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.
Great idea to clear the mind of clutter first! Facing the doubts and doing something about them is a good one, because they truly get in the way. You’ve inspired me to sit down and do just that. Thank you! Can’t wait to see what else you’ve got. =)
Great post, Jimmie!
Love that you started with the mental end of things. Excellent post!
WordGirl AKA Shannon says
This is my first year of homeschooling and I’ve been feeling the (self-imposed) pressure recently. While I know rationally that it’s a combination of standardized testing approaching, feeling spring stir-crazy after being stuck indoors all winter and a novice teacher mom, your post encourages me to set aside those things and honestly evaluate whether I need to be concerned – or just keep doing what we’re doing.
While I read several blogs daily, yours is the only homeschooling one – because you encourage me instead of intimidating me. Thanks for this post and the overall tone of your blog.
Great post! I think mental clutter is very often overlooked by homeschoolers (myself included!). After reading this, I am going to make a concerted effort to let a little more silence into our home.
Very good ideas, thanks!!
I particularly liked how you addressed the issue of background noise in your post. I agree that quiet is preferable to the noise of our modern existence. Although…..I have to admit I treasure the sound of the dishwasher running because it means that the kitchen is temporarily clean!
Thank you for addressing the mind first. That is something we generally forget to keep clean. It is so easy to let the mind be cluttered and the house be neat.
Oh quiet…how I long for it!
We have a busy (read: loud) home with 4 little ones 6 and under. As a person who enjoys peace and quiet, it is the noise level with which I have a hard time.
I love this post on mental clutter. I struggle with it from all angles! Bookmarked and Stumbled!
Angie @ Many Little Blessings says
I definitely struggle with all of these things. Thanks for the great reminders to bring in more quiet in our lives!
Oh, this is deep. 🙂 I’m not a homeschool mom, but I definitely see some of this in my life- I need less “white noise” and more quiet, for sure.
yes, i believe you have started with the most important, organizing and planning effectively begins in our minds…it is an attitude towards life….enjoyed your post this morning..
Angela @ Homegrown Mom says
Great post! I find myself comparing too often.. it’s never a good thing!