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For many of us, the thought of having our children start back at school this fall is both a blessing and a curse. Some are excited to start the school year to attempt normalcy for our children, we also have to be extremely cautious about COVID-19. For others, they do not even want to attempt having their children go into a building with other students and so homeschooling is the path that their children will be taking. If you’re the latter of the two options, you might begin to feel a bit overwhelmed by all that entails schooling your child. There are some positive outlooks to keeping our children home, such as fine-tuning how your child learns best and what works best for them. You also are able to arrange their day, give them the opportunity to be a kid and experience a healthy childhood in a way that benefits them and their needs. The best part is you don’t need to be an expert in education, but you just need to be an expert in how your child learns. Below are a few ways to approach homeschooling and what can cause your feelings of being overwhelming. 

  1. Feelings- The first thing you need to address when homeschooling is the feelings you have towards it. Of course, these feelings are filled with anxiety, responsibility, or anger. As a homeschooler, you take on tremendous amounts of responsibility. To-do lists seem to be bloom out into new lists. Appointments and activities that are mixed in to make sure our kids are up to par with the education they need. Anxiety is another big emotion we can carry with us. We question if we are doing the right thing and worry about our abilities to educate our children. We wonder if they are getting everything they need to succeed. We also fret about time management and teaching multiple children. Teaching a few children at a time can be rewarding yet challenging. Tending to toddlers while you teach can feel as if you are spiraling. While all of these feelings are swirling around, know that it’s ok, it’s normal and you will get through it. 
  2. Take A Break – If you or your child at any time are feeling any of those feelings above the best thing to do is take a break. Give yourself either five minutes or 10 minutes every hour, every day, or every week. You need to give yourself the permission to recharge. Use that time to take care of your health such as going on a walk, closing your eyes and taking deep breaths, or putting on some calming music. Whatever it is- step away and enjoy the moment.
  3. Refocus – Are you using a boxed curriculum? Consider taking on a smaller approach if you are working outside of the box. Perhaps a subject feels like you aren’t just how or where to get started. Drop it for a bit and then come back to it later. Everyone will be ok and you’ll have a better handle on it if you start with something easier for the first few weeks. 
  4. Have Fun – While these are scary times, you want to make the time you are at home with your children fun! Laugh. Have a board game out or a puzzle to work on in between school. Put on a puppet show or list some fun ideas to do together once you’ve got a few things accomplished. Think of your child and your strengths and work together to create something magical. 
  5. Get Help – It’s perfectly ok to ask for help. This does not make you a weak or incapable person. We are all human and we are all in this pandemic together. No one person can truly do it all, especially if you are trying to work from home as well. Talk to other neighbors in your neighborhood, ask the teacher questions, or if any family members have ideas to help you with the tough subjects. Perhaps your Mother In Law lives nearby and would be willing to help take your children a few days a week to help teach a subject.

Image: Therapy for Atlanta

6. Seek Support– Look and join any local home school opportunities. Discuss your sense of overwhelming feeling in your home or ask for approaches on what others are doing. What are you telling ourself? How are you looking at the situation? If at any point you are thinking negative thoughts, it might be important to not only seek help for homeschooling but also your mental health as well. Therapy for Atlanta, a business that specializes in anxiety and mental health, is one to have in your back corner. Lauren Enders is dedicated to helping others see the good in themselves and provides tools to help build your confidence through life’s difficult moments, such as the ones we are going through right now. Lauren is extremely comforting, makes you feel supported, and has a judgment-free space. Not only is she there for you as a mother but she can also help you and your spouse as a true anxiety therapist in the Atlanta area. Lauren is committed to helping you be your best self while working through homeschooling and the difficult task of having so many roles put on as caregivers. 

What is important right now as we navigate the next few months, is knowing the signs when you start to feel overwhelmed, especially if you decided to homeschool your child. Knowing these signs can help you start to figure out the next few steps on how you can best handle them for you and your family. Keep in mind that we are all in the same boat, no question is too big enough to answer and seek the help you need to help make this big transition for your family as comforting as possible. 

Learn six steps to approach homeschooling. Handle the pandemic like a boss as back to school draws near. You do not have to be anxious or nervous about your child starting this fall when you choose to homeschool.