Overview: Staying motivated to homeschool your youngest learners can be a challenge. There are so many things around the house that can distract you. Homeschool motivation is a must if you want to be successful. Here’s my 10 tips to homeschool motivation.
Laundry…Dinner…Cleaning…Television! There are countless opportunities around your house that can derail your motivation to homeschool. In my house, this blog is my distraction from homeschooling. Some mornings I will sit down to work before I realize half the morning is gone and we accomplished no school. Even though distractions are everywhere, you can still get things done. Homeschool motivation is a breeze once you implement these 10 tips.
Tips to Homeschool Motivation
1. Get Them Interested
When your little one is interested in what you are learning and excited to do school time every day, your motivation to get it done will be easy to find. Seeing your little one with a smile on their face, eager to learn is one of the best feelings in the world. The days go by super fast when you are having fun. Before you know it, the day will be over and you will have gotten nothing done but homeschooling.
Related: The Secret to the Toddler Attention Span
2. Have a Plan
Knowing what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it makes things a lot simpler when it comes to getting it done. But a plan doesn’t just include your daily activity plans. Take time to figure out all the tiny details to your homeschool. Plan out how you will plan activities, goals for your child, a daily routine, and keeping things organized. Have a toddler? Download the Start Tot School Guide to help walk you through planning your Tot School.
3. Connect with Others
Being at home constantly can definitely put a damper on your homeschool motivation. Get out and connect with others. Find classes for you and your child, head to the library, go to the park, or join a co-op. Having an online group to connect with gives you others right at your fingertips to stay connected, bounce ideas off of each other, or just vent. If you are homeschooling a toddler or preschooler, head over to our Facebook Group, Tot School and Home Preschool Help.
4. Trust Your Child
The teacher in me has a really hard time trusting my toddler! I know that a child-led approach works best for kids, especially the young ones, but my personality mixed with my years in teaching has pounded in my brain that I need to control every little detail. Even though I’ve come up with a great way to have a child-led environment in a structured way, I still find it hard to trust Sicily.
But when I do trust her, my days are so much less stressful. When I follow her lead and wait for her to show signs of readiness, teaching skills comes so easily to me and her. When we trust our children in their learning journey, the stress of reaching strict goals or deadlines is eliminated. No more worrying about if my child is ahead or behind other kids her age. Trust your child, and they will develop and learn at their own pace making things less stressful for all.
5. Take Care of Yourself
This is a must Beautiful Mama! When you are exhausted, hungry, or just feel blah you will not have the homeschool motivation you need to get things done. Take time out of each day for yourself, even if it’s 10 minutes in a locked bathroom with a glass of wine and chocolate.
I’m a big believer in putting yourself before your kids. If Mama ain’t happy and healthy, then the kids can’t be healthy and happy. I put time aside everyday for me. Some times I relax in a bubble bath, other times I read a book or watch TV, and on occasion I lock myself in the bathroom with wine and chocolate!
6. Look for the Small Moments
One of the first signs you see in my house says “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away.” Look for those moments that take your breath away while you’re homeschooling.
Sicily has been on a reading kick here lately. She is constantly reading to her baby brother or her stuffed animals. It melts my heart watching her “read.” She has memorized some words on pages of books we read often, and will read them in the same silly voices I use.
She will also go through her books and pick out letters that she knows. I will often hear her say “S yes, S no, S no” as she points to different letters. These little moments in the day make me proud of the homeschooling we’ve done and definitely motivates me to keep going.
7. Take Breaks
The best part of homeschooling is the ability to take breaks. We don’t do schools on Monday, and Sicily goes to spend the day with her Great Grandmother. We also take breaks during all the holidays. Having regular breaks in your homeschool routine keeps you and your child from burning out. I love coming back from a break because I always feel refreshed and ready to start.
8. Find Materials You Love
If you are using a curriculum, toys, or other materials you or your child don’t love, then you are going to resent homeschooling. This is another beauty of homeschooling. You don’t have to use materials you don’t absolutely love. If you and your child don’t love the curriculum or a certain material you’re using then stop using it. Find materials that do work for you.
Related: Toddler Curriculum: Hands-on, Child-led, and Process-Based
The same goes for your routine and the approach you are using. If your routine isn’t working, change it. Who said you have to homeschool in the morning? If your child is more alert in the afternoons, then do your schooling then. Spend time figuring out what works for you and your family. Every homeschooling family is going to do it a bit differently.
9. Be Flexible
Have some flexibility to your days. I like creating a routine instead of a strict schedule. This way we can take as much or as little time on something as we would like.
I’m also very flexible based on how our moods are that day. On days Sicily wakes up super grumpy or I am just really busy with work stuff, we will have a no school day. If your child isn’t interested in the activities you planned, skip it. On those nice days, go outside and do school. Change the day to fit your needs and wants for that particular day.
Related: Planning the Perfect Tot School Schedule
10. Reorganize Your Space
I recently had a new baby. We originally decided to take 2 weeks off of school, but that ended up being closer to 5 weeks. I finally looked up one day and said enough was enough. We needed to boost our motivation to start school again, so I reorganized our whole learning area. Having a new space for learning helped me and Sicily become more motivated to get back to our normal, or our new normal, routine.
Keeping your homeschool motivation can be a challenge when you have so many other distractions or when your day just isn’t going as planned. Take time to recharge, find what works best for you, and keep on pushing through.
Need some motivation to get started? Download the getting started with Tot School Guide.