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Self Care as a Homeschool Mama

The days are long, but the years are short is a very wise saying that pertains to parenthood. Surviving those long days means applying wisdom, and being intentional to manage your own mental, spiritual and emotional health. Finding ways to look after yourself is an essential part of being a mother. When we become overwhelmed and burnt out, we are not able to give our children our best. This looks different at the different stages of motherhood: the demands on our time vary from when we have babies, to when we have older children. I have found some basic principals that can help our mental health as mothers: Find Your Tribe This is basically finding a source of fellowship. In the many and varied relationships we have not every person will be the right one to share life with. I find I need other home educating mothers around me to encourage and support me. They have an empathy as to what my day looks like that other friends cannot have. It’s also about finding those people who you just “click” with; those people you can share your weaknesses with and know you won’t feel condemnation, but will be supported and loved by. It’s also about having friends you can meet up with who have a depth of spiritual maturity who can encourage you to grow in faith. If this is lacking in your life, pray God will supply this need. When I first had children, I had to develop this area in my life. As a natural introvert, I found this difficult, but I have reaped the rewards of having a wonderful network of wonderful friends to do life with. Spend Time in Nature My love of nature is no secret, I truly believe God has placed within us a need to be in His creation. Walking through a beautiful wood, or hiking up a magnificent mountain revives and restores the soul. Countless studies have proven the link between time spent in nature and improvements in mental health. Rest Time There are times when the demands of life mean that “getting away from it all” simply won’t happen. But I find just being able to settle the children either in their rooms, or in front of a DVD; whilst I can go to another part of the house, alone with a cup of tea, will be enough to refresh me so I can be a happier mama for the remainder of the day. I have also made Saturday’s a “Sabbath” day, practically speaking this means I make sure Saturday...

Nature: Food for a Weary Soul

Walking through woodland on the banks of beautiful Rydal water, in the glorious Lake District. The warm sun shining through the new leaves, gently unfolding. The woodland floor, still, with a few late daffodils and some early bluebells. The air filled with the sound of busy birds, natures great symphony. Then out of the wood onto the the side of Loughrigg Fell. We walked along the side of the fell with Rydal water below, and then onto the slopes above Grasmere. The children climbing boulders, and doing battle with sticks! From this beautiful vantage point, I could understand why Spring was so celebrated by Wordsworth in his poem “Thought On The Seasons” Flattered with promise of escape From every hurtful blast, Spring takes, O sprightly May! thy shape, Her loveliest and her last. Less fair is summer riding high In fierce solstitial power, Less fair than when a lenient sky Brings on her parting hour. When earth repays with golden sheaves The labors of the plough, And ripening fruits and forest leaves All brighten on the bough; What pensive beauty autumn shows, Before she hears the sound Of winter rushing in, to close The emblematic round! Such be our Spring, our Summer such; So may our Autumn blend With hoary Winter, and Life touch, Through heaven-born hope, her end! My weary soul drank the scene in, refreshed, renewed by the beauty of it all. As the winter had passed into Spring I had, like no other year, been yearning for the return of the green leaves and flowers of the wood. And after an April which had seen me spend three weeks ill in bed I needed this time in nature to restore and sooth my tired soul. I am convinced that everyone of us needs to spend time in nature, in God’s creation. We need this connection. Nature enables me to connect with God in a way I simply cannot do in a town or city, or in the house even. The very nature of God is hidden within His creation (Romans 1:18-25). Some of the times of greatest joy I experience with the children are in wild places where we soak in the wonder of God’s creation, and the children are free to simply be. And I take the finding of joy as a sign that this is where God would have as be also. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Nature for the Soul

When the deciduous or broadleaf woodlands are alive with the color of Spring and Summer, and wonderfully noisy the symphony of bird song, there is no finer place to be. As the colors of Summer pass and the days cool the woodland is wonderfully mellow, as well as breathtakingly beautiful. Even during the grey Winter months, when the ground is frozen hard and everything appears lifeless, even in these barren months the forests retain a certain beauty. As many know by instinct, science is beginning to prove: exposure to nature is beneficial to mind, body and soul! And it is especially beneficial to children. Country Parks and wilderness areas has something to offer all the family. The gentle walks are a perfect way to start a new exercise regime, especially if your fitness levels are quite low. And the play areas offer outlets for children of all ages, helping you to see your children increase their activity levels in a fun way! Research has shown that regular contact with nature is highly beneficial to childrens’ emotional, mental and physical development. Children with ADHD are soothed by regular contact with nature, resulting in them achieving higher levels of concentration. Nature experiences also boost children’s immune system and aid brain development: with improvements in observational skills and reasoning. In fact studies show that nature experiences better stimulate a child in all areas of development when contrasted to indoor experiences. Furthermore research seems to suggest the greener the better! In new research Dr. Stephen R. Kellert of Yale University has found “Play in nature, particularly during the critical period of middle childhood, appears to be an especially important time for developing the capacities for creativity, problem-solving, and emotional and intellectual development.” The thinking behind the theories is that nature, is full of interesting stimuli that trigger our involuntary attention, we cannot help but notice the beauty of our environment. However, our brain is not laboring to notice these things, unlike a city where we are constantly concentrating on our surroundings, e.g. is that bus about to run me over if I cross the road! Therefore in nature our brain, although receiving stimulation, is doing so in a natural, gentle manner, without the having to make a conscious decision to do so. Thus our brain can enter a more relaxed state. There has been an emphasis lately on the need for children to enjoy less structured play experiences in the open, and to climb trees, and to be less constrained. Children today are too insulated form “danger” and miss out on a healthy...
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