As you know I’ve been homeschooling for quite sometime and nothing says, “I’m stinkin’ done with this guys”, quite like the semester back from the holiday season. Can I get an Amen from my homeschooling mama’s! Well every year I am determined to beat this funk and the last few years I’ve had quite a few victories. So, I thought I’d share them with you all.
Below are some of my secrets to staying excited throughout the spring semester.
1. Pray, Seriously, Pray
I mean, it really can’t get easier than this right? The first thing I do when I start feeling like this is pray! Now I’m not going to get all high and mighty on you. In all honesty at these times my prayers come out more like a plea for help. “God please make this not dreadful..please!”. You laugh, but seriously, there’s nothing worse then having to endure something for 14 weeks when you know there’s a potential to enjoy it for 14 weeks. Prayer is powerful, and God is awesome and I can’t think of a time that he hasn’t given me a changed heart when I asked, For this situation, it happened in many forms. Some of which I list below.
2. Teach a new class
My family is a apart of a co-op (two this year,cuz I’m CRAZY! Three if you count the science class I teach at my house). Part of the commitment I made in being in our co-op we go to on Fridays, is to teach a class one semester. I used to choose the fall semester that way I can just be done for the rest of the year. The only problem with that is I was literally done for the rest of the year, teaching my kiddos too. Not good. So I switched to teaching in the spring. Though it is still hard getting myself together after the holidays, this really is the best thing for our homeschool. It re-energizes me by keeping me on my toes and in full planning mode.
You can do this too. even if you don’t have a co-op you can join. You can create one with your closest friends. It can be any subject really. think about what you’re passionate about, what subject do you want to do but never seem to have time to (can someone say fine arts). It can even be lab for the science you’re teaching to your own kids (that’s what I do). It can even be the activities for the history you’re teaching at home. What I’m saying is, you don’t even have to teach, you can just do projects!!! The fact that you need to read the chapter so you and your kids know whats going on when everyone get to your home on co-op day is motivation enough!
3. Start a new curriculum
Sometimes we just need a change! I’ve experienced this many times. We’ve been doing the same language arts curriculum for three years now, but this year I purchased a completely different one just for spring semester. Now I’m not throwing the other one out. No way, we’re still working on those. I simply wanted to shake things up stop the monotony. This other curriculum had more writing and I wanted to work on that skill with them. Now I don’t recommend doing this with math, but any other subject is just fine. Science is actually one of the best ones to do this with.
Just like the co-op idea, it just gets you out of your comfort zone, and, like I said previously, breaks the monotony!
4. Nature Studies
There truly is no better way to beat the spring semester blues, than taking advantage of this lovely weather and exploring this vast, amazing world with your kiddos. This can come in any form,
- You can take one day to explore a preserve, or something close by for hours. Grab your journals, find a spot and just bask in the sun and the moment you are sharing together.
- Another way is to take a 30 min walk throughout the week. It can be daily or a few times a week (Bonus for getting some exercise in. Talk about killing three birds with one stone. You’re beating the blues, spending time with the kiddos, and tackling a new years resolution all at one time!!!). When you get home you can grab your journals and sit outside while you sketch what you saw or tape in a piece of the earth you snagged on the way home.
Nature study has to be one of my favorite ways to beat the blues, but then again, I am a bit of a hippie.
5. Something New
Nothing motivates me into staying on task than a new planner!!!! Seriously, even if it’s a new spreadsheet that I created myself to stay on task, it is the ultimate motivator for me. Maybe for you it’s a new coffee mug or espresso machine -which I totally get as well.
Think about what motivates you. Is it a new quiet time journal you use only on school days, or a new book just for mom, a new pen set, even a new hobby that you get to tackle at the end of the day. It can be as easy as a new scripture focus that will push you through every speed bump in your day.
6. Mommy Rewards
Okay so maybe you just need a break from all the school stuff. Perhaps doing more school stuff isn’t helpful at all. Well I hear you and boy do I have some ideas for you. I adapt this idea for when I need a little push to stay consistent with my workouts but you can totally use it for this.
At the end of every successful week I get a treat. Think about what excites you. Mommy time with the ladies, date night with the hubby, your favorite sweet treat, a pedicure, a new outfit. I mean, you know what you love, need, want & just what would motivate and refresh you. Keep your goal in mind.
7. Talk it out.
I think you have an idea of what this means. Grab a cup pf coffee with another homeschool mom, or your hubby and just chat about your lack of motivation these days. Ask for advice, and listen to it, even if you already know it. There’s a reason why it’s being said so listen. Sometime just talking to someone about it is all the help you need. You may be surprised at how motivated you are simply by being able to vent.
8. Create a Mission Statement
Sometimes we just need to remember why we are doing what we are doing, When I reflect on the reasons why we chose to homeschool I am instantly motivated by it. So get out your laptop, favorite notebook or grab that piece of junk mail you’ve been meaning to trash and jot down that mission statement. Then put it in a safe place so you can re-read every time you need a reminder. And don’t feel terrible if those reasons change. Our reasons for everything changes, all the time, we humans are quite dynamic. Just be sure to change up your mission statement so that it’s not obsolete.
The True Reward.
Sure we all need that motivation, push & support, but lets not lose focus on what we’re doing but rather why we’re doing it. And even more importantly, let’s not lose sight on that fact the you get to be with your kiddos.
You get to grow with them and see them through their struggles.
You have the privilege to watch their mind take shape on a daily basis.
You get to make a big stack of pancakes for lunch when they finally figured out how to conquer that math problem.
You get to sit with them and read their literature to them when they’re not feeling good.
I can go on and on with all the great events we get to experience. The bottom line is, it’s a freedom that we have. It’s not written in stone that we must do this forever, things can always change. Life situations can always change. Let us bask in the time that we have today and not loose sight on why we do it.
Have fun mom, you won’t get to live this day with your child ever again!
Now it’s your turn.
What motivates you throughout the school year?
Leave a comment below. I cant wait to hear from you!