As a home schooling mom of three children since 1992, I’ve learned that it’s both exciting and exhausting all at the same time. Whether you’re new to home schooling or not, many people find it hard to understand why moms who are home all day can’t just come over, baby sit for few hours, or visit since THEY have it all together.
If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me to watch their children when school was out for vacation, or on three week break during year round schooling, I would be RICH! Somehow there’s a misconception that “at home” moms have all the time in the world to do as they please on a time schedule with no limits. This is a fable, a common misconception, a fairy tale. How is a mom supposed to do all of that AND have dinner ready in a clean home for her family?
Tip one: Find a partner or two. If you find someone with children close in age to yours, you will both get some well deserved time-outs. Set up a schedule with your “partners” so that each of you gets some breaks. This will help each of you catch up on a few loads of laundry, some sleep, or whatever you need at the time. Or, find an elder who could use some hugs. Children love elderly people. They give much wanted undivided attention. Ask to have the elder over for visiting day. My children used to listen to a wonderful older woman named Irene who would sit in our blue rocking chair and read to them, stop in the middle, tell one of her growing up on the farm stories, then get back to reading. How precious is that?!
Tip two: Don’t try to cram every single subject into each school day. If you must cover each subject, try the next tip.
Tip three: Plan on baby steps through the curriculum you’ve chosen. Do one little page of math a day and a math game or manipulative, instead of 2 – 4 pages or more. The children will see a clear end in site, and YOU will not be grading papers until dawn.
Tip four: Set a timer to five minutes before each subject should end. This will give the children notice that they will be moving on to another subject or activity, which means time to finish his or her thoughts.
Tip five: Save about $5 every week or so from the grocery money. When you have enough for a date, hire a baby sitter, or swap kids with one of your partners. You and your spouse need some time alone to talk, cuddle, whatever!