I’m one of those annoying morning people.
I wake up early and I wake up on. I used to drive my friends crazy at sleepovers.
Being one of those annoying morning people has served me well as a homeschooling mom. I’m able to get up hours before my children. I can do the things that I love, those things that feed my soul, before they enter the kitchen. I’m able to squeeze in some last-minute homeschool planning, too.
This helps our homeschool mornings to run smoothly… or, if we’re being completely honest, smooth-ish.
Our winter mornings have not been smooth-ish.
I’m still awake hours before my children, but I am having trouble putting feet to floor and accomplishing all the things.
And my bed is so comfortable and warm, and it’s surrounded by towering stacks of books.
Folks, I think I might be experiencing homeschool hibernation.
And the same exact thing happened last winter.
The Struggle is Real
I’ve tried to get up.
In fact, I still set my coffee pot for 5 am.
Because that’s what I do. Waking up early and working out, or writing, or reading, or homeschool planning… that’s my thing. It’s part of my genetic make-up.
But, no matter how hard I try, those feet rarely hit the floor until my little friends come in my bedroom to announce that their green lights are on.
That means it is 7:00…
… and that I’ve been in my bed, mostly awake, for two hours.
Every morning, when those little faces peek into my room to announce the time, I think to myself:
Tomorrow!! Tomorrow I am going to get up on time. This is the last day I do this.
I set the coffee for 5 am and hope for the best, but it’s like I’m stuck in some sad little homeschool hibernation groundhog day.
How I muddle through:
Every morning, after silently scolding myself, I head to the kitchen where my coffee has been waiting for two hours.
Then, I drag out our homeschool bin. It is overflowing with all the things. All the resources, materials, and curricula we love.
All of the things that, if we’re being honest here, I won’t get to today.
I won’t get to them because we got a late start and it set our homeschool world a bit off kilter.
Instead of pulling out a towering stack that will only serve to make me feel guilty later when it sits barely touched, I pull out our current read aloud.
As the children gather their breakfasts, I start to read.
What are you good at? Do that.
If you are experiencing a homeschool hibernation, think of that thing you are good at. C’mon, homeschool mama, you are good at something.
Maybe you are a math whizz.
Maybe you majored in art history.
Maybe you speak a second language.
Maybe you sing like Kenny.
Whatever it is that makes you feel like a homeschooling rock star, that one thing you never have to worry about, do that.
Rather than silently berating yourself for something that has already happened, do something that you can do well. Start the day with that. You’ll feel better, and you’ll cross something off of that homeschool to do list.
Me? I am a reader. I love to read. I rock at reading to my kids.
And so, on those freezing cold, gray, winter mornings I start there.
It’s funny because, when you focus on what you are good at, you start to feel better.
And you accomplish something.
And, often but not always, you feel that spark of motivation that your hibernation has squelched.
And, sometimes, you end up accomplishing more than you initially thought you’d be able to.
There are homeschooling seasons.
Just as there are seasons of the year, there are homeschooling seasons. Right now, we are in the midst of a homeschooling slow down.
The days are shorter, there is less sunshine, and the motivation is lower than at other points during the year.
Do you know what? It’s okay.
Homeschooling is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
We are in this for the long haul, and we’ll get there eventually.
Just not today.
As the days lengthen and the sun shines brighter, we’ll wake with renewed energy. Just as we did last year.
I know that, in a few months’ time, I’ll be my annoying morning person self once more. Rejuvenated, I’ll accomplish all the things… or, if we’re being honest here, I’ll accomplish more-of-the-things-than-I-am-accomplishing-right-now.
And that will be okay, too.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: Do you experience homeschool hibernation? What helps you? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram