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Once upon a time, my mom gave me $5. It wasn’t typical for my parents to give me an allowance, but before we drove to the shopping mall, she gave me cash to purchase whatever I wanted.
What did I do with that $5?
I bought a small green-locked journal.
In this episode, I share how to use journaling for the homeschool mom as a self-awareness strategy.
And every morning I wrote…
I woke up, I made my bed, and I brushed my teeth.
For a solid decade, that is what began my journal entry.
Fast forward to my teens…
I wrote, Dear Diary, I really like Michael J. Fox, I think I’m going to marry him one day… (I also wrote about other things, like about other crushes on other boys who were my age and in my school that I also thought I would marry, but, coincidentally, I felt too shy to speak to).
But fast forward to my twenties…
Dear God, please bring me a husband. I’ve been fasting and praying for so long I could make my own diet plan: How to get a guy in 26 years…
Then fast forward to journaling in my family years…
- How do I help Jim (my husband) understand me?
- Yesterday, I lost my mind when trying to recite times tables with the kids. Last week they knew them and now they don’t.
- In the last three days, we have driven 3400 km to the Arctic Ocean with four kids in a minivan and we’re all losing our minds…
Fast forward to why I’m telling you this…
This is what I’ve learned about journaling:
- That I had a lot of crushes.
- I brushed my teeth a lot as a kid. (Really, it’s remarkable that I had seven cavities.)
- I recorded my frustrating moments on paper to get them out of my head.
- That I understood what I needed because I wrote my needs on paper.
- Because I understood what was frustrating me and how to address them got clearer.
Self-awareness is built one journal entry at a time.
What is the benefit of self-awareness?
Naturally, as I’ve been coaching other homeschool mamas, I’ve learned there is a useful approach to learning what we need to learn without booking a session with a coach.
It’s called self-coaching.
And the first step in self-coaching is building self-awareness.
It was that green-locked journal that started me on this life journey. She was my first nurturer & counselor. She was the one who heard my voice and supported me.
I’ve had myriads of journals or notebook “ears” along the way.
My journals helped me process my anger at injustice. They helped me process my hurts toward forgiveness. I processed my grasping toward surrender. They helped me process my confusion toward clarity.
My journals have been a giant tool for me to become more me.
So, I’ve created my own journals to build self-awareness. And I hope they can be useful self-coaching tools for you!
- Building Boundaries
- Reimagine your Homeschool
- Overcome Overwhelm
- Deschool your Homeschool
- Toolbox for Big Emotions
- Homeschool Mama Daily Journal
Here are some general journaling suggestions for the homeschool mom…
- Write your uncomfortable emotions.
- Just spend time being still and listening.
- Write your gratitude.
- Remind yourself of what you’re doing on the planet each day with vision words.
- Or just take a cue from Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project: write just one sentence a day.
- Just write for twenty minutes. Or five.
The Daily Homeschool Mama Journal will help you build time into your day for you.
These daily journal questions help you check in with yourself.
To develop self-awareness, you want to ask…
- how you’re feeling each morning,
- why you’re feeling what you’re feeling,
- and what are the thoughts behind your feelings?
To develop your identity, you have a space to…
- dream and plan for your day ahead,
- remind yourself what you’re grateful for,
- recite your daily affirmations,
- declare how your best self wants to show up in relationships,
- then declare how your best self wants to show up in your homeschool,
- and declare how your best self wants to show up for yourself.
If you’re struggling with a chronic health condition or want to encourage physical wellness, you can use the full-body check-in to…
- ask yourself how your body feels
- ask yourself how your body makes you feel
- remind yourself what you like about your body
- ask yourself what you can do to make your body healthier
- ask what good foods you ate that day
- record your daily prayers
At the end of each day, as you’re brushing your teeth and before you throw on Netflix, you can do an evening check-in and ask yourself…
- how your day went
- what you’re grateful for about your day
- what was the best thing about your day
- ask yourself how you’re feeling
- what your hopes and plans are for your upcoming day
There is a weekly planner you can use to…
- make quick notes,
- write exercise activities with (or without) your kiddos,
- record your daily nutritional intake,
- write your gratitude,
- create daily self-care activities, or
- record the funny things your homeschool kiddos say. (Make sure to date them!)
Get out your pen and practice self-awareness.
Self-awareness is a healthy homeschool mama practice.
This daily practice of journaling for homeschool mom can aid in your self-exploration, so you can take care of yourself.
Every year I finish the homeschool year kinda lackluster.
And you know what? I’m good with that.
I recognize it for what it is: a season.
Because, seriously, what are the chances I’m gonna love every dang minute of this homeschool thing?
And when else would I feel homeschool fatigue? At the end of the homeschool year!
(Oh, and February, cause ya know: slump month. Usually about year two or three of our homeschool journey when I need to have a giant shift from “how I thought homeschool would be” to “how homeschool actually is”… And also at the end of April/beginning of May EVERY year. Anywho, I digress…)
By the end of May, I usually close the homeschool room door & don’t return till early July. (Weirdly, I haven’t actually spent a lot of time in that room, cause we homeschool everywhere else in the house).
I let stuff sit. Close up the books and close up the planner. And just shift into a season of being outdoors.
Do you know what we all need after that point? A chance to recollect our ideas about last year, check what works, check what didn’t, and springboard into the new year with ideas that did work and new ideas I want to include.
If you’re there and you want to springboard too, you can use the Reimagine your Homeschool Workbook!
When you’re at the end of your homeschool year and you’re ready to put everything away: the books, the science experiments, the random markers & erasers hidden in your sofa.
But wait! Before you put everything away, let’s assess our past homeschool year (& use that as a brainstorming tool to imagine your upcoming homeschool year).
Here is a tool to do just that!
Get out your pen and dig deep into the following questions.
In the Reimagine your Homeschool Workbook, you’ll assess…
- the past year’s activities with your homeschool vision
- your homeschool curriculum/resources
- your homeschool routine
- kindergarten entry ideas
- high school entry ideas
- your homeschool philosophy
- the homeschool challenges you’ve experienced & create an attack plan
- your intention and how you show up on purpose in your homeschool (& life)
This journaling for the homeschool mom can aid in greater satisfaction in your upcoming homeschool.
The Toolbox for Big Emotions workbook to help you address YOUR big emotions in your homeschool.
Toolbox for Big Emotions Workbook offers journal questions that can aid in your self-exploration, help you be confident in what big emotions you’re experiencing, how (or whether) you’re taking care of yourself, and what your thought patterns are hijacking your homeschool days.
You already have all the tools in your Big Emotions Toolbox: your emotions, body, and thoughts. But if Big Emotions challenge you, you might need to assess your tools.
Get out your pen and dig deep into the following questions to assess how you’ve been using your tools.
This journaling for the homeschool mom will aid in your self-exploration.
So get curious about what you’re feeling, how you’re taking care of yourself, and what your general thought patterns are during your homeschool days.
…You can show up on purpose in your homeschool.
Somewhere in my third year of homeschooling, I was mouthing the words “help me” as the school bus drove by.
I was highly reactive to my kids’ squabbles, unkindnesses, or perpetually irritated that a child wouldn’t show interest in their studies, by saying, “If you don’t…then you’re getting on that bus Monday morning.”
The truth is I knew I didn’t actually want to research the local school’s telephone number, but I definitely didn’t know what else to do, but I was done.
- I didn’t have time for myself.
- I didn’t feel good in my body.
- I felt overwhelmed.
- I was bored by yet another repeat of the same curriculum.
- I did everything as perfectly as I could but had this feeling it wasn’t being done good enough.
- I wondered if I was doing right by my kids.
Until I watched a Brene Brown TedX Talk and realized I didn’t even factor ME into my life.
Alongside planning for my homeschool, I needed to plan for myself too.
How can we practically do that?
By paying attention to the tools in your Big Emotions Toolbox: our emotions, our body & our thoughts.
Journaling for the homeschool mom can aid in your self-exploration, to get curious about what your reasons for boundary issues may be.
Let’s build boundaries into your homeschool & your life.
They can be a self-coaching tool to help you clarify your needs, your relationships, and your identity, so you can get your needs met & become more you.
Let’s clarify your needs, your relationships, and your identity.
Oh, and the biggest benefit:
- practically transforming how you approach yourself (which directly influences others),
- shifting your relationships towards satisfying your needs & others’ needs,
- clarifying your identity (& thereby your daily (& meta) purpose)
So that you can build boundaries that will transform how you learn to advocate for yourself so you can become more you and live your life on purpose.
You’re reading this because you know you have issues with boundaries but you’re not clear why, and you’re definitely not sure how to change it.
You spend too much time thinking about…
- what other people think about your homeschool
- answering the phone when you should be eyeball-to-eyeball with your kids
- spending more time doing extracurriculars because people are asking you to participate, even though you want a quiet day at home
- giving your time away to meaningful things, but not the most important things
- fielding unsupportive questions about your homeschool choice
- feeling exhausted by conflict with your partner
- knowing you’re not showing up as you’d like with your kids but you’re not sure why
- feeling guilty or ashamed at how you’re showing up with your kids
- desperately wanting a separate space or time away from your kids
- feeling your kids are mistreating you or disrespecting you, but you can’t quite figure out if that is just them being kids or…
Straight up, if you identify with these thoughts, you need boundaries.
I’ve come to understand that the energy we have for our homeschools (& lives) is directly proportional to our established boundaries:
- the boundaries we have in our relationships,
- whether that be our relationship with others or ourselves,
- and also how we’re framing the vision of our homeschool
I’m a homeschool mama just like you.
I’ve been a mother for over 21 years but not until my oldest daughter was 3 years old did I begin to put boundaries into practice.
It was pretty messy, as you can imagine.
An earthquake domino drop occurred in every relationship I had.
And though it was terribly uncomfortable, even scary (since there was a threat to my sense of security and confidence), it began a domino drop of false identity and false self.
Let me explain: I had to own who I was and why I was here on this planet. I had to own how I was speaking to myself, how I spoke to others, and how I expected others to speak to me.
And now I see, I had come home to me.
From that time on, I have been drawn to authenticity, freedom, and purpose.
Boundaries have required me to assess my relationship with others and most importantly, my relationship with myself.
Let me share what I’ve learned so you can experience that authenticity, freedom & expansion in your life (& your homeschool) too.
Self-awareness is required to homeschool (& be a parent), but we also need to know who we are.
Answer these questions with your journal and pen:
- What makes you feel good?
- What makes life fun for you?
- Write “Be (your name)”… and six things that define who you are.
- What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with in your life and how have you overcome it?
- What is your emotional climate?
- If everything was just the way you wanted, how would your life look over the next few years?
- Write your “I am from” poem. (Listen to mine on the podcast episode).
Get to know you as you write a poem about you: an “I am from” poem (originally found in Julie Bogart’s recent book, Raising Critical Thinkers).
This is my I Am From poem.
I am from vereneke and zumma borscht and saty dowl in grandma’s lap I am from tonsilitis, popcorn twists and raspberry jello, I am from long distance truck hauls, satellite calls, retarder brakes purring, growling engine lullabies, I am from green locked journals, gratitude journals, quote journals, verse journals, crush journals, prayer journals I am from six weeks summer, almost-midnight sunsets, yellow oceans waving in the wind, nostrils frozen at recess, I am from Mr. Dressup, Laura Ingalls, ET, Back to the Future, Video Hits I am from sock hops, red leather jacket, white glove, and moon walks, I am from most men living lives of quiet desperation I am from old-fashioned landlines in seven rooms, telephones telling stories, telephones calling the alarm, then telephones in cemeteries, I am from fleeing, hiding, running in barefoot, changing names, changing locations, changing purpose, changing hope I am from writing stories till sunrise, sharing stories, wanting to share stories, wanting to know my story, wanting to define my story, wanting to be a story, and being an unfinished open book, I am from Schindler’s List, The Firm, and Sleeping with the Enemy, with dreams of Sense & Sensibility I am from public school, Christian school, catholic school, private school, eleven schools I am from prizes for verses, verses that tell wrong, verses that tell right, verses that declare peace, verses that declare fight I am from being still and knowing God, knowing I’m seen, plans made for me, prosperous plans, harm-free plans, future plans, peaceful plans I am from wild rose country, the yellow rose of Texas, and rose-scented Longing I am from dreams of India: if we really want to love, we must learn to forgive, I am from Africa where I had a home at the foot of the Ngong hills, …and a brick n mortar home with a fireplace at the edge of the Great Rift Valley, …and a drape over my head, swiping and moaning malarial pleas awaiting Ebola or a plane out of Africa I am from a blackbird singing, blackbird dead, blackbird at night I am from the fight song, take back my life song, I am from, broken wings, mended wings, flying wings, learning how to fly wings
People also ask:
- Do you offer one-on-one coaching?
- The Podcast for the Overwhelmed Homeschool Mama
- How to Handle Homeschool Overwhelm
- Are you homeschooling good enough?
- When Homeschooling is Hard: Six Perspective-Shifting Approaches
- Call to Adventure by Kevin MacLeod
- Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3470-call-to-adventure
- License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/