Chatter. Noise. Constant to-do lists. And some days this is just what’s going on in my head. Then adding the kids into the mix, the noise really picks up! When our minds are busy with everything we need (or think we need) to get done, or analyze, or fix, it’s nearly impossible to be in a mindful state. The hard part is that to really be at peace and not overwhelmed with everything on our never-ending lists, remembering to be mindful is the one piece we’re missing in achieving peace.
A mindful state is also very important in homeschooling, or even just in being a parent. When we can work on mindfulness with our children at a young age, we are possibly giving them the greatest lesson of all. When we teach them how to be at peace with life (not complacent, but at peace with the moment they are currently in) we raise happy adults, who then raise happy children, and the healthy pattern continues.
But in this age of technology at our fingertips and once again with all that noise (!), we have forgotten how to be mindful. We’ve forgotten how to be in the moment more often, we’ve forgotten how to find peace with the moment we are currently in. I’ve certainly felt that this summer with how busy we have been, and with everything going on in our personal life, so I’m going back to basics and getting us back on track with these 7 steps to bring mindfulness back into our life again.
How To Homeschool Mindfully In 7 simple steps
For me, the best way to remember something is to assign it an acronym! (I’m geeky like that) So, the main word to remember in this is mindful.
- Meditate: Meditate can mean lots of different things to lots of different people. Clear your mind, calm your soul, journal, pray, whatever you need to do to clear that chatter of “I need to do this, I should get to that.” Put on some calming music and just count your breaths for at least 5 minutes. Give your brain a break!
- Intentions: What are your goals for the year? Write them down. What is your intention for the day? Think it clearly with the knowledge that it WILL be so, write it down if you wish. What are a few things you want to accomplish? Set your intentions for every area of your life (including the homeschool year) in a simple, nonspecific way. This year we will learn good things and move forward in my children’s education with a calm attitude and a desire for fun.
- Notice: Notice what your children’s learning styles are. My oldest loves worksheets and could use a workbook every day of the year happily. I’m not so sure my Kindergartener will be so open to such a concept. I will have to spend time seeing how he likes to learn best right now. Also, notice what their interests are. Use their interests to help you teach them in different subjects. Write sentences about dinosaurs, use dinosaurs as math manipulatives, read about them, study them.
- Decide a rhythm: NOT a schedule. Don’t put yourself through the strain of having a set time for everything. Block scheduling can be helpful, but if your main goal is mindfulness, concentrate instead on a rhythm. You will find as you get into that groove that most things do happen around certain times, but to start, just set up a rhythm. And know that your rhythm will change with the seasons, with growth spurts, as your children age, or even just because. A rhythm is easier to switch up as it suits you because that’s exactly what a rhythm is. Do what feels right or move on to different things throughout the day as you are ready.
- Frame your year: Along with not using a rigid hourly schedule, don’t detail plan your whole year in advance. Frame it. Use a rough outline (in pencil or on a technological calendar that you actually use daily) and look at when you want to start school, when you think the school year will end, or when you want to take breaks. Leave lots of room for change, and give your self and the kids room for breaks. A huge wall to mindfulness in homeschooling is burnout. The number one way to stay away from burnout is taking breaks. They can be a day, a week or two, a whole month, that’s why it’s a good idea to start kind of mapping them out now. It’s all changeable. That’s why we use a pencil 🙂
- Unload your home: Another roadblock to mindfulness in homeschooling and just life, in general, is having too much crap. Before school starts, go through your home and get rid of the things you don’t need or want. You can just spend a few minutes in each room to fill a trash bag to start, you can go full Konmari, you can call TLC and appear on an episode of Hoarders, whatever suits you. Clear the clutter and clear your mind in the process!
- Live! Life happens, this is homeschool, NOT school-at-home. Things happen, and most things that happen we can’t really control. If we can’t control it, then we shouldn’t give it so much of our mind. So when things happen that would otherwise take up too much mental space and stop you from being mindful, take a step back, breathe, meditate, work your way back through this list and center. Everything is changeable, everything is figureoutable. A great part of homeschool is being able to teach kids about life, and how to work their way through life in real-time.
No one homeschooling method works for every parent or every child. There’s no process that works 100% of the time, but with these steps, you can clear the clutter from your mind (and your home) and when you think more intentionally, and more mindfully, you’re better able to figure out what will work for your family for each season you enter in life!
Until next time friends!