I used to wake up hours before my kids. Yes, I'm serious. It was amazing!
I had time
- to plan our day
- to write
- to read
- to exercise
All that time made me a better homeschool mom.
Most days, I was on top of my game. We got stuff done. And then winter hit — it got cold and gray. Winter makes me tired. It makes me want to curl up, in my bed, with a good book. It does not make me want to put my feet to the freezing floor and do all the things.
At first, I just slept in a little bit —an extra twenty minutes here or there. But then those stretches grew longer and longer until now my kids are waking me up, forcing me to put my reluctant feet to the floor and do all the things (or, if we are being honest here, some of the things).
The end of winter is a trying time for a me as a homeschool mom. Gray skies, cold temps, kids with cabin fever, and homeschool fatigue can be a dastardly combination. Maybe your homeschool kryptonite is something different — a new baby, an extended illness, home renovations, a death of someone loved, or a big move.
How can you get back on track? How can you feel a sense of homeschool success when you can’t seem to locate your motivation?
I’d like to share a strategy that recently worked in our home. I want you to think of what you are good at. C’mon, homeschool mama, everyone is good at something!
What is the one area of homeschool that you never have to worry about? What is that one area where you are always on track and confident?
- Do you love science experiments?
- Are you a math wiz?
- Can you write fantastic stories?
- Are you awesome at reading aloud?
- Do you have a theater background?
Whatever it is that you are good at, whatever it is that makes your heart sing— do that first.
I know it seems counterintuitive to start with the one subject where you are actually on target when you feel like you are behind in everything else. But hear me out. Here's what happens when you start with what you are good at:
- You cross something off that never-ending list.
- You start the day on a positive note.
- By engaging in something you are good at, you feel more confident.
- Confidence and success can spark motivation, even when that motivation is low.
Me? Remember how I said winter makes me want to curl up with a good book? That's because I rock at reading. I never feel like I'm behind in the reading department. Earlier this winter, when the fatigue was first settling in, I used to start off with math. I felt an urgency to catch up in math... and science... and history... and writing. This resulted in power struggles, crabbiness, and tears. But when I switched things up and started with the one thing we were really good at, an amazing thing happened: we started our day happy.
That small shift was huge. It resulted in more cooperative kids. By starting off where we were ahead, we accomplished more during the day. Did we accomplish all the things? No, we didn't. But it's a start!
About the Author
Cait is a school psychologist, mom to three amazing children, and an unexpected homeschooler. She loves nature, good books, board games, strong coffee, and dancing in her kitchen. You can read about all of these things and more at My Little Poppies.