33 Tips to Make Home Educating Hum with Happiness
by Beverley Paine, March 2015
- What makes your child happy? Identify those things. Include more of those things in your child's education. And do the same for yourself.
- Encourage your child to experiment and try different activities and things and do more of those of those things that motivate and enthuse. You too!
- Hang out with like-minded people, especially people who are enthusiastic and motivated about similar things. Together you'll expand each other's horizons!
- Find people you admire and emulate the traits and habits you like most about them. Find activities that your children will enjoy with people who are genuinely enthusiastic and enjoy the company of children.
- Slowly weed out the negative influences in your lives and replace them with positive ones.
- Everyday count your blessings. Find at least five things for which you are grateful. Identify and name what is working really well and name them every day. Remind yourself of how awesome life actually is. Help your children develop a similar habit.
- Take deep breaths when something unwelcome happens and focus on what you can do, not what you can't. You're children will soon pick up this habit and be calmer and less anxious too.
- Identify and name the needs present instead of focusing on the problem. Create solutions by focusing positively on the needs expressed. Ask you children what is bugging them and what would work to fix the problem.
- Regularly connect with others: in real-life as often as possible, but chatting on the phone is next best and after that sending letters, cards, texting and emailing. When all is said and done it is friendships that create happiness, not how much stuff we collect or own...
- Make lots of play dates: commit to them and put them in your calendar immediately.
- Accept and let go of those things you can't change and take baby steps to change those things you can.
- Cultivate reasonable and realistic expectations of yourself and your children based on who you all are, not who you 'should' or 'want' to be.
- Pause. Often. Take a moment to take it all in, everything. Use all of your senses to ground yourself several times a day or and especially when you are feeling a little overwhelmed.
- Do less in each day. Make time for doing nothing, resting, relaxing, chatting, smiling, thinking, daydreaming. Allow your children 'do nothing' time - let go of the need for them to be always productive and active.
- Work mindfully, focus on what you are doing, shut out distractions and interruptions. Make space for yourself and everyone in the family to be able to do this.
- Notice and name the little things that make you and your family feel good. Celebrate them.
- Identify and celebrate your successes often, no matter how small or insignificant. Especially your children's. We tend to forget how big and hard and confusing the world can be to young people.
- Remind yourself when unhappy things happen and that this moment will pass, you'll survive the pain and loss.
- Give generously and unconditionally of your time and energy. It is your most precious asset and the one your children value the most.
- Identify what makes you tick and what energizes you the most: do more of that each day. Help your children do the same.
- Laugh out loud often. Go on, giggle. Make making fun and creating joy an essential part of your day. Be silly. Often. Together.
- Everyone deserves to be content and happy: it's not a privilege, it is a right.
- It's okay to lose yourself in the flow: clear the way so you can let this happen as often as possible.
- Challenge yourself regularly: exercising and stretching the mind, body and spirit leads to greater happiness. Model this habit to your children.
- Make a list and aim to do one thing from the list each day. Only one. Do it well.
- Collect images and quotes that inspire you and put them up where you can see them daily. Surround yourself with things that cheer you up, spread love, and make you happy. Lose the other stuff.
- Focus on drawing to you articles and resources that feed your motivation or inspire you to achieve your goal. Eventually you'll stop listening to things that undermine your confidence and motivation.
- Learn something new. Be creative. Get a hobby - or three - doing something that you love. Or might learn to love.
- Be kind to yourself and others: spread little acts of kindness. Encourage your children to do the same, in their own way.
- Open doors, in your mind, in others' minds, by letting go of judgment and by offering solutions or acts of kindness.
- Catch and release negative thoughts, notice what you think and reword negative thoughts into positive ones.
- Immerse yourself in nature - go fly fishing, garden, bushwalk, beachcomb, gaze at the stars or clouds, whatever. It's healing.
- Own and love a pet.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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