You’ve got your highlighters, your color-coded spreadsheets, your booklists and your cup of coffee!
You’re laying out plans for amazing field trips that dovetail perfectly with your history and science readings, a math curriculum that’s sure to succeed, and literature read alouds that will keep everyone spellbound.
You’ve accounted for each child’s spiritual, academic, emotional, and (of course) social development.
You’ve got morning routines, evening routines, meal plans, chore charts, and cleaning schedules.
There’s only one thing missing. You!
What about you? Have you remembered to put your needs into the plan, homeschool mom?
Your wellbeing matters. Finding ways to keep yourself filled up and your needs met can make or break your homeschooling journey. Nothing will derail your homeschool year faster than a burnt out mama. Here are a few questions to reflect on to ensure that you as a parent educator don’t get left out of the homeschool planning.
When will you take care of your basic needs?
It’s easy to fill up the calendar with kid’s sporting events, co-op classes, and doctor’s appointments, and then try to cram our own needs into the cracks. Don’t make this mistake! You won’t be the only one who suffers. As you look at your yearly, monthly and weekly plans, carve out space for yourself now.
You probably included regular checkups and dental appointments for your kids in your yearly calendar. Make sure you schedule these for yourself as well.
Do you need a regular date night with your husband, teatime with a friend, or girls’ night out to function at your best? You’ll be much more likely to follow through if you make these plans now.
What habits will you need to put in place to make sure you get enough sleep? Do you have enough space in your daily and weekly routines to plan and prepare nutritious meals? When will you exercise and get some fresh air each day? Making time for these daily essentials might not be glamorous, but it will go a long way toward keeping your home running smoothly.
What brings me joy, and how can I make space for it in our rhythms and routines?
Doing something you love every day, even if it’s small, is one of the best ways to prevent burnout. Maybe it’s a walk around the block listening to your favorite podcast, or a picnic at your favorite park. Maybe it’s making a favorite recipe for dinner or cozying up in your favorite chair for a few minutes with a good book.
It doesn’t have to cost much in terms of time or money, but having a special moment each day when you do something that brings a smile to your face does wonders for your mood and the overall atmosphere of your home.
In addition to these small daily bursts of joy, plan some larger experiences that you can look forward to. Knowing that you have a personal retreat, a homeschool conference, or a quarterly planning weekend already on the calendar can give you the lift you need to make it through a hard day.
What would you like to learn or experience this year?
I’m guessing you’ve spent a lot more time thinking about what you want your kids to learn this year than you’ve spent contemplating your own growth and development. Role modeling is one of the most powerful influences in your child’s life. Are you living out passionate life-long learning and inquisitive engagement in subjects that interest you? Are you trying new things that push you out of your comfort zone? Are you taking on challenges that require you to work hard and sometimes fail?
We ask all these things of our children on the daily. How can we expect to inspire them to be their best selves if we are not also learning and growing? Think of a subject or two you’d like to dive into this school year. Maybe watching you study and struggle alongside them will spark a fire in your kids this year. But even if not, you’ll be learning and growing for your own sake.
These are some of the questions I ask as I’m heading into a new homeschool year. What questions would you add to this list? What do to make sure your needs aren’t overlooked as you make your homeschool plans?