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12 Secrets For the Busy Home Schooler

Life is busy. We rush from here to there. We rush through our lesson plans. We rush to finish another project with the kids. We rush to make cookies. We rush to church and special events. We have to pay the bills and buy the groceries and clean the house and make the meals that nobody wants to eat.

And oh yeah, don’t forget you are a full-time teacher. You have to plan the lessons, prepare to teach, and sit down with each child while the others run amok. Then the toddler makes a mess all over the floor while you were doing spelling with your first grader, and everything must be put on hold while you solve the problem.

We give and give until there is nothing left of ourselves, until we are empty. We handle the chores, cook the meals, teach the lessons, drive everyone to their special piano lessons and soccer practice, rush home to make dinner, tuck the kids into bed, and then drag them out of bed in the morning to start it all over again.

Yet we chose to home school because we value a family where community and creativity our nurtured, where there is joy and warmth and rest, where you are not running from one event to the next. Hidden in our hearts, a small spark, a little wish for something deeper, something more eternal, waits to blossom.

We cannot change anyone. We can only change ourselves. To move our families in the right direction, we must first move ourselves in that direction and trust that they will follow. These twelve life principles are lessons I have learned and forgotten and then reapplied to my life many times over.

1. Get up while the house is still quiet. Get your breakfast. Get your shower. Have a moment to drink your coffee and plan your day. You are worth the extra effort to take care of yourself before you start to serve others. If you let them wake you, you will be 10 steps behind the rest of the day. And you will be too tired and grumpy to tackle the day’s challenges.

If the children wake up before you are ready, send them back to bed. As a home schooling family, you can set your own schedule. Let them read in bed for half an hour or play quietly until you are ready.

2. Ignore criticisms and unwelcome advice. Busy bodies everywhere have their opinions about what you should or should not be doing. I’d like to say they mean well, but I’m really not so sure about that. Most of them just want to feel better about their own selves by tearing someone else down, and very few actually know what they are talking about.

3. Keep a journal. Write your thoughts and contemplate yourself. Take the time to recognize your emotional state. Emotions are often warning messages, helping you know when to rest and when something is not healthy. Take the time to ask yourself who you really are. Knowing and finding yourself are integral for good parenting.

4. Explore your own creative aspects. We have arts and crafts for the kids, music lessons for the kids, and writing essays for the kids. If developing the arts is so important for your kids, is it not just as important for you? You want your kids to be well-rounded, right? So don’t be a hypocrite, and you will find your kids being more willing to jump into their lessons, following your example.

5. Never stop learning. Try new things. Check out books from the library to explore a new hobby and study something you’ve always wanted to know. Your brain is a powerful tool. Whatever style of home schooling you may have, you can always unschool yourself.

6. Eat lunch. And have a snack. At the end of the day, I find that I snap more. Why? I don’t feel hungry, but once I’ve eaten dinner my mood improves. We are finite people. Only God is infinite, and we are dependent on water, food, and God to nourish our lives. So don’t be a martyr and eat something.

7. Insist on an afternoon break. Children need downtime in order to have unscheduled, undirected play. No matter how old your children are, it is good for them and you that everyone gets quiet time alone. Send them to their rooms to read or outside to play, but enforce the rule that you are not to be disturbed during this time.

8. Find time to exercise. Just as it is not your wish for your children to be unhealthy, it is not God’s wish for you either. He cherishes you just as you cherish your children. Parental duties and home schooling should never get in the way of this. Keep it fun, and find a routine that fits into your schedule. Maybe fit it in during your morning quiet hour or during the afternoon break. Or get workout videos that the kids can do with you.

9. Take quiet walks frequently. Not for the purpose of exercise. Not for some goal. Just for the chance to meander and to be quiet. To have solitude. To explore. Adults are goal-oriented. Everything we do has a purpose, whether it is to cook dinner, buy groceries, pay the bills, diet, or get some exercise. We are always striving. Sometimes, we just need to put that aside. So trade favors with your spouse, and take a little time each week.

10. Find time to play. Be a kid again. Children are experience-oriented. They do stuff for the simple joy of being. Growing up has made us lose that eternal quality of just being. Sometimes, we just need to enjoy the experience.

11. Never let life become a competition. We compete to be the best mom, to be the best dresser, the best decorator, the best friend, the most organized, the best scrapbooker, the most creative, the most athletic, the most beautiful. But when I stop to contemplate this, I realize that my value really has no bearing on anyone else. Parents celebrate their child’s first steps, however wobbly those steps may be. In the same way, we should celebrate our own wobbly attempts to grow.

12. Learn to say “No.” Sometimes, one more activity, one more responsibility, or one more event is just one too many. Instead, choose to say “Yes” to being home, to spending time with family, or to enjoying a dinner around the table.

Achieving a Healthy Lifestyle For the Busy Body

American’s lifestyles have become notorious for being ridiculously busy and having us always on the go. Unfortunately, our health has taken a back seat to the rest of our daily activities and this is leading to a rapidly increasing amount of Americans whom are obese or overweight. If you pair our always on the go lifestyle with always on the go food, its as easy as 1+1=2. Fast food is the worst food for you, and since you are not working out, you do begin to double from your previous size.

Most people i talk to complain their is just not enough time in the day for them to get an efficient workout. I run a full time IT consulting company, and still manage to workout daily. The key with fitness is priority. I understand you may not have 2 hours to devote to working out, but I am sure you can find 30 minutes, if you match that up with waking up an extra 30 minutes earlier, you have given yourself a full hour to get a very efficient workout. You should not be working your muscles out for more than an hour anyways, since your body then begins to release cortisol afterwards which is a cannibalistic enzyme. This provides the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve. So, what kind of workout should you do?

I am sure you have all seen 300, or maybe Terrell Owens enthralled in himself over his body. They are both the product of circuit training(very very intense circuit training, but nonetheless). Circuit training for me is the most effective workout routine for multiple reasons.

  • It is by far the fastest and most efficient way to workout, great for the busy bees in the world.
  • If you are looking to shred fat and gain muscle, look no further.
  • You are constantly moving from one exercise to another, great for burning extra calories rather than sit around for 2 minutes resting.
  • You build lean muscle mass, which in simplified terms is Brad Pitt, Gerard Butler, and Adriana Lima

For the majority of people reading this you are probably out of your teens and done with athletics, so the big ,bulky, macho man appearance may not be what your looking for. Circuit training is for the individual looking to build lean muscle mass, so ladies, have no fear of becoming a bulky bodybuilder. An effective 12-week workout routine can very easily transform your body, with just one hour of exercise a day. An average circuit workout should take 40 minutes, and you must do cardio at least 3 times a week if not more. I recommend running for 20 to 30 minutes, or swimming laps for 10 to 15. Don’t expect to be able to run or swim consistently, but gradually begin to decrease the amount of breaks you need to take to complete your cardio. Swimming is an amazing workout, and possibly the toughest cardio i have done. It is very gentle on the body since you are not pounding on pavement, and will have you gasping for air from just a few laps. I recommend finding a proper circuit training workout for yourself on various websites. They are a great resource for any information you may need as well as all types of great workout routines. Use their motivational stories to help keep you going, and don’t give up.

Last but not least, and probably the most important is eating. I am not a certified nutritionist so i am legally unable to provide any diet recommendations. But i will say to please remove the word diet from your vocabulary, because that will not get the job done. You will fall right back into a rut if you try to diet, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you drink two sodas a day, gradually decrease your intake till you can replace them with water or some other healthy beverage like green tea. Water works miracles for your body and also allows protein to synthesize with your muscles better enabling better muscle development. You need to slowly decrease your fat intake, and try to stay away from all fast food. It is a heart plug disguised in food form, and is a body killer. Increase your protein intake to help with muscle recovery and growth, and eat mostly healthy carbohydrates such as oats, grain, and whole wheat pasta. Once you gradually make the change to a healthy lifestyle you will feel much more confident in yourself, more energetic, and your spouse or significant other won’t be complaining either(we should embrace that moment).

Email me with any questions you may have. 🙂

Best of luck