As a homeschool mom, some days I feel like all I get done is playing teacher. Being a mom is part of my job, of course, but playing the dual role isn't always easy. At the end of the day I, probably like you, have regrets.
Our children are with us everyday yet, how often do we connect or encourage? How often do we put down the curriculum, stop planning field trips, and just be mom?
Our children see the best and worst in us; they get the brunt of our bad days and the joy of our good days. They spend more time with us than our friends, family, or spouse. Yet how often do we take the time to encourage them as children, as individuals, not just as our students?
I want to encourage my kids; I want to be intimately involved in their lives and build positive memories. I am sure you do too! Here are some ways we can choose to encourage our children as mom and not merely as teacher!
1. Look Them in the Eye
When they are speaking to you, or you are speaking to them look them in the eye and really acknowledge what they are saying. Let them know that what they are telling you is important by providing your undivided attention.
2. Say Yes
"Mommy, will you read to me?" was a question I got a lot when my girls were younger. Sometimes I said yes, but more often than not I said no.
Now, they both read to themselves, and I don't hear them ask me to read to them nearly as often. I regret that I didn't say yes to reading aloud to them. So, when my youngest brings a book to me, I try to stop and read to him.
My middle child is slowly asking me less and less frequently to listen to her read aloud. So, when she asks, I try to make an effort to stop what I'm doing and listen to what she is reading. We still have our family read-alouds that are part of school. But I'm talking about the kids’ books that I would get so sick of reading over and over again. I wish I could go back; I would read them more often as mom and not save all my reading time for my homeschool mom role.
Are they kicking a ball around in the back yard? Go, play with them! Building with blocks or LEGOs? Join them!? Playing a game on the Wii? Ask if you can play too!
Play isn’t always my strong suit, but again it is something I wish I had done more of. If your kids are still young, stop and play.
This interaction is a real encouragement to our kids. Also, if you have younger ones, make the time to play with them for a bit before homeschooling the older ones. This one-on-one engagement will help them feel a less left out when you start your school day.
When you’ve had a hard homeschool day, neither you nor your kids can break out of school. Switching gears out of teacher mode is difficult, but remember you are a mom first. Choose to encourage your kids. Look them in the eye even though you are busy. Say yes one more time, and make the time to play. This encouragement outside of school is something you and your children will remember for a lifetime!
About the Author
Misty Bailey is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 5 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.