We received this question, “How do I maintain patience and consistency with homeschooling?” I shot a quick video with my response:
We all have those times! It seems our children are hard wired to test the limits of our patience exactly when we don’t feel we have the energy to stay calm and collected. There are several ways you can keep patient during trying moments:
Remember Your Why
This is about keeping the big picture in mind. Impatience can come from feeling rushed, over scheduled, interrupted, and generally succumbing to the noise of the day. Reflect on why you are homeschooling and what it means to you and your child’s future. A quick thought about your motivation can be enough to energize you through a time when you’re not at your best.
Take a Break
We’re in a marathon, not a sprint. That means we have to be open to changing our pace. If a subject isn’t going as fast as we like, it may be time to take a rest and let it sink in over a night’s sleep. Looking at what is working and doing more of that makes everything go a lot easier. Sometimes everyone needs a little while to work through their frustrations.
Think About the Third Perspective
If you’re able, try to look at the exchange between your homeschooler and you through the eyes of a third person who is watching both of you. What would it look like to them? What would they say is happening? Choose to be someone whose advice you value. What would they recommend? Change up and try to be a kid your child’s age watching this. What would they advise?
Share Your Reasons
This can require creativity but is also a litmus test of if your reasoning for homeschooling is sound. Try explaining to your child why your chosen subject area or study is important. If they aren’t sold, you have work to do! Take some time thinking about why the must know what you are covering. Find different examples where it is used so they can see the value. That may mean rethinking how they are learning the topic.
Lack of patience can come directly from a lack of consistency. Impatience can easily arise when we are starting late, adjusting schedules, or changing routines. Those surprises can throw people off balance if they aren’t expecting them.
Establish a Routine
Some may find a routine confining. It’s liberating because you can focus on what’s important rather than allow distractions to take control. Routines can be as strict or relaxed as you like; it’s the consistent pattern that establishes patterns and traditions. Think about your current routines. Is there a “start” to the day? Does the day progress in a standard fashion that your homeschooler can expect?
It is extremely difficult for any person to be productive if they don’t know what is expected of them. Establish the results you want from your homeschooling day. This can be done with your homeschooler as they learn how to manage their behavior and activities. Create a system where they can monitor their progress so they can make adjustments and take pride in their accomplishments.
Set aside regular time to evaluate progress. This should be done with your homeschooler as a conversation and changes to the routine should be discussed. This helps your homeschooler to understand why the changes are being made and eliminates surprises and impatience. It can be a simple conversation asking how things are going or talking more specifically about areas where you see there is a challenge.
Taking a little time to for mental preparation and establishing a routine can be one of the easiest ways to maintain patience and consistency while homeschooling. Do you have a best practice? Let me know in the comments below!