7 Simple Steps to Sanity
Along with Yvette Hampton and Aby Rinella of Schoolhouse Rocked, Rachael Carman discusses how this whole motherhood thing can drive you out of control if you’re not intentional. With over 25 years of homeschool experience, Rachael narrowed down a power-packed list of 7 simple steps to sanity. This is applicable to wives, mothers, and homeschool moms.
Curious about homeschooling next year? This must-read summary of Rachael’s thoughtful and actionable ideas will help keep you on the path to a sustainable homeschool.
Sanity Step #1: Seek God
If homeschooling is the adventure of a lifetime, you need a focal point.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33
From Genesis through Revelation, God is doing 2 things over and over:
- Glorifying Himself
- Growing us
Resolve to seek Him first in all things, and He will direct our paths. It isn’t about figuring it all out. It is really about continually and persistently seeking God – seeking to honor Him, seeking to follow Him, and seeking to point our children to Him. God has a plan, and it is now up to us to trust in that.
Sanity Step #2: Serve Others
We are living in a culture that nurtures narcissism, which is producing a lot of lonely and unhappy people. When we can teach our children to consider the happiness of others, serving can become contagious. Additionally, having a service mindset often offsets frustration or self-seeking behaviors.
As parents, we have a unique opportunity to serve our children as individuals. Their unique interests and God-given talents can be invested in and encouraged. In homeschooling, this could look like using a specific approach or curriculum that fits our child’s learning style.
Sanity Step #3: Stay Focused
The enemy is extremely concerned with keeping you from what really matters. Distractions are his method of choice. The enemy has a hay day with those things that distract us, moms. Our kids ought not to have to fight for our attention. Truly, our focus on God will help us live in a way that honors God.
Sanity Step #4: Say No
Setting limits is a powerful step to sanity. Giving yourself permission to say no is stopping the chase after the wind lifestyle. We cannot do everything. In homeschooling, it is tempting to do all the things that look appealing. Setting limits allows freedom to have quality time in what we are called to do, and run the race in an honoring way.
Sanity Step #5: Stay Home
The perfect context for learning is the home. It is a place of safety and filled with love. Rachael believes the most important work can be accomplished within the home. Some of that important work includes:
- character issues
- time in God’s Word
- sibling relationships
- respect for parents
- curiosity, ideas, and questions
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30
The tone begins with us. Rest in His invitation to stillness. Stillness happens in the home, so lean into the joys of being in the home together.
For older kids, you can set a tone by lighting a candle or playing classical music. As a mother, you have the opportunity when your children are in the home to create an environment that your adult children will want to return to.
Sanity Step #6: Start Laughing
This may be hard if you haven’t exercised this muscle. The kids may have seen your “mean mom face,” more than they have heard the echoes of your laughter. There is still time to change this. Your smile signals safety to your children. Share the joy of the Lord, and let them see you laugh!
Sanity Step #7: Sleep Well
When we choose to rest in the Lord, allowing our minds to quiet, we are going to be able to sleep well. We are not going to do this homeschooling thing perfectly, but we have a perfect Heavenly Father who is going to take all our missteps and redeem us for His glory.
If you were encouraged by this list, you’ll want to hear all about the top 10 radically parenting decisions by Davis Carman.