- Help! I’m drowning!
Every now and then I like to check in on my blog stats. Blog stats can be both amusing and helpful as they can provide very useful information. The stats can tell you which posts received the most traffic, how many visitors visited your site that day, and my personal favorite: what searches were used that directed someone to stumble upon your site. This morning the following search parameters caught my eye: How to homeschool and still have a life. This one caused me to both relate and laugh out loud!
Surely, most homeschool families can relate. Homeschooling can take on a life of its own. It can become ones lifestyle, can govern ones major decisions, and if one is not careful – it can define who you are. I enjoy homeschooling. I find it challenging yet richly rewarding – yet I do not feel I am defined by it. I’m the type of person that enjoys a challenge and doesn’t mind being stretched – on occasion. However; one does not usually desire being continually stretched; in fact, that can be downright unhealthy.
Unfortunately, some of us can enter a realm that causes us to be just so. We delve ourselves into our homeschooling lifestyle, we eat, breathe and sleep it – right? Isn’t that what a homeschool life entails? A continual life of learning – it takes on a life of it’s own, it is our home it is our school. The answer to this question I believe, is both yes, and no.
Take time to reflect....
What I mean is, there needs to be a balance between living out a homeschooling lifestyle and maintaining a “life” of our own so to speak. Let’s look at relationships. Relationships are interpersonal, and need to be maintained. This extends beyond the relationships with our children. It extends to our spouse or life partner, it extends to our parents and siblings, and it extends to our close friends. I encourage you to look introspectively and ask yourself who your close friends are. I encourage you to look deeper and evaluate the relationship you have with your husband or wife. How are those relationships doing? Do they exist? Or are they co-existing? These are reflective questions indeed, but I believe they are worth thinking about and maintaining as part of our being able, as homeschooling parents, to “still have a life”.
You may be reading this post and noticing a connection between a healthy homeschooling lifestyle balanced with healthy thriving relationships. Why the emphasis on relationships? Well, I believe that we were not designed to do it all ourselves all of the time. The founding relationship being the one with our creator God, if that is your belief – followed by relationships with our spouses, children, family and friends. It is the strength that we will draw from these relationships that will carry us through the difficult times. The times when we are feeling stretched. The times when we feel we simply do not have a life of our own that exists beyond homeschooling.
I also believe that making time for ourselves
is highly relevant to be able to homeschool and still have a life of our own. Some of you may not know what that looks like – this taking care of ourselves. It might even appear selfish. But my experience has told me that it is not only highly relevant, but also a necessary and a very healthy part of “still having a life”. Are we so busy with homeschooling, and meeting learning outcomes, and trying to finish that curriculum, and squeezing in every field trip and extra curricular activity that we cannot take time for ourselves? If so, what kind of example our we displaying to our children? Are we not modeling a life of busyness?
Some of you may be nodding your heads, or are already familiar with the healthy balance needed to be able to homeschool and not completely lose ourselves. However, if any of this is speaking to you personally, I’d encourage you to take stock and evaluate. Which of these elements is blatantly missing in your life? Do not try to employ them all at once, that will only leave you frustrated. Try employing one. Perhaps give that gal you’ve been admiring from a distance an invite for coffee, or a playdate with the kids. Go ahead and buy that book you’ve been eyeballing for yourself. Dust off that camera that has been sitting idle for far too long, and take an afternoon to yourself.
Whatever “having a life” looks like to you – go ahead: embrace it, welcome it, explore it, re-discover it. Don’t shut it out.