You know that old adage about life being a marathon, not a sprint?
Try making a homeschool mom believe it as she plays a daylong game of beat the clock to do all she had hoped.
...can you get the next two pages of Algebra wrapped up, finish that cookie map of the state, play another round of Banagrams spelling, teach the kinder to read and the tween to notice the subtleties of that literary device known as simile?
If you feel headed for a blowout, if you think you might need to build your endurance, long distance runners can teach you a lot.
Because, let’s face it, although the days disappear as quickly as your first cup of coffee in the morning, you are in this for the long-term. You need to have stamina and reserves of energy to finish strong.
Have you ever run a marathon? What you learn puts into perspective those tough times when you are about to bonk.
Overcoming the Bonk
Do you know what it is means to bonk in a race? It's like hitting a wall. You find yourself drained and it is hard to move forward. Your body tells you it can’t keep going.
You're going along smoothly and then? You can't move your legs. Your feet feel glued in place. You're out of inspiration and endurance.
Have you had homeschool days like that? Everyone is sick. You're worn down. Grammar lessons are making everyone tense and tired of language rules.
In a race, there are ways to overcome the bonk and you can do it in homeschool, too.
If you hit a wall, try this
Replace your glycogen stores. How is your blood sugar? Eat something (chocolate, methinks).
Get outside and run around, jump on the trampoline or go on a hike.
Send everyone to their rooms to lay down, read or listen to an audiobook (including mom).
Get out of the house and go adventuring. Jump in the car, head out to the store, the museum, the library, the pool.
Try a challenge or silly contest. My son especially responds well to a challenge--a “I bet I can do this faster than you” kind of task. “I bet you can’t really wrap up this writing project in the time it takes me to make a pb&j.” Be creative and silly. (But be kind, of course, teasing doesn’t work but silly, opposite thinking and challenge, do.)
Play a game--or make up a new one.
Jump in the bathtub and add lots of bubbles (self-care isn’t just for moms, you know!)
Surprise your kids with some crazy behavior and see how silly you can be. Get everyone laughing!
To remain steady in pursuit of a whole-hearted homeschool, consistency matters as much as avoiding a bonk. It matters more than the rigor of your run, or your homeschool studies.
The Power of Consistency
When I feel the most anxious about homeschool, it affects my sleep. I have nightmares of kids who can’t read or computer, uneducated and living in tents in my backyard. I know that won’t happen. I know learning happens all the time. But I still sometimes don’t believe what I am doing is working.
Steady and worthy progress happens because you hit the trail-over and over.
How? Same way your kids can learn to read or compute or love language a little bit at a time.
You can reach those goals because of your day to day consistency.
Small, thoughtful, consistent practice adds up.
You find learning happens with consistency. Nature study, reading aloud, or playing math, and little by little, its happening!
There are times, however, when you just need to stop to avoid injuries.
Remain Injury Free
Sometimes the best course of action in your training or homeschooling is simply to rest.
If you and your kids are hitting the books hard, working consistently, there is no reason to not take a break for some rest. Sometimes all your body (and those little bodies around you) needs is a nap and all your brain needs is a day to daydream and play.
I can tell when we are in need of a break. Grumpiness, crying, and a complete lack of enthusiasm clues me in. But I don’t feel much guilt taking a break to bolster my endurance and recommit to the end goal.
What do you in your homeschool to maintain the energy and enthusiasm to finish strong? Leave a comment and share what works to help you remain focused on the goal!