Living the balanced life + homeschooling = Oxymoron?
Lots of juggling. Lots of interruptions. Lots of squirmishes.
Too busy, they say. (Hard to argue.)
Not a lot of hours in the day unaccounted for. (Definitely true.)
A generous share of time devoted to kid’s struggles, complaints, arguments.
A generous share of time devoted to math, writing, languages, current affairs and history, geography and science, spelling and grammar.
Aspirations to get out of sweat pants and t-shirts before an afternoon trip to extracurriculars, but first, shift laundry from washer to dryer again, and LOOK more dishes.
Aspiring toward balance is a challenge.
Balance between activity and rest.
Balance between focus and interruption.
Balance between my needs and my children’s needs.
Balance between noise and quiet.
Balance between tackling the present activity or planning for the next day.
What principles helps us work toward balance in our homeschools?
Purposefully include mama.
Include the stuff that mama likes to do that is separate from the kids. Also include the stuff you discover you’re interested in when you’re learning with the kids.
You are on a lifelong learning journey too. So keep your world interesting. The longer you homeschool, the more you identify your own curiosities and interests. Pursue yours as well as your kids’ interests. For me, that includes…
Okay, so I like to include many snippets of reading and writing time in my day. If you could fit in a few fifteen minute snippets, what would you like to do?
Purposefully include activities with the kids.
If you’re feeling like your kids always want your attention, I’m going to tell you a secret: they grow up. They will not always want your attention. They will want to hole themselves into their rooms for a solid four years, if not more. You will have time to yourself.
I’ll tell you the secret to getting time to do your stuff when they’re younger: give them eye-to-eye, fully engaged attention, for as long as it takes to satisfy their little hearts. Then they’ll wander away to play Lego or Barbies by themselves, they’ll want to go outside to play on the trampoline, or to their room to read.
I’ll tell you the secret of getting time to do your stuff when they’re really young: there isn’t a secret. Unless someone is coming to look after those little, I got nothing for you. Expect toilet assistants.
Start on the non-negotiable.
If you just have to get something done, do it first, or do it before the kids are awake, or park them in front of Curiosity Stream. Do whatever it takes.