Are you struggling to find enthusiasm for homeschooling after a tough school year? Do you need to be inspired to keep going? Me too.
There is a ton of inspiration out there in the form of podcasts, videos, and other talks from encouraging veteran homeschoolers! But how is a busy mom at home with kids going to find time to listen to their wisdom?
In different seasons of motherhood, different things work. All of these ideas have worked for me at one point, and I hope that at least one of them will work for you now!
- Nap time or quiet time – Regardless of the ages of your children, establishing and enforcing a nap time for those who need it and a quiet time for those who don’t, can provide a much-needed mid-day reprieve for mom. Provide some new puzzles, books, or audiobooks for the kids in quiet time, and enjoy your own listening time!
- Let the kids watch their own video – Most of us try to limit the screen time our children get, but this is for a good reason and might be worth it! Choose a show from formed.org in hopes of inspiring them, too, or promise them their favorite show if they tidy their room ahead of time. They watch in one room, and you watch nearby.
- Invite a friend to watch with you while kids play – This hack has so many benefits. Both moms get to hear a talk and chat about it afterwards, and the kids get an opportunity to socialize outside of structured activities. Be sure to have snacks for everyone and be prepared to be interrupted a few times (just hit pause). Still totally worth it.
- Listen with one airpod or earbud in while cooking or doing laundry or exercising – This scenario, for me, means I don’t get quite as much out of the talk as I otherwise would, but something is better than nothing. These are tasks we must do anyway, and while there are often little people “helping,” it’s one way to soak in a little encouragement while going about our daily tasks.
- Get up early or stay up late – This can be a little risky, because mamas need their sleep. Nevertheless, if your little ones are sleeping through the night, this one might be work a try for a day or two. Limit yourself to about an hour of listening in the morning or evening, so you have time to reflect on what you’ve heard!
- Put in your earbuds and play games with the kids – So, this is definitely not the very best option on the list, but it’s still something. Playing Uno or Sorry (our favorites) don’t take a lot of mental awareness, so I can multitask while playing these. Again, it’s not ideal, but if nothing else works, you might have to try it!
- Ask a mother’s helper to play with the kids – If you can spare the cost of a couple of take out coffees, ask a homeschooled teen to play with your kids while you set aside some time to dedicate to learning more about your vocation. A big benefit of this option is that you’re not hiring a babysitter and leaving the house, but someone else is entertaining the kids for a while!
- Ask your husband for time – Chances are that his job requires professional development aka continuing education. Ask him if he can come home a little early and take over the evening routine or give you half a Saturday to do the same. Homeschooling is your job, and this is a great opportunity for your husband to support the importance of your role!
- Put in your earbuds and go outside for a walk or to a park – Nature explorations are a great way to occupy kids while Mom has time with her thoughts! Explain to the kids that you want them to explore and enjoy while you listen to a talk about how to be a better mom. Find a bench or bring a blanket to sit and keep an eye on your kids while they play and you soak up some fresh ideas.
- Get a hotel room for one night – Yes, this one costs money, but if you can afford it, there’s enormous value in your children seeing you and your husband prioritize your knowledge and expertise. Modeling that we are still learning (and making sacrifices to do so) is a wonderful lesson for our kids!
Which one of these options might work for you? Pick a day to give one a try!
One fantastic option is to watch or listen to the talks at The Catholic Homeschool Conference! This online event has the best of the best of Catholic homeschooling wisdom. The 60+ recorded talks are free for four days, May 19-22, 2021. You can purchase a VIP pass (currently 50% off this week only) to get lifetime access to all of the talks. Register for free or buy your pass here! Be sure to check out my talk, titled "Finding What Fits: 5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Curriculum" and then you can learn about my new resource for choosing curriculum here!
Regardless of whether you listen to the conference talks or other podcasts or talks, making it a priority to listen to the wisdom of those who have gone before us is a vital part of surviving homeschooling and conquering burnout. Every year, as I “prepare” for the coming school year, I find books and talks to inspire me, and I highly recommend you do the same!
Which talks and podcasts are your favorites and when will you or do you find the time to listen to them?