Homeschooling isn't any different. My purpose for homeschooling isn't just to check off boxes. I want to help my daughter as she grows physically, mentally and spiritually.
Over our 6 years of homeschooling I've played around with having a schedule, not having a schedule, using timers and being flexible. I've changed curriculum and combined subject all in hopes of meeting our curriculum goals.
Homeschooling choices are overwhelming and everyone has a different opinion and a different way of doing things.
The lack of structure gave me so many options that I lost focus and wasn't looking at my goals when I made commitments.
We were having fun and our calendar was full but was it all necessary? Did we have to do everything because it was fun? Did this particular fun meet with my homeschool goals?
This past year I found the one thing that was life altering to our homeschool journey. It breathed life into our day and gave us the life we'd hoped to have at home. It was the first year that I feel like we were really focused on our goals.
What was the difference?
I set boundaries.
Yep that's my secret, I set boundaries. Honestly I was forced to cut everything out because of having a toddler. I know a lot of people that can handle toting a toddler around with them and they seem unfazed, I am not one of those people.
1. Boundaries with with my calendar
I literally drew an X on Tuesdays. It was a day of recovery for me and my girls from our weekend and our CC day, which was on Mondays. We didn't just sit around but we were able to wake up and move at our own pace without having to worry about being anywhere at a particular time.
I also designated mornings only for homeschool. I decided based on our schedule that we would only schedule doctor's appointments on Thursday or Friday afternoons (unless it was an emergency).
2. Boundaries with my yes
This one was a little tougher. Everything sounded fun and I was used to running at breakneck speed. However I had seen the effect of running around too much on myself and on my daughters and I just was tired of being busy all the time.
I learned to say no without feeling guilty. I have also learned how to step back and evaluate how adding something to my calendar will make me feel. I tend to have these conversations with my daughter. In turn she has these types of conversations with me when she's trying to decide if she wants to do something.
3. Boundaries with my kids
Mom guilt is a real thing. We want our kids to be happy. We want our kids to have the life that we didn't have.
We don't want our kids to be disappointed.
The problem with this want is that what they want isn't always best for us. Don't get me wrong I'm the first one that struggles with saying no, but I have to look at a bigger picture.
Will the new commitment help to meet our goals? Will the new commitment be life giving?
If the answer is no then I need to tell my kids no.
4. Boundaries with myself
One day every time I had a negative thought I wrote it down. Whether it was a random thought or something I truly felt I jotted it down. At the end of the day I read the list and realized that I had let my mom guilt make me feel like less of a person. I prayed and handed all of that mess to God.
I repeated to myself, I may not be enough but God's grace is.
My boundaries I set were in my mind. If I had a random negative self talk I stopped and said out loud to myself, I am enough. It took time but I started to find the confidence in myself again.
Setting boundaries has allowed me to feel more relaxed on a daily basis and has lowered my anxiety.
We've all enjoyed the slower days and being able to homeschool without the rush of having to be at the next activity or appointment.
Boundaries are not always easy to decide on but they will help you model self control for your family.
I'm praying blessing over you in your homeschool day and in your homeschool year!
A Busy Mom's Guide to Saying No
3 Routines Guaranteed to Simplify Your Day
How to Plan for a Successful Homeschool Year