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Overcoming Procrastination

I have a stack of tri-fold boards to grade and I am just stuck on getting them graded. It isn’t that I don’t want to do them, I am frozen in knowing that there are over 30 to grade this weekend and it is going to take hours.

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So, I just avoid the stack and think of a million more things I can do instead of grading them. Things like answering emails or writing a blog post… 🙂 Have you ever been stuck like I am right now? Here is what I am going to do to stop pushing off this task.

  1. Write down what I have to do. Grade boards, enter grades on the grade book website.
  2. Take the first step. Gather up supplies needed. (timer, grading rubrics, a pencil, a marking pen, computer)
  3. Set the timer for 60 minutes and begin grading the first board. This is the only way for me to stay focused on a task like this one that I know is going to take a long time. Other projects require different ways of tacking things. For instance, house cleaning. I clean all of the bathrooms and then I dust and vacuum, and then I sweep and wash the kitchen floor.
  4. Do the next thing. I will grade the next board and the next… Think of your task broken into smaller pieces. I am estimating that I can grade ____ number of boards in an hour. I have no idea how many that will be as some are easier to grade than others, but I do like to make sure I am aware of time so I don’t dawdle over one particular board since I have previously looked at them.

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This is my helper, Oreo, checking to see if I graded correctly.

5. After the timer goes off I will get up and move! Shake the legs, get a drink of water, put in a load of laundry, etc.

6. Get back to the task at hand! Set the timer for another hour and grade more boards. Enter the grades into the grade book. If you cannot devote hours at a time to a task, then break it into 10-15 minute segments of time. You will feel sooo much better once you have started on your task rather than avoiding it.

Things to consider:

  • Putting on some music to help you focus. ( I sometimes listen to instrumental music if a lot of brain power is not required.)
  • Rewarding yourself once the task is completed.
  • Sit back and look at what you have accomplished. If it was a monumental task, take a picture of what you did. No one needs to see the picture but yourself. 🙂 I sometimes do that as a reminder that I DID accomplish more than what I thought I could do to help me conquer the next task.

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After just an hour I only have 12 more boards to grade! Huzzah!

Guess what? I have more than 30 more boards from my other class to grade this week too! Looks like I will be applying this strategy all over again. 🙂

Have a great week of teaching! ~Lisa ~

 

Thankfulness

As I was talking to a friend this morning we were sharing about different people whose life circumstances are difficult. We concluded that we are truly blessed and what we think is a “Big Deal” really isn’t. I am choosing to be thankful. When I concentrate on all of the blessings and good things I have, how can I complain?

Write It Down I thought I should take some steps to see this happen as I am really not a journal writer, but I am a list person. I took 5 minutes to jot down major categories (God, family, friends, homeschooling, etc.) and then broke each of those into subcategories.

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Review the List I am going to date this and review it once a day (hopefully more often than that!) this week, dwelling on the good things that I have in my life. When I am tempted to grouse about something or am tempted not to be thankful, I will get my list out and read it again.

Share It I really think to share one thing you are thankful with someone encourages. It not only encourages you to continue to think about the good things that are happening, but it also encourages the other person with whom you are sharing. Good news is appreciated since we seem to hear so much of the bad news.

 

Thankful for you!  ~ Lisa ~

Givin’ When You Ain’t Got Nuthin’

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Have you ever come to the end of yourself and just thought there is nothing left to give of yourself to your child(ren)? Your husband? Have you ever felt like burying your head in the covers and not coming out? I certainly have! So, how do you go on? What do you do to get yourself out of the emotional mess?

Concentrate on the positive. Think of one good thing and write it down. I find taking the time to do this gets my mind off of the circumstance I am in at the time. One positive thought usually leads to another, and then another.

This is a season. It won’t always be like this.  YOU will have a better day. Your children will have a better day. Know that this will pass and better times are ahead.

  • Recharge. Meet a friend for coffee or exercise. Yep, that is better than seeing a therapist. Pay for the coffee and treat yourself and your friend to a goodie or go for a run or a bike ride. It’s nice to get out and away from the family for a little while. You will likely gain a new perspective and be able to give to your family if you get away to recharge.
  • Refuel. Are you eating well or are you eating junk food? I find that if I am not eating like I should I don’t have energy and things upset me more easily. I  am grouchy and irritable. Make yourself an energy shake or eat a handful of nuts.
  • Relax. Go for a walk, read your bible a good book, listen to a podcast, watch a favorite movie, sit outside, listen to some calming music. Do something that will bring you peace and help you unwind.
  • Renew. Call someone who will support you. Ask for that person to pray for you and/ or listen. I recently had some less-than-good news and instead of staying down, I called someone. It helped to know they were listening.

Pull weeds, tear up old school papers, scrub a tub. There is just something gratifying to me in being able to tear out nasty weeds or rip up a bunch of papers that I have been needing to get rid of. I have been known to really go after soap scum in the bathtub when I am grumpy. I am being constructive and destructive all at the same time! lol

Concentrate on someone besides yourself. I think this is the best thing I can say. When I get my thoughts off myself and concentrate upon my family and my friends, I find what was bothering me was really not as bad as I thought. 🙂

May you have a great week! I know things can be tough and kids can be demanding. Take care of yourself.

 

Love, Lisa

 

 

Taking a Break from Homeschooling

Stopping to enjoy the summer, relaxing and becoming rejuvenated will do worlds of good for you and your homeschool. I know the temptation is to dive right into looking at catalogs and begin to think about the next year. But, what about taking a mental vacation for a while?  How about doing something you enjoy or doing something that will encourage you? If you like to read, this book comes highly recommended and I just ordered it for myself!

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie is a great encouragement to us. This short book has words of wisdom to help in the homeschool journey.

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Do you like to cook or bake? What about trying out a new recipe or baking a batch of your favorite cookies? I got an Instant Pot and have been trying out some recipes this summer. Since I am not teaching and have a little more free time right now, I have been looking at recipes to make. I am not so harried in trying to get something on the table between school and trying to spend quality time with my hubby in the evenings. Can you relate? 🙂

If you are not sure where to look for ideas,  All Recipes has a bazillion recipes to try. You can also do a google search if you have particular foods or diets to consider and you will find more food blogs that you can possibly go through in one day. How about treating yourself to an hour a day of reading food blogs? You are bound to find at least one or two that are just the kind of cook you are for you to follow. I like to check out Smitten Kitchen for vegetarian dishes.

Maybe you would like to concentrate on getting in shape. There are free apps to help you with that. Here are the ones I have on my phone currently:

  • My Fitness Pal- This can be used to be a daily food and water journal, record your workouts and the calories burned. It can also set up a plan to help you lose weight and measure your progress.
  • Cylemeter or Map My Ride- these measures how far you bike, the elevation, how many calories you burned (yay!), etc.
  • Daily Workout Apps- This free app has routines for abs, arms, butt, cardio, legs, and full workout.

What about your personal relationships with friends and hubby? Just getting to talk to another adult is a vacation in itself when you have been with your children every day. I know you love them beyond measure, but I always appreciate my children more when I have a break from them.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get together. Does your city have free summer concerts? What about grabbing a frozen yogurt or a cup of coffee? How about reading a book and then discussing the parts you enjoyed? You can always rent a movie and pop some popcorn. If you are looking for movie reviews for you or your family, Plugged In is produced by Focus on the Family and I appreciate their help in making informed decisions with movies and other media.

Have a great, relaxing week! ~Lisa ~

Terrific Teacher Award

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-11 at 7.25.14 AMAnd the award for Teacher of the Year goes to… Y-O-U! Yes, you deserve a terrific teacher award. You may not feel like that, but I can assure you that you are a great homeschool teacher. My criteria for selecting you are as follows:

Dedication You have spent countless hours perusing, pondering, and purchasing the curriculum and programs that you think are best for your child(ren). What is at the heart of each item you have chosen is the love you have for your son/daughter. “Is this a good fit? Will this best help my child learn?” are questions that are asked repeatedly as you go through this process or curricula selection. You are the champion of your daughter and her education. She could have no one better than you for her teacher.

Preparation Lesson plans are made or have been purchased, studied, and executed each week. You have been the overseer of your family’s academic studies, which includes keeping track of all of the extracurricular activities (church, play dates, doctor appointments, co-ops, sports, plays, performances, etc.).

Hard working You make sure the family arrives at the breakfast table, eats, takes care of hygiene needs, gets dressed, do their beds, and starts school. I could stop right there, but I know you also go grocery shopping, make meals, do the laundry, clean the house, referee disputes, negotiate peaceful solutions, are a nurse practitioner, dietician, and cheerleader. (Go Team!!)

Excellence I know you don’t settle for second best. You expect and encourage your son to do his best, facing difficulties and supporting him when things are tough. Whether that is handwriting, writing a story, tackling those tough math problems, or navigating the ups and downs of relationships, you have done it all with love and care. You have been chosen to be his mother and there is no one better suited for the job and responsibility!

I want to thank you for serving your family, for teaching subjects you love (or hate lol) and being a terrific teacher. You deserve this award! Can you hear me clapping , cheering, and shouting “Hurray!”? I am!

Love, Lisa