December 2023


Meeting Date

December 2, 2023

Reporter’s Name

Anonymous

Attending Admins


Topic:

Avoiding Burnout and Prioritizing Self-Care

Meeting Notes:

Topic: Avoiding Burnout and Prioritizing Self-Care 

  • Self-care is not synonymous with self-indulgence or being selfish.
  • Self-care means taking care of yourself so that you can be healthy, you can be well, you can do your job, you can help and care for others, and you can do all the things you need to and want to accomplish in a day.
  • Self-care is taking steps to tend to your physical and emotional health needs to the best of your ability. 

 

How to Tame the Homeschool Stress Dragon with 23 Strategies 

BY: TERESA W. CLICK HERE FOR LINK

Four questions to ask yourself to assess your level of stress in your life and your ability to implement useful strategies that serve you when you are stressed: 

Question #1: 

  1. How do you notice when the stress is accumulating?  
  • Keeping a journal will help you recognize signs of stress and patterns of behavior that lead to stress
  • Being mindful of yourself: are you becoming more tense, yelling, spanning, becoming frustrated. Have you been eating and hydrating properly?
  • Awareness of your cycle and how your hormones affect your mood

 

  1. How often do you make time to address homeschool stress, and what specific activities do you routinely engage in?’ 
  • Exercise is key – everyday no matter how small engage in active movement. Consistency is key. 
    • Does homeschooling get easier with time? Yes & No.  Yes because you have more experience but no because you’re tired/drained. Small kids small problems, big kids big problems. Prioritize your health before you have to prioritize your sickness. 
    • “Forest bathing”- wilderness-lover; the practice can be as simple as walking in any natural environment and consciously connecting with what’s around you.
    •  Time spent immersed in nature is good for us, allows to disconnect with technology and reconnect with our atmosphere. 
    • Healthy parents = healthy children. Establish exercise and active movement throughout the day as a lifestyle goal. 
    • It helps with your mental health and anxiety.  

 

  • Question: how do you notice when the stress is accumulating?  
  • Started a journal writing to your 20 year self, sharing all the things your know 

Question #2: 

Do you find it manageable to set realistic expectations for your homeschool life when you’re having especially challenging days? 

  • Keep a journal of your child’s wins – planning from behind (Julie Bogart)  can help us feel accomplished on hard days and gauge realistic expectations of we actually have done and can do
    • Start a journal writing to your 20 year self, sharing all the things you’ve learned. 
    • Give yourself grace and block out external pressures.

 

  • Period Tracking – Align your homeschooling with your monthly cycle/flow. For example taking a ‘3 weeks on to actively homeschooling and 1 week off to rest and recharge with a more passive or relaxed approach to homeschooling’
    • Listen to your body, rest when you need to and reassess your goals as you move along
  • Don’t compare yourself to other moms, parents, especially those on social media. Comparison is the thief of joy.
  • Remind yourself of your why, discuss and write out a shared “why” with your spouse to align your goals and support each other in our challenges.

 

Question #3: 

What’s your current approach to time management, and how does it help reduce your feelings of overwhelm? 

  • Keeping a weekly schedule that is viewable to the entire family so that they can assist you when possible and be aware of your commitments
  • Delegate tasks to others and highlight expectations
  • Out source topics or classes to help alleviate pressure and feel supported 
  • Planning homeschool days around our 5 daily prayers to ensure were using those prayer times as mental health breaks
  • Keeping one thing consistency regardless of the circumstances (i.e. reading/reviewing Qu’ran with your kids everyday, if you ensure that gets done everything else above and beyond is a bonus)
  • Finding ways to teach kids together, simplify our approach and not over burden ourselves with unrealistic expectations
  • Keeping a flexible schedule and not being to rigid about specific timing 
    • Deschool to not fall into the trap of bringing the school into the home (i,e. Start right at 9am sharp, recess break, lunch at 12, math has to be done after english, end  by 3, etc.)
    • Scrutinize what you believed education should look like  

 

Question #4 

How do you maintain a positive mindset and cultivate hope, even in challenging situations? 

    • Strengthening our faith and imaan to recognize our blessings.
    • Remember that you are the best mother/educator for your child and that Allah swt specifically choose you for them and them for you!
      • Allah chose you to guide your child to Jannah! 
    • Remembering our WHY; why did you start homeschooling in the first place?
      • You are a guide and facilitator – curating a rich environment for that child to strive 
    • Noticing the positive impacts and subtle changes in our kids
  • Connection over correction & Connection over curriculum
  • We as mothers are always upgrading our understanding and learning and improving our knowledge but for our husbands who aren’t as  active in the homeschooling community – they may need more grace from us in their lack of understanding the challenges and choices we face
  • “Any homeschooling problem is a parenting/connection problem”
    • Homeschooling is a lifestyle – teaching is the least of your worries 
  • These monthly meetings are so important, they keep us from feeling that we’re not in it alone – reviving the homeschooling spirit.  

 

23 strategies 

  1. Prioritize self-care to address homeschool stress 
  2. Set realistic expectations (or at least try!) 
  3. Expect positive things 
  4. Time management 
  5. Reach out for support 
  6. Delegate tasks 
  7. Learn to say no 
  8. Mindfulness and relaxation 
  9. Burn off homeschool stress with physical activity 
  10. Educational resources 
  11. Plan for breaks 
  12. Celebrate small wins 
  13. Keep a journal when you experience homeschool stress 
  14. Practice flexibility 
  15. Scheduled deep breathing breaks 
  16. Realistic daily intentions 
  17. Embrace acceptance and adaptability (or at least try) 
  18. Self-compassion dialogue 
  19. Mirror self-talk 
  20. Acceptance and non-complaining 
  21. Breathing techniques for homeschool stress 
  22. Morning self-check 
  23. Identify overwhelming tasks 

Additional Discussion Notes: 

Socialization; 

  • How to incorporate the  play environment aka the “recess” portion of the school structure. 
    • This is a myth that is grounded in our fear that structure or traditional school is the end all be all. 
    • Needing to deschool – learning what’s going to work for you and your family 
  • You need to disconnect from school because first you need to connect with your kids; get to know your child on a deep and personal level. Play with them. Put academics aside until you have forged a positive relationship with them. This is what will ultimately last in the years to come.
  • Winter socialization – create a space, work with what you have, going for a walk, reflect/relax, don’t overburden yourself, 
  • Access drop-in programs (don’t necessarily have to commit to a paid program if it’s a financial burden), you don’t have to do it all the time 
  • “free time”/taking time off: you have to set rules and boundaries, Doesn’t mean a free for all but still give them autonomy to choose what/when they want to do things – remove the pressure 
  • Be okay with boredom – it may lead them to become curious and explore their environment – rotate their toys/activities to generate excitement
  • Engage them in whatever you are doing – give them responsibilities 
  • Follow your child around aka child-led interests, cut out tv during weekdays (it removed distractions),  nurture your child to love learning, keeping one thing consistent aka quran while still giving them autonomy, remove the pressure 
  • Give yourself time, give your child time 

 

Financial Management:

  • Q: How do you homeschool and find the “right” curriculum without incurring massive expenses and it becoming a financial constraint?
    • Do not purchase a curriculum until you’re certain,  
    • Having a community allows you to test the resources.  
    • Ask on the chat groups to borrow/use/purchase curriculums you’re interested in before your invest
    • Access the library for amazing free supporting materials and programs often for free
    • Do a group/bulk purchase to reduce the cost of materials and shipping expenses
    • DIY when you can, share, borrow, coop materials (check Facebook marketplace, TMH Buy/Sell groups)
  • Don’t feel like you have to create customized programs or methods for each individual child
    • Find the  way you want to teach and discover your preferred approach that works for you and stick to it to preserve your sanity and well being. It’s okay if it doesn’t always hit with each child each time, this may also establish resiliences
  • You don’t have to stick to such specific grade levels and topics and separate learning expectations for each child 
    • make it easy and keep it simple, find subjects or topics you can teach as a group. They will learn together and from one another
      • Robinson Self-Teaching Curriculum (teach the teddy bears/ self-teach themselves  approach)
      • Role/play with narration to help stay present and mindful
    • When you teach the eldest it trickles down to the youngest
    • Exposure will help them grasp more challenging topics,  

Resources:

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