5 Creative Ways to Design a Homeschool Mom Personal Vision

It’s a mom thing. We get wrapped up in our kids’ needs because we enjoy helping them, we want to do the best for our kids, and sometimes we want to give them what we didn’t have, so we work overtime. (But we don’t call it overtime, we call it motherhood).

We unintentionally set our interests, our needs, and ourselves aside, for the greater good, our family, or so we believe.

When I asked a homeschool mom to tell me about herself, she shared her roles with me: mom, sister, wife, daughter, friend. But what was her homeschool mom personal vision?

(ps If you think you’re the one I’m speaking about, I’m probably not, because there is more than one of you speaking to me about this. Girlfriend, this is a common refrain).

Therefore, in today’s episode, I delve into the crucial aspects of developing your personal vision by learning boundary-setting, maintaining self-discovery and self-awareness practices, and creating self-care moments. I want to help you, homeschool mama, not only thrive in your role of homeschool mom but also to nurture yourself, to nurture the nurturer.

5 Creative Ways to Design a Homeschool Mom Personal Vision

Before I share how to create a personal vision for homeschool mom, for you, I want to ask you five questions. So grab your journal!

Five questions to ask when you’d like to create a homeschool mom personal vision, for you:

1st Question:

So what do your boundaries look like & what signs or situations trigger your awareness of these boundary challenges?

2nd Question:

What are some self-care activities or rituals you’ve found to rejuvenate you or are essential for maintaining your well-being?

3rd Question:

What methods or techniques have you discovered for creating or safeguarding pockets of alone time in your demanding life?

4th Question:

Reflecting on your community and connection opportunities, how has connecting with other homeschool moms enriched your homeschool journey?

5th Question:

Are you actively exploring and incorporating your strengths, interests, curiosities, and aptitudes into your daily life to offer you a life beyond your mother role?

photo of woman assisting baby: homeschool mom personal vision

This is my story about developing a homeschool mom personal vision.

Recently, like the last couple months, I’ve been transitioning into something different. This “different” is a rite of passage for every mom. 

Just weeks ago, I settled Rachel (our 3rd daughter) into college across the country. Then we prepped Zach for his first year high school. (Zach is the youngest of our four kids.)

These weeks have been anything but familiar, and anything but comfortable.

A transition into something, but what?

(I could wax and wane about his experience, but I’ll give him time to process, not share his experience without permission, and share mine instead).

Since our first daughter entered her high school years, things have gone fast. Like so fast.

One kiddo graduates and that feels monumental. So big. So hard and so sad. Good and so exciting. So different.

But then our high school kids get part-time jobs as well as academics and friends activities and that’s it, they are busy and they are moving like a bullet toward their adult lives. A bullet train into independence.

And I’m back here trying not to insert myself when it’s not invited, and that is so darn hard FYI. Yesterday they needed my hand to cross the street or drive them to work. Or so it feels.

There’s nothing comfortable or familiar about this stage of motherhood.

But still, I’m cheering from the sidelines, always available for a phone call at the hard moments, sending “good mornings” by text even though it’s “good afternoon” in their time zones, willing to edit papers, watching them grow up in fits and starts.

I’m not used to as little driving time, fewer kid conflicts, or this much quiet.

I have most definitely put in the mothering time & got to watch these beautiful souls find their thing and understand more clearly what their path is, but it’s also weird.

I’m over here leaning into weird. Less driving and more wondering what my life will be like after Zach is gone (maybe he’ll be the one who rents the basement suite, a mom has gotta dream). 💭 🛌 Or at least stay in my time zone.

On this week’s podcast episode, I discuss how to nurture a homeschool mom’s personal vision, because you know what? You’re gonna need one.

So what are you doing to develop yourself? I’d love to hear! Would you hit reply and let me know…

ps If you’re really not sure who you are outside your mother role, and you’d like to explore how to lean into the YOU outside your mother role, I’m here.

two teenage girls laying on grass and playing telephone call using paper cups on string: homeschool mom personal vision

As I see it, from my vantage point, when creating a homeschool mom personal vision for your life, there are five things to consider.

  1. Boundary & Communication Awareness
  2. Self-Care (or Wellness) Rituals
  3. Creating & Protecting Alone Time
  4. Building Community and Connection
  5. Incorporating Self-Discovery Time
The first thing to consider is this: What do your boundaries look like?
Boundaries help you know what you want, give you the impetus to create a space to listen to yourself, and help you determine how you want to show up in your relationships.

So how did you answer the question, “What do your boundaries look like & what signs or situations trigger your awareness of these challenges?”

Effective communication of your needs and expectations increases harmony in your family and helps you create space for yourself.

My story? Girlfriend, I learned this discussion of boundaries the good old-fashioned way: pre-2004, I may have heard the word, “boundaries”, but I categorically did not have them.

If you define the word “boundary” as where I end and where you began, I certainly didn’t know boundaries, because my goal was to make YOU happy (even tho I didn’t always, of course, but that was my goal), and approaching life and relationships and myself this way was definitely not honouring me.

How can you incorporate boundaries in your homeschool family life?
1. Family Meetings:

Create regular family meetings where everyone has an opportunity to express their thoughts and concerns. (Everyone. Even the almost incoherent members of your family, but most importantly, make sure you share your thoughts and concerns too). I liked having this discussion during morning circle time (when the kids got older, I called it a morning meeting).

The goal? Each family member can share what they’re hoping to do each day and voice any unclear needs or requests. Create a safe and non-judgmental space for open dialogue. Share your expectations and needs. This collaborative approach fosters a sense of ownership and ensures everyone’s voices are heard.

2. Clear Communication Channels:

Establish clear and consistent communication channels within your family. Use tools like a shared colour-coded family calendar or a family text thread to keep everyone informed about extracurriculars, driving needs, or activity schedules. This can reduce misunderstandings and conflicts (& remember from last week’s episode, make sure to create margins for all your activities).

3. Schedule time with a therapist or a relationship coach if you have boundary challenges with your partner.

It’s easier on your pocketbook to spend money on therapy for you and your partner than it is to afford a divorce. So if you’re in a relationship you want, and your partner is too, but you know you have relationship challenges, there’s no time like the present.

4. Clearly define your personal boundaries to yourself and communicate them to your family.

First, you need to know what your boundaries are. Are you wanting boundaries around your homeschool planning time, boundaries around your self-care, or other personal activities? By articulating your needs and boundaries, you empower your family to unconsciously support you and help them optimize their relationships for the future too.

5. Effective Communication

Decide how you want to show up. If you’re challenged with losing your temper when you’re in a particular scenario, or you feel like there is a communication gap between you and a kiddo, set aside time to determine how you’ll engage it. Cause this doesn’t need to be Groundhog Day: these things will happen again. Develop self-awareness activities, like journaling, meditation, or mindfulness to learn more about you, how you prefer to relate, and clarify your intentions towards your child or understand why you’re feeling what you’re feeling.

6. Conflict Resolution

Self-awareness enables you to identify your triggers and emotional responses. By understanding your family members’ personalities, you can anticipate potential conflicts and use strategies to address them constructively, fostering increasing harmony within your homeschool environment. (And if I were to suggest any one book to address your family conflict, it would be Marshall Rosenberg’s, Non-Violent Communication: if a hostage negotiator can help dispel conflict in the Middle East, he can help you too!)

Building boundaries and knowing what you want, gives you the impetus to create space to listen to yourself, and helps you determine how you want to show up in relationships. This is your first step to building your personal vision for your life.

If you want to learn more about building boundaries in your homeschool mom life, I offer a few podcast episodes and articles to learn more:

little boy trying to climb up a stair gate: homeschool mom personal vision

The second way to create a personal vision for you, homeschool mama, is to build self-care activities into your life. To honour your human beingness (if no one has told you, you are a human too).

How did you answer the question, “What are some self-care activities or rituals you’ve found to rejuvenate you or are essential for maintaining your well-being?”

Creating space for you, no matter what activity you choose, will give you the emotional and physical bandwidth, and it’ll make you feel fueled and energized to do this homeschool thing.

My story? Honouring my self-care needs and my boundaries went hand in glove. When I recognized where I began and where I ended, I could see that I needed to be taken care of too.

Girlfriend, there’s a reason you’re listening to a podcast on self-care for homeschool mamas because when I decided to write a book for homeschool moms, I had three options as I saw it: I could write about world schooling (because we did a lot of it), self-directed learning (because I am passionate about it), or self-care (because I learned the good old fashioned way that I needed it).

And I knew from my experience, that me taking care of myself was not my strong point, and it also wasn’t a strong point of many homeschool moms around me.

I learned a whole lot of things the hard way and my story was worth sharing, and offering tools for other homeschool moms would be useful too.

And that’s why I’m still here.

Here are three rejuvenating self-care activities for maintaining well-being while homeschooling:
  1. Morning Mindfulness: Start your day with a few minutes of mindfulness or meditation to center yourself. (Even just five minutes before you lift your head from the bed or turn on a YouTube meditation after your baby is finished nursing). Focus on your breathing, set positive intentions for the day, and express gratitude in a journal. Every effort contributes to your overall wellness to help you stay grounded and calm throughout the day.
  2. Regular “Me Time”: Whether it’s reading, taking a bath, knitting, reading a poem, glancing at an Impressionism art book (clearly this is from my self-care repertoire), or going for a walk, doing something you love for just 15 minutes each day (or each week if you have young ones) will replenish your energy and nurture your personal interests.
  3. Connection with a Support Network: Connect with other homeschooling parents or a support network, either online or in person. Sharing experiences, challenges, and successes with like-minded individuals provides emotional support and a sense of camaraderie while reducing feelings of isolation. Twice today I had an online conversation and an in-person conversation about the loneliness of the homeschool mom life; so, if that is you, it doesn’t have to be you. Because I offer a Support Group for homeschool moms and it is most definitely authentic and supportive.

Self-care rituals are essential for recharging your energy and maintaining your well-being as you homeschool.

As you might imagine I have written and spoken about self-care in many different ways and in many different venues.

Find support for homeschool moms in the Homeschool Mama Support Group: homeschool mom personal vision

The third thing you need to do to create a homeschool mom personal vision is to create a separate space for you so you can think your thoughts and spend time with you.

So how did you answer the question, “What methods or techniques have you discovered for creating or safeguarding pockets of alone time in your demanding life?”

Spending time with yourself is HARD to do because it’s hard to find that time because you can’t FIND that time. Why? Because it doesn’t exist, you have to make that time.

As a new homeschool mama and even a new mama who didn’t homeschool, I was sufficiently overwhelmed as I had a high need for quiet, orderliness, and harmony to feel safe in my internal world. Though my kids weren’t especially loud compared to others, I absorbed their emotional energy as though I were breathing their air, so I needed space away at times.

You too? I feel ya. I want that for you. So how can you find it?

Here are three methods for creating and safeguarding pockets of alone time in a busy homeschooling schedule:
  1. Structured Schedule (or Routine): Implement a structured daily schedule that includes designated “alone time” slots. Communicate these times to your family, so they understand the importance of respecting your need for solitude. You might need to teach your kids that you actually really mean it, and that you don’t want to be interrupted behind a closed door. This might take quite some time, but it can be done if you really mean it. Use these moments for activities that recharge you, whether it’s reading, meditation, or perusing Pinterest. (Oh and you can also create quiet times with your kids each afternoon on the sofa).
  2. Utilize Naps and Quiet Time: If you have younger children who take naps or have quiet time activities in their rooms, use this period to carve out alone time for yourself. However, if that means cleaning something because it clears cobwebs from your mind and decreases your stress, clean something. But note, I’ve been living this family life for twenty-four years, so I’ve learned you’ll ALWAYS have something to clean.
  3. Trade Off with Co-Parent or Support System: Arrange with your co-parent or a trusted support system to take turns supervising your kids for a couple hours a week. This allows each of you to have dedicated alone time for relaxation or pursuing personal interests. It may even enable you to be in your home alone (an extra special treat for some of us) if you can drop off your kids at a friend’s home.
  4. Just Leave. If your kids are anywhere in sight, you are hard-wired to be thinking of them and responding to them. Sometimes, you need to be separate. So find a cubicle at the library, park your car in front of an amusement park, take a coffee to the bookshop, or sit in a cafe all by yourself, but leave the house, to do nothing but be by yourself.
Creating valuable pockets of alone time to recharge and maintain your well-being is a lifeline to your homeschool longevity.
Finding time for yourself might seem elusive, but even if you create it, you might not be sure what to do with it, so here are a few ideas:

woman lying down with cat and book on picnic: homeschool mom personal vision

The fourth way to create a personal vision is to create connections with other homeschool moms and learn from other homeschool moms.

How did you answer the question, “How has connecting with other homeschool moms enriched your homeschool life experience?”

Sharing the homeschool mom life alongside other women has helped me clarify who I am and who I’m not, it’s helped me understand that I’m not alone and that we have common threads in our lives: other women’s stories have helped shape my own story.

I’ll celebrate everyone along my journey for being uniquely them.

Some women who have shared my journey weren’t homeschool moms, but they were attentive, loving moms, who were trying to understand how to be in their families, learn what their responsibilities were to their children and what they weren’t, and try to find their place in their world outside their mom journey too.

Some women who have shared this homeschool journey were homeschool moms but these women didn’t value the same things I valued, and some women did value some things I valued, BUT all of these women taught me how to be a mother to my kids and how to be a unique woman in my life story.

So consider connecting with other homeschool families for these reasons:
  1. Resource Sharing: By proactively reaching out to other homeschooling families, I was able to create a network of support and resource-sharing. We exchanged curriculum recommendations, teaching strategies, educational materials, and mothering philosophies, which significantly enhanced the quality of our homeschooling journey.
  2. Diverse Learning Opportunities: Connecting with other homeschool families introduced us to a diverse range of learning opportunities. We joined co-op groups, organized field trips, and participated in collaborative projects, like a musical theatre program for many years. It also exposed me to people who didn’t see the world as I did. And taught me that we all see the world differently, but we can co-exist too. In or out of the homeschool community.
  3. Emotional Support: Building a sense of community provides emotional support during unexpected challenging seasons. Sharing our triumphs and struggles with other homeschoolers helped me navigate obstacles with greater confidence. Knowing I had a support system to turn to made homeschooling feel less isolating and more meaningful.
Emotional support chats with other homeschool moms…

Recently, when chatting with a homeschool mom in my local community, a mom who has just begun her journey, she shared her intentions for her six-year-old, how she wants to encourage play, and not worry about her son learning to read yet, despite her literature-rich home, despite her curiosity-based family approach; nonetheless, she wasn’t quite sure she was doing right by her kiddo.

I could share that from my vantage point, her approach was a great first step forward in her homeschool journey. Because it is!

On the same day, I had a conversation with two moms about how socially isolating homeschooling can be, for THEM, not for their homeschooled kids, as so many onlookers assume.

So many conversations…

I’ve had so many conversations with moms who need support…

  • During a challenging pregnancy and post-partum period,
  • Women determining if they want to stay in a partnered relationship,
  • moms learning how to relate to their challenging adolescents, learning how to accommodate a kiddo with autism or ADHD,
  • learning how to let go of her unrealistic expectations and learning where those unrealistic expectations originated in the first place,
  • and learning how to deal with her overwhelm as she experiences too much noise, kid conflict, and intense kids.

Connecting with other homeschooling moms has been instrumental in enhancing a richer, more connected, and emotionally supportive life that helped me on my personal journey.

I share more about how to connect with other homeschool families here:

woman wearing brown shirt inside room:

The fifth way to create a personal vision is by leaning into your strengths, interests, curiosities, and aptitudes (just like you encourage your kids):

How did you answer the question, “Are you actively exploring and incorporating your strengths, interests, curiosities, and aptitudes into your daily homeschooling life so you can nurture your personal vision?”

When you were 8, you didn’t have a prescribed schedule on a Saturday afternoon (or at least I imagine you didn’t) and you likely pursued all sorts of interests and curiosities that just felt pleasurable and interesting, for the simple sake of enjoying the thing.

How and where are you doing creative activities and interests now?

Just like we don’t need to encourage our kids to dive deep into their rabbit holes and encourage our kids to make them their life’s intention: for instance, imagine a mom noticing her kid loves making slime and then determining that her child must spend the next eighty years making and selling slime. If your child doesn’t have to make slime because they were interested at eight, then you don’t have to make a passing interest your life’s purpose either.

Just do it because you enjoy it. (Side Note: In my experience, you don’t want to make slime near a sink, it will clog your sink).

If you don’t know where to start, and you don’t know what you’d like to do with your “extra time” consider this.
  1. Self-Assessment: Begin with a self-assessment. Reflect on your strengths, talents, and natural abilities. Consider your interests, passions, and curiosities. If you haven’t already tried it, consider using the You Be You Checklist.
  2. Exploration and Experimentation: Once you’ve identified your strengths and interests, schedule time and experiment with them. Maybe it’s possible for you to even include your interest in your homeschool routine. I certainly did: that’s why we did so much classical music history and impressionist art in our morning activities. Consider listening to my podcast episode discussing Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic, to uncover your creativity. (Because you have one, yes you do, no really, you do, really, really, you do!)
  3. Continuous Learning: Commit to continuous learning and growth. Pursue courses or workshops that align with your interests and aptitudes. Once upon a time, I attended a drawing class every Wednesday evening (which interrupted my typical Starbucks evening with a journal pen, and pumpkin-spiced latte). I learned that drawing required a similar space in my brain that I had once reserved for attempting to learn Grade 12 math; however, I had joyfully left high school math in high school. Drawing was a challenge, but I’d always wanted to learn how to do it, so I took the class and discovered that drawing is a learned skill, I was glad to experiment, but I didn’t need to continue.
Assess your strengths, interests, and passions. Then explore, experiment, and continue to nurture your personal vision and find greater fulfillment in your homeschool and life.
So, grab your journals, and complete these sentences:
  • My personal vision for myself is…
  • This is how I want to invest my life…
  • In ten years, I want to see myself…
  • These are the three things I need to do in response to this episode on creating a personal vision for me…

selective focus photography of pink and black framed eyeglasses:
What’s your homeschool mom personal vision?

By incorporating boundaries, self-care, self-awareness, connecting with others, and pursuing your strengths and interests, you can create a homeschool mom personal vision that nurtures both you and your homeschooling journey.

You can empower your homeschool mom personal vision with clarity and confidence that extends beyond your homeschool journey family life.

So pardon me, but I’m off to a quiet lunch with my husband, a vigorous jump on the trampoline in the great outdoors (because I like doing that still) and an afternoon of creative writing (because I love it!)

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Teresa Wiedrick

I help homeschool mamas shed what’s not working in their homeschool & life, so they can show up authentically, purposefully, and confidently in their homeschool & life.

Call to Adventure by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3470-call-to-adventure
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/