This month my fear of anxiety became a reality. Anxiety plagues just about everyone I know. I had always taken pride in the fact that I have never had to deal with it.
Our family has always wanted to live a simple life. This is one of the reasons we decided to homeschool. But recently, all of the schedules have been turning our simple life into one of anxiety. The over abundance of opportunities for our homeschooling has turned us into a home of overwhelmed activity.
The good news is there’s a way to have a simple homeschool life, if you want it.
But first, let’s take a look at how homeschooling overwhelmed me.
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The Realities of Homeschooling
In the 5 years we’ve been homeschooling, I’ve always held on tight to a schedule. I believed a schedule would keep us focused and accountable for getting our work done. Homeschooling began to take over my life. This was because of all of the unbelievable homeschooling opportunities available. Two tutorials a week in which I could teach and bring home an income while my kids attended was like a dream come true. These tutorials have been huge blessings in our life. However, on top of my own kids’ homeschooling, I’m now in charge of 4 other classes of homeschoolers.
Let’s add on an intense touring choir program. Since my children are gifted in music, we jumped at the chance to be a part of this incredible opportunity. The downside to this means after a long day at tutorial, we are driving an hour to and from rehearsals in rush hour traffic.
Then we have gymnastics, ballet, soccer, and in-home tutoring. This is all on top of homeschooling the children throughout the day. Now instead of embracing a simple homeschooling lifestyle, I have become the worn out soccer mom.
And here’s the major drawback- all of this busyness has been causing panic attacks.
Every time I hear of a fantastic learning or teaching opportunity I want to jump in on it. A little voice tells me:
“What an amazing chance for your kids to learn a new language!”
“Teaching another class will bring more household income!”
“More dance classes will make your kids super talented!”
Then the voice continues in a more hysterical tone:
“What about the laundry that is piling up? What’s everyone going to eat for supper? You haven’t blogged in over two weeks! You haven’t added a new product to your store in over a month! The clutter is taking over your home!”
And I feel overwhelmed and exhausted at the thought of it all.
Then, I remembered all of the inspirational books and articles I’ve read about slowing down.
And I start to breathe. I start saying “no” to a lot of opportunities that would tighten our schedule too much during the day.
Every time I begin to feel rushed from one activity to the next, I stop. And I breathe. I remember why we are homeschooling. It’s not so we have more time to do more, it’s so we have more time to BE more.
A Happy Homeschool Life
Once I understood that trying to keep up with a schedule was causing my anxiety, my anxiety began to go away.
Say no to that invitation to get together with friends after you’ve been to soccer practice all evening.
It’s okay if you are 15 minutes late to your appointment.
Skipping a ballet class won’t hurt your kids if you’ve been out running errands or enjoying a warm day outside.
Fight for your clutter-free homeschooling lifestyle.
Do the exact opposite of what your head is telling you to do. Listen to your body. When your body begins sending you signs of unrest, it’s time to start letting go of outside obligations. Keep at least two days a week open for a relaxed homeschooling day.
Happiness is waiting, you just need to let go in order to enjoy it.
Thank you for visiting our Happy Homeschool Life post! We hope you find it helpful.
Christa is a former classroom teacher turned homeschooling mama to three precious angels! She runs a cottage school for other homeschooled families two days a week and teaches music/history at a tutorial school. When she’s not teaching, she spends her time as a curriculum designer, freelance writer, and blogger at Little Log Cottage School. She’s passionate about quiet time in the morning, cooking meals from scratch, and making learning fun! You can find her on Little Cottage School.
What an awesome article! Though I am so sorry to hear about the panic attacks. I’ve been there and they are hard. It is so hard to balance everything. And we are trained to think that our kids need to be involved in everything. Learning to say no is so hard. People don’t like to be said no to and we don’t like to let people down. And after all we want to give our kids every opportunity we can. Thanks so much for sharing. I hope your anxiety settles down soon.
Thank you, Jenna! It’s nice to have a network of people who “get it”. After all, we didn’t have all of these opportunities when we were kids, and I think we probably turned out just fine!