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  1. #1

    Default How to stay motivated?

    Hi Everyone, I am new to this site but I am looking for advice/tips on how to stay motivated to homeschool.
    My son is in 3rd/4th grade (a little of both, I suppose). We have been homeschooling for about 6 months now. When we first began, I was super-organized, and it was the first thing we did every day. I even made a little schedule that blocked out our homeschool day almost to the minute. ...That schedule lasted about a week. Ever since then, I have tried different schedules, AM homeschooling, PM homeschooling, homeschooling 4 days a week, 7 days a week, trying to find something we can stick to. But I am finding it harder and harder to fit it regularly into our daily lives. I myself am a full-time college student pursuing a Masters degree in Social Work, and I will be applying to law school this year. I'm a single mom and we moved in with my parents to get extra help and support. The days just seem to get away from me! By the time I go to the grocery store, take the cat to the vet, take my son to his swim lesson, etc etc, it's night time already and neither of us feel like doing homeschool.
    Has anyone else ever been in this situation? I feel like a horrible failure of a mother! And at this rate, my son would be better off in public school. I'm not good at sticking to schedules, and I'm beginning to feel like maybe we're just not cut out to be homeschoolers. Any advice would be tremendously appreciated! Thank you!

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  3. #2

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    I'll be watching the responses here because I have the same problem (and I'm not even in school!) It takes us so long to get ready in the morning... it's insane. The kids get up anywhere between 7 and 9 and getting them to eat, get dressed, etc. takes half the morning. A quick trip to the store can take 2 hours, easy. And it seems like it's something every day... haircuts, the store, something we need from target, something we can only buy at a certain store... and I still need to take our cat to the vet.

    It's 10:13 am and TBO is just now getting dressed, which is fine since I'm sick anyway. *sigh*

  4. #3
    Senior Member Enlightened ercswf's Avatar
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    While I have no clue what it is like to be a working parent, single parent, or even a full time college student trying to do all of that. I do know that sometimes my days try to run away from me.

    I find that I ONLY run errands one day a week. Unless somebody will die that moment if I do not do something then it can sit on the back burner till I get my kids lessons done. We also keep all of the stuff they need for a basic day in a 5-star binder that holds pens, pencils, crayons, etc... so if we cannot help but be out of the house my kids can take their stuff with them. Like last week we had a double allergist appointment that took 3 hours! So to fend off boredom we worked on their school work. Other then possibly setting limits to when you let yourself run errands and or try taking school work with you I have no clue. Like I said above, I have no clue what it is like being a single parent/student/homeschooling mom.

  5. #4

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    Perhaps you have "bitten off more than you chew"? Sounds like a nearly impossible task, especially if you are not organized. Maybe you could take some time and see where you can simplify....errands all at one time, no pets, lightening you school load.

    Not sure who said it, but I heard a quote "women can have it all, just not all at once".

    Sounds like you need to prioritize.
    Patty - homeschooling two great kids (6 & 8). My approach has completely changed since we began in 8/11. I thought "school at home" would be our style, but we are evolving, finding out what works for us.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Evolved Jeni's Avatar
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    I'm right there too. I was just thinking about this today. I have homeschooled (and pregnant) while going to school full time online, that wasn't easy and I decided not to continue until the kids were much older, my schooling was just taking too much time away from dd. BUT I am also not dependent on my education to make a living, so it's not the same. Now it's more about activities - classes, sports, 4H, Girl Scouts, etc, etc. Add to that being pregnant-ly unmotivated, in pain, and exhausted, it makes it difficult to get the energy up to do lessons.

    I've tried all sorts of schedules too. All the way from by the min blocking to an unschooly format. Some days are good, some aren't. Sorry that's not much help. I hope you get some awesome responses.
    Jeni - Mommy to:
    G/13, B/9, G/5, B/2, G/itty bitty
    Piedmont-Triad Secular Homeschoolers group

  7. #6
    Senior Member Arrived Avalon's Avatar
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    There may not actually be enough hours in the day to do everything you want or need to do, no matter how organized you are. You have several major commitments that I don't, and I still find things getting away from me.

    My method is to compartmentalize: from 9 to noon, 4 days a week, is school time, no matter what. I don't plan it down to the minute, and half the time we're just winging it, but at least we are reading stuff, trying some math, looking things up, and so on. I run errands on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. If I think I need to run an errand on Wednesday, it can probably wait until Friday. We clean the house on Saturday morning. It might be getting pretty bad on Thursday, but it just has to wait until Saturday.

    The main area that I am constantly falling behind on is the "household management" side of things: paying the bills, renewing insurance, getting the roof fixed, making doctor's appointments, taking the dog to the vet, and so on. It stresses me out, but I decided that school is the important thing right now, so all those other issues have to be squeezed in wherever I can fit them.

  8. #7

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    ercswf, I REALLY like the idea of keeping the basics in a 5 star binder. I hadn't thought of making homeschool portable!

  9. #8

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    Hi Avalon, I like the idea of setting specific errand days and making everything else secondary to school. I think that's one huge mistake I've been making. Grocery store, paying bills online, going to the vet's office, everything else before school. That's the procrastinator in me, but I can't afford to procrastinate on my son's education!
    Thanks to everyone for all the great responses so far! Please keep em comin!

  10. #9
    Senior Member Evolved theWeedyRoad's Avatar
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    I completely hear ya! I'm a full time student as well, although I'm not a single mother. My bff was working two jobs, going to school, and was a single mom to a spirited daughter, so it CAN be done (wasn't a homeschooling mom, but plenty busy everywhere else).

    *For me, my school is the most inflexible, so I have 3 nights a week that I work on that. I stick to those nights, and those nights ONLY. (that doesn't include in-class time.. I go in one day a week and I'm wiped).
    *Next is the kids and homeschooling, the most important part for me. I try to get work ready for an entire week on Sunday, printout what I need and prewatch whatever to prepare myself to teach it. I put the next day's work on their clipboards, and then I have folders for each day of the week that I separate the rest into. After they complete a day's work, I pull it off, look it over, then file it. The next day's work goes on the clipboard ready for them.
    *Housework gets done a bit here, a bit there. I don't get a real cleaning day, so I try to just keep it manageable. I figure, if I had to let something slide, this is it. I dont' want a fire hazard or be embarassed if company comes over, but I don't have time to wipe baseboards, either. I do some cleaning while ds is doing his reading, or while dd is working on her math. Whenever they don't need me, I'm doing something to keep our house livable.
    *I don't really have an errand day (thankfully my dh helps out there) but on the odd day I need help, I'm not afraid to employ a babysitter or make the errand an educational event. Definitely, keeping the running around to one day a week is a big plus.



    I do have a schedule made but I've found it makes me MORE anxious instead of less. Having it all written down gives me zero flexibility and makes me feel like a failure if we DIDN'T get to clouds this week, or if we are 2 pages behind in phonics. I overplan, with the idea that I can 'catch up' in May and June- but meanwhile I turn into a stress machine. This week I'm not even looking at my schedule LOL and that actually seems to be going ok.

    Something that helps- having prepared curric. We are very eclectic, but the easiest subjects to cover are definitely the ones that are read out of a book. They aren't necessarily our favorites, and I flesh them out... but if you are just trying to introduce info, prepared for you seems the easiest to me (maybe it's not?)

    I will also say for me, it isn't the physical organization that's the key- it's mentally knowing what I want to cover next and what skills I want my kids to come away with. With a clear idea of what I want, it's much easier to plot a course to get there- and I can tweak MUCH more easily.
    Finding the flowers on the road less traveled!

    Homeschooling dd (8yo, 2nd) and ds (10yo, 4th) eclectically

    My blog! :P : http://theweedyroad.blogspot.com/

  11. #10
    Senior Member Enlightened Juno's Avatar
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    I have cards made for every day of the week they tell me what chore needs to get done for what day. This way I organize my shopping the day after I make my menu. It works good when I stick to it and I figure even if I don't do it every week my house gets attended to on a semi regular basis. I find I can't think if my house is trashed so it is important to me. I also made a very flexible schedule at the beginning of the school year it guides me through whether we are doing science that day or history.
    I am not a working outside the home mom though so I can't help with that part. All I know is the schedules help me a lot. Note when I say schedule it is really simple all it says is clean bathroom (clean shower every other week), Laundry ( I do one load every day to keep up) and sweep walk(which happens on a very infrequent basis) although I actually got it done today. I did divide my school into trimesters at the beginning of the year and tried to say when my math should be finished that didn't work at all. We are very behind oh well. I think everyone is different.

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How to stay motivated?