1. Get up before the children
This is an old standby for a reason. Sleep might be tempting when the alarm sounds, but you will appreciate that hour of quiet later in the day. If the kids get up at 7 a.m., rise at 6 a.m. If they get up at 8 a.m., rise at 7 a.m. You’ll have an hour of peace to plan the day, relax, and enjoy a cup of coffee before the chaos begins.
2. Stay up after the children
If getting up before the children doesn’t work for you, stay up a couple of hours after the children go to bed. You’ll have some peace and quiet to de-stress before you go to bed. Don’t start a good book though. If you’re anything like me, you’ll stay up until 3 a.m. reading.
3. Daily quiet time
Put the children, no matter what their ages, down for quiet time. Babies and toddlers need naps. Preschoolers behave better with an hour or two to relax after lunch. Elementary kids need time to curl up and read great books. Quiet study time even works for middle school and high school kids. During the quiet time, you get a chance for solo pursuits or a nap of your own.
4. Take the children to a park
This may sound odd, but by taking the children to the park to play for an hour or so, you can grab some quiet time. Don’t run and play with the children. Instead snag a bench or table where you can sit and relax. You can knit, read a book, do some work, or simply enjoy the fresh air.
5. Planned educational television
While I’m not a proponent of excessive television time, educational television shows can provide a needed break on a chaotic day. You’ll have a few minutes to enjoy a cup of tea, call a friend, or finally get some math papers graded. The children will be safely curled up in the other room. Here are a few lists of online content for various educational themes:
- 10 Virtual Tours of Art Museums Around the World
- Experience Ancient Greece with These 7 Videos
- 32 Virtual Field Trips for American History
- Explore Africa Through Streaming Video
- Ancient Egypt: Eight Movies to Stream Online
- 10 YouTube Videos for Exploring South America
6. Exchange play dates with a friend
Exchange regular play dates with a friend who also homeschools. This week the children go to your friend’s house while you get 2-3 hours to yourself. Next week, the children come to you so your friend gets some peace and quiet. This works extremely well if your friend has children the same ages as your own.
7. Leave the children with your husband
Many homeschool mothers don’t take advantage of their husband’s ability to watch the children. The children get one on one time with their dad, and you get a couple hours to yourself. It’s an awesome way to promote family relationships as well.
The most important part of getting some personal down time is following through on your plans. Get up in the morning, stay up a bit later, or head out the door by yourself without feeling a shred of guilt. You need me time to function well as homeschool mom. So remember, ignore the chaos and enjoy your personal down time.
About the Author
Sara Dennis is a homeschooling mother of 6 children ages 4 through 18. After much research into homeschooling in 2000, she and her husband fell in love with classical education and used it as the foundation for their homeschool. Sara Dennis blogs at Classically Homeschooling.