You can’t expect to be an amazing parent all the time. However, you do want to be the best one possible as often as you can. That is hard enough under most circumstances. Adding in the challenges and strain of homeschooling can quickly add to the challenge of parenthood.
You can do many things to help make everyday parenting easier during your homeschool journey. After all, millions of households work through the challenge every year; the following five tips will help so you can, too.
1. Take Care of Your Own Needs
The first place to start is with yourself. After all, you can’t be that fantastic parent you want to be if you are worn out and dragging. You can think of it this way: If you are struggling to care for yourself, then you cannot expect to care for others.
Schedule some self-care activities that help you feel rejuvenated and revived. This might be a daily yoga session, 30 minutes of quiet time with a book, or a morning jog before everyone else is up and about. In addition, you may find help by adding supplements like the Thrive patch that can help you feel energized throughout the day.
2. Find Curricula That Fits Your Lifestyle
One of the great things about managing parenthood while homeschooling is that you can customize some coursework for your children. You might find that one program works great for one child while another thrives with something different. Consider changing programs if things are not working as you initially hoped.
As long as you stay within state requirements, you are pretty free to choose your family’s homeschool curricula. There are packaged programs that take care of all the planning and assignments, or you can opt for a more DIY approach. Either way, finding items that fit your lifestyle and align with your personal beliefs will remove some of the strain of teaching.
3. Know When to Ask for Help
It doesn’t matter if you are part of a parenting pair or a single parent; you should not expect to handle every aspect of homeschooling and parenting alone. Doing so will lead to stress and burnout, neither of which will help you manage successfully. When things get tough, or if you just need a break, ask for help.
Keeping a list of friends and family members you can turn to for help when needed makes this easy. Also, don’t limit yourself to personal connections. Homeschool and community organizations can provide opportunities for your kids to connect with others for topics that are out of your reach.
4. Schedule One-on-One Time with Each Child
One potential pitfall to homeschooling is that each child can lose some of their unique identity by becoming part of the larger class. Scheduling special time with each child every week or month can help ensure they feel special and valued.
This can be as simple as designating one evening of the week for one-on-one parent-child outings. Let the kids pick out the destination when possible. For example, depending on individual interests, you might go to a sports game, head to the library or visit a local museum.
5. Create a Realistic Homeschool Calendar
Homeschooling is a lot more than sitting around the kitchen table with books for a few hours a day. It might involve online or in-person classes, music or sports lessons, and special trips. That is before you add any activities you have planned with other homeschoolers in the area. As you can see, a homeschool parent’s schedule can quickly spiral out of control.
One way to conquer that is by creating a homeschool calendar. First, fill in the significant items, like required testing dates and mandatory lessons. Then, add in each child’s activities and group outings. Having it in black and white can help you avoid overscheduling, which inevitably leads to a scramble to get everything done.
Find ways to balance parenthood while homeschooling and preserve your sanity as a parent by creating a schedule, leaving time for self-care, using curricula that fit your family, and asking for help when needed.