Self-Care for the Homeschool Mom

self-care for homeschool moms

Self-Care for Homeschool Moms. Are You Taking Care of Everyone but YOU?

As we begin a new homeschool chapter, I have been chewing on what my first educational blog post of the year should focus on. I have many ideas for the future, but the one thing that keeps coming back to me is this — how is mom holding up?

Self-Care for Homeschool Moms, No Matter Your Season

Some of us are “seasoned” homeschoolers, whatever that means. Some of us are just starting out. I think I am in the “half-baked” stage — not done yet, and so I still need some more seasoning. So much to learn, and at times I feel like I need to unlearn some things so that I can have more flavor in our school. Life would be pretty boring if every family school consisted of the same ingredients. It’s something to chew on.

But, as we begin a new year, I am reminded of mom. Most likely, you are the principal teacher in your homeschool. I realize there are exceptions, and I’m not trying to exclude anyone; if this applies to you as dad, grandma, or whomever, then take it to heart. I know it applies to moms.

Self-Care Amidst Your Busy Schedule

As teaching moms, we get excited about new projects, new curriculum, methods of teaching, craft supplies, fun field trips, and the list goes on and on, doesn’t it? We drive our troops to music lessons, practices, clubs, counseling sessions, play dates, Bible studies, birthday parties, service opportunities, jobs, and Grandma’s, not to mention the hours at the table, in the garden, reading on the sofa, or in the woods taking nature walks. And then, there’s often a husband who has needs and expectations too!

But, what about you, homeschooling mom? How do you meet your needs? How do you avoid burning the midnight oil to get everything done? How do you avoid burning out because you’re so busy doing good for everyone else that you forget about your own needs?

self-care for homeschool moms

Close to Home: Self-Care for Homeschool Moms like Me!

As I sit here on a Friday afternoon, reminding myself to guzzle more water to battle a nagging UTI, I just want to encourage you — not because I have it all together as a home educator, but because I see a genuine need in all mothers who tend to take on too much. My words to you are these: It is not selfish to take care of your own physical needs. 

Your family needs you, and you are very much aware of that. But, they need you healthy. They need you cheerful, and that’s very difficult to pull off when you’ve stayed up until midnight again. How do I know this? Well, because I’m living it! 

We are instructed to teach our children cause-effect relationships. But, we have to be real with ourselves and realize that bedtime is not just for babies; our bodies need water; and a little exercise and fresh air will do wonders for our attitudes as moms, just as much as for our children.

Home educating is no joke!

It’s not a tea party, and despite what some will think, we do much more than just sit around and do crafts with our children! We have real stresses. We worry about our children’s attitudes and characters — a LOT! We wonder about their futures, and wonder if we are doing it all right, because we don’t have a second chance. Often as we take on all of those unknowns, we find ourselves running around to grab at any perceived learning opportunity, maybe even to the detriment of our peace of mind.

At times, we even burn out, or come close to it! For more on this topic, see Homeschool Seasons, and Courage for the Worn Out Homeschool Mom

So, what is the answer?

I can only share with you what I am learning myself on this enjoyable, yet, exhausting road. These tips are not in any particular order, except for the first one.

bible study
  • We as home educators absolutely need our time with God! I find that I can get so edgy and driven with my children if I don’t have the softening influence of the Holy Spirit for myself! And, praying for my family particularly helps me to look at them differently. •Sometimes I wake up late, in a rush, and find that mid-morning, or sooner, I have to go close myself in my closet with the Lord to regain my perspective, and to just cry out to Him for help. Satan will capitalize on any chink in our armor, so putting on the full armor is so important! This is truly the best gift we can give to our children and husbands — a heart that has met with Jesus and surrendered, so that when we deal with them, we will treat them with grace. 
self-care for homeschool moms, resting
  • Sleep. I can’t say how much youneed, but I know when I need more of it! That’s when I get irritable about little things, feel like weeping over trifles, and start to feel fuzzy in my head the next day. I have gone through times when literally every time I sit down to read with my kiddos, I knock out. A little more sleep is needed! 
  • For me, practically, this means 

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Friday Friendship Feature #6-School Readiness – Ridge Haven Homestead

Welcome to the Friday Friendship Feature, #6–School Readiness

School Readiness Impacts Kids and Families

The topic of School Readiness is an important topic for all families.  School Readiness impacts homeschooling families as well as traditional schooling families. I have felt passionate about this topic ever since I began researching the topic before our boys started school. I still have not changed my mind about the importance of a child being READY to learn if you want optimal learning.

Friday Friendship Feature #6 focuses on of School Readiness in children. Discusses factors influencing readiness, and cites resources for further study.
— Read on

Little Notes… (Am I my Brother’s Keeper?) Reblog

Little notes—Am I my brother’s keeper?

“Dear Mommy…”

What mom doesn’t love to find a little note tucked under her pillow, or between the bed sheets, to find in a quiet moment? Especially from a tender-hearted little boy, who has serious thoughts on his mind? It is enough to melt my heart! ❤️ 

But, when I opened the note, my heart felt sad by what I read: “I saw something bad.”  

I knew what he meant. He’d used this code language with me before. Something bad meant something impure that he’d seen — something that had made his heart and conscience uncomfortable. 💔

Instantly, my momma-bear instincts kicked in, and I began to imagine sordid details of exposure to the enemy that we have so earnestly tried to protect our boys from. Porn. 

When I talked to my son, I found it that it was not online images that he had stumbled upon (after all, we regulate that quite strictly). On occasion, he has written me little notes of things that he’s seen inadvertently while watching something legitimate on the internet with grandparents — those sidebar traps. This time, when I asked him, he seemed more reluctant than usual to tell me. I tried to pry it out of him, which didn’t work, nor did trying to guess. Brick wall. 

“Okay, Lord. You’re going to have to tell me how to handle this one,” I breathed. 

Finally, it came out.

~Moms–how would you handle this one? I know that day I was out of my comfort zone and out of ideas. But, thankfully, our God is so good! He has ideas, and He alone can soften the hearts of our young people. He has promised to give us (and them) a heart of flesh and to remove our stony hearts. I’m so glad. I’m glad my son came to me, even though initially, I wondered where we were heading! ~

Curious to know what happened?

(I wrote this for another homeschool site that I write for monthly).

Read on

You Might Be a Homesteading Homeschooler – Ridge Haven Homestead

Homeschooling…Homesteading…Can you do both?  Read this article that I published on  my Ridge Haven Homestead site to find out!

Since I blog on other sites, sometimes I like to share what I’ve written somewhere else. This particular article on homesteading and homeschooling is a good introduction into our current lives!


Our current projects

Our family has bitten off a homesteading project. It’s a whole-family deal, and definitely a life-changing process for us! We find that it goes right along with out homeschooling journey!

Sustainable homestead

We are doing our best to move towards sustainable preparedness, which simply means that we are going in the direction of being completely off-grid, while having a sustainable way to provide what we need. Sustainable means something that regenerates itself, like the sun, wind, or something that you can harness from nature. In other words, you aren’t dependent on buying things that keep your way of life going.

Desiring and striving

Let me just say, we are not there yet! We are desiringstriving, and taking steps to get there, though. So far, we are technically off grid, in that we aren’t on the power grid, but since we still have to buy gas to run our generators and propane to cook with, we are not sustainable yet. But, we only moved into our property a few months ago, we are in the middle of building our cabin, and are living in our RV while we do that, so we are making steps. Even just me typing this has been a great reminder to me of how far we’ve already come in our journey!

How Homesteading fits with Homeschooling

We obviously homeschool, and this year had been the most difficult in terms of “normal” school days and “typical” courses of study, but it has also been the most rich with real-life learning and mentoring experiences, so it has been such a blessing!

I thought someone may be curious to take a peek into our world, in case they wonder if they could survive such an experience. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look in the form of a Jeff Foxworthy-style laundry list. So, in the spirit of “You Might be a Redneck,” here’s my version.

You Might be a Homesteading Homeschooler (or the Teacher of one) if…

Read the rest of the post over at Ridge Haven Homestead

via You Might Be a Homesteading Homeschooler (reblog) – Ridge Haven Homestead

Homeschool Apprenticeship

I am reblogging this in its entirety here, because I am having difficulties with my self-hosted site.  When I get it up and running again, this post will appear there.

Have you considered an apprenticeship in your Homeschool plan?

I am excited to share some experiences that I believe will turn your home education journey into a memorable and enriching time–using homeschool apprenticeship!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you use my link, I will receive a small percentage, and you don’t pay any more!

This is the core of my homeschooling philosophy: apprenticeship

Homeschool Apprenticeship is learning at its best–whole-body, hands-on, fully engaged!  This is what our family has been involved in this year, and is total immersion learning.

I wrote this article for our homeschooling blog site, and found that it resonated with many families. Especially with boys, this kind of learning is key to getting the whole child involved and engaged.


First wall going up!

Homeschool Apprenticeship — what is it?

Why would a homeschooling parent want to find out, and how could it help your child to prepare for his adult life? I hope to answer some of these questions, as well as give a peek into a homeschool apprenticeship experience our boys have been enjoying recently.

This post will especially focus on our young men, but if you have young ladies, take the principles and adapt them to their unique situations and skills.

Consider this statement by John Taylor Gatto, former public school teacher, and now an advocate for a different way of educating.

“Independent study, community service, adventures and experience, large doses of privacy and solitude, a thousand different apprenticeships — the one-day variety or longer — these are all powerful, cheap, and effective ways to start a real reform of schooling. But no large-scale reform is ever going to work to repair our damaged children and our damaged society until we force open the idea of ‘school’ to include family as the main engine of education,” John Taylor GattoDumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling.

Definition of Apprenticeship

1a position as an apprentice an arrangement in which someone learns an art, trade, or job under another 

  • He obtained an apprenticeship with a carpenter.

So, apprenticeship is just a word that means “learning under someone else,” and is usually thought of as a period of time in which someone with a talent/skill helps to communicate that skill to another. In former days, this was a primary way of obtaining a means of employment, since a higher education was out of the reach of many. You will remember that many famous men served as apprentices — Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, Jesus.

I think of apprenticeships as opportunities for our youth to get their hands into a skill that they are interested in, which can help them to see if they’d be interested in doing that for their life work. I also see them as a neat way to experience a new interest in order to gain a talent, which would broaden their horizons. Also, an apprenticeship could be a way to see what a talented craftsman or artist does, and decide whether they would want to pursue it or not, but in a more active way, since they’d be helping, not just observing.

Present-day Apprenticeships

Now, while it’s true that in former years, apprentices served an average of seven years, this is not the type of apprenticeship I am suggesting, as an active homeschooler. Rather, I am thinking of shorter-term home school apprenticeships in order to help our youth to get a feel for something they’re interested in, or to learn a useful skill that could help them provide for themselves, whether or not that’s what they ultimately do for a career. These experiences could take place over the whole school year, many years, or just a few days or weeks, depending on your needs. But, long or short, I believe that these experiences will serve an important role in your young person’s educational experience.

“When children reach a suitable age, they should be provided with tools. If their work is made interesting, they will be found apt pupils in the use of tools. If the father is a carpenter, he should give his boys lessons in house building, ever bringing into his instruction lessons from the Bible, the words of Scripture in which the Lord compares human beings to His building,” Child Guidance 355.4.

In our homeschool…

With that in mind, here’s how our current homeschool apprenticeship is happening. Much of this has been happening over the summer months, but as we begin our school year, we will continue it, just working it into our school routine. I’ll be honest — it may take over our school day sometimes, which will mean squeezing more hours in with the books on the off days. But, we believe in hands-on learning, so some of the apprenticeship hours will count for electives in high school, and the work/service aspect of our lower-graders.

We chose carpentry as our current area to explore. Actually, it chose us, or fell into our laps. It’s natural to choose what is close and accessible. We’re in a building project (workshop/future house), so what better opportunity than the one in our own backyard? Think about your circumstances when you choose your homeschool apprenticeship.

Here’s what we are doing.

The Procedure:

  • Make up class outline, based for the building experience off the Pathfinder honor in carpentry. (me)
  • Record number of hours worked each week, and have supervisor sign off, and fill out a work experience log report (with space for suggestions for improvement). I made up a sheet that we are using, but am probably going to switch to the one off the NARHS page since it has a grade. (Work Experience Log NARHS one)
  • Record skills learned as they go, on the work experience log.
  • Print pictures for a portfolio. (me)

To wrap it up

At the end (we haven’t gotten there yet), I plan to have the boy(s) write up a paper on what they learned. Since we are not technically in school yet (summer break), I’m not adding this in yet, but for each major section or skill, I will have them type up a summary of how it was done. For instance, framing the walls, building stairs, roofing, making the floors/ceilings, etc.

By the time we are done with the project, our boys will have witnessed and participated in every aspect of taking a standing tree, helping in the felling of it, observing it getting cut and milled into lumber, and helping in the sorting and drying process, and will have seen (plus helped) that same lumber get utilized in the construction of a building. Pretty awesome to be a part of that process, in my opinion! It’s a true homeschool apprenticeship!

via Edit Post ‹ Lessons…and lessons — WordPress

Hats for Everyone! – SDA Homeschool Families – Lessons…and lessons

Learn to knit a hat, when you can’t even knit!ki

Friendly for all ages and skills–I promise!

This post contains an affiliate link, meaning that if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission, but you won’t pay anything more.


homeschool craft, knitting

Here’s a fun article I wrote for my other homeschool site.

In case you wonder what types of crafts you could incorporate into your homeschool, that almost EVERYONE can do, check it out!

*Since I am currently having trouble with my self-hosted site, linked here at the bottom, I am just posting the entire article here, so you don’t have to go over to the other site to see it.  When I get the other site fixed, it will be back over there!  


As promised, I am slowly bringing some of my blog posts from other sites where I blog.  Why not?

Here is a fun one, and maybe will inspire one of your kiddos to pick up an easy hobby–or maybe you, yourself! Hey–I did it, so why not you?

Learn to knit a hat…if you can’t knit!


I never learned to knit! I always thought it would be neat, but for some reason, I have a knitter’s block. I can crochet, and enjoy it immensely. So, when our church hosted a “Learn to Knit a Slouchy Hat in Two Hours” class a couple of years ago, I eagerly showed up with my beautiful brown yarn and my knitting needles. Let me just say that WAY before the two hours arrived, I could see that I would not be heading home with a slouchy hat to wear. I was, at the one-hour mark, still trying desperately to figure out the whole casting on process, and the knitting basics. While others around me chattered away about “pearl this one,” or was that “purl”…and “knit that one,” I felt completely incompetent. Tears streamed down my face and I just wondered how I could get out of there. Gone were my dreams of a cute hat. Gone was my money for supplies. I literally gave away my circle knitting needles to a couple of other knitters, along with some of the yarn I’d brought. I’d never be a knitter!

A friend noticed my dismay, and sidled up to me to show me the way knitting is done. Only, she was from another country, and had learned another way! So, while the little bit I thought I understood was swirling inside my head, she clucked out yet another method, which she promised was far superior to the way the teacher was instructing us. Talk about confused! That didn’t actually help me, because then I felt in conflict over which way to choose. Another good friend, ironically, from yet another country, came to sit with me and walk me through it. But her broken English and way of describing the process just got me so befuddled that I didn’t know which way to turn. Sigh! Knitting just didn’t click with me. “Oh, well,” I thought, “at least I enjoy crocheting!”

And that was that. No hat, no knitting.

I wish I could say that one day I just rose up out of my non-knitting ability and conquered it. But, that did not happen. I have come to terms with the fact that crocheting is my thing, and other people can knit away!

However, another thing happened, and I am OK with it. Some time later, at the same church, with some of the same people, another class was held. The lady instructing it assured me that even a child could make the knitted hats she would be teaching. She told me that anybody could do it, and that this project would be easy! Well…I have to admit that I was a little needle-shy by then, but a part of me really did want to learn to make a knitted hat. So, I bought a Loom kit, grabbed some old yarn that I had on hand, and took my middle son along with me, just to have someone to share in the misery this time, in case it turned out like the last class.

This class was very different, though. It was easy! My son picked it up right away, and I did too! Soon, we both could whip out a hat that actually did look like a hat, and we were off to experience a hobby that everyone could succeed at! Before long, my other sons had their looms wrapped in yarn and began to crank out hats for stuffed animals, Grandpa, Daddy, and just anyone with a head! What fun!

At some point, we were gifted with a scarf/blanket loom, so the boys tried their hands at that too! We found that this craft was a good step up from those potholder looms that we had so enjoyed until everyone we knew had plenty of potholders!

My point here is to show you a craft that just about every child (and adult) can succeed at. It doesn’t take all that long to make a complete project, so it gives a sense of accomplishment right away as you see your rows piling up.

Because any kind of craft project is kind of visual, I am going to show a few pictures of some of the hats and scarves my boys have made. We’ve given some away, and some were made by my friend’s boys, who are younger than 8.

Now that you’ve seen a few items you can make with the knitting looms, you can be assured that anyone who wants to can learn to knit on a loom! All of the hats and scarves were made by children and youth. It’s a really fun way to spend reading times —with some knitting or doing another craft, it gives hands work while the ears listen.

Here’s what you will need:

  • loom set. See my picture of the different types. The first set we got at Wal-Mart, and it worked — we didn’t know any better. But, if you have a chance, see if you can find the type that has the knobs like the blue one in the picture. The yarn slides off of these pegs way easier than the Boye loom, which has the pegs that grab the yarn and make you work to get it off! Knifty Knitter, Darice,, and many other brands have the smoother pegs, and it will just make it easier.  The sets usually come with four different sizes. The most useful sizes are the medium-large, unless you’re making for babies or toys.
  • Loom tool. This will come with your kit. You may need additional ones for multiple knitters.
  • Yarn! Here’s where you get to be creative! You’ll need two skeins to make the hat thick enough. Sometimes we even do 3 skeins for a really thick hat, or use bulky yarn, and even then, I’d use at least two strands. You won’t use the whole skeins, but have to have them to knit together during your project.
  • Scissors, yarn needle. You’ll need these at the end.

I decided that the best way to show you this project is to just link you to what helped me, rather than making a whole new video. I like to see someone doing the craft in person, but a good video is also quite helpful.

There are tons of good videos showing how to loom knit. I watched many before feeling confident, so just browse YouTube until you find one that clicks with your learning style. But, I would start out very basic — don’t try to add any stitches besides the plain knitting stitch until you’ve gotten the hang of it, and then you’ll feel like branching out maybe. This is pretty much what my first hat looked like (above video). I was proud because it really did look like a hat, and, in fact, was one! I added a cute pom pom to the top, and gave it as a gift! My dad wears it all over the place, so I feel like it was a success!

Now, after a little practice in their hat-making abilities, my boys have gotten to the point where they make hats as gifts themselves, and they’re getting to where the scarves are becoming easy as well! You can make a scarf on the same loom, by the way, just don’t go all the way around, and knit back and forth. I just found it easier to use the flat loom since I was given one.

Once you get the basics down, the sky’s the limit on what kind of hats you can make! You can make stripes, heathered patterns, brims or not, pom poms or not, and all kinds of other creative twists to the basic hat.

The take-away message of this post is to remind you of the fact that there will be skills that you and your children will pick right up and fly with, and there will be other skills that seem so much harder for you or your child than they “should” be. Maybe some can learn to knit, or draw, or carve, or whatever, in the traditional way, and have no trouble at all! And maybe others really want to learn skills that just don’t click, even though they are trying their best. Just remember the knitting loom and my flop at knitting, and remember that every person can find something that he or she is good at! Maybe it will involve knitting!  🙂

Source: Hats for Everyone! – SDA Homeschool Families

Hats for Everyone! – SDA Homeschool Families – Lessons…and lessons
— Read on


Lessons…and lessons Homeschool Apprenticeship: Have You Considered It? – SDA Homeschool Families

In our homeschool, we are incorporating apprenticeship as a way to fully involve our boys in the learning process.

This post is from my sister blog site,

Come on over and check it out!

Homeschool apprenticeship is a great way to learn, and I will share examples and reasons for a homeschool apprenticeship as well as provide examples..
— Read on

Blog changes

Under Construction, Job Site, Job, Work

Good Day!!

I am beginning the journey of starting a self-hosted blog!  This is an exciting and terrifying adventure, honestly!

I’ve already made more than my share of mistakes on the process, but it is coming along!

I want to invite you to come over to my new blog and be my follower!  I am literally building my site from scratch, but I believe that in the end, it will be worth it!

Currently, I am in the process of transferring my posts from this site to my new one.  I did the transfer, but only succeeded in transferring a portion of my posts, oddly enough.  So, over the next few weeks/days/however long it takes, I will be manually transferring them, and the site will begin to look more familiar, as far as posts.

If you have opted to follow my blog here, please don’t be surprised if you see that you’ve been directed to the new site.  On the new site, I will continue to share about our home educating journey, and the lessons we’ve learned, and are currently learning.

My new site is

For the time being, I will also be posting from my new site to this site via the Press This option.  That way, new posts will show up in my Reader, but eventually, I will close this one down.  But, I am following the advice I read about on another blog article, suggesting that I can better direct readers to my new blog in this way.  We shall see!

Feel free to add ideas and comments.  Maybe I jumped the gun on my self-hosted site, but with the direction I’d like to go, I am going with the best information that I have.

In other words….STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES!!

Thanks a bunch!