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Join us at our upcoming speaking engagements:
January 13, 2018: Homeschool Family Connection (Richmond, VA)—Diane Kummer
January 13, 2018: CHEC High School and Beyond (Castle Rock, CO)—Carol Becker
January 27, 2018: Forsyth Home Educators (Advance, NC)—Carol Becker
April 12-14, 2018: MACHE (Rochester, MN)—Diane Kummer
April 19-21, 2018: CAPE (Albuquerque, NM)—Diane Kummer
April 27-28, 2018: NCHEA (NE)—Carol Becker
Our e-books will help you homeschool through high school with confidence!
Develop a Plan for High School is the first in Carol and Diane’s Homeschool through High School with Confidence series. Learn how to choose courses, assign high school credits, evaluate course work, and improve time management for you and your high school student.
Simplify Your Recordkeeping and Transcript is the second in Carol and Diane's e-book series. This in-depth e-book helps you streamline the recordkeeping process and produce a professional transcript you’ll be proud to present to college admissions officers, employers, and military recruiters.
Not able to attend one of Carol or Diane’s high school events? HSLDA’s recorded event High School at Home: Turning Possibility into Reality features sessions on developing a high school plan, creating transcripts, charting a course for post-high school plans, and more—with lots of encouragement! Purchase it at the HSLDA Store.
Three Ways to Recharge in 2018!
|Dear Friends,||January 4, 2018|
Now that you have tucked away holiday decorations, January is a good time to consider clearing away other impediments . . . and recharging! Clearing away physical, emotional, and spiritual cobwebs can refresh and invigorate you for the remaining months of this school year.
Some stress is just part of living. Your body naturally reacts to challenging, demanding, or hectic situations with adrenaline, which helps you respond quickly to handle periodic stress.
Your busy schedule, which probably includes having your teen take advantage of outside classes (in co-ops, at a community college, or with private teachers), specialized instruction (art, voice, dance, instruments, martial arts, band, choir, etc.), and sports teams (swimming, basketball, soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, baseball, football, cross-country, track and field, etc.), may be contributing to stress. (We’re exhausted simply listing these areas!)
If stress builds up, it can exceed your body’s ability to handle it. Over time, parents can become accustomed to high stress levels, and this can lead to a host of unwanted side effects such as headaches, fatigue, anxiety, illness, sleeplessness, irritability, weight gain, digestive issues, and depression. Prolonged periods of pressure affect your abilities to concentrate, motivate, lead others, handle your emotions, and control your behavior.
Here are specific steps you can take to decrease stress and recharge physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
One significant way to relieve physical stress is to prioritize regular times for activities you enjoy or that provide needed rest. Ideas include:
- Getting a good night’s sleep (How many hours does your body need?)
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising (walking, running, bicycling, swimming, etc.—whether at the gym, using a DVD, or on your own)
- Playing sports
- Enjoying a hobby or interest
- Giving yourself a special treat
Simple steps can have profound effects. Value a good night’s sleep by going to bed earlier and giving your body time to heal from the stresses of yesterday. Eating the right kinds of food in balanced proportions will help take off extra pounds you might have added over the holidays. Prioritize exercise by joining a class or group because you are more likely to continue working out when you do it with others. Take time to resurrect a favorite hobby.
A special treat from time to time can relieve physical stress. This may mean scheduling a day-spa facial, massage, sauna session, pedicure, or manicure, but you can also consider less expensive options such as updating a hair or clothing style, scheduling a coffee date, going window shopping, browsing a bookstore, relaxing with a movie, listening to your favorite music, or watching a sporting event.
One important way to relieve emotional stress is to remove nonessential commitments from your busy life. Homeschooling high school is a season of your life, not a lifelong decision. Realize that while you homeschool your teen, it may be necessary to pare down outside volunteer commitments and reassess job responsibilities. Determine what is essential and ruthlessly lighten your load.
You need some margin in your homeschool schedule because interruptions, emergencies, mistakes, and forgetfulness just happen. Below are some questions that can reveal if your personal “check engine” light is on and needs resetting:
- Does homeschooling feel like an annoying interruption to your to-do list?
- Are you frustrated by long checkout lines, store salesmen, or telemarketers?
- Are you easily annoyed by setbacks, cancelations, changes to your schedule, or delays?
- Do others notice that you have a pattern of outbursts or impatience on certain days?
- Are you frequently late for events, meetings, and gatherings?
- Does everything need to go flawlessly in the weekly schedule for you to consider the week a success?
- Would the occasional illness irrevocably sink your homeschool schedule?
- Do your teens walk on eggshells when they are around you?
- Does a small setback yield dire predictions of catastrophic failure?
- Does homeschooling high school seem like a mountain too high to climb?
Adding margin will keep you sane when life goes awry.
When you are emotionally drained, you can start to feel isolated. Decide to stay connected with other parents. Their perspectives can reset your emotional Geiger counter. It helps to include in your circle of friends those whose children are homeschooled and those whose children attend private or public schools. This can help you differentiate between problems that are just the result of parenting teens and those that are homeschool-related issues. When you realize that some challenges are ones most parents face, this can bring stability to your emotional rollercoaster.
Another way to steady emotions is to inject laughter into every day. Delight makes anything easier. Laughing about events and silliness can be healing, and seeing the funny side of life can help you adjust to the unexpected with more flexibility and aplomb. Look for light-hearted books, scour the internet for fun facts, and collect funny anecdotes.
Because each is different, what refreshes one person emotionally might exhaust another. Take time to understand your talents and strengths and use them to maintain your peace of mind:
- If you like to be productive, then begin a long-term project. Read up on it or get some training (by going online, watching DVDs or YouTube videos, or attending classes). Seeing progress over time will help settle your emotions and build longstanding satisfaction.
- If you find that social events refresh you, then spend quality time with friends on a regular basis. A friend with teens older than yours can be a source of wisdom. Look for a friend with younger children so you can encourage someone. Receiving (being mentored) and giving (sharing from your experience) will bring you great satisfaction.
- If you like to organize events, then plan one for summer or a school break. Enjoy the whole process of brainstorming, planning, preparing, and hosting to make this event a success. Take pictures so you can remember this feeling of satisfaction when a school day seems particularly long and challenging.
- If you need to visit a tranquil spot or create a peaceful environment in order to recharge, then consider planning retreats, date nights, free time, or other calming events that you can look forward to on a regular basis. These don’t need to be expensive. Consider a dessert date, stroll through a park, movie rental (with popcorn), talk by the fireside, or anything else that offers you a tranquil setting to regroup and restore your perspective.
Invest in your success as a homeschooling teacher by attending a conference or listening online to teacher training. Hearing how others have faced similar academic challenges or finding material well-suited to your teen’s learning style is priceless. HSLDA’s archive of Homeschool Heartbeat radio programs covers many teaching topics.
So much of teaching and parenting involves perspective. Filling your soul with times of quiet reflection will do wonders to reorient your perspective. You may want to enlist a prayer partner and plan to chat regularly to share concerns. Express thankfulness, gratitude, and respect for your teens often. Remember to list the joys you experience as you homeschool—these will lift your thoughts above the chaos you encounter at times. Train yourself to look for the higher purpose in every day.
During these precious four years of high school as you get ready to launch your teen into the adult world, take steps to recharge physically, emotionally, and spiritually so you can keep going with vigor and stamina in 2018!
Next month, we will consider anew why homeschooling teens is a viable option.
Wish we were heading off to the spa to recharge,
Carol Becker and Diane Kummer
HSLDA High School Consultants