Nurturing Rhythms and Rest in the Homeschool Journey

Homeschool Conversations podcast pin Nurturing Rhythms and Rest in the Homeschool Journey Lynsey Mimnagh Treehouse Schoolhouse

Homeschooling is more than just an educational choice; it’s a lifestyle. In a recent conversation with Lyndsey Mimnagh, a seasoned homeschooling mom and creator of the Treehouse Schoolhouse curriculum, we delved into the intricacies of homeschool rhythms, rest and renewal, and finding balance in the homeschooling journey.

Homeschool Conversations podcast pin Nurturing Rhythms and Rest in the Homeschool Journey Lynsey Mimnagh Treehouse Schoolhouse

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Homeschool Routines

Lyndsey shared her approach to homeschooling, which revolves around intentional rhythms that define her family’s daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly routines. These rhythms provide structure and predictability, essential for both parents and children to thrive in the homeschooling environment. From morning responsibilities to family discipleship and afternoon work blocks, Lyndsey’s family has crafted a rhythm that feels familiar yet flexible enough to accommodate spontaneous changes and seasonal variations.

Ownership and Responsibility

Central to Lyndsey’s homeschool philosophy is the idea of instilling ownership and responsibility in her children. By incorporating daily chores and home care tasks into their rhythms, she empowers her children to contribute meaningfully to the household while developing essential life skills. This emphasis on responsibility fosters a sense of agency and independence, laying a strong foundation for their future endeavors.

Homeschool Conversations podcast pin Nurturing Rhythms and Rest in the Homeschool Journey Lynsey Mimnagh Treehouse Schoolhouse

Seasonal Rhythms in the Homeschool Year

Seasonal traditions play a significant role in Lyndsey’s homeschooling approach, as she embraces the beauty of each season and integrates seasonal rhythms into their curriculum. From apple picking to tree identification and themed nature studies, Lyndsey ensures that learning extends beyond the confines of textbooks, creating immersive experiences that resonate with her children and nurture a deep appreciation for the natural world.

Treehouse Nature Study

One of the cornerstones of Lyndsey’s curriculum is the Treehouse Nature Study, a comprehensive program that spans multiple ages and seamlessly integrates with seasonal themes. Through poetry, art study, hands-on projects, and science exploration, the Treehouse Nature Study fosters family connections and cultivates a love for learning that transcends traditional boundaries.

Homeschool Conversations podcast pin Nurturing Rhythms and Rest in the Homeschool Journey Lynsey Mimnagh Treehouse Schoolhouse

Rest and Self-Care for homeschool moms

Beyond academics, Lyndsey emphasizes the importance of self-care for homeschool moms. Recognizing the demanding nature of homeschooling, she advocates for prioritizing spiritual growth, maintaining friendships, nurturing marriages, and attending to physical and mental health. By prioritizing self-care, homeschool moms can sustain themselves for the long journey ahead and model healthy habits for their children.

In her quest for balance and rest, Lyndsey draws inspiration from the book “The Rest of God” by Mark Buchanan, which explores the concept of Sabbath rest and its transformative power. By embracing moments of rest and cultivating inner peace, homeschool moms can replenish their spirits and approach homeschooling from a place of abundance rather than depletion.

4 Top Tips For Taking Care Of Yourself As A Homeschooling Mom

Practical tips for homeschool families

Practical tips abound in Lyndsey’s approach to homeschooling, including pre-packing lunches to streamline the homeschool day and minimize disruptions. By eliminating unnecessary stressors and optimizing their routines, homeschooling families can maximize their time and focus on meaningful learning experiences.

Ultimately, homeschooling is about finding harmony between academic pursuits and holistic living. By balancing priorities and embracing intentional rhythms, families can create a nurturing environment where children thrive academically, emotionally, and spiritually.

As Lyndsey eloquently demonstrates, homeschooling is not about what happens inside a classroom; it’s about embracing life as a journey of discovery, growth, and connection. With intentional rhythms, restful practices, and a spirit of grace, homeschooling families can navigate the ups and downs of the homeschooling journey with confidence and joy.

Key Takeaways

  1. Intentional Rhythms: Lyndsey emphasizes the importance of setting intentional rhythms in homeschooling, which include daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly routines to create a sense of predictability and structure for both parents and children.
  2. Ownership and Responsibility: Through daily rhythms, children can gradually take ownership of home care tasks, contributing to the household’s functioning and fostering a sense of responsibility from a young age.
  3. Flexibility within Structure: While having set rhythms, it’s essential to maintain flexibility. Lyndsey describes how they adapt their schedule based on circumstances or preferences, such as spending extra time outdoors or shifting lessons to the afternoon.
  4. Seasonal Traditions: Lyndsey values the beauty of seasons and incorporates seasonal rhythms into their homeschooling, engaging in activities like apple picking, tree identification, and themed nature studies to create lasting memories.
  5. Curriculum Integration: The Treehouse Nature Study curriculum integrates seamlessly with seasonal themes, providing a holistic approach to learning that spans multiple ages and fosters family connection through shared experiences.
  6. Self-Care for Homeschool Moms: Lyndsey highlights the need for homeschool moms to prioritize self-care throughout their journey, emphasizing spiritual growth, maintaining friendships, prioritizing marriage, and attending to physical and mental health.
  7. Grace and Perspective: Recognizing that homeschooling is a long journey, Lyndsey advises new homeschool moms to maintain perspective and extend grace to themselves, especially during challenging seasons or when things don’t go as planned.
  8. Rest and Sabbath: Lyndsey recommends exploring the concept of rest, both in terms of physical rest and inner peace, referencing the book “The Rest of God” by Mark Buchanan as a valuable resource on restoring Sabbath practices.
  9. Practical Tips: Lyndsey shares practical tips for streamlining the homeschool day, such as pre-packing lunches to minimize disruptions and maintain focus on learning activities.
  10. Balancing Priorities: Lastly, Lyndsey underscores the importance of balancing homeschool priorities with other aspects of life, including relationships, personal interests, and marriage, advocating for a holistic approach to homeschooling that prioritizes overall well-being.
Homeschool Conversations podcast pin Nurturing Rhythms and Rest in the Homeschool Journey Lynsey Mimnagh Treehouse Schoolhouse

Listen to the full podcast episode “Nurturing Rhythms and Rest in the Homeschool Journey with Lyndsey Mimnagh,” Homeschool Conversations with Humility and Doxology Season 9, Episode 10

Lyndsey is a homeschool mom of four and the founder of Treehouse Schoolhouse. Before motherhood, Lyndsey had a career in children’s ministry and special needs education. Her home education centers around living books and ideas, hands-on learning, nature exploration, and biblical discipleship. She shares experiences and home education inspiration through her Instagram and blog, as well as creates curriculum and resources for families around the world. Her most popular curriculum titles are An Expectant Easter, A Connected Christmas, and Treehouse Nature Study.

Find Lyndsey Mimnagh online

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Check out all the other interviews in my Homeschool Conversations series!

Homeschool Conversations Video Interviews Podcast HumilityandDoxology.com Amy Sloan

Amy Sloan: Hello, friends. Today I am joined by Lyndsey Mimnagh, who is a homeschool mom of four and the founder of Treehouse Schoolhouse. Before motherhood, Lyndsey had a career in children’s ministry and special needs education. Her home education centers around living books and ideas, hands-on learning, nature exploration, and biblical discipleship. Lyndsey shares experiences and home education inspiration through her Instagram and blog. She also creates curriculum and resources for family around the world. I am so delighted to get to chat with you today, Lyndsey. Here at the beginning, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, and how you got started homeschooling?

Lyndsey: Hi, everyone. It’s so nice to be here. I’m Lyndsey. I have four children. My youngest is three. My oldest just turned 11 last week. We’ve been homeschooling the whole journey. I have a very unique story that actually before I was a parent at all, I was a private nanny, which turned into a homeschooling position. The mother asked if I would homeschool her two children. I started learning about homeschooling and falling in love with this lifestyle before I was even a mother. Along with that, I also served in children’s ministry for many years, full time as my career.

Now I took my passion for home education, my passion for biblical discipleship and children’s ministry. As my journey and my own motherhood and homeschooling began, I began creating resources for my own family that brought both of those worlds together and have the unique opportunity to share them with you and with the world. I also have a blog and create resources, curriculum and different things that really focus on family connection, biblical discipleship and a lot of nature, which is one of my passions as well.

Amy: Before we started this episode, we were talking about our respective families. My family currently is 9 to 19 essentially. I just am excited to see what the next few years have for you and your kids. You’re right on that cusp of the golden era of motherhood where everyone can bathe themselves and get their own snacks, buckle themselves in their car. It’s great.

Lyndsey: Yes. We’re already seeing a taste of that, especially since we do have older ones that really take a lot of responsibility in helping the younger ones. Just even in the last year, we’ve tasted that freedom and my husband and I are starting to dream about more traveling. They’re just more flexible. We’ve recently been traveling and I can put all four kids in one room and shut the door and say, “Okay, just figure it out, go to bed,” and it actually works. It’s like no more packing plays and strollers and diapers. It is sad to grieve the last season, but also we have a lot of excitement and hope about what’s next.

Amy: Each season of homeschooling and motherhood is beautiful in its own way. Over these years and these changing seasons of homeschooling, have you noticed that your approach to homeschooling or your philosophy of education has grown or changed at all over time?

Lyndsey: Oh, definitely. When I was working for the family before I was a mother, I was thrown into this position of having to figure out homeschooling and being educated in the public school system itself. I just replicated that at their home. It’s also, I think, what the mother knew and what she expected and wanted. There were multiple reasons why we did that. As my confidence grew in that position, I was there for about four years and I took the child from first grade through elementary.

I changed even within that role and she started to see the passion come alive when we would do things differently, when we didn’t have to stick to a workbook and we would get outside and we would take his schoolwork to the tree house or to a park and we would do different things. Then when I became a mother and I started having the preschool age, I got really excited again about being a home educator because there had been this time lapse. I’m like, “Oh, yes, it’s time to start putting the alphabet charts on the wall and make sure my kids sit still and do this work.” That didn’t last very long before I remembered like, “Wait, there’s more to this and it can look different.”

At that point, I started really diving into the different philosophies of education and trying to pray about and think about what matters to me as a person, what matters to my husband, what does education mean to me? Really just started from scratch and took my own personal journey in public education, my career path in education, and put all of that to the side and started fresh. That was a scary place of like, I’m starting from scratch, trying to put everything behind me, kind of that phrase, “De-school my own self” to figure out what I care about and what I think is most important in education.

It turns out I did not replicate a public school system at home. We also delayed formal education at that point until around age six. Yes, as time has gone on, even now, I look around at our education maybe every few months and I go, “Oh, we’re different now,” where I feel more confident. I feel more free. I’m not so worried about checking all the boxes. It is a journey.

I think every homeschool parent, as they grow, feels more comfortable in their skin doing it and feels more just confident in their own direction, even if it doesn’t look like the next person or read exactly like even the person that you’re modeling your home education after, like Charlotte Mason or something, even that I feel more confident carving my own path, taking from the different philosophies, what I believe in and what I agree with, but we’re not all supposed to look the same.

Amy: I think that’s one of the true gifts of being a long-term homeschool mom, where you can just develop that comfort level of being in your own skin, being your own unique homeschool family, not comparing yourself to another homeschooler or homeschool friend or a homeschool influencer online. Just having that confidence to know, you know what, it’s okay. We’re going to change things up or we’re going to do it this way that works for our unique family. I really love that. I’ve definitely seen that in my own life. This year, our youngest son was diagnosed with leukemia last fall. The school year has looked completely different than any other homeschool year before.

Our plans have definitely drastically shifted and changed. Because I have all of these years that I can look back and I can see there’s time, I guess, too, there’s time. It doesn’t all have to happen at once. I’m much more confident in the choices I’ve made this year, even when they’re very different from choices I would typically make. Just to know that it’s going to be okay, like we have time and we can rest, ultimately, in God’s faithfulness with our kids. I love hearing how in your own homeschool, you’ve seen that as well. Just growing in that confidence.

Lyndsey: Yes. A huge part of it is the life stuff that happens. In the past year, we built a house. We’ve moved multiple times. We’ve had four children. There have been huge– what some people may look in and say, distractions or setbacks, but I don’t see it that way because I really do view education as all of life. The things that your children are gaining because of your situation that they would have never otherwise gotten to experience or even emotional things, leaning on God. These are all things. It’s not just about reading and writing and math. It’s about our hearts and it’s about our connection with our family and what it looks like to cope with trauma and be patient and all of these things.

I view it as that, too. I think the more that we can see education as a whole person, our children as whole people, and we are developing all of these things, we can rest in these seasons and say, “All of this is education.” It’s Okay when you have a baby and you don’t sit down and do formal school for six months. They’re learning something that they would not learn if you sent them to school. They wouldn’t be experiencing that home life, and that is going to apply to their future so much more. I think that’s a huge part of the long term homeschooling mother, to sit down with someone who’s done it a really long time. Often what I hear is, “It’s okay. Just rest. They’re learning so much.”

Amy: Oh, man, that’s one of the great parts of homeschooling, for sure. Are there any other things about homeschooling, maybe just something particular that’s a favorite part of homeschooling for you or your family?

Lyndsey: I my husband and I are unique in some of the things that we’re gifted and things that we’re passionate about, just like really every person. I feel like it’s this really beautiful opportunity to pass those things down to our children in a very intentional way. That’s the other thing that makes every homeschool family so unique, because it’s a marrying of the parents and what we’re passionate about, what we’re called to mix with what makes our children come alive. You put all of these personalities and these passions together in one unit and you help grow those things and you’re going to have a result that another family is not going to have.

I think it’s just really fun. I’m a creative and an artist, my husband is a woodworker, so these are things that we integrate into our homeschooling. I think that that’s one of my favorite things that we get to see on those things, even in our children. What are my children inclined to and how can we help those things grow? I think it’s just the freedoms to– We homeschool year round because I feel like we adapt every day to the things that come into our life with the weather or with my kid’s grandparents.

My parents just were in town, so we didn’t technically do school for a couple of those days. Instead, they were baking with grandma, my sons were learning chess with my dad, we were birdwatching together. I still consider all of that learning, but it’s these freedoms that we have to really lean into the things that life brings us and let all of it be learning.

Amy: The things that you and your husband are bringing to the dinner table or, “Oh guys, I’m so excited about this,” are uniquely your family. I was just thinking, you probably never have the same conversations we have at our table. My husband is a bridge engineer, and he’s been known to bring blueprints and things to the table and discuss various design facets and things like that, or I’ll bring Shakespeare or whatever. I just think it’s really fun to just go all in what makes your family unique and the way God’s made you. That’s just a fun family culture that we’re developing as we are living life together, both educationally, formally, and just around the dinner table.

Lyndsey: Absolutely.

Amy: Of course, we know homeschooling also has challenges. What have been some of the challenges of homeschooling and how have you sought to overcome those challenges?

Lyndsey: I think for me, I am a starter. That’s like, I’m a visionary. I’m a big picture person. I love to sit down with my planner and look ahead and get excited about the new year. I’m really bad at the details and at the follow through. For me, I get burned out really quickly. I’m an all or nothing girl. I don’t know if you can relate to that, but I’m like, I want every day to feel really big and magical. I want the table to be beautiful, and I want to light the candles, and I want to bring the snacks, and I want every child to be super engaged. Early on in my journey when a day didn’t look like that, I would feel like a failure.

I feel like I have had to learn that there are different levels of what a homeschooling day can look like. There might be some of those days where I’m completely prepared. I have the school rooms organized. I’ve looked over my plans. I have a project in mind. The kids are excited. No one is sick. You know what I’m saying? We have this beautiful day. That might be 25% of our homeschool days. That’s even shooting high. Then we have the middle day that’s like, I know that this is a day where we’re going to get to our core work that the kids mostly can do independently. Then what I can commit is like playing a board game that I don’t have to prepare for, and doing one chapter of our read aloud.

That is an okay day as well. I’ve had to come to terms with. I think the way I’ve overcome this all or nothing, not wanting to do the details thing, is knowing already ahead of time that there are different facets of what a day could look like, and they’re all success. Then even at the basic level is like the kids are just going to do their thing, and they’re going to self-educate today, and I’m going to manage what other chaos we have going on in our life and I’m going to choose to look at what they’re doing, and the books they’re reading, and the games they’re playing, and the things they’re discussing and playing, and realize that that’s also education, and change my mindset that all of it is education, and that they’re learning.

It doesn’t have to all look like that 25%.

Amy: I love that. It’s like with dinner, one meal might be a really amazing pot roast with all the fixings. Another dinner is like cheese toast and carrot sticks. Then maybe there’s a like free for all guys, just find some leftovers in the fridge. We have these ranges. Just because they’re not all the Christmas morning feast or the Thanksgiving dinner feast, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad meal. It’s just different meals look different at different times. It’s like a homeschool day. They’re not all going to be Thanksgiving.

Lyndsey: I love that. That’s actually really, really cool. To think about it, I love nourishing my children with good food. This is a great example too, because the fourth option is to give them packaged convenience food and Pop-Tarts and whatever. That I do believe is not good. The fourth option would be like I am just putting them in front of a screen all day. Knowing that that’s not what I do, then I can look at these other three options and say, no, you are successful. They are learning because you have set their atmosphere to be learning. I think that that’s really key because I don’t want to say any day is education.

They can just do whatever they want in their learning, because I really do believe that it’s about we need to steward our homes well. We need to steward our children’s minds well. We need to spread a feast of good books and of living ideas, but we don’t have to be on and sitting with them for six hours a day to do that. We can offer that in our homes and in their normal routines and in their rhythms and they can learn to educate in their everyday life when that is their atmosphere and that is their structure.

Amy: So good. Such a good reminder. Lyndsey, earlier you mentioned you had grandparents in town, the kids were playing chess, they were doing baking with grandma, all these things. These are some of those things that we may not think of in the homeschool day. They don’t come in a textbook, but those life skills really matter. How do you and your family prioritize passing on those life skills to your kids?

Lyndsey: I don’t have any curriculum or structure for it, but it’s definitely just something that’s a big priority in our minds that we’re thinking through. We have a couple of rhythms in our life that lean towards this. For example, certain kids help cook dinner, certain nights of the week we try to make all of our meals open and slow to invite the kids and whoever’s around to jump up and help cook. My husband is really passionate about financial freedom and financial stewardship. He has a whole thing going on with them every week where they do certain responsibilities throughout the week and they get paid at the end of the week and then they have to give a certain percentage back so that they’re learning about bills.

It’s this whole structure that he does. Then when we were building the house, rather than it just being like, “That’s daddy’s thing,” we were continually bringing the kids over and letting them meet the contractors and letting them see this process, even in the design work, even with my business. I think it’s just a mentality of continually inviting them in and just having conversation, talking to them about these real life things, taking them with us to the grocery store, showing my daughter the list saying, “We’re on a budget, so this is what we need to do. We’re going to do math while we’re in here.” All of these things just to bring them in and to realize that is a big chunk of their education and I consider that school.

Amy: No, I love that. It makes me think of actually my very first podcast guest, was– before I knew I was going to have a podcast, I just really wanted to talk to my friend and it started this whole thing. He was talking about budgeting for homeschooling families was his specific topic, but they do something called a bank of dad, which reminds me of what you were talking about with your kids. That’s great. You mentioned some of these rhythms you have in your family. I know this is something you talk about a lot, these sort of daily, weekly, monthly, yearly rhythms that really define your family life, homeschool.

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I was wondering why you think about it that way. Then what does that actually look like in real life? What do these seasonal rhythms, how does that translate into your homeschool?

Lyndsey: Yes, I feel like, as I mentioned, I’m a big idea person. I’m an idealist. I sit down often and think about my whole life. I’m like, “I want to be the mom who fill in the blank. I want our homeschool to look like this. I want these skills for my children, or I want our marriage to do this.” I feel like the only way I can accomplish these things is to work backwards and to set things in motion. I’m also like a free spirit and I don’t want to have boxes to check and exact schedule.

I really like this idea of rhythms where if I look at our day and I say, I really want my children to take ownership of home care, for example. That’s just not going to happen without some intentionality. We put rhythms in our day that train them in caring for their home. We have certain parts of our day where every day they have morning responsibilities and this is what they do. In the evening, from working with special needs children and just children in general and toddlers especially, anytime where you just pull them away from what they’re doing and say, all of a sudden, now we’re going to clean the room on a random Tuesday, but it’s not something you do in a rhythm, they’re going to fight you.

I’ve just learned that when you have rhythms that your children expect, and I’m a big proponent of day of visual schedules, it really helps my children to see this is what we’re doing today, this is what is expected, especially when they’re younger. I just feel like these rhythms help set us up for success to help children know what their day looks like and what’s expected of them and then helping my own self. Like I said, I can get off track with just vision, but if I set some things into practice with my own self and I juggle a lot of things, being a homeschooling mother, caring for a home, having a business, and so it’s these rhythms that I really believe help accomplish these goals in my home.

For a daily rhythm, our daily rhythm looks like most homeschool families, I think, where we get up, we do our morning responsibilities. We have family discipleship around breakfast. We enjoy morning time, which incorporates all of my children at the same time. My older children then break for their independent work while I do some preschool, kindergarten play and reading with my little ones, and then we do read alouds over lunch. Then I have my afternoon work block. Then in the evening, dinner, after dinner chores, time with dad in bed.

It’s just this rhythm that feels the same every day, but we can take a longer stretch and say, “We’re going to go outside for three hours instead of our normal one hour, because it’s beautiful outside. We’re going to shift lessons to the afternoon.” We can do that, but it’s just this beautiful rhythm that my children know, this is a typical day and they’re not going to fight me on this schedule. Then seasonally, even before I homeschooled, I loved the beauty of the seasons. We actually moved from Florida to North Carolina because I wanted to experience the seasons.

With children, I really loved this idea of every fall, these are the things that we do that means it’s fall to the children. You go apple picking, you make apple pie, you collect leaves and you do tree identification. All year round, I was already doing these seasonal rhythms with my children because they were making memories and they were just really fun and engaging. Then I developed a treehouse nature study, which is our most well-known curriculum. It’s basically taking nature study through the seasons and studying different themes for each season through the lens of beauty subjects like poetry and art study, really good living books, hands-on projects, and full-blown science and nature study.

It’s made for the whole family and that’s what we use for morning time year round. It’s really fun to revisit those themes year after year in the different seasons and the kids remember, “I remember when we learned about birds last year,” and as they’re growing, they’re going deeper in their understanding that you can bring in your 3-year-old, you can bring in your 11-year-old, they can both learn things about birds at the same time, but going deeper. They’re also fostering that family connection. That’s one of my favorite things as well.

Amy: I love that. I did not know that we were both North Carolinians.

Lyndsey: Oh, I didn’t either.

Amy: [chuckles] We live near Raleigh and I might be biased, but I do love North Carolina. Our seasons, our weather, our wide range, you can go to the beach or the mountains or anything in between. It’s a pretty great state. [laughs]

Lyndsey: Absolutely. I totally agree.

Amy: You mentioned having a visual schedule and I wanted to just ask a clarification about that. How do you set that up for your non-readers? Are you putting pictures or how does that work before you have a reader?

Lyndsey: Yes, so we actually developed this resource in my shop and we have a watercolor illustrator who created a little image next to each thing. For breakfast, there’s a little image of eggs on a plate and then it will say breakfast and it’s in really plain print letters so that as they’re starting to develop. I have a three and five-year-old who aren’t completely reading yet, but they recognize the breakfast plate and the B and they say, “Oh, that’s breakfast.” As we use these over and over and over, they recognize, “Oh, the tree means it’s time to play outside.” It has both, yes.

Amy: Okay. I’ll have to check that out and put that link in the show notes. Lyndsey, one of the things I think is really fun to ask a mom who’s been homeschooling for a while. I think it’ll be interesting to you too to hear your perspective, because you’re homeschooling your own children, but you also had this different experience homeschooling and for another family. I was curious if you were talking to a new homeschool mom, what would you want to share with her? What would you want to say? What piece of advice or encouragement would you give?

Lyndsey: Not what you expect, but I really feel like I’ve learned that it’s really important to take care of ourselves as women in this journey and that it is a really long journey. It’s not a sprint. There’s two parts to this. One is what we already mentioned earlier, to try to see the big picture. When you have seasons where you’re not homeschooling in the capacity that you wished that you were because of life circumstances, or your child is really struggling with a certain subject and so you just take a break for a while, or you fumble through multiple curriculums in three months or something. Those things stress people out so much in the early years of homeschooling.

I can tell you it’s okay. In the big picture, at the end of the day, they’re going to be fine and you are going to look back and say, “Why did I stress so much about that over the first few years?” To try to see the big picture, to realize it’s a journey, but then back to taking care of ourselves. I really feel like we don’t talk about this enough, that this is like a 20-year journey or more for most homeschool moms. If you start at the beginning and you graduate your children and you have multiple children, it’s a huge chunk of your life.

I really believe that I see a lot of moms completely drowning in this stage because they don’t prioritize their own spiritual growth, their own friendships, their marriage, their own physical health, their own mental space. I see moms really crumbling in anxiety or depression or isolation. That really is not serving yourself or your family well. I really feel like when moms burn out in this journey, a lot of that could be saved if they just protected their own self in the journey. For me personally, it’s been a process and it’s not always possible in one way or another because you’re not sleeping all night or you don’t have the finances to get childcare, all these things.

As my journey has gone, I’ve realized that a few things that have really helped me is, number one, schooling me around so that I can give myself a break on the days that it just isn’t going to work for me that day. I wake up, I’m not feeling well, or I have a girlfriend that’s in need and there’s a way that I can not do school that day and spend time with my friend.

It’s just having this idea that we are a woman, we are a whole person, just like our children are whole people,,and we need to care for our whole selves, our relationships, our spirits, our bodies. We need to prioritize exercise. We need to prioritize making nourishing food, all of these things so that we can do this for the long-term and not getting into guilt when it doesn’t look like, like I mentioned at the beginning, the 25% every single day, because we need to also protect our own selves in this journey.

Amy: I am really glad you said that. I think that’s so important for moms to hear. My friend, Jessica, actually has a guest post on this topic. By the time this episode comes out, it will be live on my blog. I’ll make sure to link that up in the show notes.

Lyndsey: Awesome.

Amy: I was also thinking, just going back to our previous conversation about seasons and rhythms and things like that, it’s also okay if there’s a time maybe taking care of your body means like training for a half marathon or doing an exercise class. That’s been my life in the past. This season, taking care of my body looks like going out for like a 15-minute walk when I can. That’s okay too because sometimes we set up expectations for ourselves like, “Well, I used to be able to do this or this is what taking care of myself looked like at this season, so it always has to look like that. To be okay with it changing, sometimes it looks like a nap. [chuckles]

There’s many different ways that it can look, but it’s so very important. I think also part of that, the relationship between husband and wife for homeschool parents to not put their relationship on the back burner for the sake of like, Okay, you got to go get this homeschool stuff done. Got to go do the planning. Got to go get this done,” just to make sure that is at the front of mind too. Sometimes, it may look like something in the homeschool being set aside for a day to prioritize something that at the end of the day is still going to be there when the kids graduate.

Lyndsey: Exactly.

Amy: You still have your spouse around, make sure you still like each other. [chuckles]

Lyndsey: Exactly.

Amy: Here at the end, Lyndsey, I’m going to ask you the questions that I ask all of my guests. The first question is just, what have you been reading lately?

Lyndsey: I’ve been reading this really excellent book. I’m going through it really slowly. It’s called The Rest of God. It’s all about restoring the Sabbath, and not just a Sabbath like a day, but in our heart and in our minds. I personally have struggled with just being “Go, go, go, on and on” and not learning how to personally rest. Even this answer of taking care of ourselves is out of my own mistake and burnout. This book has been a– it’s one of those that you chew on. I read a little bit, pray about it a long time, journal for a few days and then read a little bit more.

It’s called The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan. It’s highly recommend if you feel like you really want to understand what God intends for women and anyone for resting in him and living from a place of rest, not working so that you can rest.

Amy: One of my very favorite passages is in the book of Hebrews where it’s looking back at all of the rest in the Old Testament, the Sabbath day rest, the land of Israel was going to be a rest, but not quite yet, and it says there is yet a rest for the people of God. Just how all of this is pointing towards this glorious promise we have of an eternal rest. I don’t know if Eryn Lynum, she has the Nat Theo Podcast, but I think she has her next book that’s coming out is going to be on the topic of rest as well. I’m looking forward to that one.

Lyndsey: Awesome.

Amy: Maybe we should just have a whole– really focused on rest. Maybe homeschool moms really need to hear this. This is an unintended theme. I was not expecting this to be a theme coming out of our chat, but it’s an important one.

Lyndsey: I probably, I’m preaching to the choir.

Amy: We all need that one. All right. Final question is what is your best tip for helping the homeschool day run more smoothly?

Lyndsey: Let’s see, if we’re going to do just a fun practical tip, one of my most recent favorites is, I have these bento boxes that I bought for when my kids, do our wild and free, our nature group every Friday. I started packing them in the morning for my kids, even when we weren’t leaving. I would set them all on the counter, I pack their lunches, I pack my own lunch, or at least in my head know, “Okay, I’m warming that up.”

Then in the lunch crazy hour when we’re transitioning from this to this, and then I’ve got my three-year-old doing this and that, that I can just say, “Everybody go grab your lunchbox and go sit at the table for a read aloud,” because I feel like it eliminates 30 minutes of everybody pulling stuff out, stuff getting everywhere, the kitchen becoming a wreck, and it was disrupting our day. I love cooking a slow breakfast and dinner together, but lunch was just like the crazy time. It’s been really nice to just pack these ahead, and the kids grab them at lunchtime, and I sit down and keep moving along with our schoolwork. Just a little practical tip that has been really helpful.

Amy: That is a really great tip. I like now being in the stage where I don’t do lunch. The kids all take care of lunch themselves. I like this stage of motherhood.

Lyndsey: [laughs] Even the three-year-old, I’ll pack her lunch. I do have them help me pack the lunches. It was like a light bulb that went off. I don’t have to stop in the middle of my day and have 30 minutes of disruption and we can just keep tracking.

Amy: That is awesome. I love that tip. Lindsey, where can people find you all around the internet? Also, I think you have a special resource for Homeschool Conversations listeners.

Lyndsey: You can find me at treehouseschoolhouse.com. That’s where I host my blog and my shop. You can also find us on YouTube, where we have lots of videos showing inside our curriculum, but then also fun lifestyle ones of a day in the life of a homeschool kindergartner, or a tour of my homeschool room, fun things like that. Then on Instagram, where I’m super active, Treehouse_schoolhouse. If you see something that you like in the shop, if you’re interested in those daily rhythm cards, or a nature study, or something else, you can get 15% off your order with Homeschool Conversations 15.

Amy: Perfect. Thank you so much for that. I will make sure to have that code and links to all the things you mentioned in the show notes for this episode, which you can find at humilityanddoxology.com. Those of you who are listening, thank you so much. I think this is going to be the final regular season episode of Season 9. I am so glad you have joined me for all of these encouraging chats this year. I have been blessed and encouraged, and I hope you have been as well.

I would love it if you would take a moment to share the podcast with a friend, and leave a rating, and review, and subscribe, wherever you’re listening. Really is a helpful way, something simple you can do. It doesn’t cost you a thing, and it helps make sure other homeschool parents can find the encouragement in their earbuds, just like you have. Lyndsey, it was really nice to meet you today. Thanks so much for chatting.

Lyndsey: Thanks, Amy. Bye-bye.

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