Welcome to my Homeschool Spring Cleaning series. For the next three days, I’ll have posts related to sprucing up your homeschool. We’ll start with the mind where it all starts and then we’ll look at more concrete organizational tips for clutter and for mom’s planning notebooking.
Spring is here! Fresh buds and blooming trees renew my hope once again. There is something about bright sunshine and warmer temperatures that motivate me to clean and organize. But beyond scrubbing the floors and tidying the kitchen pantry, there is mental cleaning to be done.
Do you harbor mental clutter which is quietly sabotaging your homeschool efforts?
Our modern world is noisy. We are plugged into devices that deliver a constant stream of music and talk. Even if you aren’t actively watching or listening, the television or game console provides a backdrop of noise that can sap your energy without your even being aware. You may think that you’re tuning it out, but your brain still has to work to achieve that state of oblivion. Day after day of trying to concentrate in a noisy environment wears on you mentally and saps strength that you need for teaching your children and managing your household.
Even the appliances that save us so much labor– the washing machine, dish washer, and vacuum– invade our brains with a droning noise that keeps us from giving our full mental powers to whatever activity is at hand. You may be so accustomed to the noise that you aren’t even aware of how draining it is. But invite silence into your home and watch how a layer of irritability just sloughs right off.
Another area of mental clutter is self-doubt, those nagging questions that cause us to feel inadequate or guilty.
The key here is to directly face the question and come to a definitive answer. If you determine that changes need to be made, then make them swiftly. But if those fears are unfounded, refuse to allow them to clutter your brain and sap your mental energy. Throw them away.
We homeschool moms have a terrible tendency to compare ourselves to others. We compare our curriculum choices, our meal planning, our housekeeping standards, and even the progress of our children.
The problem with comparison is that it always ends up destructive. Either you come up short and feel ashamed or you come out on top and become prideful. Neither situation is helpful for you in teaching your children.
So come to grips with the fact that, because of our human perceptions, the grass truly is greener on the other side of the fence –until you cross over that fence. There are two ways to sweep out the mental clutter of comparisons.
1. Have goals and work towards them.
Evaluate your homeschool only in light of the goals you’ve set for your children and not in light of other families.
2. Be thankful
Looking for your blessings is a surefire way to combat the dissatisfaction that comes from unhealthy comparisons.
Tomorrow I’ll be tackling the physical clutter that so often comes with homeschooling.