Homeschooling in an Airstream

Take a Peek Inside What It’s Like Homeschooling in an Airstream


“How do you do it?” If I had $1 for every time someone has asked me that in the last year. I’d have an excellent hands-on homeschool math activity! Almost everyone asks a variation of this question when they find out I live in an Airstream that I work and homeschool from.

Truthfully? It’s exactly the same way you do. One day at a time. Is that too simple of an answer, though? Our experience is quite different from others who choose an at home education. Aren’t all experiences different to some extent? My classroom is a lot smaller (and a lot less Instagram ready.)
 

How I Ended Up Living, and Homeschooling, in an Airstream

Before I tell you about what my days look like, let me tell you a bit about how I ended up here. Like many things, it’s a very long story. I'll provide the short version. It started with having a baby while living in a one-bedroom apartment. We were content with a small space. Eventually, we have to move somewhere bigger. No apartment complexes would lease a one-bedroom to a family of three. As our space grew, so did our stuff. We realized we wanted to downsize, a process that took several years.

In 2013, we ended up living in a tiny rental house. During our time there we started toying with the idea of building a tiny house. We even got on the wait-list for our preferred builder. Most of our free time was devoted to designing tiny house layouts, planning, and researching. It was a year-long wait list so we had A LOT of time before we had to put any money down. During that time we came across information that made us second guess our decision.

Our quest took us, where else, to Craigslist. One night we saw her, our beautiful little Airstream Argosy. We knew right away she had to be ours. Within a couple weeks we owned her and began researching a whole new kind of project. Our Airstream renovation took about a year and we moved in last fall. Currently we are stationary but we plan to be able to travel full-time in the next couple of years.

It has been an adventure for sure. An adventure in personal space, planning, organizing, and much more. It’s especially been an adventure in homeschooling! We can’t have a beautiful Montessori-inspired homeschool room in this tiny little home. I have to exercise a lot of self-control on what I buy. We’re having educational experiences we never could have imagined would come from this way of life.

My school day looks a little different than most

 

Homeschooling in general is a huge commitment. Trying it in a tiny space has major ups, and downs. For example, we have to “build” our classroom every single day. School happens in the living room. Which also happens to be the dining room. It’s also my office. Oh, and my yoga studio. Don’t forget, it’s also my bedroom. So… as you can see, we have to build and tear down everything. Every day. This adds a bit of time into our homeschool routine.

 

Everything has to be put away as soon as we’re done. In such a tiny space, it’s easy for things to get messy fast. Plus there’s no space to leave things out! During our school day, we end up spending a lot of time putting away books and materials after lessons are complete.

 

We don’t have beautiful Montessori shelving. This is something I often long for.   Instead manipulatives are stored in the drawer that is next to my son’s jammies. Items we’re not currently using are stored in upper cabinets. Sometimes I don’t plan right and we have to spend extra time taking everything down to get what we need to finish our lesson. Somedays I love how neat and tidy we keep things. Other days I’m nothing short of annoyed by the extra time this adds to my day.

 

As much as possible, we have school outside. It’s not uncommon for us to haul everything out to a mat on the grass. One of our goals with living small was to spend more time outside. Our hope was to have a space so small we felt "forced" outside for more space. That has definitely been something we’ve experienced. Even with only three of us, space runs out pretty fast. We end up outdoors or loading up our materials and heading to a local park often.

 

Frustrations and disagreements are more acutely felt in a tiny space. If a lesson is difficult, or we’re disagreeing, it can get hard. Even though my son has his own room, it feels a lot more intense when that room is 3 feet away instead of on the other side of the house. We generally get along quite well but when we need our space, it can be difficult. Nothing can be left on the “back burner,” so to speak. We’ve also learned techniques for handling frustrations and disappointment.

On the flip side, homeschooling and living in a tiny space has made us so much closer. We have to have good, honest communication.

 

We have to deal with issues. We are grateful for the chance to snuggle up and read literature. We love laughing together writing silly stories. I know all homeschool Mamas enjoy these sweet moments. Somehow it feels different in a cozy, tiny space. I love the concept of Hygge that’s sweeping the nation. When we’re sitting inside having a great lesson together, I feel like I get the concept. When we were schooling in a more “normal” living space, it didn’t feel as Hygge and special as it does now.

My Encouragement to You

 

Nearly as often as I have people ask me how I do it, I have people say “I’ve always wanted to try that!” It is a HARD lifestyle, so much harder than we imagined it would be. It’s also so much more rewarding than we thought it would be. We love it and the pros definitely outweigh the cons for us.

It never hurts to give something new a try. Pack up your ShillerLearning materials, print a bunch of FREE printable packs (they hardly take up any space!) rent the house for a bit, and give it a trial run. There’s a whole community of Road Schoolers and tiny living dwellers, waiting to welcome you! Make sure to take advantage of the incredible community out there. It’s full of homeschoolers from all walks of life all over the world.


See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Washington. She loves Washington's outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

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Homeschooling With Skeptical Family Members At Thanksgiving

How to Approach Homeschooling With Skeptical Family Members Around the Thanksgiving Table


 

Choosing at home education is not a decision to be taken lightly. We put in hours of research to find the best homeschool curriculum. Every day we give of our time to ensure our children are learning. It’s a journey of discovery, learning, and growth- for us and our children!

It’s also a journey many outside the home education community don’t understand. It’s a journey individual sometimes criticize or make assumptions about. For home educators, Thanksgiving can turn into an emotional day of inquisition from skeptical family members. We are here to provide you with a few tools today to help guide your conversations.
 

How to Approach Homeschooling With Skeptical Family Members Around the Thanksgiving Table

 

  • Common Scenario #1- Skeptical family member quizzes homeschool students on facts. A family member may make comments about what the student “should” know.

 

Advice: It may be a good idea to have a conversation with your children before your family gathering. Equip them with responses or prepare them that it may happen. Make sure they know they may share any information they like but are not obligated to do so. This will, of course, depend on the age of the student and how comfortable they feel talking with adults.

 

One option might be: “I’m not sure about the answer to that but let me tell you about…” They can then share something interesting they’ve been learning. Or they may politely respond with “After we enjoy our meal, I can show you some of what I’ve been working on.” It may also be a conversation a parent needs to intervene in. Respond with a spirit of love remembering home education is a foreign concept for a lot of people. Also, remember children in public schools are used to being quizzed.

 

Quick Exit: You might respond with, “We don’t typically quiz (name) as part of our schooling so they're a bit unfamiliar with how to respond. (Name) would you like to share something you’ve been learning?” or “Thank you for showing an interest in what we’re studying in school. We’ve recently been learning about… ”

 

Avoid it all together: Have your students prepare a brief presentation or bring materials or a completed project. Let relatives know ahead of time the students would like to share what they've been learning with interested family members. If you feel you need to, let them know your preference is for the children to not be “quizzed” about school. This way they can show curious relatives what homeschooling is like. It also gives students the chance to take pride in showing off their work. Grandparents especially love to see what kids have been working on.

 

  • Common Scenario #2: Relative says something like “I don’t know HOW you do it. I could never homeschool my children.


Advice: First of all, remember your children are listening to hear how you respond. Yes, there are days we consider dropping them off at the nearest public school. Yes, there are days we feel ill-equipped and are floundering. Yes, there are days we feel like we can’t do it after all. Our children are listening to how we respond. Respond with words of life, joy, truth, and love. Build up your kids and their hearts. And respond with words that build up the other parents to know they could do it and thrive too!

 

Quick Exit: “I felt that way too. It’s been a delight.”

 

Avoid it all together: Share a tidbit from a homeschool group or forum about how you’re comforted with the reminder most homeschool parents jump in without any teaching background. You could also share how much you’ve been learning too as a home educator.

 

  • Common Scenario #3: Relative asks if you’re afraid home education will destroy their love for learning.


Advice: This tends to be a big one for people. A lot of families choose to homeschool because they worry public school will destroy a love of learning. This is a subject that can lead to an argument about school structure. Tread lightly and share the joy your children find in learning. Describe how their eyes light up when they learn. Share how they work on school work during free time. Tell how much YOU’RE loving it compared to the educational experiences you’ve had before!

 

Quick Exit: “No.” Plain and simple :)

 

Avoid it all together: Share how glad you are about the decision to homeschool. Tell details about a moment of particular joy in learning. Share how your child starts school alone. Or how they get excited waiting for you to finish breakfast dishes.

  • Common Scenario #4: The dreaded “socialization” word comes up.


Advice: This is another topic that can turn into an argument. You know your audience best. One approach might be to share fun outings, coops, nature groups, etc you’re involved in. Another approach might be to say you don’t feel like children in school get much time to visit with friends in a relaxed setting. Or there’s always the snarky response of “We socialize dogs, we build children’s relationships.” Buuuuuut that one doesn’t go over in a lot of crowds. Or turn it around and ask “What does socialization mean to you?”


Quick Exit: ”That’s a common stereotype of home education and we’re not concerned about it.”


Avoid it all together: Share about your children’s friends and activities.

 

  • Common Scenario #5: Teacher becomes defensive that you’ve chosen to reject formal schooling.

 

Advice: Again, this is another tread lightly and you know your audience scenario. Teachers, and parents who adore their public school, often get defensive. To be honest, when I used to teach I did too. I thought homeschooling was irresponsible. 15 years ago I would have said there was no way I’d ever homeschool. Share your “whys” in a loving way. Give examples of experiences you’ve been able to have that school wouldn’t have allowed.


Quick Exit: If it’s something you truly feel, try a comment like: “You know, I’d be more inclined to send my children to school if more teachers were like you.”

If you think it will escalate into an argument, “I think this may be a topic that’s best we agree to disagree about and enjoy our meal.”


Avoid it all together: If the topic seems to be creeping that way, change the subject. Or comment on how nice it is to have another educator around and ask questions about the classroom, favorite subjects to teach, etc.

 

  • Common Scenario #6: Other children at the meal think homeschooled kids are “weird.”

 

Advice: Depending on the age and self-esteem of your children- this may be one to prepare them for. Not only on Thanksgiving but as a homeschooler. This seems to be a common misconception. Most likely, this would come up while you are out of earshot and shared to you by a tearful child later on. You could talk to your student about stereotypes and how they’re not true. And tell your child all the things you love about them. I think this stereotype may come because homeschoolers are viewed as not culturally aware. (I could write an entire blog about this!)


Quick Exit: If you overhear children calling names, intervene as necessary.


Avoid it all together: Chat with other parents before the meal. Ask them to tell their children what homeschooling is. It could be helpful for you and the parents to find common interests between children for them to know about ahead of time. If they can bond over a shared interest, your homeschoolers is “relevant." Plus kids always get along better with a shared interest.

 

Common Scenario #7: Concern is raised that kids aren’t getting “enough” learning.


Advice: Students in public school are gone 7-9 hours per day. Teacher spend 25%-50% of their day doing behavior management, managing transitions, and other tasks that aren’t necessarily teaching. You could throw out stats or respond a bit about your educational philosophy.


Quick Exit: “We’re all happy with our schedule and the kids are thriving!”


Avoid it all together: Stay away from information about your daily schedule.

 

Common Scenario #8: Guests assume you have to follow traditional stereotypes such as you grow your own food, grind your own flower, raise chickens, have a big family, etc. to homeschool.


Advice: If I had a dollar for every confused person when they found out I homeschool an only child. The stereotypes about a homeschool family abound. Share how home education is growing across all family sizes, religions, lifestyles, cultures, etc. Keep it polite and thoughtful. Or turn to humor and make a joke. I also know many of us do fit some portions of the stereotype. If they ask about some way it applies to you, share it or make a joke depending on your personality. :)


Quick Exit: “You know? I have yet to meet a homeschool family who fits the traditional stereotype.”


Avoid it all together: Stereotypes stick and they stick strong. This is one people are likely to at least joke about. Remember it’s not a personal attack or insult. It’s the human mind and societies attempt to classify something they don’t understand. Only by open and honest truth can we break any stereotype.

 

  • Common Scenario #9: The age-old homeschool question of “How will they succeed in college if they’ve never been in a classroom?”


Advice: This is one every homeschool family has to tackle on their own at some point. If your children are still young, you can say it’s something you’ll consider more when they are older. Or share ways other homeschoolers have approached this such as- sending kids to high school for courses such as chemistry and AP courses, taking classes at the local community college, starting a small business as a teen that does not need a degree or jumping right into college. (Hint- on the last option, most students thrive because they’re used to self-study already!) This would also be a good one to turn back around and ask, “I’m curious what it is about home education that makes you think it would be hard for them.”


Quick Exit: “We’re not worried about it. (Name) has excellent learning skills!)


Avoid it all together: Give your older teen a chance to share how they’ve been preparing for college.

 

I hope these scenarios have been helpful for you. The Thanksgiving table can, unfortunately, become a place of stress and fights. Remember to keep things in a spirit of love. Also, remember you don’t have to defend yourself to anyone. The choice for home education is what you have decided is best. If the conversation gets heated or you feel uncomfortable, shut it down with that reminder. I hope you won't need any of this advice and you’ll have a fun Thanksgiving meal- but I’m glad to provide it in case you do!


See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Washington. She loves Washington's outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >

 

Parenting Styles That Use Positive Discipline Aren’t New - Montessori Has Taught This for 110+ Years

Parenting Styles That Use Positive Discipline Aren’t New - Montessori Has Taught This for 110+ Years


A common remark parents make when learning about the Montessori method is the use of positive phrases. Parents often skip over this entirely when they think about correcting poor behavior. Through the implementation of Montessori in a homeschool, or attendance at a Montessori school, parents learn to use these key phrases. With this, our parenting styles can shift overnight with a few key phrases. Maria Montessori believed that children should be respected and talked to with maturity and respect. She had little tolerance for “baby talk,” or for simplifying things too much when speaking with a child. She recognized by using positive phrases, we help to affirm and build up our children’s education, self-esteem and ability to interact in the world.  

Where Our Parenting Styles Begin

 

As parents, it is easy to fall into a rut with our “catch phrases.” Most parents have phrases they use often that our children have grown accustomed to. These phrases are often phrases Montessori views as “negative phrases.” Negative communication is not something we set out to use, it tends to be a rut we fall into without even realizing it’s snuck in. When we strive to use positive phrasing, we’re looking to use words that are true, brief, clear and inviting.

 

When we start using words like “May,” “can,” and “let’s,” we reduce power struggles, invite the child to join us and eliminate open-ended choices which can overwhelm a child. Believe it or not, Montessori also discourages the use of phrases such as “Good boy/girl,” “Good job” & “You’re so great.”

How to Discipline a Child Using Positive Phrases

 

Using “No” is also avoided in most situations in a Montessori environment, reserved mainly for safety issues. For example, if a child wants to help you fix supper but you don’t have a way for them to help (or you don’t want little hands in the way.) Instead of saying “no” try “You may set the table while I cook.” No has inherent negative connotations and remarkable changes in communication can occur when replacing “no” with positive phrases instead.  

Examples of Positive Phrases to Incorporate Into Your Homeschooling

 

  • “I can see how hard you’re paying attention.” - Try replacing “You’re so smart,” “Don’t ignore me,” and “Why aren’t you listening?” with this phrase instead

  • “I saw how hard you were working.”- This is a great phrase to use instead of “good work/boy/girl/job.” By using this phrase, we show the child we’re proud of their behavior and habits. It helps to instill a deeper work ethic in them and helps them to avoid seeking praise and reinforcements on their actual work.

  • ”Let’s try this…” This is a great phrase to use to redirect a behavior instead of saying “No you can’t do that” For example- let’s say your child is about to pour water out on the table. They’re most likely not looking to create trouble, they just want to play with water. Instead of saying “No, you can’t pour water on the table.” Try “Let’s see what happens if we put the water into this bowl.”

  • Try replacing what we don’t want with what we do want- Instead of “Don’t run inside” try “You may go outside if you’d like to run.” Instead of “We can’t buy that toy today,” try “You may save your money for that toy.’

  • “It’s time to”- Use phrases like “It’s time to eat,” “It’s time to go.” Try to avoid following them up with “ok.” Many parents get in the habit of saying “It’s time to eat, ok?” By using that little “ok” at the end, we confuse our children into thinking they have an option and can say “no.” By keeping it short, sweet & to the point with “It’s time to…” we can avoid fights

  • ”In this home we…” This is a good way to help remind children of family expectations and rules without them feeling like a command. It helps remind the child this is everyone in the family does.



See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >

 

Who Was Maria Montessori?

Who Was Maria Montessori?


 

Born 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy, Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy's first female physican, developed a unique educational approach that for nearly 100 years has been successfully applied to millions of children worldwide, starting with children with learning difficulties and extending today to children of all intellectual and socio-economic levels.

The Montessori method considers children to be intelligent and highly capable of learning when placed in an environment and with materials that provide them with respect and privacy. It includes three key elements:

  • Motor education
     
  • Sensory education
     
  • Language

 

The Montessori - ShillerMath combination helps children to learn math and language arts and to become productive members of society throughout their lives.

For more information on the Montessori approach, you may visit these informative sites:

An excellent book on the Montessori method is Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Pre-School Years by Elizabeth G. Hainstock. This is one of many books written for parents about Montessori that are available online or at your local library or book store.


See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Larry Shiller

Larry Shiller is President of ShillerLearning, whose mission is to help kids learn - and enjoy - math. Shiller has degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Harvard Business School and is the author of Software Excellence (Prentice-Hall).

A father of three, Shiller is active in non-profits and his hobbies include working with local startups, music (Shiller is an accomplished violinist who - when not helping children learn math and language arts - performs in the NYC tri-state area), tennis (Shiller's team made it to the USTA national finals in his skill bracket), Quoridor (Shiller is a former USA Champion), backgammon (Shiller is the Voice of Backgammon, doing commentary on backgammon tournaments worldwide), table tennis, and flying (Shiller holds a private pilot's license).

10 Lessons Homelessness Taught Me About Homeschooling Through Crisis and Transition

10 Lessons Homelessness Taught Me About Homeschooling Through Crisis and Transition


Everyday felt like I was one tantrum away from crying my eyes out for the first few months.

 

We started our school year homeless. A medical condition forced us to leave our comfortable home. We scrambled to find a solution. Our family moved into an Airstream travel trailer and have relocated almost a dozen times in the last year. This was NOT how I expected to start roadschooling with my son.

 

My seven-year-old has needed a lot of parental guidance as we’ve gone through the school year. This experience has connected me with a lot of homeschoolers going through transition or crisis.  

 

One of the blessings of homeschooling, is that when the going gets tough we can stick together as a family and not miss out on school days. However, maintaining a “normal” school experience might be a little more difficult. Having the ability to bond together as a family during the last year has been so meaningful. I hope these tips will help you during transition or crisis.

10 Ways to Keep Homeschooling During Crisis or Transition:

 

  • Keep it Light - If your child is really struggling with a concept, or resistant to learning new things, try to keep it light and fun.

 

  • Kids respond to our stress - Children are little stress meters. They reflect how we’re feeling. Find support for you while trying to support them. Reach out to a Facebook group, homeschool co-op or support group.
  • Use play - Play based learning is great when we’re overwhelmed. It’s nice to relax and just play a bit. A deck or cards or set of dominos lends itself to dozens of math-based games, wooden shapes can be used to create art scenes, and a moveable alphabet can be used to write stories.

 

  • Have resources for on-the-go - During crisis and transition, we often end up spending a lot of time in the car. Check out our list of resources that are print & go ready and great for the car for spontaneous roadschooling.
  • Use play - Play based learning is great when we’re overwhelmed. It’s nice to relax and just play a bit. A deck or cards or set of dominos lends itself to dozens of math-based games, wooden shapes can be used to create art scenes, and a moveable alphabet can be used to write stories.

 

  • Open & Go - Using Shiller’s curriculum has been so nice. No prep work needed on my part, we can just open and go without needing to spend extra time getting ready. This is a godsend on days where we get to a new place and just don’t have time to unpack 1M+ things for school.
  • Try audiobooks - Librivox.org has thousands of free classic books to download, or hop over to the library and grab some audiobooks. It’s extremely relaxing to listen to a book and draw for a bit while learning!

 

  • Embrace nature study - Spending time outdoors is a good way to get some movement, give us time to think and learn something new. You can do nature study when you arrive in a different place or on the road. It requires nothing but our minds (and maybe a notebook and pencil to sketch).

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  • Journal- Journaling helps us process our feelings and is a good way to work on writing skills. Don’t be too meticulous with your student’s grammar and spelling in their journal entries. Let them express themselves.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

 

  • Be grateful for what you’ve got! - If you’re moving, dealing with a natural disaster, or have lost your belongings, homeschooling can seem impossible. However, you can make learning happen with little to no materials. Make math problems with rocks, spell out words with a stick in the dirt, use food to learn adjectives- the options are endless if we take a moment to look at what is available to us. Even traditional Montessori materials can be improvised for little to no money.

 

  • Accept help!- I know, this is hard. Often in crisis and transition, people want to help but they’re not sure how. Find some specific ways for people to help and don’t be afraid to ask.

Schooling during a crisis, transition, or even with limited funds can feel scary and overwhelming. Take it one day at a time, give your family plenty of time to communicate, process the experiences and share. You’ll get through and come out on the other end proud of what you’ve accomplished!

 

What has your experience been like homeschooling during hard times? Do you have any encouragement or feedback to share?  Share in the comments with us and other homeschoolers.


Want to See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits?

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

The Treehouse Daily >

 

Self Care for Homeschool Moms

The Importance of Self-Care As a Homeschool Mom


As Moms, we spend a lot of time taking care of our kids and making sure their physical and mental health needs are provided for. I don’t know about you, but I find myself asking my son questions all day long about how he is feeling and how his day is going. If I’m honest with myself though, I should be turning around and asking myself these questions too. The community of homeschool moms has helped me discovered the importance of stress relief and self-care.

Avoid Burnout


Wowie! Burnout sure happens as a homeschool mom, doesn’t it? Especially towards the end of the school year. How can we avoid or minimize the impact of burnout? What can we do this summer to refresh and refuel to begin a new school year? Our mental health is extremely important to be able to take care of our kids every day and help them thrive.

First of all, you are enough!! Really, you are. Don’t worry about having the *right* homeschool books, taking the *right* field trips, joining the *right* co-op. Know what your kids want? You! Truly, all they want is an engaged parent who loves them and will help them learn. All the other stuff can sometimes take the place of the value of 1:1 interaction and time with our kids.  

Homeschool mom, you are enough and your kids are grateful (even if they don’t always show it!)

Self-Care Tips for Homeschool Moms.


I hear and see it time and time again, we are our own worst enemies aren’t we? So often the burnout comes from our own internal pressure rather than from the kids or homeschooling itself.   This is why self-care is so extremely important, especially in this high-pressure social media era. This concept of self-care seems to be something new. In previous generations this wasn’t something that was discussed. We can theorize all day as to why this is, but truly there is a need for self-care in today’s culture. Without it we burn out fast and meltdown alongside our kids.

Here are some simple, easy tips to implement more self-care into your homeschool day-

 

  • Don’t go at it alone. Embrace the community of homeschoolers around the world, and try to connect in person instead of just online. Moms teach other moms, and understand one another, in a way no one else can. We are hardwired for community and support. No one is meant to go at it alone.

 

  • Involve relatives, neighbors, or friends. Just as above, mamas need help and that’s OK. Even if it’s just an hour a week that Dad can help kids review math facts and read some stories so you can have a break! Do you have a relative with a job your student is interested in? See if your student can shadow or have a once-a-month Saturday afternoon learning from them. Perhaps an elderly neighbor is a retired teacher and would love some time with children. Or get together with other homeschool moms and work out a rotation for teaching different subjects.

 

  • Brain Dump. This is a funny phrase but an amazing concept. Take 10-15 minutes when you know you won’t be interrupted to work on this. Grab a journal or a piece of paper and start writing what comes to your mind .   It doesn’t need to follow grammar rules or be formal writing. You might end up writing out To Dos, reflections on the day, stressors, conversations you’ve had recently, dinner ideas, etc. Whatever is on your mind, let the rabbit trail go and write.  

 

  • Have a plan. When we’re stressed and busy it seems like the worst possible time to take extra time to plan. However, this is the very best time to plan! Take an extra 5-10 minutes in the morning to make a game plan for your day. Spend a few minutes after breakfast on Monday morning to get a family plan scheduled for the week, it will help immensely.

 

  • Delegate and let go! Use your brain dump and your plan to get an actual To Do list together. Spend some time with it and figure out what you can delegate to someone else, what immediately needs to be done and what can be let go. You’ll be surprised by what you can hand off to the kids or just let go all together.

 

  • Pamper those feet.   Don’t have time to take a bath? Something magical happens when we care for our feet. Give yourself a nice foot soak to unwind. Kids even enjoy them too. In our house, we foot soak while we read Literature sometimes. It’s so refreshing for both of us. Give yourself a little pedicure and enjoy!

 

  • Exercise. Study after study has shown how much stress relief is provided by exercise. Find at least 30 minutes a day to move your body. Have a dance party with the kids, go on a nature hike, or do some yoga. Whatever you choose, get moving and see how much it helps your stress levels.

Meditation or prayer. Again, multiple studies have been done to show how beneficial prayer and/or meditation are to our mental health. Take some time to learn the basics and practice them on your own, and to teach them to your children. Guided meditations are often included in part of a Montessori classroom and Maria Montessori was a proponent of this as well.  

 

Pick a couple of these and begin with 5-10 minutes a day.   If you begin incorporating these over the summer while school is not in session, it will build a better foundation for self-care in the school year.
 


See Inside Our Montessori-Based Kits

Math Kit I - PreK to 3rd Grade

Language Arts A - PreK to 1st Grade

Amanda Osenga

Amanda is a former Montessori teacher who is now homeschooling her only child, a seven-year-old boy. Her family resides in an Airstream that is parked in Colorado. She loves Colorado’s outdoor opportunities. When she’s not schooling, she also blogs at TreehouseDaily.com, works as a Virtual Assistant and loves reading and creating hand-lettering pieces.

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