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How Habits Can Make or Break Your Homeschool Day

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From Our House to Yours

How Habits Can Make or Break Your Homeschool Day

The alarm rings. You know you should get up to start your homeschool day, but instead you hit the snooze. Just 5 more minutes, you tell yourself. But when the alarm rings in 5 more minutes, you turn it off. Later that day, you are behind in your homeschooling and frazzled. How you wish you had gotten up when your alarm first rang! Tomorrow, you will do better.  Only tomorrow comes, and barely awake, your hand fumbles to shut off the alarm. I’m just too tired, you tell yourself. Later that day, you are even further behind than the day before. Stress rises. You promise you will do better tomorrow, but you don’t. Another day lost. Unbeknownst to you, you now have formed a habit, and unfortunately, it has the power to make or break your entire homeschool day.

How to Break Bad Habits and Replace Them with Good Habits

The good news is bad habits can be broken! Thinking about what leads up to the habit is one powerful tool to breaking it. If you are sleeping in every morning and missing the start time you desire for your homeschooling, maybe what led up to this habit is simply that you set an unrealistic start time. Setting a new, realistic start time and sticking to getting up at that time could easily break this habit. Or, maybe what leads up to this is simply the fact that you are overly tired. Making a point to go to bed earlier could be all it takes to break this habit. Or, maybe you don’t even remember shutting off your alarm. Moving your alarm across the room so you have to get up to shut it off could be all it takes to break this habit.

First recognize the habit, and then do all you can to focus on breaking it! 

Experts say habits can be made and broken in 30 days. This may not be true for ALL habits, but I believe it is true for most. The first step to breaking a bad habit is to recognize you have it. Then, you can put laser focus on it to break it. Often we have many bad habits, but choosing one to work on is usually best! I have found I am happiest with my homeschooling if I wake at 6:15 AM. This is NOT because I adore getting up at 6:15 AM!  Rather, it is because my day goes better when I do. I put laser focus on creating this habit this year. What I found is what I do the night before makes or breaks this habit! I set out my devotional, homeschool schedule, thyroid medication, a water bottle, workout clothes, and my clothes for the day. Then, I set my alarm. I try hard to get to bed no later than 10 PM.

What is your bad habit?

If I were to ask you what your one bad habit is that you need to change, what would you say? What leads up to that bad habit? Is there something that triggers it? My 12 year old has arrived late to our first meeting time for two years.  The first meeting time was to enjoy discussing/correcting his Bible Quiet Time and to do his dictation. I finally asked him what he has been doing in his room that prevents him from arriving on time. Do you know what he said? It surprised me. He told me he makes his bed and gets dressed. We have 10-15 minutes together. I thought he was dawdling, but really, he just cares about having his bed made and being totally dressed for the day before we meet. We ended up setting his alarm 10 minutes earlier, so he has time to make his bed and dress. He has not been late ever since.

In Closing

Don’t be discouraged by a bad habit. You have the power to overcome it! Furthermore, you can replace a bad habit with a good habit. One habit at a time, you can transform yourself. With the power of faith in God, you have His strength to draw upon – and it is superhuman. One day at a time, you can become who you want to be. Furthermore, you can become who God wants you to be. How powerful is that?!? I’m starting my 4th week of plans for Heart of Dakota‘s USI and Revival to Revolution. You know what? I have woken every day at 6:15 AM so far. It has not been easy. However, I am happy!  Truly happy. I am homeschooling with enough time in my day to do it well. There is time for my Bible Quiet Time. I am exercising and eating right. The meals I am making for the boys are healthy ‘enough.’ I get to work in the afternoon on time. What habit do you want to change? Attack it with laser focus today!

In Christ,

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Valerie

    I really enjoyed this post because right at this time in my life I just can’t wake up at the time I would like to start my day. It is hard because I have a toddler who wakes in the middle of the night and will stay up for hours before she falls back to sleep. My sleep has been so off and it is messing with how I would like to start my homeschooling day. We do more afternoon schooling than morning but I would like to have my afternoons free to relax and free time to do something else. It seems like there is never enough time in a day to complete everything. It has made me feel frustrated and not happy with homeschooling. I just feel too overwhelmed with four kids to education along with a toddler who seeks my attention 24/7.

    1. Hi Valerie! Sleep interrupted nights make it hard to get up! My heart goes out to you in this busy stage of life!!! I remember little ones waking me in the middle of the night and how tired the mornings felt. Ironically, sleepless nights return for most women in their mid-40’s to mid-50’s. I basically went the past 2 years without sleep until my doctor helped me figure out what to do to fix that. This year, I am going to bed earlier and taking probiotics and vitamins. There are still sleepless nights, but it is better – praise God!!!

      I would say for mamas of young children, it really is key to pick a realistic start time, but then stick to it. Younger guides take much less time to complete, so that is helpful. However, more of that lessened time is teaching time. You probably can either choose to sleep longer in the morning, knowing it is worth it because you will be better rested, but then also knowing school will go later in the day. Or, you can get up earlier knowing you will be tired but also knowing you will finish earlier and can take a nap in the afternoon or go to bed earlier if need be.

      Either way, focusing on ways to train your toddler to sleep through the night and to plan what your toddler will do during the day so you can homeschool (see link below at bottom), will help too! Take heart that this is a season that soon shall pass!!! Give yourself grace on the hard days! If MOST the days are good and you are sticking to your priorities as best you can, that is good enough! We are not perfect, but we can make good habits one habit at a time!!! Hope this helps!


      In Christ,

  2. Alyssa

    I’ll pray for you, Valerie. Reflect on the reasons you decided to homeschool.
    God bless you in this journey and in this trial.

    1. This is so thoughtful, Alyssa!!! Thank you for your prayers for Valerie!!!

      In Christ,

      1. Alyssa

        My heart goes out to her, too, as I have had insomnia since the end of August. I read your comment about sleepless nights returning in mid 40s and 50s. I had never heard that before! I’m glad you got the help you needed. I have an appointment coming up in October to try to sort out what is off balance. Your words were encouraging for more than just Valerie:).
        In gratitude,

        1. I’m so sorry to hear you have insomnia, Alyssa! I hope your doctor’s appointment reveals what can be done to help you get the sleep you need!!! Often times, a full blood panel reveals much. I’m so glad you found some encouragement in what I shared here!!! Praying for a good night’s sleep for you soon!!!

          In Christ,

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