I have homeschooled my son since preschool. But it was hit or miss until I found the system I would use from first grade through high school (Waldorf). I loved it so much, we did first grade again, using a Waldorf curriculum, during the summer before our next homeschooling year began.
Even all these years later, I am so grateful for homeschooling and its impact on our family. But it hasn’t always been perfect.
I was completely unprepared for moments of boredom, for times when we got to the end of the year and weren’t quite done and had to hurry to get to playing the Sesame Street version of “School’s Out for Summer.” But what I was most surprised by was how much energy it took and how hard it made to get things done.
Because I have chronic fatigue syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can leave me flattened without warning, and too sick to get the things done on my to-do list, I learned that I had to plan carefully for each homeschooling day. Sometimes, homeschooling was going to be the only big thing we accomplished.
Here are some of the things I learned to do, to deal with the energy homeschooling required…
Homeschooling: How I Fixed What Went Wrong
(1) As often as possible, we shopped for groceries on the weekends. And I planned meals that were as simple and easy as I could make them during the week, saving anything special I wanted to make for the weekend.
(2) We often homeschooled in our pajamas. If we knew we weren’t going anywhere that day, we kept our slippers on and I didn’t bother with hair and makeup.
(3) As a mom who worked from home, I sometimes squeezed in a little work before the homeschool day began. If I needed to write a blog post, we might start a half hour to an hour later than usual, and then I’d know it was done and not have it hanging over my head, demanding time I didn’t have, while we were homeschooling.
(4) If we were getting together with others for a homeschool gathering, we shortened our own day and did our part first. I wanted the rest of those days to be free, once we got back home.
But it took having several times where we had homeschool work waiting on us once we got back to realize that that was not the best way for us to do it. One example was ballroom dancing.
It was so much fun to get together with other homeschoolers once a week for a class my son loved. But it wore me out to go and come back, so I learned to plan light on those days, and do any homeschool lessons we needed to do that day before we left for the class.
(5) Waldorf homeschooling always began with something called circle time. And it was easy to pair that with a sort of family quiet time. But I learned that I would need to have my own before the day began, and before my son got up for the day, because after doing circle time, I often didn’t get around to anything else spiritual for the rest of the day.
Time wise, if I wanted to have my own quiet time, I realized it had to happen first thing.
If you’re a homeschool mom like me, I’d love to know in the comments if there were things you felt unprepared for as your homeschooling journey began. How did you resolve them?
If you still struggle with your homeschooling routine, with finding enough time for everything that needs to be done, or with mom time in general, there is a free eBook that may help. Click the link below to find out more...
See you next time!