Homeschooling: Momculture

This post is the fifth in a series of six simple homeschool tips moms can do to rock homeschool and to have a wonderful year.

In the past four weeks, we worked on determining our why, what is important to us, envisioning our destination, checking the pulse to determine where we are today, Mapping the Journey and and putting in place, a solid foundation. Remember, education is always works in progress. With all of this in place, we need to consider momculture.

Homeschooling Tip 5: Momculture

Momculture should be the first homeschooling tip! What is momculture anyway? Mom is an informal reference to mother. Culture is from the Latin word cultura, meaning growing, or cultivation. So, momculture would be the cultivation and personal growth of moms. If we are not taking care of ourselves, soon we will have nothing to give our families. Momculture is a way to avoid homeschool burnout and keep refreshed!

Many metaphors come to mind-- an oxygen mask, a well, a lighthouse mirror, a saw, a butterfly, a pebble in a pond:
- Airlines ask adults to put on their oxygen mask first, then help others. When vital things are taken care of in our own life, we are better able to help our children. Are we taking care of vital things in our life? 
- What goes down in the well comes up in the bucket! What are we doing to fill our wells?
- Are we polished and ready to be the light house mirror to our children by reflecting and magnifying His light to His children?
- Do we keep our tools in good repair; do we take time to sharpen our saw?
- As butterfly wings can change air patterns, thus affecting the weather, little things like our attitude can affect the climate of our homes. Are we effective agents of wholesome change?
- A pebble tossed into a pond, changes the whole pond forever. What ripples are we sending?

Momculture is vital! Learn some ways to get momculture.

7 Ways to Get Momculture While Homeschooling

1. Daily Choose to be a Mary, first thing in the Morning!

When Jesus was talking to Martha as recorded in Luke 10, she was concerned that Mary was not serving. Jesus responded and said,

"41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

So what was needful and what was that good part Mary chose?

Mary chose to be present and with Jesus when He was in their midst.  In this case, housework and homeschool can wait!  Take time to have devotions first thing and be present with Jesus! Choose that good part!

2. Carve Out Quiet Time to Refresh

Children can get cranky when overstimulated. Taking time to get a break and rest in the middle of the day is time well spent for them. After lunch, take the children for a walk, let them get their pent up wiggles out. Let them find treasures and notice the change in the world around them. Come home and let them wind down as you tell them a story. Then let them have a ninety-minute quiet time. They can rest on their bed, read, draw, but generally, it is time to be quiet and not interact with each other. 

After quiet time, help them clean their rooms, and this will help train them in the habits to have order and to pick up after theirself. Make this a joyful happy cleaning! Their cleaning their room alone comes as they develop executive function and maturity. This is not just about knowing how to clean, but regulating themsleves to stay on task. This is helping them until they have the pattern of their own. This also helps also to preserve the reason you had private time. You had quiet time for you to have a break and for them to have some down time to replenish. Helping them tidy after quiet time helps set the tone for the evening and is more likely to engender a more co-operative spirit in the home.

Quiet time gives mom a needed break in the middle of the day.  Even Jesus withdrew from the crowds into the wilderness to focus and to replenish. Some days you may just want to rest. Other days you may want to read, unless you do that as part of your bedtime routine.  Ninety minutes can give you thirty minutes to deep clean and an hour to develp talents, or even ninety minutes for a project. Quiet time can be a refreshing of the soul for both mom and children.

3. Take Time to Read and Grow

Reading can make us think and tends to expand our horizons. I had a large family and a lot to do. As a young mom, I read aloud from chapter books to my children. I started when they were youung, about two and four. I read to their attention span. The first day we only got in a half page. However, with consistentcy, our reading sessions became longer. I was expanding my children's world, while expanding my own.  

Later, as I instituted quiet time for my children, at first, I used some of that time for reading for me. I am a slow reader, but I found I could read about six pages in  fifteen minutes. Later I shifted my fifteen-minutes of reading to times children were playing, times I was waiting, or the time before bed. By shifting my fifteen-minute reading time to other times in the day, I freed up a chunk of time in the mid-day for personal development. Most of us can find fifteen-minutes during the day, even if we do it during quiet time or winding down at the end of the day.

4. Thirty-minute Power Clean to Victory

Most moms have a to-do list. One strategy is getting all the easy stuff done first, so you can check off a lot of things done. Unfortunately, when we do this, the bigger tasks often get migrated to another day. When this happens, no matter how much we do, we can feel we failed. why? We got a lot done. It is the endless hanging on of the unaddressed task that keeps migrating forward. The task is always not done. Consider a thirty minute power clean. 

A thirty-minute power clean is tackling what bugs us the most, first! Two weeks of taking thirty minutes of quiet time, to deep clean the thing that bugs you the most, can make a huge difference in your home and life.  You can use thirty minutes of your quiet time, or do this while children play, build, and pursue interests in the afternoon.  If children are real young, consider waiting to do this thirty minute power clean, when your husband is home in the evening and can connect with his children. 

5. Develop Your Talents and Ignite Theirs

Quiet times gives you up to ninety minutes a day of uninterrupted time! This is a great chunk of time that can be used for expanding horizons and developing talents.  

I decided to create a 3 foot x 6 foot stained glass mural. Working on such a project can be consuming. My husband was out of town ofr about fourteen months, I was also running a home and homeschooling. I streamlined my day, set routines in place, homeschooled my children and instituted quiet time. My children would come out when the quiet time alarm rang. They observed my struggles and triumphs as I expanded my talents. I feel this helped them develop a growth mindset.  They too realized that they could go from not knowing, to knowing, to refining a skill.

6. Embrace Family Work, Retire with a Tidy Home, Rise to Order

Family work is learning to work as a team. At meal time, have your children join you in getting the meal ready and on the table. There is no need to entertain them while you do all the work. Even little children can learn to help set the table and put hotpads and condiments out. As you prepare meals together, you can teach your children the concept of "clean as you go." Then the job is never overwhelming. After meals they can learn to put food away in the fridge, help clear the table, get dishes done, wipe surfaces, leaving the kitchen and dining room clean and ready for other uses. This way no child feels abandoned as everyone scurries away. Mom does not have to do it alonee, either. Take time in the morning, before or after breakfast to help your children establish the habit of making their beds. Walk them through it. Do it with them until they do it on their own.  Consider taking about twenty minutes before their bedtime routine to tidy together. The plus is you wake to an ordered home! 

The bonus is that you dont feel like a maid, you have helpers, and they learn how to work. When you work with them, they learn from you, how to be an adult, to make a plan, to follow that plan, to pay attention to detail, and to finish. These are important executive functions. They learn these from you as you work together.  They develop these habits as you consistently do them together. 

7. Join the "Become a Victory Lady" Invitation and Ditch the Stress!

You can start today! This Invitation helps us set habits and routines that will reduce the stress in our lives. We add a new habit each week! Join Us on our Mentoring Our Own Facebook group. 

Each month, I write newsletters with helpful tips that impact homeschool moms on topics such as: homeschooling, homeculture, momculture, and home management. I also inform moms of site news, upcoming events, new products, and special offers.

Tip One: A Clear Vision Here

Tip Two: Checking the Pulse Here

Tip Three: Mapping the Journey Here

Tip Four: Lay a Solid Foundation Here

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