Weak of heart? Not for you. Like peace and quiet? Move on. Want to get your to-do list done even once a month? Good luck.
But what does it take to be successful at homeschooling? If you ask a typical homeschooling mom, she will most likely give you the standard answers….patience, love, creativity, hard work, dedication…kids. What she’s not telling you is that behind that rarely attainable Mother Teresa-like-patience that we all strive for, there are some less discussed must-haves to be a successful homeschool mom. Let’s break them down, shall we?
5 Things Every Homeschool Mom Needs
1. A Lock on the Bathroom Door
Some call it the bathroom. Others call it the powder room. Homeschool moms call it The Safe Room, The Escape Hatch, The Teacher’s Lounge, The Don’t-Bother-Me-Unless-You’re-Bleeding-From-The-Ears Room. No matter what you call it, you’ll find yourself frequenting it so often some days (to save your sanity) that your kids will start camping out in front of the door. Hence the need for a door lock. A deadbolt, however, would be going a tad too far.
Is any explanation required for this? Not only will it keep you awake, but it’s also a really good excuse reason to visit The Teacher’s Lounge. By the time you’re done your first year of homeschooling, you’ll be able to down a pot of coffee in the time it takes most people to finish two cups. You’ll have mad skills.
3. A BFF
This could be your mom, your best friend from grade school, your spouse, your neighbor, another homeschooling mom, the moderator on your favorite homeschool related Facebook page….whoever it is, just know you need them. You need someone to text in the middle of the day after arguing with little Tommy about doing his math, while cleaning up dog vomit after she ate a box of crayons, and balancing a baby on your hip. You need someone to whom you can say, “I’m losing my mind! I can’t do this anymore!” Someone who will then talk you down from the edge of the homeschool mom abyss…or help you crawl back out of it. Homeschooling is awesome, but sometimes it’s not so awesome and that’s when your BFF (or a friend) becomes your phone-a-friend lifeline.
I know you may be thinking that’s a funny one to put on the list, because, really, who has the time? I used to think that too. I would stay up late to work or be reading a book and by the time I knew it, it was 2am…there was no way I was getting up to exercise before the day really started. But then something changed and I got tired of being tired and grumpy all.the.time. So, now I get up early and either hit the gym (because I bought a membership!) or I hop on the recumbent bike for 45 minutes. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t experienced it, but those slightly sleep-deprived minutes of exercise change my entire outlook for the day. I’m more focused, more productive, less grumpy, more excited about…well, about everything. You know it works when the kids can even pinpoint which days I haven’t exercised and encourage me to hit the bike. So, just do it. Get up at 5am and hit the treadmill, ride the bike, run, do whatever it’s called on the elliptical….just do it. (Thanks for the slogan, Nike.)
5. Mascara & Lip Gloss
Us homeschool moms are typically not the trend-setters when it comes to fashion. We really don’t need to be, because we’re home most of the time. If you’re like me, you’re a one-car family and you don’t leave the house during the day except to go do sidewalk chalk with the kids…so, why even bother owning anything except yoga pants and sweatshirts? Well, even if you’re wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt, you’re going to feel so much better by dabbing on a bit of colored lip gloss and swiping on some mascara. In fact, you might even feel dressed up. A simple, inexpensive pick-me-up to remind yourself that you’re not just a math/language arts/writing/scientist homeschooling mom, you’re also a pretty darn awesome woman. So, swipe it on, sister! Seriously, you’ll feel better. Trust me on this one…and the other four above.
Homeschooling is a season in your life and it may just be a short stint, but even if you decide to stick with it only until your required school days are over for the year, having the right mindset and the right coping tools will make it a heck of a lot easier. They will make the number of days that are simply “bearable” fewer and farther between as those “good” days increase. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise….homeschooling is hard. Is it worth it? For me, for my family, it is. But I couldn’t do it if I didn’t have coffee…and exercise…and mascara….and…
Readers Know Best: What’s your homeschool mom must-have? Leave a comment and let us know!
Check out all of the other things moms need in this great blog post party featuring the wonderful ladies of Philly Social Media Moms.