Restore your enthusiasm for home education

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!

12 thoughts on “Restore your enthusiasm for home education

  1. YES!! I needed to read this today – thank you! We have hit a big wobble and the S word keeps coming up (School, not the other “S” word ).
    Thanks for the pick me up. x

  2. Yes! Today is a “warm” spell here 😉 (aka not in negative temperatures), so I have plans to head out for a nature walk with a thermos of tea. Maybe we will even roast something for lunch over a roaring bonfire. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Just what we need on a wet January Monday morning. Thanks Ross, your valuable support and wise words are very much appreciated.

  4. such a useful list, Ross. Thank you. I think we all suffer with that ‘getting back to reality’ in the NY and like you say, home-ed can’t be amazing everyday – just like everything else in life! I remember once when I was feeling low someone said what I needed was to put my daughter in school and have time to myself…. I digested that, but quickly realised that it wasn’t that at all, it was just I had to recognise that whether my child was in school or not, there would always be ups and downs and that that was OK. Right now we’re doing lots of jigsaws and walking and talking – a gentle start to 2018, but as you say – learning is everywhere so we are being kind to ourselves. Wishing you a relaxing January and a walking towards brighter weather!

  5. It’s just the January blues! After all the excitement in the run up to the festive season it’s normal. Once the days start becoming noticeably longer it will just disappear. Be assured it’s being felt by others too regardless of their educational choice; children at boarding school; teachers in classrooms and workers everywhere.
    Accept it as inevitable and wait for it to pasS, roll on February!

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