SummaryLiving in the present moment has helped keep peace and order in Elizabeth Turajski’s homeschool. Can you use her tips for cultivating mindfulness each day?
Homeschooling moms are some of the busiest people I know.
They are constantly bombarded with noise and questions, and they barely have the time to focus on the tasks in front of them.
I am sometimes tempted to complete other tasks while homeschooling. I see that the floor needs to be cleaned or a loaf of bread needs to be made, and I want to get it done before I forget.
However, this leads to a lack of concentration, which causes me to get none of the tasks done well.
Enter mindfulness, which according to dictionary.com, is “a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present.”
When completing work mindfully, one pours his/her whole attention into the task at hand. While it sounds great in theory, it can be difficult to put into practice, especially with a busy lifestyle.
Here are my tips and tricks to incorporate mindfulness into a hectic homeschooling day:
1. Put the internet away.
For me at least, the phone can be a big distraction. The many things to read on my smartphone provide numerous opportunities to zone out.
As anyone who spends time reading articles online knows, it is very easy to lose track of time when on the internet.
2. Set boundaries with the phone.
For the most part, I put the phone away during the school day. My oldest in college has a window of time during which I can have a conversation with her on the phone, so I am not depriving either her or my homeschoolers the attention they need.
That being said, I do need to be available in case she or my husband needs me during the school day. To be available without getting distracted, I created separate text tones for the two of them, and only check my phone when I hear one of them go off.
3. Have dedicated self care time.
If I am going to focus 100% on my homeschooling, then I need to have time during which I am not teaching. When I can, I wake up early to have some time to myself so I can be refreshed and ready to devote the majority of the day to educating my kids.
4. Begin the day with the Morning Offering.
Many secular individuals who are into mindfulness talk about “setting an intention” for the day. For Catholics, that should include offering up one’s work for the glory of God. Starting my school day with the Morning Offering really sets the tone for the day and helps my kids establish this important habit.
5. Focus on one kid at a time.
It didn’t take me long to discover that helping three different kids with three different subjects at once was not going to work. That approach caused everyone to lack the attention they needed and to feel frustrated.
Now, I have the kids take turns. I announce whose turn it is and focus only on helping that one kid until we finish up our work.
The kids easily understand this method and it works well for our family.
6. Have dinner planned out ahead of time.
One strategy that works for me is to make large batches of things like grains, legumes, and pre-cooked chicken breast and store them in the freezer. In the morning, I choose something from the freezer and plan a meal around that.
For example, I will pull frozen black beans and chicken breast strips out of the freezer and we will have burrito night.
If I do not plan dinner ahead of time, I become stressed about what to serve, which takes away precious energy I could spend focusing on my homeschool.
Following the above tips has made my homeschooling day much more focused and calm.
Readers, how do you bring a sense of mindfulness and purpose into your homeschool?