Homeschool Mother’s Journal: Permission to Slack Off

I finished writing out plans for our first few weeks of the new homeschool year today. It’s been a slower-than-normal summer around here from a homeschooling perspective and I’m ready to get back to our routine.

As excited as I am about some homeschool normalcy, I’m also looking ahead and giving myself permission to slack off.

Homeschool Mother's Journal: Permission to Slack Off

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As a general rule, I’m not a slacker and I have a hard time sympathizing or empathizing with slackers. Don’t hate me for admitting that, but it’s how I’m wired. I’m a go-getter and I make sure things get done.

Even so, I’ve been homeschooling since 2009 and I’ve learned that good intentions and a lesson planner will only get you so far.

There are days when charging ahead isn’t the answer to your homeschool troubles. Attitudes happen. Cold season happens. Life happens.

There are days when the checklist doesn’t matter because you’ve got to get to the grocery store before it’s time to cook dinner. After all, that Instant Pot doesn’t help if there’s nothing to put in it.

There’s no way around it really. Even the best of us need permission to slack off from time to time.

When You Need Permission to Slack Off

Don’t let the thought of slacking off get to you. It’s not about being lazy or unproductive. In this case, it’s about relief.

Here are a few things to remember when you need permission to slack off in your homeschool.

1. It’s okay to do less — way less.

I get it. The beginning of a new homeschool year isn’t exactly the time we’re all begging for a break or some time to rest. It’s okay if you don’t need permission to do less right now, but there will be a time when you’ll be grateful to have it.

It may be a month from now when the new math curriculum isn’t quite as fun and easy as advertised. It may be three months from now when your family asks if you can host the Thanksgiving dinner this year.

It may not even be until mid-January rolls around and you can’t seem to get the motivation to start back after a month of holiday celebrations.

Homeschool Mother's Journal: Permission to Slack Off

You may not need permission to slack off right now, but rest assured that moment will come. And when it does, know that it’s okay to do less.

When you’re overwhelmed or unmotivated, the best thing you can do is give yourself permission to only cover a few subjects for a time. By doing less, you gift yourself the time to focus on those few things and to keep moving forward without the risk of complete burnout.

2. It’s okay to do nothing.

If you know me well, you know that I’m as Type A as they come. I plan how I’m going to plan, organize every nook and cranny of my life, and always know what my next steps are. I have a hard time accepting that it’s okay to do nothing. Can you relate?

Despite my Type A thinking, I can tell you that it’s important to understand that we all need time to rest and, gasp, even play. That’s true for homeschooling and it’s true for every area of our lives.

So, if you find yourself needing permission to slack off in your homeschooling for a bit, go for it.

Put the lesson plans aside and bake cookies together, get outside and take a walk, read books from your “if I ever have time” list, or watch movie.

Note: you don’t have to coordinate these things with the history era you’re covering, not that any of us would ever pull that on a do-nothing day.

Homeschool Mother's Journal: Permission to Slack Off

Regardless of what you choose to do — or not do, — know that it honestly is okay to just live for a bit with nothing on your homeschool planner. It will all be waiting for you to pick back up when you’re ready whether it’s the next day or next week.

3. It’s okay to phone it in.

I don’t say that lightly and I certainly don’t suggest that it become an extended mantra in your homeschooling. Nonetheless, embrace that it’s okay to phone it in when you need permission to slack off.

When you can’t catch a break from the ever-growing to-do list, tackle that list. Take a day and get caught up on the laundry, make those phone calls, or check off your to-do list one thing at a time.

In the meantime, the learning will come.

Whatever you choose, remember that learning can look different from your normal homeschool plans and still have value.

After all, life lessons, homemaking, taking walks just to take in the world around you, and reading for pleasure can all bring learning experiences.

Homeschool Mother's Journal: Permission to Slack Off

In closing, regardless of why you need to slack off, how long you need to slack off, or how you choose to do it, remember that it’s okay to let go for a bit. Don’t be afraid to give yourself the time you need to get back to being you.

Homeschool Mother’s Journal
Summer 2017

  • In our homeschool this month: We’re transitioning to our new homeschool year! Seventh Grade & First Grade, we’re coming for you!
  • My favorite thing this month: The new art appreciation course from Masterpiece Society. I’ve been hunting and gathering my own art appreciation resources for the longest time. I’m so grateful that I don’t have to do that anymore! :)
  • Homeschool questions I have: Will I be able to stay somewhat sane while homeschooling one child eclectically and one along Charlotte Mason lines? Time will tell.
  • A quote to share: Y’all, I love taking sermon notes. It’s kind of my thing, so you better believe I took a ton of notes last week when I was at Motion Conference, a student conference for churches. I could share lots of quotes from Motion with you today because I had pages of takeaways, but I’ll share just one:
Homeschool Mother's Journal: Permission to Slack Off

It’s not enough to build something that doesn’t last beyond my lifetime. – Christine Caine

I love this quote from a faith perspective, but I also love what it means in the realm of parenting. I think we can all use the reminder that our pouring into our kids isn’t about us and it’s not really even about them.

What we’re building in them and through them is about future generations. Hold on to that on the good days, the hard days, and everything in between.

That’s it for me this month. If you’ve got thoughts on slacking off, I’d love to hear them! Let me know in the comments below.

3 thoughts on “Homeschool Mother’s Journal: Permission to Slack Off”

  1. I think more mothers could avoid “homeschool burnout” if they knew this and applied it from the very beginning. Anxiety over academic performance makes moms feel like they must. keep. going. no matter what. As I am nearing the end of my oldest child’s home education, I realize that most of what REALLY matters was learned outside of our “school time”.

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