Even though we are year round homeschoolers, I still try to start each new homeschool year in September. For me it is important that I take time during the summer to prepare myself for the new homeschool year ahead. In fact, I believe that it is essential for every homeschool mom to prepare for each new homeschool year.
Homeschool moms wear many hats and balance lots of plates all year long. Each new homeschool year provides a new beginning and fresh opportunities for the entire family to enjoy. Yet, if a homeschool mom does not take time to prepare her mind, body and heart, then she will likely find herself struggling with burn out and/or depression throughout the new homeschool year. I know this to be true because for years I pushed myself from one homeschool year to the next, pouring my heart and energy into everything from researching and shopping, to organizing, planning and teaching. Then I would simply repeat the process without taking care of my mental, spiritual and emotional health. Not only was this unhealthy for me, but it also greatly affected my marriage, children and our homeschool.
Preparing your mind for a new homeschool year requires that you…
- Let go of last year’s frustrations and struggles
This is essential to your homeschool because both you and your children have learned and grown over the last year. Do not allow the past to affect the present!
- Accept that there is no perfect homeschool or homeschool year
There will be frustrating homeschool days and exhausting days this year, just like there was least year. Do not allow the desire for perfection to overcome you.
- Spend time in prayer
The state of your mind depends on your focus. When preparing for a new homeschool year you must ask God to clear your mind, give you focus and direct your homeschool preparations. Do not neglect this “simple” step, you need Him and His direction for your homeschool.
Preparing your body for a new homeschool year requires…
- Get on a consistent sleep schedule
Everyone requires a different amount of sleep to be truly rested. Take time to figure out how many hours of sleep you need every night, then determine what your normal wake up time is or what it needs to be. Finally, get to bed in plenty of time to sleep the total hours that your body needs. Do not stay up late frequently just to get a bit of quiet time, be sure to balance these two well.
- Incorporate a quiet time into your homeschool days
Your entire family needs a bit of quiet each day and as a homeschool mom you need it even more! While it may not seem like an educational part of your homeschool day, it can be depending on what you and your children do with this time. Do not cut this step out of your preparations, it will breathe new energy into you and your kids’ days!
- Find time for you
Your days will be full of mental, emotional and physical activities that will push you hard. It is important that you find time for you to do things that you enjoy. Whether you go to the gym once or twice a week, have dinner of coffee with friends once a month of go to the movies alone once in a while, you need to have some you time. Do not neglect adding this to your new homeschool year preparations, your body needs enjoyable down time.
Preparing your heart for a new homeschool year requires the following…
- Remember that your children will not always like school
Homeschool moms pour everything into their children’s education and often when kids don’t like school homeschool moms blame themselves. This is simply not true, school is work and few kids enjoy it. Your non-school fan kids are normal and you are doing a great job! Do not believe the lie that says your kids not liking to do school is your fault.
- Accept that your kids will say things that they don’t mean
During frustrating homeschool days your kids may want to hop on the next schoolbus heading away from home, they may blame homeschooling for making them dislike school or you might be the recipient of hurtful, unkind words because you’ve chosen to homeschool. Do not allow these words to take root in your heart, we all say things that we don’t mean from time to time…our kids are no exception to this truth.
- Know that it is ok to cry
There will be overwhelming, exhausting days during your homeschool journey and you’ll feel like you could just sit down and cry. Do it. Crying will help you clear your head and emotions. Keeping it all bottled up inside will only lead to frustration and anger. The shower is where I go to cry because no one is there to ask me what is wrong. Do not hold back the tears, crying is good for you and your kids need to see your feelings too!
Taking time to prepare your mind, body and heart for a new homeschool year is essential. Homeschool moms can’t just bounce from one year to the next without preparing themselves for what lies ahead. We must take time to ensure that we are ready mentally, emotionally and physically for a new homeschool year in order for it be successful!
How do you prepare for a new homeschool year?