Homeschooling is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Podcast Episode #87 is all about the long game of homeschooling. Because homeschooling is a marathon, not sprint. And I have five tips for sustaining your homeschooling journey more like a marathon runner than a sprinter.

When I was in high school, I ran on the track team. And I was a sprinter. I could run a pretty quick 100 meter dash!

I remember going on training runs with my friend Jennifer who was a long distance runner. And I was a total failure, every time. I would always go out too fast, because let’s face it, I have a hard time pacing myself!

These days, I often find myself saying to homeschooling parents, “Listen, homeschooling’s a marathon, not a sprint. And I know how hard that is to understand because I’m a sprinter, too!

When we run a marathon, we need to pace ourselves so we don’t burn out. We need to save a reserve of energy, patience, and passion for the years ahead.

Homeschooling and running a marathon have a lot in common!

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Remember the story of The Tortoise and the Hare? Well, my husband Brian, and I are the perfect tortoise and hare. There have been so many times when I’ve wished he would just hurry up. And then I have to ask myself, “Who wins the race?” I tend to move too quickly lots of times. And I’ve been reminded over and over again that slow and steady wins the race.

Below, you’ll find a quick summary of my five key tip to help you stay the course in your homeschooling. Listen in the full episode so you don’t miss anything!

Learning Takes Time

Remember that learning takes time. We can’t pressure our children into speeding up the process. Pressure is not motivating but progress is. Pay attention to the progress. And yes, it’s a marathon not a sprint!

Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”

~Plato

Preparation and Training Really Do Pay Off

Even a tiny bit of preparation can make a world of difference when it comes to homeschooling. If we wake up and have no plan whatsoever, we’re often grumpy and even inclined to take the day off. Rather than winging it with no plan at all, try to have a simple plan in mind ~ like a story to read, a few math games to play, and getting outdoors for a hike. We’re so much more likely to make progress with our children’s learning with a simple plan. The key is to stay flexible.

Find Coaches and Enthusiastic Supporters

Seeking support from parents ahead of you on the journey can make a world of difference. Check out my two links in the resources below for more about this!

And having neighbors, family members, or friends who aren’t homeschooling but support you and cheer you on can be so refreshing and encouraging.

Celebrate Your Progress and Let Go of Comparisons

It’s hard to see all you’re doing when you’re in the thick of it. But then you get to the end of the year, and you’ll be amazed at the progress you’ve made. So remember to celebrate all the little accomplishments along the way. They really do add up over time. Your progress is YOUR progress. And I promise you you’re making some. Just be sure to remember to celebrate.

Take Breaks to Rejuvenate

And finally, don’t forget to take breaks. Not only do we need time to replenish our energy during the summertime and holiday breaks, but our children also benefit from letting a subject rest for a bit and then coming back to it. You can switch up your daily rhythm, play games for skills practice, and spend time resting, relaxing, playing, and enjoying nature to replenish. Even marathon runners need to take breaks from training sometimes!

Keep Homeschooling Sustainable

No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you’re still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.”

~Tony Robbins

I want to encourage you to stay the path of homeschooling! It’s crucial to keep homeschooling sustainable.

As a mama of three now graduated, young-adult kiddos, experiencing crossing the finish line (and beyond) are amazing. Homeschooling is worth it. I know that can be hard to see that when you’re deep in the woods and can’t see the forest for the trees, but it’s so worth it. You’ll just have to trust me on this one.

Two Places to Find Homeschool Cheerleaders

If you want to learn from someone further down the path, come join my Inspired at Home community where we have masterclasses, coaching calls, and a warm group of homeschooling parents from all over the world. And I’ll be your biggest cheerleader!

Also, if you want to build connections that will last a lifetime with other parents on the homeschooling journey, consider traveling to Ohio for the Taproot Teacher Training for Homeschoolers. Held every summer, Taproot is a four day retreat experience which includes classes & workshops, art experiences, time in nature, and connections with homeschoolers just like you.

Rate & Review the Podcast

If the Art of Homeschooling Podcast has inspired you, I’d LOVE it if you could rate and review the podcast on your favorite podcast player! Reviews can be left on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Podcast Addict, or Stitcher.

Or simply pop on over to lovethepodcast.com/artofhomeschooling and choose where you want to leave your review.

And if you want to show your appreciation for the Art of Homeschooling Podcast, you can buy me a coffee!

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