Don't Be the Drill Sergeant Mom



Friends, it's hard for me to admit this:  I've lost a lot of the joy I used to feel in homeschooling.   Oh, I still believe in homeschooling as much as I ever have, but I think I've lost MY sense of wonder, fun, and enthusiasm.

Somewhere along the line all of the little "tasks" in a day have taken on such importance.  Math drills, grammar lessons, handwriting practice, piano practice, laundry left on the floor, dishes left on the coffee table, junk left in the van..... these little things have overtaken my life.  

It's exhausting.   

Why do I have trouble just relaxing and having fun with my children?   (I'm assuming I'm not alone in this problem.) 

Why must I always be the drill sergeant mom that make sure everything is picked up, neat and clean and all assignments completed? It exhausts me making sure everyone tows the line.   

I want my precious ones to cling to memories of their youth.  Life is fragile and often short.  Making the most of each and every day is IMPORTANT.

Last week our Tuesday was NOT GOOD.   Our last activity of the day was piano lessons.  While my daughter was in the piano teacher's house, my son asked me to throw the ball.  After doing this for a while, he asked me to make leaf piles.

I'm SO GLAD I said yes.

During that time something clicked within me - made me realize I'm just too STIFF and SERIOUS with my children.    Watch what my funny little guy did to me as I was filming him (totally unplanned, by the way):



He FORCED me into laughter that day.  I realized how little I laugh with my children in a day.  It felt good to laugh, and good to enjoy my little boy.    We spent some time throwing leaves at each other and made a memory.

What if I scheduled  activities - the ones that truly MATTER - first?   What if I left a little laundry in the basket, the rooms a little dirty, and some math undone (gasp!)?   

I believe the end result would be abundantly worth it.   

I think I'm going to relax...  I want to make a tremendous effort to just BE with my children this fall.   

Let's resolve to just have  FUN with our kids!   (And I'll be sure the kids are learning along the way.)


Play in the leaves

Have you ever just played in the leaves with your kids?  I mean built a leaf pile, jumped in it, buried yourself in it, and then thrown leaves at your children?  It's FUN, and good for the soul.


Snuggle With Good Books

Through the years I've collected some favorites:

Picture Books:

Chapter Books:


Make Your Home COZY

My kids love helping me decorate for fall.  Bringing out the pumpkin candle holder in the dining room marks the beginning of the season.   

I try to plan a fun recipe or craft several times a week.   These might include Tricia's Easy Cake Mix Muffins, Paper Cup Turkeys, or making candles.  

Invite friends and family to dinner several times and let your children plan and execute the dinner.  

Fall is a time of thankfulness - let your children show their thankfulness by sharing the gift of hospitality.


Take a Fall Field Trip!

We'll be going to a Pioneer Days event with our homeschool group soon - this is always a lot of fun for everyone! Make it a point to get out and ENJOY these beautiful days with friends! 

If you live near mountains, get in the car and GO!  Pack your audio books and make a day of it driving and exploring new territory.  Just DO SOMETHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY and be thankful you have the freedom to enjoy your children and surroundings.


 Make "School" Fun!

The possibilities here are endles.   I am, however, going to suggest something radical for some of you:  PUT THE TEXTBOOKS AWAY!   Give your children opportunities for real life, hands on learning.  Read to them a lot, craft with them, bake with them, and play games!   

 How about Candy Mix Math?  (check out these free printables) Or maybe a Fall art project (I just love Hodgepodge Mom's Pastel Tutorials!)?  

Homeschool Share has a  Making the Days Count Activity Calendar for November -- so many great ideas.


Please please be fun, moms -- your children want to see you enjoying life with them!   Can you say they see you do that most days?  (I'm not sure mine can.)

One day when my children reminisce about their childhood I don't think they'll talk about the mom who made sure they knew their multiplication tables or every preposition.  I believe, however, that they will talk about the mom who played in the leaves, baked, and snuggled with them.  

I'm not saying neglect the academics, but you get the point...

Don't Be a Drill Sergeant Mom!!    I'm working on that, won't you join me?