Let’s face it: we moms need a break once in a while! Quite honestly, one break each hour would suffice for me- but life doesn’t quite work out that way.
Nonetheless, I need a break and I wholeheartedly admit it! Additionally, over the past few years, I have learned to embrace break-taking. I call it my “alone time”. It’s when I pamper myself with silence (which is golden!), a good book, a bubble bath, or a walk to our downtown coffee shop. To me, it’s a sabbatical. Or, more like- a Sabbath.
So, what does sabbath homeschooling mean exactly?
My kids are older now, so I can afford to get away a bit more than a few years back, and with my husband’s flex scheduling there are times when I can have much more alone time. But, boy do I remember the days when all I could dream of was grabbing a few minutes to myself! I hope the following advice will help you to realize that even if you’re not in a living space where you can get alone (i.e.-younger kids), you can still find ways to unwind.
Take a homeschool break
I promise you, that one day of not homeschooling won’t hurt you or the kids. The kids will love you for it, and you might possibly even enjoy some downtime, right? Public schools call it teacher in-service. As a homeschooler, I call it a mom’s time out. We’ve been planning and implementing the curriculum all week/month/semester long, and once in a while you just need to have a time out.
And that’s okay. Use your break to either do something you love or do nothing at all! But make sure your sabbath homeschooling break means exactly to you what you mean for it to be. Make it intentional and worth the break time you carved out.
Do something you love
What do I do when I have some downtime? Well unless I decide on a nap, which is a big possibility, I might pull out a hobby I’ve had on hold for a while. One of my favorite hobbies way on the backburner is knitting on looms. I just began this over the holidays and found that I’ve fallen in love with knitting.
I also enjoy reading or listening to an audiobook. I may decide to take a trip to the library by myself and check out some audiobooks, or I might check out one from Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. Another thing I enjoy (besides all this blogging and podcasting!) is sitting at my piano and writing songs. I love music and playing the piano takes me into another world where it’s just me and God. I love it! Whether your passion is sewing, cooking, reading, or taking a walk out in nature, doing something you love can give you a new burst of energy for the daily grind you face at home.
Enjoy sabbath homeschooling: Do nothing
Okay, so you’re wondering how I could have added such a bland tip to this list, but in reality, taking a break means just that. If there’s nothing you want to do but rest, then go get some much-needed rest. Lie down on the couch or curl up in bed and try to catch your z’s. This is easier said than done if you have little ones, so you may have to plan for this one and hire a mother’s helper or have a family friend over, but when you need the rest, you deserve to have it. It’s better to invest in your rest through hiring a sitter once in a while than to pay for it later in doctor bills.
I’ve learned that it doesn’t take much to burn yourself out to a fizzle. Get the rest you need by getting to bed earlier if you need to. If you have babies, tots, and little ones under 6, basically my advice to you is to try to get some extra help. I know how difficult it could be to get everyone down for naps at the same time just so you can have a break. If you have special needs children, the same advice. You, mom, deserve a break called “rest”. If your kids are older, they’re more likely to be understanding of your need for a break and can probably assist in helping you achieve that.
Finding some reprieve away from the hustle and bustle of family life can be the breath of fresh air you need to regain the strength you need for another day of work. Remember, God rested on the seventh day. Find some time and space in your life to take a break. God gave you the gift of a Sabbath. Whether you take it on Saturday, Sunday, or another day of the week is not my concern. I just pray that you will begin to take some time– any time- for yourself, and learn to be replenished for all the work you’ve exerted. It’s a simple principle that really works.
One book that is helping me to understand this concept of sabbath homeschooling in fuller detail is a five-week session study by Priscilla Shirer called “Breathe“. You can pick up a copy at Lifeway and download the video messages if you’d like to dig further into these concepts of the Sabbath. This is what I have been studying lately and is a blessing to my life. How about you? Do you keep Sabbath or integrate it into your life? I’d love to hear more about what Sabbath means to you in the comments below. Happy Homeschooling!