Welcome Email #4

Hi! Yesterday’s email was all about our Freebies. Today, I want to talk about keeping motivated as a homeschooling family.

When you first start to homeschool, there’s a sense of nervousness and anticipation. You see all the possibilities. You can just imagine all the exciting things that will happen in your homeschool, all the wonderful books that will get read. But, the truth is homeschooling can be downright hard?  Why?  Because we juggle so much.

  • We think about and plan daily, weekly lessons while keeping in mind the bigger picture and bigger goals.
  • We hunt tirelessly for curriculum that will work for our kids.
  • We get the kids to practice, finish math, write that story (or essay), let them make that messy art project… and get them to brush their teeth, put their clothes away and write that nice letter to grandma!
  • We plan play dates, drive the kids around to activities, schedule lesson, schedule doctor’s appointments, are there when maintenance needs to come, drop of the car for servicing because we happen to be “home.”
  • Because we are home all the time … our houses are lived in (aka messy, cluttered, filled with books, papers and the random craft or experiment we did… last week!).  We are also head chef, chief bottle washer, janitor and principal — on those rare 😉 days that the kids bicker!

With all that you might feel overwhelmed.

What do we homeschoolers do when we need motivation? Here are some things I do when I need to dig deep.

1) I think about dinner in the morning. Seriously! This is number one on my list. With the kids having activities in the evenings, it really helps knowing we have something planned out and we don’t have to stare wide-eyed at the fridge at 6 (or 8!) pm when we walk back in the door!

2) Keep on top of chores.  There’s nothing worse than having the house slide into chaos.  Those little things I do really help out that future me.  It’s another way to take care of myself this busy time of year by keeping my stress down and avoiding having a cleaning crisis!! Personally, I find it motivating when those small chores are off my to-do list. If you can get the kids to help and find a system that works, all the better! (You might want to read through this post for ideas: 10 Systems for Involving Kids in Family Chores)

3) Keep the focus on the kids and their learning. Even it I’m busy with all the things I’m juggling,  I still make sure that the kids are still on track.  This time of year I *really* rely on those established daily homeschool routines. I’ve written about our Writing Workshop Routine quite often on the blog, but I love that the kids can work independently on quite a number of subjects.

4) We tuck a book-on-tape into our school day. Yes, even with a middle school and high school student! We are currently 80% through the Grapes of Wrath.  Sometimes we take turns reading things aloud, but at the moment we have this book on Audible. I can relax and listen along with the kids (with a cup of coffee in hand!), leaving me with energy for other things.

5) Don’t compare… repeat… Don’t Compare!!  This is a big one. It is so easy to compare ourselves to what our friends’ and their kids are doing (either in their homeschools or in public schools).  It’s even easy to compare what we are doing… to what we THOUGHT we would accomplish. Both of those are deadly. They sap our motivation, depress us, make us feel inadequate. Don’t do it!  Just keep working steadily and know that you are doing an amazing job for YOUR kids.

6) No one covers everything!! We are not slaves to the curriculum we purchased. We can pick and choose. We can switch curriculums. We can leave things out.  Even teachers and college professors have to make wise decisions about what they cover and how!!  We homeschoolers are no different. Our kids don’t need the content, they need the skills that come with learning… learning how to learn, how to study, how to write, how to be self-motivated.

7) Create a enthusiastic, supportive atmosphere: Focus on having an enjoyable learning experience together, even when things get crazy busy!  In the end, we’ll look back at the relationships we have and the experiences we’ve enjoyed together!

8) Schedule in something fun! Nothing’s more motivating than having some fun educational activities on the horizon.  Whether that is a project at home or something farther afield, make sure you shake things up from time to time.

Keeping all this in mind, helps me stay on track, stay motivated and not get too side-tracked from my kids and their homeschool journey.

This list is pretty long, but if you want to read more let me leave you with these posts:

Happy Homeschooling!

See you tomorrow with the 5th and final email in this series!


Here are the links in the Welcome Letter Series again:

Welcome Email #1

Welcome Email #2

Welcome Email #3

Welcome Email #5