5 Essentials for the Special Needs Homeschooling Mom

What are the essentials for self-care for a special needs homeschooling mom? Read my list and add your own!

5 Essentials for the Special Needs Homeschooling Mom

Our homeschool is full of books, games, and resources that we use daily during lessons and to supplement the girls’ learning. But more important than any of that in having a successful homeschool are the people in our family! I am often told (and I know it’s true) that I’m much better at taking care of my husband and children than I am at taking care of myself. When I let self-care slide, our family and homeschool don’t operate as smoothly. Over the years, I have discovered that some things in my life are non-negotiable if I’m going to be the mother and wife my family needs. In my house, the essentials for the special needs homeschooling mom include:

  • Sleep. For a long time, I shorted myself on sleep, staying up late to complete everything I felt *must* be done for the next day to go well. This was not a good plan. I have paid for those decisions over and over with health issues and attitude problems. In my case, a tired mom is not a happy mom. I am learning that eight hours a  night is just about right for my body to function optimally. I have to leave tasks undone sometimes to get to bed early enough for that to happen, but it’s worth it. (My family is good enough to help me “catch up” the next day.)
  • Caffeine. I would love to tell you that eight hours is enough, but there are days that I need a little caffeine boost anyway—and there are nights that the eight hours just doesn’t happen. The caffeine mostly comes in the form of iced or hot tea or a diet soft drink. (I know. Those things are terrible for you. I’m trying to quit!)
  • Good books. I really need the chance to unwind every day with a good book. Sometimes these are Christian living or books about homeschooling, but often it’s a biography, memoir, or Christian fiction.
  • Quiet time (Bible reading and prayer). This should actually be the first thing on this list. It’s critical for me to spend time in Bible reading and prayer as soon as I get up in the morning, preferably before my kids wake up. If I don’t do this first thing in the day, it gets pushed later and later in the day until I’m doing it right before bed or not at all. My day doesn’t go as well when I don’t set the right mindset from the start and take time to realize that I’m not in this alone.
  • Creative outlets. It took me a while to realize that this is important for me. The opportunity to be creative ministers to something deep in me and helps me to continue to develop and grow as a person, apart from my duties as a parent or spouse. Creativity takes different forms for me in different seasons. Sometimes it’s writing. Other times it’s working on crochet projects or knitting. Occasionally I’ll get out a coloring book and crayon and relax with them for a while. For me, creative activities don’t have to be a daily thing, but I need to do them at least a couple of times a week to help me relieve stress and focus on something different and challenging.

Bonus: Exercise. I handle stress and life’s daily challenges better when my body is strong (and I’ve experienced the stress relief that comes with a good exercise session). It is hard to get into a routine when I haven’t exercised in a while, but once I make myself start, I find that I crave the opportunity to move every day! Even a few minutes a day, or just several times a week, can make a big difference.

What’s on your list of essentials?

To find out what other homeschools can’t do without, visit iHomeschool Network’s link-up “Things My Homeschool Couldn’t Do Without.”

Things Homeschool Couldn't Do Without - iHomeschool Network

 

 

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6 Responses to 5 Essentials for the Special Needs Homeschooling Mom

  1. Sheri Dacon says:

    Jennifer,
    I don’t homeschool, but these are all important things for any mom!! I’m with you on the sleep! It took me a long time to figure out just how important a good night’s rest really was to my well-being (and how much it contributes to the peacefulness in our home!) Thanks for sharing these tips.

  2. Emily says:

    That’s an awesome necklace in your first photo… Where might we buy that? Do tell!

  3. Candice says:

    I love this post. One thing I am learning is even as my kiddo is getting ready to go to public school I am still homeschooling. There is always something to work on at home! Taking care of yourself makes for a better learning environment for your child :)

    Candice

    • Always! I know of a lot of parents whose children attend public school who still do a lot of homeschooling in the summers, evenings, and even some weekends. And yes, a happy and healthy mom makes for a better learning environment for everyone. I wish you all the best as you homeschool this summer and get ready for public school!

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