Carb loading... homeschool style.
3 essential summer preparations for your head and heart.
Pools, play dates, projects, holidays, vacations and lots of family time = summer break! Just thinking of all the things to look forward to in the summer (especially the break from school) is exciting and refreshing.
Speaking of refreshing — how are you feeling, Mama?
Are you taking action to renew your mind and soul to gear up for another school year that will be here sooner than you think? If you have not even had a chance to think about refreshing yourself amongst the fun and chaos of being at home with kids in the summer, let me encourage you with a few ways in which I hope to also refuel this summer. I'm telling you, the last thing you want to do when you are out buying school supplies and making sure the kids have what they need, is to be completely drained (especially if you are a homeschooling Mama). Moms with kids in school may be rejoicing at this point ;)
Runners need to carb load before a race or event, right? Well, same idea.
Homeschooling mamas, load up on refreshing your heart and soul so you can stay focused and encouraged throughout the year. It is so essential that you remain constant through the challenges and exhaustion that comes with the role of Mom, teacher, disciplinarian, activity runner, chef, cleaning lady... you get the point. Here are a few refresher ideas to work on this summer.
1. Be intentional with building your relationship with your children.
"Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." — 2 Corinthians 9:6
As a stay-at-home Mom, I understand how easy it is to become familiar with your day in and day out. I understand how easy it is to get comfortable with knowing your child's boundaries and capabilities. I understand how exhausting it is to try to meet the demands of your child/children all day long 24 hours a day. I also understand how easy it is to hit snooze and let life happen without being present. The thing that took me a while to understand, was how important it would be to build a relationship with my kids intentionally. Just because I am home with them all day every day does not mean I am nurturing the need to connect. Connecting is essential for building your relationship with your child and keeping your homeschool running like a well oiled machine. You might grind a few gears along the way, but if you put some love and attention into it, it will run much smoother.
I love listening to podcasts and I am a huge fan of Havilah Cunnington. It may have been one of her video series on Truth to Table, but she mentioned the phrase "Rules without relationship = rebellion" and what seems like such a simple no-brainer was a HUGE eye opener for me. You may have heard the first year of homeschooling is the hardest? It took me 2 years to learn the same lessons. So much stubborn in one girl. When I put on my "teacher hat" I became this strict disciplinarian who was driven by the fear of doing it wrong and the fear of failing. When I let go and enjoyed time with my children more, learning became natural instead of a nuisance.
2. Plan a trip with the hubby to go over the coming school year.
1 Peter 3 talks about the relationship between a husband and wife. A relationship that loves and respects each other and is considered as heirs "... of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." Verse 8 goes on to say, "... be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble."
There is a lot of meat in this chunk of scripture, but what encourages me here, is the truth that my husband and I need to be "like-minded, loving one another, compassionate, sympathetic and humble". Since my husband owns a business and we homeschool, it is very easy to get caught up in the daily grind of what is going on in our "personal world" and then communication gets lost, feelings get hurt and selfishness and pride sneak in.
I highly encourage you to get together with your husband for a mini trip and go over your expectations of what areas you will need help in the coming year. Go over upcoming trips, activities, extracurriculars, anything that you can think of to make sure you are on the same page. Lean on each other. Become the best version of yourself and together as husband and wife because raising kids, homeschooling, sending kids to school and life takes team work and lots of prayer!
3. Renew your mind and soul so you can pour into your children.
"I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." —Psalm 121:1-2
Amen and amen! Our help comes from the Lord, there is not enough human strength or patience available to get you through the trial and error of raising kids and homeschooling. It is non-stop and pouring out every bit of time, energy, patience, creativity and love into your kids is exhausting but absolutely worth it! If you believe God has called you to homeschool, stay present in keeping your heart and mind filled with truth and love. Here are some ways I stay filled so I can be everything my kids need me to be.
- Read your bible, read relative books.
- Go to conferences, listen to podcasts.
- Memorize scripture and PRAY all the time.
- Don't forget to exercise, it is so important for a healthy mind.
Don't get weary. Remember, God picked you to be the exact parent needed to raise your children. You will know how to navigate your way through homeschooling, you will know how to find the exact discipline tactic for that one child. You will, but you need to stay alert, prayerful, and filled with the Holy Spirit to give you discernment and instruction. As I read back through these points I realize they not only help to get you ready for the coming school year, but these 3 steps can help in our every day schedules and struggles. It is something that I need to work on, and hopefully this is encouraging to you as well!
Our help comes first and foremost from the Lord, but also from this amazing community. We can encourage each other and build each other up! I love to see how others homeschool, and find community on instagram so I can be encouraged and strengthened. Follow me on IG over at @happylittlemessblog so we can learn more about each other and strengthen each other through this amazing journey! Keep on keeping on Mama!
Have fun carb loading ;)