with a toy and you’re gonna help them put it back in the basket once a day or a couple of times a day. They’re gonna clean up their toys.
Don’t make the Mistake of Waiting
Because with your kids, if you’re waiting till they’re 10, 11, 12, until you think they can handle doing dishes or vacuuming or steam mopping, things like that, if you wait till then and try to get them to help you, then they’re gonna look at you like you have two heads. Alright, you don’t wait till they’re older to get them involved, you start from the time they’re young, that they have a valuable place in your home, that we contribute to the family, that every day we have chores that we do before we get our school day started and then we also have, I have what we call after lunch chores, so we’re also cleaning up in the mid-afternoon, so that way there’s a good flow to the day, it’s not just mom doing everything, the kids are getting involved, the kids are taking pride in their home and you’ll see that too.
What You Can Look Forward To
Like right now, one of my sons is out repainting a swing because he wants our home to look nice, and he’s taking pride in our home, taking pride for when people come over, and you’ll see this is beautifully instilling character into your children, and that’s what you wanna embrace. You wanna teach them good work ethics, that they’re not just little free loaders, that they don’t get something for nothing, that they’re a valuable member.
A Practical Pointer
Another thing I wanna point out is, don’t just say, Okay, go sweep the floor.
Here’s what I would do, I would work alongside my kid, so if I said, Billy, I want you to go sweep the floor, maybe I’m gonna go with them and I’m gonna help. I’m gonna be like, Alright, well, I want you to start at the corners and let’s work our way towards the center, and then we’re gonna get a dust pan and this is the best way to do it, and you’re not just doing it. Yes, you can do it more quickly and more easily if they weren’t helping you, but that’s not your goal, your goal is to instill in them the work ethic and the character of starting and finishing a job, and this isn’t a time to get mad at them that they didn’t do it perfect. You’re trying to get them to understand that they have a place in your home. And perfect is not better, but as they get older, as year after year, as they’re contributing to the family.
Like I said before… When my boys go off to work during the day, I’m like, Oh man, I have to unload and reload the dishwasher because I kind of worked myself out of different jobs, but when they’re gone, then I’m doing all the jobs myself, so just be encouraged. You will find that you love, love, love this part of character development!
Tip number three, Fridays are for FUN!
So let me explain this, you as a mom are doing so great, you’re investing in your kids, you’re learning how to teach them according to what really lights them up, you’re learning what real homeschooling is about, investing in their heart, about creating character within your children, and… Yes, you’re teaching them valuable skills to be able to express themselves and to function well in the world, but Fridays… Fridays are a fun day. It’s kind of like another way to grab your sanity, so everyone feels like on Friday…well, it’s almost like, Well done! We had another great week of homeschooling!
Tell Me More
Now, let me explain what I’m talking about. When I say Fridays are for fun, they’re for flexibility, they’re for catching up on things, now, how does that look in a day…
Alright, so every Friday, same thing, you’re getting up, you’re doing your chores, then you’re gonna have breakfast together and you’ll clean up after breakfast.
As a family, we had a devotion. Then if there is something that you really… You fell behind in math or you fell behind in some language, go ahead, you can do an hour of catch-up work, and so in order to be able to do this on Fridays, on Wednesday and Thursday, maybe we do one and a half lessons of math and one and a half lessons of language, on both Wednesday and Thursday, so that on Friday… Friday, we had a lot more flexibility and we’re able to build in some fun, because we don’t want the weekend to be all about cleaning and all about catching up from just being… So focused on school to where there isn’t any fun left.
So Fridays is your day to do that. Friday, so let me go backwards again, you’re gonna wake up, you’re gonna do your chores, then you’re gonna have breakfast time.
For us, we would have devotions, and maybe if we needed to, we had an extra lesson of math or an extra lesson of language, and then we jumped into a way for mom to have a little more time.
Because at our home, we’ll have grandparents that come over on the weekend or something, and so we’re gonna go and we’re gonna do some weekly cleaning, and maybe that’s like cleaning the toilets or steam mopping the kitchen floor, maybe it’s windexing the front door or the windows, whatever got a lot of fingerprints or places where your dogs mushed his little nose up onto the window.
Those kind of things that make you feel refreshed, that your home isn’t falling apart, just because you’ve started this thing called homeschooling.
Why You’ll Love Fridays
You feel better, it brings balance and sanity. I love Fridays because we did that weekly cleaning, we caught up, we wrapped up school.
We said, Alright, great job, we had another good week of school. Then we’d have our flexible time. In the afternoon, this is where we really enjoyed ourselves.
Afternoons on Friday is when we would do field trips, so maybe we’re… I’m not sure now in this world where there’s so many different restrictions, so maybe for us now, it would look like we go and take a walk at some nature trails.
What We Just Did
Like me and my boys, my sons are all graduated as of last year now, but on Friday, we got a Starbucks coffee, and then we went to our local trail system, and we just leisurely took a pleasant walk together. It was so fun, even though we could walk around where we are, it was fun to get to go out, grab a coffee together and take a walk and just…
You really focus, you’re not looking around at things you have to get done, but you’re just focused on nature and the beauty, and it’s just refreshing time.
Or if it’s not walking weather… Let’s say it’s raining, so maybe you wanna go shopping, maybe there’s errands that you need to get done, and this is the time, Friday afternoon is when I would also do any kind of errands or shopping that I wanna do, and it can be fun shopping.
Maybe you’re going to visit an aunt that doesn’t get to go out of the home, maybe you’re going to help her.
Maybe this is your service day, maybe in the afternoon, you’re gonna go wash windows or you’re gonna go visit grandma or you’re just gonna go and be a blessing to someone.
You Get To Choose
This is the beautiful flexibility about Friday. So that every day, Monday through Friday, it doesn’t feel like the weekends are your only time to breathe. This is just another great way to build sanity and flexibility.
Can I Reassure You
And let me tell you, Monday through Thursday, you are accomplishing so much. Your children are receiving one-on-one mentoring, even with multiple children, they’re still getting so much valuable one-on-one mentoring. You are accomplishing far more than you realize…
So you don’t have to stress that if Friday afternoon is your off time, this is your time where your kids don’t feel burnt out, Mom doesn’t feel burnt out. You’re still making fun for field trips and for nature walks. In the morning you’re getting your cleaning done.
This is just some of the tricks that I use to just bring the joy into homeschooling. You don’t wanna feel like you’re always doing, doing, doing and never just enjoying the blessing, the pattern that is set up through this beautiful new journey that you started on called homeschooling.
I’m excited for you… I’m excited for you to implement this! I truly can see moms that are enjoying life again, that are not feeling stressed and burned out because they’re bringing balance. You’ve gotta have that margin, you’ve gotta have that balance.
I promise you, your kids are gonna turn out.
I promise you, by instituting times where they’re working with you, where they’re cooking with you, with times you are doing things together … you are going to create a beautiful family, I guarantee it, and I’m proud of you! I’m excited for you! Talk to you again soon.