Homeschooling can be one of the most rewarding and memory making experiences you will ever share with your children. But, the pressure of being the sole person in charge of the education of your little ones can cause anxiety for homeschooling moms.
Exactly what provokes the feelings of anxiety in homeschooling moms varies by individual.
Often, the fear of failure, lack of adult interaction during the day, and becoming overwhelmed by the teaching, recording, and planning duties are the prime culprits of homeschool anxiety for not just moms, but any parent or grandparent involved in the at-home learning scenario.
Some folks maintain that “time of the month” can increase anxiety for homeschooling moms. Such comments can often be considered demeaning or condescending to women – but sometimes, the sentiment rings true.
For women who do frequently experience additional stress and anxiety right before and during menstruation, any frustration sparked by homeschooling may exemplify those emotions.
I experienced far less stress when homeschooling my teenage daughter than I do my three absolutely perfect little grandchildren.
The number and ages of the children you are educating at home does play a factor in anxiety levels. The younger the children the more one-on-one attention they will require when teaching them how to read, write, and do math.
Even coming from an educational professional background did not prepare me effectively for the need to balance home and teaching duties all at the same time.
Staring at a big pile of laundry while trying to give a puppet is not conducive to either the creative nor the learning process.
The signs of increased anxiety or stress snuck up on me. I did not realize that I needed to refresh my mind and take a brief break until I actually heard myself sounding frustrated by little things that normally would not take a toll of my demeanor.
So without further ado, here are 10 effective ways to reduce your anxiety for and during homeschooling sessions…
#1. Make Self-Care A Priority
Moms in general often short change themselves in general. This trait is even more common when it comes to homeschooling moms. All stay at home moms work from home – homeschool moms are pulling double duty.
Homeschooling moms MUST put self-care “chores” on their “to do” list if not daily, at least weekly. Taking time for yourself is vital to reducing anxiety and stress. Pencil in at least 25 minutes a day for alone time doing something that refreshes your mind and body.
Perhaps making time for a bubble bath at the end of the day, taking a walk or hike in the afternoon, sitting in a comfy chair reading a chapter in a good book, brushing out your horse or merely watching the baby chicks frolic about in the chicken run.
Whatever makes you happy and able to take a big and relaxing deep breath will help reduce anxiety and settle your mind and spirit for both the homeschooling and household tasks that come next.
#2. Adjust Your Homeschool Schedule
The homeschooling daily hours, weekly scheduling (or no scheduling at all!), and academic year all up to you. One of the best aspects of homeschooling is the flexibility it allows in the education of your children.
Do not fret of changing the homeschooling schedule even mid year if the hours, days, or breaks scheduled in are not suiting the mental health needs of your or of your children – which can negatively impact the entire learning process.
Learning should be a joyous journey, one filled with smiles, laughter, discovery, and eager investigation. If you are stuck in an anxious state, none of these pleasurable experiences will materialize.
Scheduling Friday off from structured learning is one common way many homeschooling moms destress while still being actively involved with their children while homeschooling.
“Friday Fun Days” as they are often dubbed in the homeschooling community, are reserved for outdoor adventures, extracurricular activities, and field trips both large and small.
Spending Fridays hiking in a local state park, going fishing, taking guitar lessons, touring an animal refuge and volunteering, visiting a museum, or merely going foraging for wild edibles to use in a weekend meal are all relaxing (as well as free or inexpensive) ways to relieve stress for both you and the children.
#3. Socialization For Mom
Those who are not homeschooling advocates or are new to the process often worry about the children getting enough socialization while learning at home. Nearly no one spends time pondering the needs of socialization for mom.
Whether the homeschool mom was also a stay at home mom prior to becoming her child’s teacher or worked in a busy office, her whole world changes when she becomes tethered to the learning at home process – no matter how engaging the homeschool curriculum is designed.
Connecting with other homeschooling moms, networking with a regional or local homeschooling group are two excellent ways to commune with like-minded folks.
These types of connections offer a place to share epic homeschooling failures, cheer on each other’s successes, and to laugh or cry about all things homeschooling moms contend with ona regular basis.
Forging tight knit friendships with other homeschooling moms may also offer the opportunity to plan play dates for each other’s children – giving the moms time for casual chit chat, resource sharing, and help on upcoming projects and record keeping.
Sometimes, homeschooling moms offer to serve as “substitute” teachers for each-other if one has a doctor’s appointment, is merely down with the common cold, or just needs a mental health break for a day.
#4. Get Organized
Set a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Allowing homeschooling tasks to bleed over into household time and vice versa WILL create a sense of being overwhelmed and unnecessary stress.
Create both a household chores and homeschool planning, record keeping, and daily activities. This will help both parts of your world as separate as possible.
Without an organized plan to accomplish all that needs done on a daily or weekly basis, all of the many tasks that must be completed will drift into unwanted territory and cause frustration and anxiety.
Remember, teaching vocational skills in the homeschool should be encouraged from both a skill-building and character building perspective. Include learning how to do laundry, dishes, meal preparation mopping, etc. as part of the home education process.
Even children as young as age three can be included in such household activity. Not only will this release the burden on the homeschooling mom, the children will learn a sense of responsibility that will serve them well far into adulthood.
#5. Set Yourself A Bedtime
Getting an adequate amount of rest will also help reduce anxiety and stress. Homeschooling moms often stay up late to work on lesson and project planning after the kiddos have gone to sleep – or to catch up on household bill paying and similar tasks because it is the only time they can get the peace and quiet to do so.
As noted above, schedule time to get all homeschooling and household chores done before your set in stone bedtime so you can get the rest needed to remain refreshed, alert, and as stress free as possible.
It can be incredibly difficult to get to sleep when already stressed. Force yourself to lay in bed with the lights and television off at bedtime. Eventually either boredom or tiredness (or both) will win and asleep you will go.
#6. Get Enough Exercise
Physical activity is a superb way to work off stress and to release endorphins that help produce a happy and relaxed mindset. Regular exercise will also help bring upon sleep when your mind tries to fight it off at bedtime.
While you can plan exercise sessions with the children as a part of their physical education homeschool requirements, it remains important to work out on your own or with friends when using the sessions to reduce stress.
As much as you love your children and homeschooling them, taking time for yourself as part of a self-care routine is vital. You do not need to buy expensive exercise equipment or attempt to schedule in time for a trip to the gym.
Simply taking a brisk walk, jog, hiking, dancing to your favorite music turned up loud, or engaging in manual labor on the homestead can serve as an exercise session.
Yoga is also a relaxing form of mind and body exercise many women (and children) enjoy.
Exercising early in the morning to refresh before the busy day starts, or before bedtime to help calm yourself down for sleep are often the best times to schedule in a physical activity session.
But, whatever time best suits the homeschooling mom and her routine will work just fine. Perhaps getting together with other homeschooling moms in the afternoon after learning is complete can be a great time to exercise as well.
The moms will get some much needed socialization and exercise while the children entertain themselves in the backyard or playroom.
#7. Make Your Home Smell Pretty
Using an essential oil diffuser, wax melts, candles, or even incense in scents that are known to offer stress relief – or even just smell pretty, as part of your anxiety reducing routine.
Suggested stress relieving stress include: jasmine, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, citrus, and lemongrass.
#8. Have A Back Up Plan
Even if you have followed all of these anxiety reducing tips for homeschooling moms and still wake up to a day that is filled with stress, have a back up plan ready.
Keeping a few back-up ideas and activities in your pocket can help stress from continuing to build, and setting the whole day off the rails early.
No one will have a good day when mom is stressed to the max. Expecting learning to occur in such an environment will be futile. The stress you are feeling will infect everyone in the home, and nothing productive or joyous will occur.
Do not look at a sudden ditching of the daily homeschooling plan as a lost day, that was going to happen anyway when stress overwhelms the lady in charge.
The backup plan does not have to be deeply involved or intricate – that would just add more stress to a day that is overflowing with it.
Filling up a bag with books and another with snacks (healthy ones or not) and taking off into the woods until you and the kiddos find a perfect spot is an excellent backup plan.
Once the right spot is found, lay out a sprawling blanket, and just read or listen to the children read – or both, all of the favorite books (or a few new ones kept back for such an occasion) until everyone feels like a snack or even a nap.
Popping popcorn and watching movies all day curled up on the couch can also be a backup plan. Historical period pieces and documentaries, fairy tales, on a child’s favorite topic, or anything you can choose to live stream or have purchased and hidden back for use on a “break day” will be met with cheers and a respite from stress for the homeschooling mom.
#9. Get A New Hobby Or Make Time For An Old One
Having a creative outlet or an engaging hobby that helps you to feel productive at times when anxiety is making you feel less so is also a wonderful way to relieve stress.
If you love sewing or always wanted to learn how, use this old-fashioned homesteading skill as part of your anxiety reducing self-care routine.
Focusing your mind on a single task while in a quiet space, a scented one, or outdoors will help reduce stress while accomplishing a single goal. The sense of satisfaction of accomplishing even a small goal will help produce feelings of satisfaction and pride.
Making beautiful dresses for your daughters, clothes for dolls or super hero capes, or embroidering on pot holders that will be given as gifts make a creative outlet for you a treat for your loved ones, as well.
#10. Spend Time With Animals
Getting a pet, or spending time with pets and livestock you already have can also help reduce stress.
Walking the animals, brushing them, hand feeding them, bathing them, or just sitting on a picnic table in the barnyard and watching them intermingling and going about their business can help clear your mind and relax.
Simply slowing down the day – and your mind, can help put the day and life in general, in a better perspective.
Making treats for the livestock and pets with the children as part of a learning project can be a nice break from the regular homeschool routine, as well.
Tending to those whose lives depend on us in simple ways and watching them enjoy our efforts can be a fulfilling and anxiety relieving experience.
No matter the reason a homeschooling mom feels anxiety, there are ways to vastly reduce those feelings.
Learning how to recognize the signs that feelings of stress and anxiety are starting to build will help remind yourself to pause and use the coping techniques outlined in this guide before frustration overwhelms both you and the homeschooling environment.
Tara lives on a 56 acres farm in the Appalachian Mountains, where she faces homesteading and farming challenges every single day. her homesteading skills are unmatched, she raises chickens, goats, horses, a wide variety of vegetables, not to mention she’s an expert is all sorts of homesteading skills such as hide tanning, doll making, tree tapping and many, many more.