stress

058. Time Management, Stress, Organization, Study Skills

Time Management, Stress, Organization, Study Skills

Stress is normal! With all that your high school student is likely to have on their plate (balancing classes, assignments, college applications, extracurriculars, a social life, and more), it’s normal that they’ll experience stress from time-to-time. Understanding how to manage the stress they feel is an important skill for your teen to learn – during the high school years and throughout their life. Tune in to help your teen manage all the things and keep their stress in check.

This is the 12th and final episode in our HIGH SCHOOL SERIES

Episode 058:

TWO WAYS TO LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE:
1. Click PLAY Button Above ^^ to listen here.
2. OR Listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Brand New to Homeschooling?
GETTING START PAGE >>
Kindergarten Page >>
High School Series >>

Show Notes

If you are homeschooling a high schooler, you already know that navigating the intricate balance between academics, extracurriculars, and personal life can be tricky. Add in college applications, part time jobs, and social opportunities, and it’s no wonder some of our teens can feel overwhelmed and anxious about their future. With a focus on time management, organization, stress management, and study skills, we will explore some strategies and tools in today’s episode to aid in your student’s quest for academic success while maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the realm of homeschooling.

Let’s face it, High schoolers have a lot going on!  From expectations and normal pressures of academics to extreme feelings of stress, understanding how to manage the stress they feel is an important skill for your teen to learn – during the high school years and throughout their life. Stress is normal! With all that your high schooler is likely to have on their plate (classes, assignments, college applications, extracurriculars, a social life, and more), it’s normal that they’ll experience stress from time-to-time. 

Homeschoolers often experience less stress than students in traditional schools because they have more time available to them, more flexibility, and are less likely to compare themselves to others, but they probably still feel a lot of these same pressures!

How can our high schoolers deal with stress? (4:27)

Let’s talk about some ideas for high school students to deal with stress: 

  • Keeping a journal
  • Getting plenty of exercise
  • Eating healthy, regular meals and drinking plenty of water. 
  • Making sure you get enough sleep 
  • Meditating, deep breathing, or mindfulness, and monitoring their self-talk. 
  • Channeling their energy into sports or creative pursuits such as music, art, theater
  • forming meaningful relationships or friendships helps reduce stress. 
  • Reaching out to friends or family members who help you cope in a positive way
  • Staying organized and teaching your teen to create routines can be helpful. We are going to talk more about this today!
  • Limiting excess caffeine in soft drinks or coffee
  • Making time to do fun things
  • Spending downtime relaxing 

With so many big life decisions ahead, getting through high school happy and whole can definitely feel challenging at times. It’s easy to see why so many high school students feel stressed. The good news is that there are solutions. Adopt the strategies above, take a deep breath, and remind them it’s not forever!

Dialectical Behavior Therapy has helped millions of teenagers since it was developed just over 30 years ago! The DBT Skills Workbook for Teens: A Fun Guide to Manage Anxiety and Stress, Understand Your Emotions and Learn Effective Communication Skills. This Workbook takes your teen on a journey going through four quests to learn the four key skills in DBT.

Sometimes a big source of stress can actually be due to a lack of time management.  I know this well as I am a lifelong organized procrastinator!  I work best under pressure.  But every time I get through yet another project this way, I vow not to do it again next time. Mastering time management is an essential skill that not only cultivates discipline but can really help your teen maximize study time more efficiently. By establishing structured routines, setting clear goals, and teaching the value of efficient scheduling, you can empower your teens to take ownership of their education while also allowing for a healthy balance between their academic pursuits and personal growth.

Parental involvement in homeschooling time management is not a solitary endeavor. It entails open communication, active listening, and a keen awareness of your high schoolers’ individual progress. Some will be more mature and independent than others. By consistently assessing their growth and helping them to adapt the schedule and approach you will be helping to teach them self awareness and how to manage their stress. 

How can we help our teens manage their time wisely? (9:57)

Here are some time management tools and techniques that can set your highschooler up for success:

1. Homeschool Planner:

Using a dedicated homeschool planner or digital app like Google Keep organizing lessons, assignments, and activities. This helps them stay on top of their responsibilities and ensure they have plenty of downtime and time with their friends.

2. Time Blocking:

Time blocking is a simple yet effective way you can teach your teen to take control of their time. They can implement a time blocking strategy where they allocate specific time blocks for different subjects. This prevents overloading on a single subject to ensure balance. Time blocking asks you to divide your day into blocks of time. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific task or group of tasks, and only those specific tasks. Instead of keeping an open-ended to-do list of things you’ll get to as you can, you start each day with a concrete schedule outlining what you’ll work on and when.

The key to this method is prioritizing your task list in advance. The free resource I created this week is a time blocking template that your highschooler can use as they plan out their day. Scroll Down to download! This method really does add hours to your day! It’s so effective. Time Finder is the app that I use when I’m on the go instead of using the paper template but I find the paper easier for teenagers to use.

3. Set Realistic Goals:

Teach them to set achievable goals for each day or week. It’s an essential skill to learn how to break down larger objectives into smaller, manageable tasks. This can prevent them from feeling overwhelmed and provides a sense of accomplishment as tasks are completed.

Most students believe that straight A’s can be achieved only through cramming and painful all-nighters at the library. But Cal Newport knows that real straight-A students don’t study harder—they study smarter!
How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less reveals for the first time the proven study secrets of real straight-A students across the country and weaves them into a simple, practical system that anyone can master.

4. Weekly Planning:

Set aside time daily and each week to check in and go over assessments and progress. This helps them maintain a clear overview of what needs to be covered. Be sure to include extracurricular and fun with friends outside of academics. These are really important!

5. Flexible Routine:

Teach them to adopt a flexible routine rather than a rigid schedule. More than likely you’ve been doing this all along. This will teach them to accommodate variations in assignments and unexpected events.

6.Prioritize tasks:

Learn to differentiate between urgent and important tasks. This skill helps in managing workload efficiently and reducing stress.

Your involvement plays a vital role in helping them learn these skills. You can address their individual strengths, interests, and challenges, which will promote a deeper understanding of subjects and encourage a lifelong love for learning. You know we love to say that! 

How to teach study skills, note taking, organization, and other executive function skills?  (16:49)

As students enter into the high school years, they also need to add effective study skills and habits.  They must master skills like:

  • reading for content and not just for pleasure
  • note taking
  • researching
  • finding knowledgeable mentors
  • communicating with others to find out what they need to know
  • honing memorization techniques
  • practicing computer skills
  • identifying and utilizing helpful online resources

Homeschool high schoolers have a unique opportunity to learn some of these skills to suit their individual learning styles and schedules. Here are some effective strategies for homeschool high schoolers to cultivate good study skills and be more organized:

  • Create a designated study space: Establishing a dedicated area for studying helps in maintaining focus and organization. Ensure it’s free from distractions and equipped with necessary materials.
  • Develop a schedule: Design a timetable that includes study sessions for various subjects, breaks, and extracurricular activities. A structured routine aids in time management and consistency.
  • Encourage the use of checklists: Using checklists for daily or weekly tasks can help your teen visualize what needs to be done and experience the satisfaction of checking items off the list as they complete them.
  • Break tasks into smaller steps: Teach your teen to break down larger tasks or projects into smaller, manageable steps. This method helps in avoiding overwhelm and encourages steady progress.
  • Utilize various learning methods: Experiment with different study techniques such as mind mapping, summarizing, flashcards, or teaching concepts to someone else. Find what works best for individual comprehension.
  • Practice active learning: Engage in discussions, take notes, ask questions, and participate in activities related to the subject matter. Active involvement enhances understanding and retention.
  • Take regular breaks: Incorporate short breaks during study sessions to prevent burnout and maintain focus. Breaks can re-energize and improve productivity.
  • Promote decluttering: Assist your teen in decluttering their space regularly. Encourage them to get rid of unnecessary items and organize belongings in a way that makes them easily accessible.
  • Model and encourage organization: Set an example by staying organized yourself. Show your teen how you manage your schedule, maintain a clean environment, and handle responsibilities.
  • Provide guidance, not control: Offer guidance and support rather than micromanaging your teen’s organizational efforts. Encourage independence by allowing them to make their own decisions and learn from mistakes.
  • Develop effective note-taking techniques: Find a method that suits the learning style, be it Cornell notes, bullet points, or visual diagrams. Good notes aid in better understanding and revision.
How to Be a High School Superstar: A Revolutionary Plan to Get into College by Standing Out (Without Burning Out) provides step-by-step instructions to help any student adopt the relaxed superstar lifestyle—proving that getting into college doesn’t have to be a chore to survive, but instead can be the reward for living a genuinely interesting life.
Learning How to Learn: How to Succeed in School Without Spending All Your Time Studying; A Guide for Kids and Teens teaches teens about the importance of both focused concentration and letting their minds wander, how the brain makes connections between different pieces of information, the value of metaphors in developing understanding, why procrastination is the enemy of problem solving, and much more. 
Are you tired of struggling with exams and feeling overwhelmed by your studies? Do you wish there was a way to improve your grades and achieve exam success without all the stress? With Study Strategies for Teens: A Teenage Guide to Exam Success and Getting Better Grades as your guide, , you will learn effective study techniques, develop essential time management and organization skills, and gain the confidence needed to conquer exams and become a straight A student.

Note taking is a big question I see come up often on high school forums- it’s almost like none of us can remember or picture how this works outside the classroom. We ended up doing a bit of a deep dive on different techniques and thought we could share some popular note-taking methods:

  • The SQ3R Method: An acronym for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review. It involves a comprehensive approach to studying a text, starting with a survey of the material, formulating questions, reading actively, reciting or summarizing key points, and finally reviewing the material. Learn more about SQ3R.
  • Cornell Method: This method involves dividing the paper into sections: a section for notes, a section for cues or questions related to the notes, and a summary section at the bottom. It encourages active engagement and summarization of key points. Learn more about Cornell Method.
How To Take Great Notes Quickly and Easily is a very easy guide for teenager. (40+ Note Taking Tips for School, Work, Books and Lectures. Cornell Notes Explained and more!
  • Outlining Method: Structuring notes hierarchically using bullet points or numbering. It involves organizing information into main topics, subtopics, and details. This method emphasizes the relationship between different ideas. Learn more about Outlining Method.
  • Mind Mapping: Utilizing visual diagrams to represent concepts and their relationships. It starts with a central idea or topic and branches out into related subtopics, creating a visual representation of connections. Learn more about Mind Mapping.
  • Charting or Tabular Method: Organizing information into tables or charts with columns and rows. It’s useful for comparing and contrasting different elements or presenting data in a clear format. Learn more about Charting.
  • Sentence Method: Writing down key points or phrases in complete sentences. It involves summarizing information in a coherent narrative format, making it easier to follow when reviewing. Learn more about Sentence Method.
  • Flow Method: This method involves jotting down notes in a continuous flow, without much structure. It’s useful during lectures or when information is presented rapidly. Later, these notes can be organized into a more structured format. Learn more about Flow Method.
  • The Feynman Technique: Explaining complex ideas in simple terms as if teaching someone else. It involves identifying gaps in understanding and revisiting complex concepts until they can be explained in straightforward language. Learn more about Feynman Technique.
  • The Charting Method: Creating columns and rows to organize information, often using headers and bullet points. It’s useful for comparing and contrasting different elements or categorizing information. Learn more about Charting Method.
  • Annotation/Highlighting: Underlining, highlighting, or annotating text in books or articles with personal comments or key points. This method helps in quickly identifying important information for later review. Learn more about Annotation and Highlighting.

Our kids did an awesome study skills camp with a fellow homeschool mom that taught several of these techniques.  Choosing the most suitable note-taking technique depends on personal preferences, the nature of the information being recorded, and the context in which the notes will be used. Experimenting with different methods can help individuals find the one that best fits their learning style and enhances their understanding and retention of information.

By actively supporting and guiding your teen through all of these above strategies, you can help them develop strong organizational skills that will serve them well in academics and throughout their lives. 

This Week’s Freebie:

Help you teen stay organized and reduce their stress by Time Blocking
Download your Free Template

050. Self-Care for the Homeschool Parent

050.

Self-Care for the Homeschool Parent

As homeschooling parents, we are always on call. There are no days off and even if it’s not a “school day,” we’re still the one answering all the questions. But it is hard to be *on* all the time. You definitely need to try and carve out some time for yourself in the hustle and bustle of homeschool life.

We’re talking about the importance of self-care and giving you 11 ways to help ensure that you are at your best for not only your family, but for yourself!

Episode 050:

TWO WAYS TO LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE:
1. Click PLAY Button Above ^^ to listen here.
2. OR Listen on your favorite podcast platform:

Brand New to Homeschooling?
GETTING START PAGE >>
Kindergarten Page >>
High School Series >>

Show Notes

As homeschooling moms, we are always on call. There are no days off and even if it’s not a “school day,” we’re still the one answering all the questions. Since you’re listening to this episode, you’re probably the default parent, the one on call 24/7 when your kid is sick, when they have a boo-boo or a bad dream and all those teenage issues.  And even though we are grateful for the extra time we get with our children, many other moms would envy us this, but it is hard to be *on* all the time. You definitely need to try and carve out some time for yourself in the hustle and bustle of homeschool life. In today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about the importance of self-care and give you some ways to ensure that you are at your best for not only your family, but for yourself. 

I love being a homeschool mom! This journey has been filled with quality time fostering strong relationships with my children – and them with each other. It’s filled with empowering moments like when we teach them how to read, and we learn together as a family. But let’s be honest, being a homeschool mom is a 24/7/365 gig – especially for single moms like me. Or moms like you, whose partners travel a lot.  Homeschooling is a rewarding but demanding job for us because we are always on duty. Since there are no days off, it’s often really difficult to make time for myself. I’ve had to learn to squeeze in quick moments for myself, even if it’s just two minutes.

Incorporating self-care practices into your life is crucial to maintaining your well-being and ensuring you have the energy and patience to provide a quality education for your child.

11 ways to….

help you to fill your cup as a homeschool mom so you can be calm, present, and have more fun guiding and learning with your kids:

1. Set Boundaries (7:01)

Establishing clear boundaries between your homeschooling/mom hours/personal time is an essential part of self-care. Create a schedule that includes dedicated breaks for yourself during the day. Don’t feel like you have to answer that call from grandma in the middle of schooling or work on more school stuff when you are done and toasted for the day.  Set dedicated times for yourself.

Also, overscheduling is so easy to do! If we want to take better care of ourselves, we must learn to guard our time. Guarding your time can look like saying no to something or it can be more about prioritizing your own goals first. Sometimes saying no gives us the freedom to slow down and really be present for the things that are important to us. 

2. Prioritize Sleep (8:20)

Everyone talks about this when talking about self care. It’s because it is THAT important!  So be sure you’re getting enough rest. Burning the candle at both ends is really tempting for homeschool moms! We all want extra time to do all the things. Getting the rest you need is an important part of becoming the mom you want to be and giving yourself and your family the very best version of yourself. 

A well-rested mind and body are better equipped to handle the challenges of homeschooling.  I am very protective about my sleep- it also helps maintain a healthy weight, build progress in the gym, and keeps me sane. 

And I have to say that I really struggle with this one. Menopause has hit and it is no joke how it affects your sleep. I can fall asleep on a dime, but I tend not to stay asleep for very long, and I’m a very early riser so if I go to sleep late, I get very little rest. If you are having trouble sleeping too, we’ve got some great tips that can help. 

  • Getting more exercise during the day 
  • Staying off devices in the hour or so before bed
  • Keep your bedroom cozy
  • Take Melatonin or CALM
  • Magnesium Glycolate, or drink some sleepy tea.
  • Consider seeing a doctor if you are really struggling with this

Getting enough sleep is not only going to benefit you, this is also for your entire family. We want you to be happy and healthy! 

If you’ve never heard of Calm before, it is a TOTAL game-changer! I’ve been taking it for YEARS and love it. Magnesium is actually one of the most important minerals that you should be taking. I mix a heaping teaspoon into cold and stir until dissolved – it tastes great!  It also helps with restless legs at night and it also keeps you regular. It’s fabulous:


Read more about Natural Calm >>

3. Morning Routine (11:45)

Self-care starts as soon as you wake up. Start your day with a calming morning routine that includes activities like meditation, yoga, journaling, or a healthy breakfast to set a positive tone for the day. Morning routines, no matter how small or big, can help boost productivity and creativity and reduce stress. 

Try to wake up a little earlier. This is really going to allow you more time in the morning. Spend this time (or at least the first 30 minutes) of your day with no media. This is a game changer for reducing stress and setting my day up for success! Days that I have chosen to sleep in are always so rushed and I’m much less pleasant and patient with my kids.  I also find I have way more hours in the day this way! We talked in detail about creating a morning routine and a blueprint for a beautiful week in Episode 046. Finding Balance in Your Home and Homeschool.

4. Exercise (14:01):

Incorporating regular physical activity into your routine is one of the best things that you can do for yourself.  Whether it’s a brisk walk, a workout, or a yoga session, exercise can reduce stress and boost your mood. You can go for a walk or just pace around your home. Walking is really the simplest exercise that almost anyone can do!

Tracking steps is an easy way to increase your movement. You can use your phone or a simple step tracker. You can even get your kids trackers and then you can compete with each other.  We’ve definitely done some step competitions this way.  It involved our entire park day group. Our favorite step trackers for the kids is the Fitbit Ace and we love the Apple Watch for ourselves after upgrading from the Fitbit.

5. Delegate and Share Responsibilities (16:09)

Don’t hesitate to involve other family members. Sharing the responsibilities of homeschooling can lighten your load. Have an older sibling read to or teach a younger sibling. If your partner can take over one subject, maybe math or science, or maybe there is an uncle, aunt, or grandparent that has a skill they can teach. This can not only help teach your child, but it can also create a regular bonding time with that family member. 

We’ve even shared responsibilities teaching each other’s kids. So, you can reach out to other homeschool families. And don’t be afraid to outsource some classes.  If you can afford it, hire a cleaning person, order groceries online, pay your kids to do some extra chores outside their regular responsibilities. There are all kinds of ways you can ease your load. We talked about this extensively and our recent episode about Finding Balance in Your Home and Homeschool. Be sure to get your free Chore and Cleaning Charts

6. Connect with Other Homeschooling Parents (17:15)

This is such an important part of homeschooling! Connecting with others is not just for the kids, we get so much out of it, too. Join homeschooling support groups or online communities where you can share experiences, seek advice, and build a sense of camaraderie. It’s so important to have a support system made up of people who get it and can be there for you emotionally and offer help and encouragement when you need it. We’ve loved our homeschool mom friends- we talk about this all the time! 

Join the Facebook Freebies Group

7. Personal Interests (18:45)

I think that this might be the most important way to self-care, but it can be one of the hardest for a lot of moms. Make time for your hobbies and interests outside of your kids and homeschooling. Pursuing your passions can be a fulfilling way to recharge.  Maybe don’t wait until your kids are off to college to figure that out- carve some time out now for your interests and make time for yourself and your passions. It’s easy to feel guilty about taking time to ourselves and for our own hobbies or interests but time really does go by quickly.

8. Meals and Nutrition (20:23)

Prioritize healthy eating habits. Proper nutrition can positively impact your energy levels and overall well-being. It can also be a family affair- we talked in our balance episode about meal planning and menus. We even created an entire Free menu planning packet. Eating better doesn’t have to mean adopting a strict diet or totally changing up your menu all at once. 

You can begin with small choices like replacing unhealthy snacks or being more aware of portion sizes. One tool that really helped me to make better choices about food is a food scale. We love this food scale and keep it on our counter all the time. Another thing that always helps me feel better is making sure I have at least 100 g of protein every day. One of my favorite things to do is go to the farmers market on the weekends by myself.  I get a coffee or smoothie and wander and find some fresh fruits and veggies.  I don’t know why buying some of the same groceries I usually do feels better here, but it does!

9. Limiting Negativity (22:39)

Another step that has been a really important part of my self-care journey is limiting negativity. Sometimes that means limiting the amount of news media I take in and sometimes it means muting people on my social media feed.

Oh, there’s definitely days that I will go through and snooze everyone and everything for 30 days.  We have a friend who did that to her entire list and only left her local groups up for planning purposes.  I do a lot of socializing through social media, so I don’t ever go completely off grid, but cutting back does help.

10. Take Short Breaks (24:25)

During the school day, schedule short breaks to relax and recharge. Even a few minutes of deep breathing or stretching can help. And I am the power nap queen. I have always incorporated a mid-day quiet time. And my kids knew from an early age not to mess with Mom during this time. I only need about 10 minutes, but let me tell you, this has been essential for my overall well-being, and I look forward to it every day. 

11. Self-Reflection and Assessment (25:47)

Periodically assess your homeschooling approach and make adjustments as needed. Self-reflection can help you identify areas where you can streamline or improve your teaching methods. And this may not seem like a self-care topic, but I promise as a homeschool mom, it most certainly is. If you’re wasting time on something that doesn’t work, your stress level will go through the roof.

Breathe, Mama, Breathe is a breath of fresh air for stressed-out moms. Author Shonda Moralis offers easy-to-use mindfulness tools and strategies for real-life moms needing peace, calm, and centering—along with a dash of compassion and humor that comes from her own experiences as both a mom and a long-time mindfulness expert. This is an excellent and much needed book for homeschool moms!

Atomic Habits was a book that we both read for a 75-Hard challenge and we both LOVED it! The real-world examples and success stories shared in the book are so inspiring and really help as you work on creating your own habits.

Remember that we always talk about the key to homeschooling is to be flexible and adaptable.  That really applies to everything from curriculum to schedule to balancing your home. Self-care is not selfish; it’s essential for your mental, emotional, and physical health. Self care is often a problem for most moms – it is a draining, sacrificial job to raise children! Being a homeschool mom though, takes sacrifice to a new level. It is so important that you take care of yourself, but many of us completely ignore our own needs. Don’t do it! It’s ok to put yourself first every now and then. When you take care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to provide a positive and nurturing homeschooling experience for your entire family.

This Week’s Freebie:

Download the Complete Homeschoolers Guide to Self-Care
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