Here we are in the middle Christmas preparations and the new year is looming fast…..so I will be quick…
The struggle is REAL this time of year!!
Do you ever feel as though you are not doing enough for your homeschooled kiddos?
Or you are not sure if what you are currently doing is the right thing?
Do you ask yourself, “Am I ruining my chikdren for life? Am I setting them up for failure?”
This time of year, which I call “the struggle is real” is rife with second guessing, dwelling on what never got done this year or what still needs to be done. Couple that with a sprinkle of doubts and uncertainty and you have a recipe for disappointment and overwhelm.
Dear homeschool mom or dad, this would happen to me every single year, both in the early days as well as my veteran homeschool days.
We all take our role as “Parent as Primary Teacher” very seriously.
We constantly give ourselves a non-stop performance review in our heads. In other words, we let this really critical boss tell us we are not doing enough, that we could be doing more and that the children would be better off in a different situation.
YES, even when our hearts are saying homeschooling is the best education for our precious children!
Here are my top tips I use to get that pesky, finger-pointing boss out of my head and begin to follow my heart!
Love always wins.
Jesus the source of LOVE.
Replace that critical self-made boss immediately with the image of our Lord Jesus. Visualize Him, and most importantly stop whatever you are doing and be present in His Love. When you can, go to Adoration, even for a quick visit.
It literally changes everything.
When I homeschooled all my seven children I could not always get to daily Mass or Adoration so I made a spiritual communion, a desire in my heart to be one with Him. Vinny Flynn in his book 7 Secrets of the Eucharist , in his last chapter, talks so beautifully about this tremendous gift, spiritual communion, Jesus is always available!
Or perhaps you can even spend a few minutes in Perpetual Adoration with the Conventual Franciscan Friars at Marytown through their Adoration Streaming.
Make a List.
Writing things down always brings clarity. Period, end of sentence. I know that it is so tempting to just let those self-defeating thoughts roll around in your head. Better yet it is super tempting to call a friend and complain.
Now don’t get me wrong, it is a good thing to vent your frustrations to get the struggle out of your head. BUT writing down all those thoughts truly helps to put clarity into the big picture.
If you think you did not do enough this year, give yourself 15 minutes to brainstorm and put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. Then chose only 3 TOP things you think you can reasonably do! These should be lined up with the one area of growth you want to see with your children (one of my keys for curing mommy overwhelm – see handouts below). Let go of the rest!
Writing and in particular hand writing, instantly makes you get outside your head and feeling productive. Forget the past, it is done and over with. Just move forward. Make a list.
Even better if you pour a drink and have a snack too!
Get on the NO train.
Say no to more stuff.
Guilt plays into our unrealistic expectations of the end of year holiday celebrations, school work, household, and outside activities.
Pare it down.
Might be tempted to add in more new stuff because we are all experiencing the stress of the holidays. If you add one thing to your schedule, take one away!!!
Plan a celebration.
You are amazing and serve your family with your whole heart and soul. Please remember that!!
There is no doubt that even though you may feel your homeschooling came up short, there is without a doubt some wins! Did one of your children learn to read? Was there a sacrament received by one of your children this year? Did you learn more about one of your children’s interests/strengths?
Celebrate the good stuff that happened this year. There is sooooo much more to homeschooling than accomplishing the academic achievements. It truly is about forming the people in our care in an environment of love and truth. That is something to really celebrate!
***A tip I got from a fellow homeschooler: she suggested involving the children, one on one to see what they thought were their wins, what they wished they had gotten done, what they want to do for the next semester. It is a good time to LISTEN and reflect, perfect for the final days of Advent.
Here are my FREE handouts to help make it easy:Your Year in Review Fun Sheet
One Goal per Child Fun Sheet
Now it’s your turn, what do you do at the end of the year to finish up on the upswing?
Please comment and share, I’d love to hear your suggestions!