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Monday, March 23, 2015

Homeschooling isn’t Always Rainbows and Roses…

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Okay, Homeschooling can be rough sometimes, I mean lets face it…it’s not always roses and rainbows (or put in some other awesome thing that you really love and is magical).  I feel like our homeschool goes through phases; phases where things are going really good and I think to myself “We’ve got this!” and other times where I feel like I’m constantly saying (and feeling horribly guilty about it) “Would you rather just go to school?  Because I can send you!” (hoping deep inside they don’t call my bluff!)  Honestly the thought of sending them to school is gut wrenching, I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to threaten to do it either! 

I’ve really been trying to see what the pattern is, or if there is any rhyme or reason to the good v/s bad days.  I think I have found some patterns, and I wanted to share them with you.

Sleep – Getting plenty of sleep, not just the kids, but me too!  I know this can be a hard one, my littlest one is just recently sleeping through the night and I have noticed night and day difference in my attitude!  I can really see the difference now on days that I don’t happen to get enough sleep too.

Get up Early – I don’t get up at the crack of dawn (though some of my children do)…but I found that I was laying around in bed long after I woke up.  I felt like it was the ‘me’ time I needed before starting the day, but really it just led to me dragging my tail, which usually resulted in us starting late, and me stressing about getting done in time, etc..  I also realized I felt more “blah” on the days I did that.  So now I aim to be out of bed within a reasonable amount of time after actually waking (like 15mins).  I get up, get dressed, showering is a bonus!  

Protein for Breakfast – I have noticed a considerable mood change in my kids and myself after having a protein breakfast.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, but I try to work in eggs, cheese, peanut butter or Nutella into breakfast somehow.  It really makes a huge difference.  If I didn’t get motivated enough to make a protein breakfast, I give them a protein snack mid morning. 

Essential Oils – I have been using EOs for several years and always meant to get a diffuser for the school room, finally one day I put one in there!  HUGE DIFFERENCE!  I fill it up and put some citrus bliss in there (or similar) and the positive attitudes come!  Actually I notice a much bigger change in my own attitude with the oils, and my 5yo is usually positively affected as well.  I find when we are having a rough day that I look up and either I forgot to turn it on OR it ran out of water!  I also use InTune focus blend with my 8yo.  If I remember to put it on him first thing in the morning, there is a HUGE difference in how smoothly the day runs!  PMS days I really slather on the Clary Calm! 

Scriptures – We typically start the day with a prayer, and scripture study.   C does his own study and I sit and read as well while he is doing his.  Sometimes I get busy with other stuff and don’t sit down and take my scripture study…I can see the difference when I don’t!  It’s no joke!  I don’t always read a lot, nor do I even remember what I read half the time (I only get interrupted a zillion times in that 5-10mins I read)  BUT, I can feel the Lord bless me in my efforts!

Classical Music – Pandora has a great station Classical for Studying Radio. It’s great!  If I don’t use that I put some other type of classical or easy listening (without words) music on. 

Exercise – I have recently been turned onto these 7min workout apps.  Many are free and it’s been a quick, easy thing to do to reenergize myself in the afternoons!

Pick Your Battles – This one is probably the hardest one for me!  I’m trying, I’m really trying.  I am constantly re-evaluating our ‘game plan’ and changing things that I feel is not working.  I try not to push, but I feel like there are still expectations that should be met.  There is such a fine line here, it’s hard for me.  But I find if I do all else above, I have less battles to pick (if that makes sense).  The kids are always throwing me curve balls though and just when I think I have it all figured out, I have to rethink it all again. 

Now we still have some rough days, but I do find that most of those rough days we didn’t do one of the above things. Just this morning (Wednesday) I had a battle with my almost 6yo.  This week has been a rough one for him.  I noticed the EO diffuser was off…so I sent him from the room to get into a better mood (this usually helps).  I turned the diffuser on and rubbed him down with some citrus oil too.  He never did come back (usually he does).  But I did manage to get him to do some computer schooling for the day.  He is only Kinder, so I don’t stress it too much, but even then it’s hard. 

It’s hard as a homeschooling mom…I feel like there is even more responsibility on our shoulders than just being a ‘mom’.  We are responsible for their education!  We are 100% to blame or praise if they make it (or not) in this world.  As mom’s we tend to worry all the time if we are doing a good job, but as a homeschooling mom I have never worried so much or had guilt as much ever before I started ‘schooling’.  I always felt like I was one of the few moms that didn’t have ‘mom guilt’.  Well, I guess I joined the club!  I think it’s all just part of being a mom!  I try really hard to work on myself first…I find that working on myself and being a better me goes a LONG way in being with my kids!  I still have a lot of imperfections, I’m working on them. 

It makes me really uncomfortable with other mom’s put me on somewhat of a pedestal (or so it feels) when they admire my homeschooling abilities….it’s not always easy, it’s a constant struggle (though be it more so internally).  I’m not any better than any other mom…we all have our strengths and weaknesses.  I’m constantly conversing with other mom’s for their wisdom.  We all have something to bring to the table!  I hope what I have to share can help you, and I’d love to hear what works for you too!

I think my kids are really catching on to what helps the day run smoother too and do their part to help it.  We are all happier when we have good days! 

Here’s to more GOOD Days!  It really is such a blessing to be able to be home and teach our children.  I want to embrace that more and show my Father in Heaven how thankful I am for that blessing!

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