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Lesson 3: Jump off the Wheel of If's {Season 3, Episode 52}

September 17, 2018 5 min read


Lesson 3: Jumping off the Wheel of If's {Season 3, Episode 52}

In today's episode, we will chat about another important lesson I have learned in ten years of homeschooling - to jump off the wheel of if’s. I think that as mom’s who stay-at-home or work-from-home AND homeschool, we often bite off more than we can chew because we are pulled in many different directions. And all this can lead to a never-ending cycle of asking "what if...?" 

Welcome to Season 3 of The Tips for Homeschool Science Show. This season, I am sharing 10 lessons I have learned in my ten plus years of homeschooling.  I hope that all of them will help you on your homeschooling journey!

{Disclaimer - I don't claim to know everything there is to know about homeschooling, but these ten lessons are ones that I have found important and useful in my homeschooling journey. And I trust that you will too.}

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Lesson 3 Transcripts

Jump off the Wheel of If's

Another important lesson I have learned in ten years of homeschooling is to jump off the wheel of if’s. I think that as mom’s who stay-at-home or work-from-home AND homeschool, we often bite off more than we can chew because we are pulled in many different directions.

And thanks to Instagram and Pinterest, we can often feel like if we just figured out the magic bullet or secret sauce – we could actually do it all. We are not selfish in how we are trying to fit it all in. We are trying to do things we love for people we love.

The things that pull on our time are often good things, but as someone once told me, “If you work all the time, even at something you love, you will crash and burn.”

But I didn’t listen – at least I didn’t listen at first.

I love what I do for work. I love homeschooling our children. I love creating a home environment that is peaceful and filled with joy. I love cooking meals for my family.

And I believed that I could do all that on my own without any help as long as I just kept going and doing, never resting or taking a moment for just me.

I am the type of person who always has something going. There are more ideas in my head than I can possibly complete. So I just keep thinking of all the if’s that would make it possible for me to fit it all in.

If I could just get up early…

If I could just stay up later…

If I could just manage to dust the shelves and teach math…

If I could just write a blog post and listen to my child read…

If I could just listen to that podcast and wash the dishes…

If I could just…

If I could…

If I…

The never-ending wheel of “if’s” played through my head constantly. And it was slowly driving me crazy.

I was constantly overwhelmed by all that I wanted to do.

It was a recipe for disaster and I was quickly heading towards a crash and burn.

It was apparent to my husband and all those close to me that I needed to create rest in my day.

I needed to get off the wheel of “if’s” and be satisfied with the reality of the “I am able’s”.

Because the reality is that we can’t do it all, if that “all” is defined by all the things we think that we should be doing if we just had that secret solution for fitting it “all” in.

But we are able to make room for the things that we define as important in our lives.

Here is how I got off the wheel of “if’s” and avoid a crash and burn in our homeschool.

Tip #1 – Rest.

The first thing I did was to schedule rest. This seems so simple, but it’s not. I literally had to learn how to rest!

As a family we decided that we would take one day a week off to really rest. No work allowed. No making plans for homeschool. Just relaxing, reading books, playing games, and enjoying being around each other.

Rest was a discipline that I had to learn. But I’m so glad I did because learning how to rest has restored my sanity.

Tip #2 – Know your priorities.

Along with scheduling rest, we laid out our priorities. We knew that something had to give in order to make room for rest.

We all only have 24 hours in each day, some of which we need to sleep and eat in. So, we need to know what our priorities are, so that we can choose what to fill your day with. Knowing what is important helps us to be able to decide which activities must be done, which can wait for another day and which don’t really need to be done at all. 

Tip #3 – Get organized.

Once you have scheduled rest and you know your priorities, you can organize your day.

I’ve found that when I structure or organize my day, it alleviates a lot of the stress that leads to burnout because I know that I will have time to work, play, and rest.

I don’t do well with a by the minute schedule, instead, I have a general flow to my days. I keep a calendar on the fridge with the anything that must be done at a specific time. We make a meal plan and a homeschool plan each week before we go grocery shopping, this way I can make sure we have the supplies we will need to do science and art and that we will have food to eat during the week!

My meal plan is more like a list of possible meals, so we can pick and choose what will work for that day.  We clean one section of the house each day during the week and I keep that list on the side of the fridge too. And then I keep a notepad on my desk so I can write down things that need to be done eventually and when I have a pocket of time, I do something from that list and cross it off.

Writing it all out helps me remember what needs to be done and it helps me organize my days.

In a Nutshell

These three things – rest, priorities, and organization – have prevented me from crashing and burning.

I am only able to do so much with each day and with a plan in place, these things get done and I am able to lay aside the fear of the things not done.

Additional Resources

If you want a few more tips for how to create an effective plan for science, check out episode 21 from season 1 where I shared a few tools to help you plan out my favorite subject.

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