Let’s talk about preparation for self-care. You don’t have to be a boy scout to understand the wisdom of their motto, “Be Prepared.” Being prepared for self-care means that you are ready for those moments when you know you need some time for yourself. Unfortunately, life and learning cannot come to a screeching halt every time we get frustrated or burned-out. So here are a few ways to create more opportunities to squeeze in some self-care and make sure learning is still happening in your home.
It’s Day 6 of my series, 10 Days of Self-Care For Homeschooling Moms! I’ve tried to pack in a lot of practical information on how to get in a little self-care during busy days of homeschooling. Also, don’t forget that there are several other bloggers participating in the Tips For Homeschooling Moms series so don’t miss out on all the goodies they have to offer!
Prepare A Stash Of Grab-And-Go Learning Activities
This is where you channel your inner Mary Poppins. Don’t you wish you had her bag? Mary Poppins was ready for anything because whatever she needed, she could just pull it right out of that wonderful bag. Every homeschool mom should be prepared for self-care by having her very own Mary Poppins bag (or box, or cupboard, or closet).
Fill your space with a variety of “grab-and-go” learning activities that kids can do independently. These are activities that need no effort other than pulling them out of the closet. When independent learning is happening, you’ve got a few moments to take for yourself.
Common “grab-and-go” activities are things like:
- coloring books
- building blocks
- art supplies
I can almost guarantee that in 5 minutes on Pinterest it is possible to gather enough grab-and-go activity ideas to keep your kiddos busy for months. That is, if you have taken the time to prepare them. Don’t wait until you need the activities to build a stash.
Using Media As Educator Not Babysitter
I know this suggestion will get a lot of mixed reactions. Many homeschool moms have strong feelings about how to appropriately use (or not use at all) technology and screens in their homeschools. I completely respect that.
I’m not talking about using my TV or computer to babysit my kids so I can take a bubble bath. I’m talking about being prepared for self-care by using educational shows and online learning activities as a fun, entertaining way to educate. You might even find that sitting down to watch or play with them is self-care for you too.
Before you’re having one of those days where you need to give yourself a little self-care break, make a list of shows or websites are great for entertainment and learning. All of the popular streaming services have a great selection of documentaries and children’s programming that teach about animals, science, math, reading, social skills, etc. Again, don’t wait until you need them to try to find something that will fit what you’re looking for.
Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.Abraham Lincoln
Be Prepared To Be Spontaneous
There is nothing like spontaneity to make homeschooling fun! However, sometimes spontaneity needs a little inspiration. That’s where you come in.
On a rough day, when you know you (and your kids) need to do something different to break up the routine, be ready with a few new ideas of what to do. Don’t waste time trying to think of what that thing could be! Get an idea of what local attractions are around, special events going on in the area and fun places to go that you know your kids will like. Again, preparation is the key to your success.
When you are prepared for those times that you feel like burnout is setting in, you can keep the kids busy by giving them independent learning activities to do. Then take some guilt-free time to yourself. It is possible to take a break AND educate your kids at the same time. It’s a win-win for everyone!
More on prepared learning activities:
- More ideas for independent learning activities from Very Well Family!
- 38 Screen-free activities for kids to do so you can get things done. Advice from The Loop.
- Here’s a list of great educational shows on Netflix!
You’ll Also Love:
- Check out the entire 10 Days of Self-Care For Homeschooling Moms series here!
- Nature For Nurture: The Remarkable Self-Care Benefits Of Getting Outside