Dealing with External Frustrations while Homeschooling

Let me tell you a secret. This is one that took me a long time to not only know but to fully understand. Are you ready?

We Are Human

Now, you might have just thought, “Well, duh,” but bear with me a moment. Yes, we know we are human and we have human needs that must be met and things that we need to get done every day. Yes, we know that we need to sleep and we need to eat and some of us even understand the need for quiet time. We get that we are a living, breathing, human being. My point is that, as humans, we will get frustrated and that frustration twist, turns and knots up, sometimes bleeding over into other aspects of our lives.

As a home schooling house hold, this is something we need to try to avoid.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about all the day to day

things that can get us stressed.

Your friend that thinks they do everything the right way.

Your parents that still want to call and tell you what you need to do in life.

Your co-worker that is able to somehow need a break every time a task needs to be completed.

All these frustations pile up on us and cause our jaws and backs to tighten up. All these stressors, all these things we are frustrated about then affect our home school. When we are frustrated, we are more likely to not have patience with our kiddo when there is a challenging math concept. When we are frustrated we are less likely to be willing to put in the extra effort to do the fun experiement that day. When we carry these frustrations with us into our homeschool time, we are no longer able to put forth our best for our kiddos.

Our frustrations cause tensions and our kids become frustrated as well.

Can you see where this is going? These outside frustrations and stressors that we were carrying around have suddenly caused more frustrations and stress in the house and prevented learning from occurring. Your quality time with your kiddos and the calm in your household is now negatively affected and if your house is anything like mine, this can last all the way through dinner time.

I personally do not want to let this happen.

But what can we do? We are, after all human, and so we will get frustrated, we will have stressors, we will have things trying to drag us down. The easiest thing to do is to take a deep slow breath, hold it for three seconds and let it (and all your frustrations) out. I remember being in middle school and learning this technique. I thought it was the craziest thing ever and there was no way that just a breath can help. Well, it can and science has proven it. When you take a deep breath, it applies pressure to your heart, when you hold your breath, your heart naturally slows and when you let it out, your resting heart rate tends to be slower. Instant stress relief.

Another thing we can do is to purposefully laugh. Be silly with your kiddos. Make a joke. Act like the craziest person ever and get into those giggles. Laughter is the greatest medicine and when we laugh it releases those happy hormones. Suddenly, what was upsetting us so much isn’t even a blip on our radar. Plus, the writing lesson your kiddo was struggling just took a fun turn as you help them think up the silliest way to write the assignment.

Finally, look up. This was another study I learned about while living in Texas, away from all friends and family. Any time we are frustrated, upset or sad, we tend to look down. This keeps our mood down, our mind down, our spirit down. Add to that, when we check our phones, which way are we usually looking? Down. When I would feel down I would purposefully make myself look up. I would literally walk down the street with head back and my eyes up just to make myself look up. I may have been a bit bratty about that part but I was suprised when I started to realize that it works. Anytime I was frustatred and stuck in my head trying to figure out how to “fix” something, I would be looking down and my mood would follow, affecting my house hold and my kids’ moods too. When I would start looking up, at the sky, at the palm trees, at the occasional bird, even a random floating piece of paper, I would start to feel better.

Try it, look up and smile.

Home schooling or not, our day to day can be down right maddening and we can hold onto the frustrations from that. When we hold onto these frustrations, we tend to share it with those around us. These can be co-workers, people in the checkout line, extended family and yes, your own kiddos. Add to your frustrations that your boy keeps having to go to the bathroom every time your about to start writing lessons, or that your youngest cannot listen to you read the lesson book without telling random jokes, or that your daughter seems to be on a personal campaign to police the whole household and the situation becomes even more frustrating. The important thing is to remember to let go of the frustrations, you have to be purposeful when dealing with them so that you can be your best for your kiddos.

Breath, laugh, look up, and enjoy the journey.

Greetings! My name is Joy and I am currently a stay at home mom who is homeschooling her three kids in South Carolina. I love learning and I love sharing the love of learning with others so getting to home school my kids and watch the “ah-ha” moments when they understand something is unbelievably rewarding. I have been homeschooling since my twins were preschool age so we’ve been doing this for 9 years now. I am also a military spouse, so we have the added joys and some of the complications that come with it.  As a family, we stay busy with our scouting groups, American Heritage Girls and TrailLife, and we do many camping and hiking trips with them. When I have downtime, I am typically reading books I have sitting around the house, on YouTube/websites getting more information on different home school programs, or working on plans for homeschool. I look forward to being able to share our experiences with everyone and help encourage all homeschooling families.