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If I’m Homeschooling: Will I Have Me-Time?

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If I’m Homeschooling: Will I Have Me-Time?

Contributed by Ann Lahrson  Fisher

Curlers homeschoolingThis is such an important question! Yes, of course you will, though you may need to plan more than your mother did. Your question points to the fact that a successful homeschooling lifestyle means that the needs of all family members are important. You absolutely must find ways to take care of your needs, goals, and personal relationship with your spouse for your homeschooling lifestyle to succeed.

Here are a few tips that may help:

7 Self-Care Tips While Homeschooling

  • Find a role model or three. Most of us weren’t raised in a homeschooling family, so where can we learn what works best? Look for a book, a friend, a support group, an online e-mail list – any resource that will show you ways other people manage to create a successful homeschooling lifestyle.
  • Don’t rush to abandon goals, but do think about rebalancing your priorities from time to time. Once homeschooling has moved solidly into your life as a cherished goal, previous goals may occupy the back burner. Although homeschooling does take time, it takes less than you might think, so don’t give up goals unnecessarily.
  • Schedule time for yourself regularly – daily is best for some. For example, I got up early in the morning to work on projects, then caught up on sleep at naptime or gave myself an early bedtime. Weekly, monthly, even yearly time for yourself can refresh your soul. Try a Dad’s Night Out or Mom’s Weekend Retreat for personal renewal. Take turns with your spouse or trade kids with a friend for a day or evening.
  • Schedule “couple time” faithfully. You probably got this advice when your children were born, only now it is more important than ever! Without careful planning, those days and weeks when you and your spouse hardly see each other can slip into months and years – not a good family strategy! Try different arrangements to see what works for your family; a weekly date night? time together each morning or evening? a week or weekend for the kids at Grandma’s? Trade Friday night babysitting with a neighbor. Time spent keeping your relationship strong is as important to your children as any other lesson you can teach them.
  • Participate in your career or other personal goals part time, if possible. Working one or two days a week can keep you involved in activities you love without causing overload.
  • Some careers and activities overlap well with homeschooling, enabling you to better use your time. For instance, if your hobby is sewing or crafts, set up your work area near where your children play or do their work.
  • Sequence your goals to coincide with your children’s level of development. No one plans to run a marathon the year the new baby arrives. similarly, a goal of House Beautiful is more attainable after the paint, juice, and mud years are history. Writing your novel may need to be put on hold until your children are immersed in reading and writing and projects of their own, but you may have time to create short stories and poems in the meantime.

Adapted from The Homeschooling Book of Answers: The 101 Most Important Questions Answered by Homeschooling’s Most Respected Voices by Linda Dobson

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