Whether you have been homeschooling for years or were forced into it by 2020, you’ve taken on a difficult task. Teaching isn’t easy and you are likely tackling it on top of your “real” job, taking care of a home and trying to be a parent, neighbor, spouse, friend, investor, informed voter and healthy. Whew. Is it Friday yet?
There are good days and bad days to be sure, but are you enjoying what you’re doing? Do you look forward to working with the kids or are you surviving? Even the best of us get run down and as we approach the holidays and the end of a semester, it’s quite common to feel more like you’re working hard at a job than enjoying a passion.
If you’re not intentional, homeschool teaching will run over your enthusiasm. You don’t have to just try to survive until break though. A few small efforts on your part can have big positive returns.
1. Learn and Grow
One easy way to stay motivated and excited about the next lesson is to keep learning about teaching and the subjects you are teaching. It can be fun to try a new strategy or share something you’ve learned with the kids. Talking with other teachers, researching online or taking an electronic subscription on teaching could do the trick.
2. Have Plans and Goals
One of the aspects of homeschool many people enjoy is the flexibility, but don’t fail to organize your school year. It can be incredibly rewarding and rejuvenating to meet your goals. Planning to complete the first 13 chapters of the biology text by Christmas not only guides your efforts but gives you the opportunity for a sense of accomplishment.
3. Keep/Establish Personal Routines
Take care of yourself. “Daily traditions” are essential to feeling energized and in control. If the morning routine is to have a cup of coffee while you read from 6:30 – 7:15 every morning, don’t give that up. If you need to exercise before home school starts, do it. If prior to taking on homeschooling, Thursdays was lunch out with the gals day, then keep it if you can work it out.
4. Plan Positivity
If we don’t plan to be positive, a day can go by before we realize we’ve been mostly neutral or even net negative. Write little notes to yourself which your student can’t see. “Praise Aiden the first chance I get” or “Praise Aiden when he finishes copying his spelling words for an easy first win of the day.” Look through work from the day before and give a planned compliment before moving on. Think of things your student will hear as encouraging and write those phrases down and mark them off as you use them during the day. High fives, hugs and rewards are useful too. The teacher deserves a pat on the back too.
5. Reward yourself
Yes, your significant other should probably recognize your effort and bring you flowers or take you out for dinner, but sometimes you just need to reward yourself. If you helped Brian crush
Nathan Manley is a certified teacher and coach with a masters degree in education. He has taught multiple subjects, every age group and from Jamaica to California. Between his three children, his family has experience with public school, private school, charter schools, hybrid programs and full time homeschool. He believes music and film produced after 1989 is “meh.”