Woah! Do you feel like you’re always on the go? Do you sense that your kids want more time focusing on subjects they enjoy? Are you worried about keeping up with your child’s public school counterpart? Do you find that it’s a struggle to make time for yourself? Then it may be time to slow down and truly enjoy your homeschooling experience.
Here are ten simple things you can do to take more time for both yourself and your kids!
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Make a quick and loose plan the night before.
Start by setting aside ten minutes in the evening to create a simple checklist for the following day. It’s easy to fill up homeschooling time with work, errands, chores, activities for your kids, etc. Slow down your homeschool by prioritizing what’s most important on your schedule and cutting out what’s unnecessary. Plus, knowing what needs to get done helps everyone start their morning off on the right foot.
I like to write our list on our kitchen chalkboard, that way everyone knows what’s expected of them and can easily refer back to it throughout the day.
Slow Down Your Morning Routine
Allow your family to wake up naturally. This here is the beauty of homeschooling – NO ALARMS, no rush to get ready for school, no scrambling for breakfast, no drop-off lines. Aah, it’s so glorious!
Find your family’s natural rhythm and go with it. There’s no rule out there that says homeschooling must be done at a certain time, and research has shown that later start times in traditional schools have a positive effect on student’s mental well-being and educational outcomes.
We don’t start our day until 11 am. My kids wake up between 7 am and 10 am, and they play until we’re ready to gather around the kitchen table for breakfast and to discuss the day’s agenda. After breakfast, they have chores to do and then they get ready head-to-toe before we start any “formal” schooling.
Just because traditional schools cover 4-8 subjects in one day does not mean we have to in our homeschool. It’s okay to just focus on a few topics a day, and maybe even the whole week or month or year! I know people who have been studying the Middle Ages for a couple of years now. Their kids can’t get enough of it!
Slowing down your homeschool by concentrating on one or two subjects at a time instead of feeling like you need to get through everything will be a tremendous stress relief. Your kids will benefit from and retain more by deep diving into topics.
Currently, we’re learning about The Hero’s Journey through literature and movies. We’ll probably stick with this until I see my kids’ interest waning, and then move onto a different subject, most likely in a few weeks. Besides this one topic, my kids also work on writing and math. And that’s all we do! Our homeschool day rarely lasts for more than 2-3 hours.
Move at your child’s pace.
The primary benefit of homeschooling is personalized education, so why move at someone else’s predetermined pace? Instead, follow your child’s lead. If she asks to take a break in the middle of her history lesson, let her go outside to run around and catch bugs. Slow down when your child slows down and enjoys homeschooling at their speed.
Don’t forget that you don’t have to finish a curriculum by following their recommended scope and sequence. We’re currently on year two of working with California Out of the Box, an interdisciplinary California history curriculum. We’re averaging 2 units a year at this rate, but my kids are really enjoying not rushing through it.
Make it cozy.
Lighting a candle, snuggling on the couch with a cozy blanket, kindling a fire, all these things have a subconscious effect on our moods. They slow us down from the hecticness of living. So slow down and make your homeschool cozy; you’ll enjoy it more!
During the holidays I strung some lights around our living room window, and everyone has agreed that we should keep them up year-round since they provide such a great ambiance.
Disconnect and be present.
Put your phone or tablet down and be in the moment. Slow down your homeschool day by putting away anything that can pull you away from what’s happening at the moment, and enjoy being present with your children.
I’ve chosen to take a step back from social media, and it is sublime! I no longer feel the need to document everything we’re doing, which allows me to be more in tune with my kids.
Take frequent breaks.
One great way to slow down your homeschool day is by taking frequent breaks. You can do this by simply pausing what you’re doing and enjoying a healthy snack or drink break, going outside for a few minutes, stretching your legs, and coming back refreshed. Slow down time between breaks by transitioning back to work slowly, allowing for a slow transition instead of rushing the process.
Besides breaks throughout the day, consider taking breaks more often throughout the year. I find my kids and I start to lose steam after 4-6 weeks of homeschooling depending on the season. We’ll usually take 1-2 weeks off (sometimes more!)
Go outside and take a deep breath. Slow down your homeschool by taking regular breaks to enjoy nature or seek out fun outdoor activities. Research has shown that viewing nature can reduce stress and promote emotional well-being in children.
We go on daily walks/scooter rides around our neighborhood, usually in the evening before dinner. We also have a garden and raise chickens, and my kids love to dig in the dirt. On Fridays, we like to join our local Wild + Free group and go on hikes or volunteer at the local senior garden.
Find simple pleasures.
Stop and smell the roses. Slow down your homeschool day by taking time to find simple pleasures, such as playing with your kids in the backyard or reading aloud to them on your cozy couch. We’re so fortunate to be able to homeschool our children, and we should take the time to appreciate the luxury that we have.
Make time for yourself.
Don’t forget about yourself and feeding your soul. Slow down your homeschool day by taking time to do things for yourself, such as exercising, reading, or baking something delicious. Prioritizing your interests in that list you made the night before, will help ensure that you feel content and happy. Both you and your kids will appreciate it.
Homeschooling can be a great way to educate your children, but sometimes you may feel like you’re always on the go and not getting enough time to enjoy the moment. Luckily there are some simple things you can do to help you slow down your homeschool day and make more time for yourself and your kids.
What’s your favorite tip to slow down?
Xuan Klevecka is a Southern California-based homeschool mom, wife, and sometimes purveyor of vintage goods. She’s an Enneagram 5w4, a lover of good food, and a former middle school history teacher. You’ll either find her looking at road maps and daydreaming about her family’s next epic adventure or perusing recipes and cooking up a feast for the brood.