If you listen to the stories of homeschool graduates, as well as experienced homeschool moms, there is one thing that sets each homeschool apart from all others.
I wish I could say it is the curriculum that was chosen, how the school room was organized or even which co-op or education method a parent used but it really isn't. It's not even the books! The biggest defining factor of a homeschool is the homeschooling parent. The homeschooling parent (usually the mother) influences the atmosphere of home more than anything.
Charlotte Mason emphasized atmosphere as one of her three main tools for education. She is quoted as saying "Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life."
Ms. Mason believed in creating an atmosphere of education that was nurturing, respectful, and designed to help children develop their full potential, because education is not limited to what happens in a classroom during formal lessons. A child's education is influenced by the environment and atmosphere in which they live and grow.
The idea is that children are constantly absorbing knowledge and values from their surroundings, including their home, community, and the natural world. Therefore, it is essential to create a rich and nurturing environment that fosters a love for learning and supports the child's intellectual and moral development.
As a homeschooling mother, I have a unique opportunity and greater freedoms to set the atmosphere of our home and school. Homeschooling parents are the ones choosing the schedule, cultivating the environment and crafting what kind of educational experience your child will have. Mother's impact the entire thing!
So, if mothers impact the atmosphere of home and ultimately their child's learning, what is impacting mothers? Well, let's talk about hormones.
Maybe you've found yourself having a terrible homeschool day, where you're ready to throw in the towel and give up, only to get your monthly period the next day. Maybe you've said yes to a million co-op responsibilities when you're ovulating only to feel crushed by burden of them two weeks later. Or maybe you start projects that you have a hard time completing because you're beginning and ending them in the wrong phases of your cycle. All of this is hormone related, and believe it or not, all of this impacts the atmosphere of education.
Hormones are constantly impacting a woman's mood, motivation, energy levels, focus and relationships. And it's not just during your menstruation phase either (like you were probably taught in junior high).
I created a new resource, Homeschooling with Hormones, that details for you what is happening in your body during each of the four phases of your cycle. It will walk you through how these hormonal chances impact each area of your life and how you can plan your homeschool to work with your hormones and not against it. (And if you're no longer menstruating, this is a great resource on body literacy to teach to your daughter as well.)
By becoming educated about your body with gaining knowledge and understanding and with a little bit of intentional planning, you can make your hormones work for the good of your homeschool atmosphere.