Are you into making New Year’s Resolutions? Or do you look back at previous years and see that all your resolutions look the same? Then, you ponder the futility of making any new resolutions. I have 5 New Year’s resolutions to help you be a better homeschool mom.
Homeschool moms come in many varieties: the super-organized, the high achievers, the discouraged ones, the moms who constantly wonder if they are doing anything right, and the ones who feel it is a great day if everyone is dressed and has eaten at least two meals.
These resolutions apply to all categories of homeschool moms. And instituting these resolutions will help you be better at homeschooling and being a mom. So, keep reading and see how these resolutions can help you.
New Year’s Resolutions – #1: Patience
Is patience one of your strong features? If you are like me, then probably not. It seems we are always in a hurry, always trying to get our kids to work a little faster, move a bit more rapidly, and not take so long to do just about everything! We should resolve to be more patient.
Be more patient with your children.
Remember, they are still children! Children don’t have the same concept of time that adults do. They often don’t understand the need for speed. They are more interested in the process than the result. Therefore, time doesn’t matter to them.
Be patient! Start the process earlier if you must leave home at a particular time. Find all the shoes the previous night. Use timers to set limits on projects, cleanups, or assignments when necessary. Whatever isn’t finished when the timer goes off will be worked on later.
Use patience when teaching children the importance of being on time for things. Remember, punctuality is a skill that requires learning and practice, just like reading and math facts.
Take time when explaining new educational concepts. And you may need to repeat those explanations multiple times before your kids catch on to them. Use patience as they plod through those math assignments. And if they don’t finish everything in the time you allotted, that’s okay – as long as they were diligently working. Come back to that later or tomorrow.
Be more patient with yourself.
Homeschooling is not one of those innate traits we are born knowing how to do! So, as you navigate this homeschooling world, be patient with yourself. It’s okay to make some mistakes as you learn. It’s not the end if you need to switch curriculum. If you don’t know the answers to every question your child asks, that’s all right. Be honest, say you don’t know, and find the answers.
Be more patient with yourself as a parent. Kids don’t come with instruction manuals; even if they did, they wouldn’t have read them. We learn parenting by trial and error, seeking wisdom and advice, and using what works. And when you think you may have this parenting thing figured out, the next child who is entirely different comes, and you start back at the beginning! Give yourself grace and patience to learn what to do and how to do it!
Practicing the art of patience will relieve stress from both you and your children. So, let’s add learning and practicing patience to our New Year’s Resolutions list this year.
New Year’s Resolutions – #2: Consistency
Consistency is the practice of being constant in routines, expectations, and behavior. Can your children count on you to be consistent? Do they expect the same routines each day, the same applications of discipline, the same rules of behavior?
Children thrive with consistent routines and expectations.
Children thrive with stability, and your consistency will help to provide them with a stable home environment. Start with a morning routine: what do you expect your kids to do each morning? When kids know exactly what is expected of them, and that expectation doesn’t change, then it becomes a habit for them, a daily routine.
Your homeschooling needs that same consistency! Have a routine order of your school so your kids know what comes next. Be consistent with schooling daily to ensure your homeschooling doesn’t become haphazard. Keep your academic standards consistent, also. Don’t demand results beyond their abilities; don’t allow sloppy or careless work.
Be consistent with your kids’ behavior as well. Good behavior is learned through consistent training, instruction, correction, and habits. What you don’t allow today, you should not allow tomorrow or next week.
Consistency will benefit homeschool moms as well!
As a mom, when you consistently teach and train your children in proper behavior, attitudes, practices, etc., you will reap rewards in the long run. Granted, it may take weeks or months of training to see the desired results, but sooner or later, your children will learn to act and speak appropriately most of the time.
Consistency in your routines and behavior will set a good example for your children. Our children often learn more from what we do than what we say. When they see us being consistent in our actions, speech, or behavior, they will notice.
So, add consistency to your list of resolutions for this year.
New Year’s Resolutions – #3: Gratitude
What is gratitude? Gratitude is the state of being thankful and appreciative. When we learn to be grateful for all the things that we have or that we face, our overall attitude changes. Gratitude, or thankfulness, is a choice we make all day long. We cannot control everything that happens throughout each day, but we can control our reactions. And practicing gratitude will help with that.
Our practice of gratitude needs to be more than lip service to thankfulness. We need to be thankful from our hearts. And not just for the good things, either. We can be grateful for lessons learned from bad experiences and truths found during hard times.
Express your gratitude verbally to others around you. If “thank you” isn’t a part of your vocabulary, you need to work on that. We can all express more gratitude to those around us, even our children.
And your children will pick up on your gratitude. Remember, they learn by watching us! So, offer them a consistent lesson on gratefulness and thankfulness! Show appreciation to others and practice gratefulness throughout the day. Talk about what it means to be thankful, even in hard times. You will be teaching your children valuable lessons!
New Year’s Resolutions – #4: Realism
Let’s work on being more realistic this year, especially regarding homeschooling. Sure, we can make grand plans and have lofty goals and ambitions for progress, but we need to temper those plans with realism. It’s easy to make plans and then get discouraged when life happens on the way to accomplishing those goals.
Being realistic with your plans allows you to adjust and adapt when life doesn’t go according to plan. Kids get sick. Moms get sick. Dad might lose his job. Disasters, both big and small, will happen. Interruptions to your school day occur regularly. When we look at our plans realistically, it is easier to adjust and adapt.
Remember this: In homeschooling, it’s okay if you don’t finish every textbook by the end of the school year. Just pick up in the fall where you left off and continue. It’s more important that your kids learn the material than if they hurry through to finish the book by a deadline.
Being realistic in your planning will allow you to be more relaxed and less stressed; your kids will pick up on that.
New Year’s Resolutions – #5: Finding Order from the Chaos
Homeschooling can cause chaos. Or rather, homeschooling and kids can create chaos in even the most organized homes. And I am guessing that not all of us can claim to have the most organized homes. We are talking about books, papers, projects, supplies, experiments, and more books! And don’t get me started on glitter! (See: Glitter is not Your Friend – Homeschooling Facts That No One Talks About)
Some of you are fortunate enough to have a room (with a door!) for your homeschooling. Others of you use kitchen tables, family room desks, or whatever you have for your schooling. Consider how you can make your situation work better for you and your family.
Whether you use notebooks, shelves, folders, crates, boxes, or any other magical containers, try to control the papers and books so they can be easily located and used. You will save time and sanity for everyone!
And just so you know, I am still working on this! Can a home ever have enough bookshelves? Do you ever feel guilty getting rid of books or homeschooling materials? Invite a friend to come over and help you complete a book purge. Donate books to others who need them. Keep the classics and your kids’ favorites, but rehome other books.
New Year’s Day isn’t the only opportunity to make resolutions! Every day is a new beginning; every morning offers new chances to make changes and improve your life. Perhaps one of these resolution suggestions will help you become a better homeschooling mom. Maybe one of these ideas will challenge you to be a better example for your kids. Or perhaps one of these thoughts will inspire you to work on a different need in your life.
We should always strive to live better, grow, and improve our lives and families. Take it one step at a time, and implement new habits into your life and homeschooling this year. I’m rooting for you!
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