How to Reduce the Stress of Homeschooling as a Christian
Homeschooling your children is really quite simple and pleasurable. But many women seem to miss out on its simplicity and pleasure because they are all wrapped up in stress and self doubt. This How-to may help some homeschoolers free themselves of stress and self doubt.
(The author would love for you to contribute your ideas on How to homeschool with more confidence and less stress, please add them to this article.)
1. Determine why you homeschool or teach at home. Write this down. Everytime you think of a new reason why you are homeschooling make a note of it. This will help you remember all the benefits of homeschooling through the frustrating times.
2. Review what you have taught in your homeschool over the last week, month or year. As you list what you have taught you will find that you understand allot more about your homeschool and how it functions. You will be reminded of what works well in your homeschool. What your kids are interested in. All the many success you have had in your homeschool. Almost nothing can make you feel as good as a list of good things you have taught in your homeschool. You will be glad you reviewed your success.
3. Download Task Master http://www.qsoftworld.com/taskmaster/ or use some other method to keep track of your to-do lists. Write down all the tasks you should do/want to get done. You may find that this alone relieves some guilt and stress. After you have those nagging tasks written down, walking past evidence of unfinished tasks is easier. Because now, you can say, “I have a plan for that task and I will get to it when it is the best time”.
4. Establish a habit. Pick one thing you want to do (not what you think you should do; wants motivate much more than shoulds). Consistently do this one thing for one month. Don’t overwhelm yourself, pick one small thing. Master one thing at a time. When your first habit is mastered pick a new habit. Keep a list of habits you have mastered “Where success is measured success improves.”
5. Relieve external pressure. Strive not to take offense from your many relatives and family that express doubt and concern. Talk to them in their language, do not try to convince them of your philosophy if it is different. If you have more critical relations go out of your way to tell them the good things you are doing in your homeschool. This should be easier now that you have written down all the successes you have had in your homeschool. This is not bragging this is addressing their concerns in a positive way. Your brainstormed list of homeschool successes should assist you with this. Do not bring your critical relations into your confidence or they will feel they know more or are close enough to the situation to evaluate your homeschool and it success even more.
6. Keep your stress level in check. Good stress motivates you while bad stress demotivates you. Read more here http://www.jhu.edu/~hr1/fasap/stress/index.html and here http://www.jhu.edu/~hr1/fasap/stress/slide14.html
7. Take time for you. Now that you homeschool, you have less personal time. Plan in some kind of personal time, weekly is wonderful. Take a long relaxing bath. Send the kids to their friends house. Work out an exchange with another mother, where you take turns giving eachother a break. Plan a weekly or monthly visit for the kids to go to grandmas so you can have a break.
8. Network with other homeschooling families. Homeschooling is growing so fast that most major cities have many different homeschooling activities your family can participate in. find an activity your kids like and take a break chatting with other homeschooling mothers while your kids enjoy their activity.
9. Have confidence. The Lord has entrusted these children with you. They are your stewardship. Because he has called you to this work he has given you the divine gift of inspiration for your kids. If you turn to him he will guide and direct you in this important stewardship. The Lord’s ways are not our ways. If coloring outside of the lines is what he wants you to do, then do it with confidence, be the salt of the earth.
* Keep your focus simple. You have time on your hands. Every month you will get better at homeschooling. Every year you will get better at homeschooling.
* Bring your spouse in line. Ask him to tell you what he would like to see happen in your homeschool. Listen openly to his ideas. Help him see how he has talents that will add to the homeschooling environment. If you have a husband who is critical of homeschooling it can be a burden that is difficult to bear. Help relieve this stress by asking him pick one thing for the families homeschool to work on.(I say families because that keeps him involved). Most likely he will describe a talent he has and would like the children to have. If this is the case plan a method to help the children gain this talent also. When put in this light your husband is essential to the process. If he wants you to improve in some way talk about it. Many times it helps to narrow down your husbands concerns to one item of importance. Strive to improve in this one area. This is a team effort, ask the whole family to work together to reach this new goal. Express to your husband that this is a process. It is best to start with one small thing and build on that then to try to be an instant homeschooling expert.
* Your husband may want to make sweeping changes to your homeschool and call it one item. If you strive do fulfill his sweeping ideal you will end up frustrated. Sustainable growth happens slowly one habit at a time. Work on small obtainable goals that motivate you. The more you are excited about your goal the more successful you will be.