January is a bit of a bleak time for me. I think we all suffer the post Christmas, goodbye-sparkle, back-to-reality drop in spirits. Add on our seasonally affected doldrums and it’s a bit of a month to get through.
Do you find the same?
I know the children used to when we were home educating. We were stuck inside a lot (not much fun sitting outdoors with books and projects this weather) and we soon got twitchy. Thank goodness for swimming pools, activity centres and sports halls where we could make dates with others for burning off that bulging energy after being indoors too much. (The energy not the only thing bulging after Christmas)!
It can be a bit of a hard month for enthusiasm. And however much you love your parenting, and love your choice to homeschool, even that enthusiasm can wane at times like these.
So, how to get it back?
Do any of these ideas help:
- January is short lived. Time changes everything. Take each day at a time, create some self-nurturing practices and good things for each one. A great lesson for the kids to learn too – self care.
- Re-acquaint yourself with your core reasons for home educating, your philosophies for parenting and learning and life. Why did you choose to do it? It’s still an inspirational choice.
- But like with all aspects of life, it’s not inspirational all the time. that’s not because it’s ‘failing’, it’s just the way life is. We have to learn to negotiate these times. And keep faith.
- Keep active. All of you. It’s a necessary and very effective part of self nurturing and mental and emotional wellbeing. Even if the initial inertia is tough, fight on through. Physical activity also gives a huge confidence boost – good for kids, good for you!
- Relax about the ‘learning’. It’s going on all the time even if it isn’t formally constructive. All learning is valid. All experiences are valid. But stressed approaches can inhibit learning, as can forcing it, or making it a huge demand. There’s no time limit on learning. It happens in leaps and stand-stills. There will be times you’ll think you’re kids are going nowhere. That’s a misconception. they will be.
- Be pro-active. find new things to do, places to go, websites to explore, people to connect with. They’re out there for you to engage with. Being proactive with life is another great example to set the kids!
You won’t enjoy your home education every single day – that’s probably not possible – as with life; it’s an unreal expectation. Just try some of the tips above and ease yourself back on track with the inspirational, uplifting way of life that it is!
Above all, just enjoy yourselves as much as you can for now – just because you can!