Staying Motivated while Teaching at Home
Let's keep it real.
As a former teacher, I know the struggle gets real and the lessons can become monotonous, but you still have to keep going. How can you do that before reaching the point that your head may pop off? Try these simple, easy tweaks to your routine for the perfect refresh.
Needing time to get things back in order or to simply rest for a second is completely normal and often necessary! Teacher burnout still happens when educating at home.
Constantly thinking for yourself and your child(ren) is a parent's main duty, although on autopilot, it is still tiring and difficult. Add in schedules, routines, lessons, and making lunches, there's barely room to breathe easily some days!
Can you feel when your tank is on E? How do you take time to refocus your energy?
You may have your relaxation routine down to the scent of candle you'll light before your bath is ready, but sometimes even our go-to recharge activity feels like it doesn't cut it.
Here are a few ideas to help you press reset and jump right back in to home education with a renewed outlook!
Take a day (or a few) off of learning.
One of the highlights of homeschooling is getting to determine your own schedule. When mama needs a break, there's nothing wrong with taking one! Our littles are with us for the majority of the day, making it difficult to unplug from parenting and being inside of the house or stuck in the same cycle of activities. If you're feeling the itch to change things up, taking some time off could be the perfect mix to your usual routine.
Rearrange your schedule and/or routine.
By breaking the predictability of the usual order of activities and events of your homeschool life, I know some excitement will be restored to every day events. I still find joy in going to a different Target, even if I only need a few things. Sometimes we need to do things differently in order to renew our focus and find the fun again- our kids are wired the same way!
Instead of completing reading after breakfast, try plugging in a hands-on math activity during that time.
I created these printable templates to make planning and scheduling a no-brainer!
A few of our favorite ways to break up our usual routine and take a break for our brain is to make a snack, enjoy a popsicle, or answer a few trivia questions.
Implement Enrichment Lessons
Did you take classes that encouraged technical skills or support life development, such as home economics or web mastering while you were in school? Classes and electives look a little different when it comes to home education, but this is where it gets exciting!
As your child gets older, the amount of responsibility and trust you have in their abilities will too. In order to build such abilities, I try to make every little teaching opportunity around the house count. When curiosity hits, the questions roll in, and although inconvenient when you're in the middle of making dinner, take a deep breath and instead act like you're on a cooking show. Not only will this change your mood, but shifting your outlook about every day chores or items on your to-do list will also set an example for your child that they can do the same.
Homeschooling has truly changed my relationship with my child, but it took some adjusting and learning on my end. I needed to take my own notes as a homeschool mom, a new role for me! Seeing hints that my son needed a break was second nature by now, but I had forgotten my own signals.
Lean on Your Partner
I'm guilty of wanting to do things on my own, simply because it will 1) actually get accomplished and 2) will be done "the right way" the first time. Does this sound a little like you, too?
My husband has been so supportive of our learning at home journey, but he can see when I need to tag him in. I know it drives him crazy that I have my processes, although he's so sweet about them, but it makes it easy to ask him to give me a little break if I need it.
The other day, I had made a big breakfast, started lunch, taken a call, and hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. By the time we got around to school, I was exhausted and the entire house could feel it. I asked my husband to get started with school while I went to make myself an iced coffee and listen to some music.
Could I have gone ahead and gone through our learning routines and toughed it out? Sure.
I wouldn't have been bringing my best to the table, I was cranky, and I needed to take care of those before taking on the next part of the day with my child. My partner stepped in and took over, while I'm sure my son told him how we usually do things more than my husband had to figure anything out. It made our experience with homeschooling make sense and showed us that we can all do this together.
What ways do you stay motivated while learning at home and which of these will you try next time you're needing a little pick-me-up?