Posts for category ‘General Parenting’

Winner of the Moments for Mom Giveaway
Lesson Pathways | December 21, 2010 | 9:30 am

Young girl celebrating with confetti

A great big THANK YOU to everyone that entered our “Moments for Mom” giveaway!  Your comments and creativity were amazing and sure to have inspired other moms to find time for themselves!

We wish we could give everyone a prize but, alas, there is only one!

How did we choose the winner?

Each comment was numbered (skipping the one pingback in the comments section) and then we entered the parameters into the random number generator at Random.org..

And the winner is …..

Moments for Mom Winner

Amanda C.!!!!  She said:

“Every Friday night, my closest friend has an artist come to her house to instruct an art class for our children. While they are in the studio, we have tea and knit. This is such a special time for us to connect and bond as moms and have a creative outlet. I homeschool my 8 year old son, and am pregnant with our 2nd child, so I really appreciate the time with my friend to regroup.Having strong female relationships is so important to keep each other going “

Congratulations, Amanda!  Drop us a line at Blog(at)LessonPathways(dot)com to claim your prize!

Finding Time for Mom
Lesson Pathways | December 20, 2010 | 10:36 am

By the OceanFinding time for yourself can be hard anytime of year.  Add the hustle and bustle of the holidays and it can be near impossible!

In our previous post, we gave some tips for finding time to manage it all.  Last week, we asked our readers how they do it.  We received some pretty creative answers!

Here’s how other moms find “mom time,” we hope some of these ideas will work for you and will remind you to take care of yourself so you can take care of your family!

  • Once a week I send my children to a writing class for 2 hours. I use that time to take a walk and shop ALL BY MYSELF!
  • We have a YMCA membership and they offer free childcare to members. I drop my kids off and (depending on the day) go workout, take a yoga class, walk the track or dance my cares away at zumba. After I am done I grab my kids and head to the pool feeling rejuvenated schedule if I didn’t have this time in the evening for unwinding and relaxing.
  • Since I’ve started homeschooling, it was hard to find time for myself. We all have our favorite hobbies and all need to time to just set and meditate for a period. This after bedtime is my time. I love working on stained glass. I have a workshop and I work this in my home. It’s such an art and I can put my favorite music on, relax and see God working through my fingers into my glass. This is most favorite time to wind down and be thankful for all I have in my family and home.
  • Being a real night owl, has its benefits for me. I fit me-time into the early hours of the morning, when hubby & my boys are sleeping. I usually grab my laptop & do digi-scrapping to relax.
  • Our older two children go to Awana on Wednesday nights. I leave my toddler at home with my husband, drop the older two off at Awana and sit at Starbucks… all by myself
  • I have recently began going and receiving a deluxe spa pedicure every two weeks…all.by.myself! It is wonderful!
  • I read in a quiet house for an hour each day. I’ve started going to a late morning movie, so no trips to the bathroom with kids, or fighting over popcorn. I meet a friend for breakfast or lunch twice a month too.
  • I’m part of a handbell choir, and I go to a 2 hour practice once a week, plus a few concerts every couple of months. It’s my one thing I do without the kids.
  • I am usually up at 430am every morning. I use the quiet morning to work on my hobby of beading or just sit read a book with my tea. I live in the country so not much else I can do without driving 25 minutes. This is a cheap and easy way to have me time.
  • Every Wednesday my friend calls and we have a great conversation and pray together on the phone. My little one is sleeping and I let my two older ones listen to there favorite audio drama. It is so recharging.
  • I try to fit in reading breaks throughout the day – sometimes it’s only 20 minutes while my daughter watches a show on tv, but I do it every chance I get!
  • I love to do counted cross-stitch. I can do it with the kids or without the kids but when I’m working on a Bible verse (and no one is around) it is definitely my time with the Lord…then I can talk to Him out loud if I want to while I’m praying or sing along with a worship song I might have in.
  • I try to find some “mommy time” every day to read a book or watch some tv.
  • My mommy time is watching tv or reading a book behind the closed bathroom door.
  • I usually get up early and enjoy my quiet time while everyone else is sleeping. I am most productive early in the morning!
  • I put my little one to bed at 8 p.m. and then have 2 hours for myself everyday!
  • I work full time, so it’s REALLY hard to find time but I- go to the gym during lunch a couple times a week and play my iPOD REALLY loud and try to have fun with it, every once in a while I call out of work sick and go for a bike ride or a quick hike nearby but get back in time to pick up the kids for school. I also meet my girlfriends once a month for a glass of wine and some laughs. I’ve really been working on finding more time for myself, it helps me to be a happier person and thus a happier mom!!
  • My honey takes the kids at least two days a week for “daddy time”. This gives me a much needed rest!! I spend my time scrapbooking, taking a walk, reading a book or just taking a long hot bath!! Amazing how just a little time to yourself makes you feel like a whole new person.
  • While I respect (and admire) SAHM, I’ve chosen to also work out of the home. I find that for me–this is a good fit!
  • I have some chronic health conditions and have finally realized that I need to take care of myself as well as my family. I’ve joined a medically supervised exercise program, so three mornings a week, after I put my younger child on the bus, I leave before my 7th grader goes to school and I go to the gym. I work over full-time (through three part-time jobs) so it’s not easy to fit it in, but I know it’s something I have to do for myself because my health depends on it and I can’t be a good mom if I’m not healthy.
  • Nap time it my time. I refuse to do housework but read or take a long bath.
  • Every Friday night, my closest friend has an artist come to her house to instruct an art class for our children. While they are in the studio, we have tea and knit. This is such a special time for us to connect and bond as moms and have a creative outlet. I homeschool my 8 year old son, and am pregnant with our 2nd child, so I really appreciate the time with my friend to regroup.Having strong female relationships is so important to keep each other going
  • You guys have some great ideas. I really struggle with finding time for myself. I try to get up a bit earlier than the kids and enjoy the peace with a book and coffee. Occasionally I will stay up late for some quiet peaceful time.
  • I enjoy my “mom moments” by blogging.
  • I also find other “mom moments” by enjoying my first cup of coffee (and sometimes my second) before the kids get up.
  • I also love my “mom moments” when I’m snuggling with the kids during our weekly movie nights.
  • I enjoy snuggling with my daughter as I wake her up each morning! That is a true “Mom Moments”!

One of these tid-bits of inspiration is the winning comment of our Moments for Mom Giveaway. Check back tomorrow to see if you’re the winner!

Do you have advice to share with other parents on how to find “me time”?  Tell us in the comments section below!

Meaningful Math: Making It Hands-On
Lesson Pathways | September 15, 2010 | 9:10 am

A second post in our “Making Math Meaningful” series, Lyn L. shares some insight on how to make math hands-on through yard sales.

Math BlocksDo you and the kids have stuff piling up everywhere? Need some extra cash for a family project or just for fun? Collect all that junk and have a yard sale. The kids can earn some extra money and practice hands-on math at the same time.

Hands-On Math Through Sorting

Building math skills isn’t always about the figures. Sorting items into categories can help build important skills the kids will need in solving complicated math problems. It also helps to keep the brain active. Items can be categorized by type, shapes, and even sizes. Differentiation is extremely important for solving all types of math problems.

Learn Math Through Pricing Sale Items

Kids can determine how much items should cost by their age, item type, wear and tear, and more. Comparison skills will help in all aspects of life, including math computation. Determining the value of something is essential to understanding how numbers and other math concepts work. It also will help in many career options – not just those related to the field of math.

Estimate How Much Would be Made

Not all yard sales will be successful enough to sell everything. But let the kids figure out what the potential profit from the sale would be if all items were sold. They should add up the prices of everything. Then, explain about how some people might bargain and allow for a certain percentage to be subtracted to reflect that. Then, explain about the items used in having the yard sale, such as markers and poster board to create signs, labels to create price tags, cost of food and beverages that might be sold, etc. These items need to be subtracted to come to the final estimate of profit. Keep this total for later use.

Let the Kids Cashier

Older kids can handle this without your help (just be sure to supervise for safety). With younger kids, you can explain it to them as they go, allowing them to be involved in the transaction as much as possible. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and decimals/money-counting are common skills that will be used in cashiering. Kids also may get experience with fractions and percentages.

Final Hands-On Math Lessons Through the Yard Sale

At the end of the day, let your children add up all the money. Like in the profit estimate, supplies will need to be accounted for. Be sure your kids subtract those. Then, here’s where the estimate comes in handy. Let the kids compare the estimated figure to the actual profit to see how well the sale went. Explain how businesses do not always make what they think they will. Was there a profit after all the supplies?

Kids can learn math easily through hands-on lessons, such as this one. All you have to do is create the opportunity. Sometimes they present themselves. We just have to pay attention and grab those moments when possible. By allowing the kids to practice math in a hands-on situation, you are giving them necessary skills will last a lifetime.

Lyn Lomasi is a home school mom, expert parenting writer, former nanny, author of “Positive Parenting Tips for Every Week of the Year“, & owner of several websites, including ParentSuccessfully.com.

(Accidental) Educational Benefits of Travel
Lesson Pathways | June 28, 2010 | 10:48 am

SuitcaseAs I write this post, I am sitting in a hotel room with my daughter in New York City.  This trip was planned as a very special Sweet 16 present for her; a time for mother-daughter bonding and enjoying the sites and sounds of the big city.  It has been all that we hoped, plus some.

What was not planned was the learning and education that has wedged itself into this trip. After 11 years of homeschooling, my daughter is quickly growing tired of “field trips and travel with a purpose,” but it happened anyway. ;-)  Some of what has been learned could be filed under the “life skills” or “life lessons” of learning, but very worthwhile.

Getting lost and putting map skills to practical use was the best lesson ever.  In our own home town and on field trips, there is rarely such an urgent need to quickly find out where you are and how to get some place.

Cultural Awareness: We live in the 11th largest city in the United States, Detroit, in a very urban neighborhood.  We’ve lived in Florida and Tennessee and we’ve traveled to Mexico as well.  Needless to say, my children have experienced a variety of different lifestyles and regional cultures.  None of this compares to the diverse population we’ve encountered on this trip.  It’s been a real eye-opener for her. It’s led to many questions (most of which I did not know the answer and we needed to come back to the hotel and make good use of the free internet and Google).  Not only that, seeing people openly embracing and displaying their cultures and beliefs has given her more courage in doing the same.

History! History! History!: Ever since reading “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” as a child, WTR058I had wanted to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  My daughter did not, but I “forced” her to go anyway.  She surprised herself and actually enjoyed it though!  We’ve spent the last year in an in-depth study of Ancient Egypt, Rome & Greece.  We built Egyptian & Greek Temples, Roman Aqueducts, wrote in hieroglyphics and of course looked at tons and tons of pictures.  Seeing all of this in person was just jaw-dropping and really “drove home” the lessons that we learned from our studies. Even my daughter was impressed.

Navigation: We have gotten lost more times than I can count, so far on this trip.  Together, my daughter and I looked at subway maps, paper maps and used our iPhones to find where we were going. We’ve used maps in our studies at home, learning about latitude and longitude and to locate countries, cities and regions.  But, getting lost and putting map skills to practical use was the best lesson ever.  In our own home town and on field trips, there is rarely such an urgent need to quickly find out where you are and how to get some place.

Becoming More Observant: My daughter is artistic, she sees her surroundings in angles, colors and light.  This is a wonderful quality that I do not possess, but the down side of this is that she doesn’t take note of the practical in her surroundings.  In the same vein as the “navigation lesson,” getting lost has taught her to be more observant of where she’s been and what’s ahead of her.  Being in a large crowd of people has helped her become more aware of her place in space. “Is she blocking the doorway of the subway car?”, “Is someone standing too close to her purse?” and so on.  Again, lessons I’ve tried to teach at home, but didn’t kick in until now, because it was absolutely necessary.

These are just a few of the many lessons learned on this trip.  Others include making good decisions, spending money wisely, making an itinerary (and staying flexible) and not to mention the value of good walking shoes versus fashionable shoes.

I am so thankful to have this precious time with my daughter and stand in amazement at the valuable lessons she’s learned in less than a week’s time.

This post was written by Christina S..  She lives in Detroit with her husband and two daughters.  They have just finished up their 11th year of homeschooling and looking forward to more travel and learning with her family.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy Homeschool Netherlands and our Travel and Field Trip Pathways.

Making Time for Family – Fun That Is!
Lesson Pathways | May 25, 2010 | 1:16 pm

Family giving dog a bath.The life of a homeschooler can be incredibly busy. There is always much to do. But remember, it’s critical to take time to relax and just enjoy the unique combination that is your family. Time together–with no other goal than having fun–can build and strengthen bonds and help tired, stressed feelings melt away.

Hearing dad cut loose and laugh during a Saturday afternoon family game can help your children see him in a new light. Tossing a ball in the park with your kids can help them see you as so much more than teacher and household manager. Even squabbling siblings can learn to respect and enjoy each other during fun family times. Sure, they’ll still squabble, but they’ll also see each other as playmates instead of mere opponents.

Hearing dad cut loose and laugh during a Saturday afternoon family game can help your children see him in a new light.

Here are 5 great ways to have fun with your family:

* Schedule a board game night. Whip out your favorite board games (or buy some new ones), break out the snacks (sure, they can be healthy), and hunker down for a couple of hours of board game fun. Talk, laugh, and reconnect with each other. (Some people choose movie and board game night. This can be fun, too, but watch out! When the movie is playing, there may be less talking and enjoying each other and more focusing on the tube.)

Some board game ideas:

  • Scrabble
  • Yatzee
  • Monopoly
  • Life
  • Totally Gross (this game is hilarious, and yes, gross)

* Get out in the great outdoors. Go to the park and toss around the football or kick around the soccer ball. PlayIS078-019 tennis as a family. Getting the body moving is not only great exercise, but also creates a wonderful sense of mental well-being. Try bicycling and hiking, too! Do a different outdoor activity each week to avoid boredom. Picnics count as outdoor fun as well.

* Make a feast. In one family, there may be much disagreement over which food is tastiest. Get in the kitchen as a family and have each person prepare something for a buffet-style meal. Even small children can help with things like making a salad, putting cheese on a pizza, or stirring ingredients. When your meal is done, gather around the table and sample a bit of each dish. Refrigerate the leftovers for later. This means less cooking for you!

* Go camping. Tent camping is a fun, and often inexpensive, way to experience the joys of roughing it as a family. Just think–no television, video games, or computers as distractions! You may be able to find affordable campgrounds within miles of your home. However, you don’t have to go far. You can even pitch the tent in the backyard! It’s free and the bathroom is impressively close.

*Help others and/or the environment. Okay, this is a little work, but volunteering your time can be a heart-warming experience. Consider helping clean up a park, delivering meals to the elderly, or helping at an animal shelter. You may need to be a bit creative and flexible to find volunteer opportunities that you can do as a group, especially if you have small children. However, you’re sure to find at least a few ways your family can help make a difference.

The Importance of Giving Back
Lesson Pathways | May 17, 2010 | 8:00 am

Being a stay-at-home homeschooling mama can put quite a strain on the family budget.  Where once, as a full-time Giving Worldemployee,  I was able to donate money to many worthy causes.  We are no longer in a financial position to give to charities like we used to. What is a Mom to do when you want to instill in your child the importance to give to those in need but can’t spare the change, so to speak?  Why, just get a bit more creative.  This year I made it a priority to use some of our homeschooling time to work on charitable projects.

How do you choose a project to donate to?  There are many books such as Knitting for Peace: Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time
or Quilting for Peace: Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time
that have patterns for projects and where to send them.  There are many blogs calling for craft donations such as Quilting for Babes and quilt shops hosting sew-ins and accepting donations for causes such as the1 Million Pillowcase Challenge. There are also many local resources in need of help such as quilt guilds, churches, shelters, food pantries, and hospice.

My father was recently told that his cancer is back and has spread.   He will be going for treatments soon.  Right away we thought of making him a quilt together to keep him warm at the treatment center because he is always cold.

Where do you start?  For us it began with a blog posting at One Shabby Chic with a touching story about Kathy’s project Quilting for Babes.  I read the story (Bed 18 at Magnolia Designs Blog) to my daughter and asked her what she thought.  We discussed the fact that her best friend Nate was a preemie and got a special quilt when he was in NICU.  This brought the concept of this project from abstract to concrete.  She was very enthused at the prospect of helping Mama make something special for a struggling newborn.

pinwheelbabes9We set about selecting a combination of fabrics together, and then she watched as I showed her the steps involved in making a quilt top.  She will then, as part of her practical arts education, learn to make one on her own and then if she’s like we can donate it to an organization of her choice.  We’ll in all likelihood start with a pillowcase to donate first though…knowing how to sew in a straight line sure comes in handy when quilting..

My father was recently told that his cancer is back and has spread.   He will be going for treatments soon.  Right away we thought of making him a quilt together to keep him warm at the treatment center because he is always cold.  Again this is a cause that my daughter can associate with, mind this is a very personal one, but I think that is the most important part of instilling in them the importance to give back.  In order for them to be passionate about it, they have to be able to relate to the cause.

I feel very fortunate that I have the time to make quilts for charity, and especially that I get to do it with my daughter.  What special skill do you have that you can share with your child?  Are you an avid gardener, a wood worker, or perhaps a baker?  I encourage you to take your skills into your community and beyond to help those in need, and in the process you and your child will create fond memories together that will not soon be forgotten.

Xo,
Colette

This post was written by Colette D., a new-to-homeschooling Mom and a Lesson Pathways Blog contributing writer.  She and her Husband raise their daughter together in the rural countryside of Upstate New York where they like to spend as much time as possible being creative and enjoying nature.  She blogs about her adventures in sewing,, quilting, crafting, and baking (among other things) at yearofhandmade.

Last Minute Webinar Freebie
Lesson Pathways | May 12, 2010 | 10:59 am

The battle during allergy season is a tough one, especially if you tend to shy away from prescription or over-the-counter medication.

If you suffer from allergies, or care for someone who does, you may want to check out this FREE webinar tonight, sponosred by KIWI Magazine:

KiwiCollege

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The webinar is TONIGHT (May 12, 2010) at 8:00pm EST, and registration is a must.


Living With ADHD
Lesson Pathways | March 22, 2010 | 3:09 pm

Teenage School GirlOur daughter, Hannah, is a wonderful, bubbly child who often has a little too much energy. Last year, she was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Her diagnosis was not unexpected. She has been almost constantly in motion since birth!

ADHD is often misunderstood by the general public. I’ve spent many hours reading books, online resources and even message boards about ADHD. There are almost as many suggestions for how to “fix” a child with ADHD as there are kids themselves, so I really don’t want to get into the medical side of the disorder. The problems associated with ADHD are real, but a child is far more than any disease, disorder or disability.

I have been blessed to find some amazing support from people who have come into my life with children who also have ADD/ADHD. One of my nieces was diagnosed with ADHD nearly 12 years ago. She is now a bright young woman who has many stories, both positive and negative, to tell about her early years. She is, of course, an inspiration to my own daughter. Hannah also has a little boy in her class this year who has ADHD. He is one of the most positive, upbeat kids you could ever meet! His attitude has helped Hannah understand that she can not only live with ADHD, but also thrive as she faces its challenges.

There are almost as many suggestions for how to “fix” a child with ADHD as there are kids themselves, so I really don’t want to get into the medical side of the disorder. The problems associated with ADHD are real, but a child is far more than any disease, disorder or disability.

Hannah and her friend also attend karate classes together. It is a great fit for a child with hyperactivity. Karate allows children with ADHD to learn to control their body movements and handle stress and anxiety in a natural way.

There are numerous online resources that provide parents with medical information, reading sources and the support of others who have children with ADHD. A good place to start is Chadd.org. This site not only provides lots of information, but also helps with finding local ADHD support groups. If you are interested in a Christian perspective on ADHD, Christianadhd.com has wonderful articles on treating ADHD naturally as well as resources for deciding whether medication is right for your child. For online support, ADHD groups on Cafemom.com and Dailystrength.org have excellent message boards.ADHD Book

Recently, I’ve been checking out books on the subject of ADHD. One of the best books out there, for basic information, is The ADHD Parenting Handbook: Practical Advice for Parents from Parents. While reading this book, I began to realize just how common my questions about parenting a child with ADHD really are.

My daughter is such an ordinary little girl in so many ways. She loves to play dress up with her best friend. Recently, she learned to ride her bike without training wheels, and give her a pool and a swimsuit and she will happily stay in the water for hours! The fact that she is so energetic has proven to be a gift instead of a hindrance in so many ways.

For too long, I was focused on her diagnosis and how ADHD seemed to make life more difficult for us as a family. Every conference with a teacher in which I heard the same words about her difficulty to focus and remain seated, and every glare directed at my daughter in a restaurant or other public place, seemed to intensify my feelings of inadequacy as her mother. Why couldn’t I just “fix” her?j0433350

I don’t remember the exact moment when I realized that I was focusing on the wrong thing. Maybe I was the one who needed fixing! ADHD is just a small part of who my daughter is. Since I have been focusing on her wonderful qualities, she has begun to blossom in so many ways. And so have I.

This post was written by Lee Ann T., a LessonPathways.com volunteer blog contributor.  You can read more about Lee Ann, and the rest of our volunteer bloggers by visiting the “Our People” page.

Homeschooling Preschoolers
Lesson Pathways | February 22, 2010 | 11:16 am

Homeschooling Preschoolers Happens Organically With Day-to-Day Activities

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“What curriculum should I use with my preschooler?” This is a common question I hear from other mothers of preschoolers. What am I using for my kids? Mostly life. :-) Here are some of my favorite preschool resources.

Online lesson plans for preschoolers–I love using online resources, which are easy to access in an odd moment, and through them I can glean plenty of ideas and inspiration for activities.

Crafts and art supplies–The craft section of your local dollar store is a bounty of possibilities for preschool activities. Pipe cleaners, puff balls, sequins, glitter, glue, foam pieces, tissue paper, paint and more can all be used for a wide variety of art projects and crafts.

Papers–lots of papers. My kids like to spread out and cut and glue and color and fold and paint… For this, we need PAPER! We use old newspaper beneath any painting sessions, old magazines for practicing cutting, and of course, construction paper and scrap copy paper for coloring projects.

Housework–Housework? How is housework learning for preschoolers? Oh, in so many ways! The simple act of creating matches from your odd sock basket encourages eye coordination and fine detail recognition. Helping to set a table place setting to make each person’s place look like your sample improves a child’s reasoning and memory skills. Learning to hold a dustpan while you sweep encourages motor skills. There are so many ways to include a child in your everyday activities, helping them develop skills that provide a base for learning later in life.

The Local Library–Library books are a must–children’s books of all kinds! Many children’s books can be used as the basis for additional learning activities. For example, one of my children’s favorites, Curious George, can be used to talk about the principle of floating and gravity when George the monkey floats away holding onto a bundle of helium balloons.

EducationWith these inexpensive and easily accessible learning resources in your home, your preschooler will learn more than you realize. It’s often in the unexpected moments that you see your children shine, especially when learning is a part of everyday life, instead of something with lots of pressure and structure attached!

Angela England lives in rural Oklahoma with her husband and soon to be four children, where she works as a professional blogger in addition to homeschooling, doing childbirth work and massage therapy. England is the founder of The Untrained Housewife – a social site for homemakers, mothers and homeschoolers to exchange back-to-the-basic tips and tricks.

Homeschool Burnout: Now What?
Lesson Pathways | February 3, 2010 | 9:06 am

CB049554It happens to the best of homeschool families: homeschool burnout. It’s the point at which you simply do not want to look at another lesson plan or spelling list or sit down and work on multiplication facts.  I’ve read many articles that discuss how to avoid homeschool burnout, but what happens if you can’t avoid it?

As homeschool parents, we’re often busy juggling multiple schedules, task lists, volunteering, taxiing children to and from activities, homemaking and sometimes even working at a job.  Sometimes, you never see it coming, but you wake up one day with zero motivation or desire to do “school.” While each family’s situation is unique, I’d like to offer a few suggestions for if you should find yourself in “burnout” mode.

1.      Let go of the guilt. In my previous blog post, “Homeschooling, You’re Doing It Wrong!,” I talked about letting go of the guilt in your homeschool.  This advice applies here as well.  You can’t be all things to all people at all times, and that’s okay.  Give yourself permission to feel unmotivated for a bit.  Remember, this is only temporary.  It will pass.  With a little time, you’ll be able to return to schooling, full of passion.

2.      Take some time off. If your state laws don’t regulate otherwise, take a few days off.  Maybe even take a week off if you need to.  You’ll be able to get more accomplished after a short break than by trying to dredge through the days.  Use the time to catch up on all of those “loose ends” you’ve been meaning to tie up, work on your favorite hobby, or just hang out with the kids.

3.      Liven up your studies. If you can’t take time off from homeschooling, consider varying your routine a little.  You can plan a field trip, watch a documentary or plan a day of educational games.

As with any other trade or craft, you need to hone your craft, keeping up with the latest news, techniques and tools.

4.      Meet with other homeschooling moms or dads. Attend (or organize) a parents’ night out with your local homeschool support group.  You can host an evening in your home or your local coffee shop. It doesn’t need to be expensive or time consuming.  It might be a good idea to have an idea of some conversation starters, just to break the ice.  By the end of the evening, you’ll likely find support and inspiration from other parents.

5.     Attend a conference. Homeschooling conferences can be a great source of inspiration and support.  Consider homeschooling your craft or profession.  As with any other trade or craft, you need to hone your craft, keeping up with the latest news, techniques and tools.  Many conferences for homeschoolers are family friendly with programming options for children.  This can be a fantastic way for everyone to make friends and ignite the fire.

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6.      Take time for YOU.  You are wearing many hats: parent, educator, spouse and female (or male) head of the household.  Likely, most of your waking hours are dedicated to taking care of and doing for others.  While you can’t completely ignore these responsibilities without consequences, it is important to routinely incorporate time for taking care of you.  You’ll need to determine what works best for you and your family.  Some homeschool parents set aside a little time every day while others prefer to arrange for child care for a full day once a month.  Going grocery shopping without the children doesn’t count!

7.      Reconsider your curriculum. If you’ve been on the edge of “burnout” for a while, you may want to reassess your current curriculum.  Is it boring?  Does it actually meet your children’s needs and fit your lifestyle?  You might be able to spice things up by tweaking it yourself and supplementing with other resources, such as those you’ll find at LessonPathways. With the wide variety of options today, there is no need to be “stuck” with a curriculum you don’t like.

8.      Reconsider your commitments. Take an honest look at your schedule.  Too much “busy-ness” can lead to too much stress for you and your children.  As the homeschooling movement grows, so does the number of opportunities for our children to participate in playgroups, co-ops and extracurricular activities.  While we all want our children to have the best opportunities, it’s important to remember that we don’t need to take advantage of ALL opportunities.  Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.  Determine whether your current list of outside activities is truly enriching your homeschool or stressing it.

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These are a few things I’ve done when I felt unmotivated.  If you find yourself in this same situation, I hope you find these suggestions helpful.  If you’ve experienced homeschool burnout before, I’d love to hear how you overcame it. Please feel free to post your experiences in the comments section.

This post was written by Christina S., a homeschool mom, living in Michigan, with her husband, two children, dog, cat, guinea pig and turtle.  You can read more about her by visiting the “Our People” page.