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Sneaking in You Time

If you are a homeschooling parent, the odds are good that you’re the stay-at-home parent. Your spouse rolls out of bed in the morning and heads off to work while you stay at home to take care of the house and teach your little darlings. It’s an exacting, demanding job. It doesn’t come with sick days. It doesn’t come with built-in time off. The reality is, you’re likely with your children all day, every day—and sometimes, you need a little time for you.

You need to read a book that doesn’t contain large, colorful pictures. You need to get on your computer for something that isn’t school research. You need to spend a few hours talking to someone over the age of eighteen—someone who is capable of carrying on a mature, adult conversation.

But how do you do it?

Schedule time away. Participate in a club, small group, or class. Schedule something that occurs regularly—whether once a week or once a month—and let your spouse know ahead of time that he’s going to have to watch the kids while you’re gone. Don’t feel guilty about it. Sure, he’s been at work all day and needs some time to wind down—but you’ve been working all day, too.

Take a break. Let the kids work on something that they can do independently for a little while and sit down with your computer, a book, or the television—whatever it is that you need to do to relax. Take some quiet time to do something just for you. The kids are still in hearing range if they need you, but you also have the freedom to take some “you” time…even with them close by.

Plan gym time. Or get a DVD that you can do. Or go for a run. Sometimes, you may have to take the kids along with you (let them ride their bikes while you run, maybe?), but the opportunity to get moving will likely clear your head and make you a better teacher…and maybe give you a bit more patience in the bargain.

Don’t feel guilty about asking for help. Have a grandparent volunteering to take the kids for a few hours? Let them! Need a break? Ask your spouse to pitch in. Remember, homeschooling can be a very demanding task. Better to take a break when you need it than to discover that you’re on the verge of exploding.

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