Five Ways to Press Pause and Nurture Mindfulness in Your Homeschool

Raise your hand if you want to be more present in your homeschool. Perhaps you crafted a New Year’s resolution around this idea. You may even have a sense of what this will look like, but you’re not quite sure how to get from the image in your mind to the reality of being present. I’m right there with you!

The idea of being more present brings a sense of peace and contentment to our hearts. Still, we may not know how to get to the calm and connection that we crave.

What if we reframe the idea of being more present to being more mindful?

According to the Oxford dictionary, mindful is defined as focusing one’s awareness on the present moment. So, by being mindful, we are being present. Sounds simple. But we all know that this is a perfect example of easier said than done.

What is a Mindful Homeschool?

Let’s take this idea a little further by considering the definition of mindfulness:

a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings [and] thoughts...

Whoa! I don’t know about you, but the idea of accepting my own feelings and thoughts really hits home as I consider my homeschool. My decisions as a homeschool parent are made based on my thoughts and emotions, but do I really stop to think about them? And what if, instead of trying to change them or push them away, I learn to accept them as part of the homeschool and parenting journey instead of judging and constantly evaluating them?

Sometimes, though, the busyness of teaching our curriculum—the running from subject to subject, activity to activity, task to task—can distract us from our own thoughts and emotions and, in turn, the connection we crave with our kids.

This is where mindfulness comes in, and it all starts by pressing pause. This pause looks different from family to family, person to person, but with a little experimentation, we can all find the pauses that work for us.

1. Mindfulness Through Breath

Some use a deep, eyes-closed breath to settle their senses and clear their minds. (I’ll be honest, though. I typically need several minutes of these breaths to get the job done.)

2. Mindfulness Through Music

Five Ways to Press Pause and Nurture Mindfulness in Your HomeschoolOthers find it helpful to play music. A particular song or genre of music can be your signal to pause and after repeated use of it, your mind and body will inhabit that signal and begin to relax almost automatically.

3. Mindfulness Through Silence

Oh, how we crave it! With six kids diving into various projects around the house, there is rarely a quiet moment. Slipping away into my bedroom or outside for a walk can give me a longer pause to find the stillness I need to move into a more open state of mind.

4. Mindfulness Through Movement

This is one of my favorite ways to step into mindfulness. When I feel the energy of high emotions surging through me and I’m not quite sure how to process them, I get moving. Literally.

  • I go for a run.
  • I jump on the bike in my basement.
  • I dance around the living room with my kids.

There is something about moving my body that also moves my mind into a calmer place.

5. Mindfulness Through Meditation

While each of the ideas above can be meditative, in that they encourage us to focus our awareness on the present moment, sometimes we just want a little extra push. I am definitely a newbie to meditation but have found that returning to it regularly has made me a more mindful homeschool mom. But...I still need guidance.

Thankfully, there’s an app for that! I have tried several and each one has given me the encouragement I have needed.

The idea behind each of these pauses is to encourage our minds and bodies to create a connection between the physical pause (breath, music, silence, movement, meditation) and use it as a signal to be more mindful. By playing around with different types of pauses, we can each find the ones that work for us. By practicing mindfulness, we are drawn into the present moment more often. We see our actions and the actions of our children with more clearly.

The greatest gift of mindfulness is that it allows us to be more gentle with ourselves and our children. The pauses that create mindfulness allow us to see situations for what they are and to view our own actions and the actions of our children with less judgment. This, then, allows us to make decisions with more clarity and confidence.


About the Author

Angela Awald nurturedrootsAngela Awald is a homeschooling mama to 6, certified teacher, writer, and doula. Her days brim full of learning, loving, and laundry (lots and lots of laundry)!! She believes that nurturing children (and ourselves) means helping them to see that all of life is about learning – from our mistakes, from each other, and from great books! Angela blogs at nurturedroots.net where she shares the ways she is nurturing her family and inspiration for nurturing your own.   

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