The mental and physical health of mom is important to keep a homeschool healthy. From mom comes the homeschool plan, instruction, tone for the day, and overall attitude for learning. It is a big job when looking at a mom’s role in her homeschool.
For special needs homeschooling moms, the list can easily triple in size. This is because of the additional behavior management, therapy provision, educational modification research and development, and medical and dietary issues they handle.
Conquering these responsibilities takes time, energy and organization. And, if not addressed head-on, the duties can become overwhelming obstacles that take a serious toll on the health of special needs moms, followed by the overall health of the homeschool.
But, how can a special needs mom juggle all these responsibilities and not become overwhelmed while also taking care of her own self?
Maintaining your health both personally and in homeschooling starts with establishing key foundational supports. This way, a special needs homeschool mom can balance expected and unexpected variables that life brings.
And, what better time to make changes than during the summer when life is a bit more relaxed? There are fewer scheduled activities and the kids are more open to changes in their schedule than other times of the year.
Consider these four foundational elements your special needs family can work on this summer to keep you and your homeschool healthy next school year.
1. Develop a Homeschool Mission Statement
Running until you hit empty may seem productive. But, it is not as productive as planning a route to effectively work towards the goal you are intending to reach.
Slow down, be purposeful, and develop an overall mission statement for your homeschool. This is the first step to ensure you are being as productive as possible with the time and energy you must devote to homeschooling.
2. Incorporate Learning into the Busyness
Adding more to your schedule is the last thing that a busy special needs homeschool mom should worry about. Instead, it is best to build homeschooling around life.
This includes finding ways to incorporate learning into the necessary appointments, behavior breaks, therapy and other scheduling needs for your student.
Instead of running yourself into the ground trying to maintain a daily school schedule, take school into these necessary environments. You should make learning a part of your family’s lifestyle, not an add-on activity.
3. Focus on Attainable Goals for Your Special Needs Children
Special needs children are too often pushed to meet national norms instead of specific learning goals. These goals should be your focus because they are designed to accurately evaluate individual progress.
Pushing a child to reach goals that are beyond their reach is a waste of time and energy. Instead, moms should instill a love for learning in their children and applaud them for small steps they take.
Accepting your children for where they are and not where you wish they were will eventually lead to much more success. Plus, it will reduce your frustration and workload as a special needs homeschooling mom.
4. Focus on Daily Goals as a Special Needs Homeschool Mom
It’s okay to take it one day at a time as you work on getting organized and planning as much as possible. Organizing and planning tools such as schedules, planners, visual aids, reminders, checklists and IEP goals can all set you up for greater success.
Also, it is important to have an accountability partner to keep you on track. Having this person in your corner is a good way to stay organized and make sure you stick to your new habits as you build on the foundational elements for better physical and mental health.
Implementing these practices this summer will make a huge impact on the health of your homeschool in the fall. More importantly, it will create a better quality of life for you as a homeschool mom of a special needs child.
– Have you found success with other healthy habits? Please share your healthy habits with other moms of special needs children in the Comments Section below.
– To find more about how THSC can help you as a special needs homeschooling mom, you can view the full list of THSC member benefits, the special needs section of our website, and the special needs student programs THSC offers at our Conventions.