I think every parent has those little mantras that we say over and over again. Some of my mantras are told internally to myself, other mantras are said out loud to the boys. I'm pretty sure they have them memorized by now. I don't think my mantras are all "homeschooling" mantras per se but more parenting mantras. They help the boys and I keep in mind what is important, how to behave and treat one another, and hopefully, to keep our cool with one another.
Ones I say out loud:
Ones I say in my head:
Ones I say out loud:
- "I was not put on this Earth to entertain you."-- This is my classic response to "I'm bored!" It means find something you want to do but don't ask me for suggestions of what you can do. With three kids home every day of the year I hear this often. Suggestions of what they can do are often met with stares or shrugs of shoulders and I realized pretty quickly that boredom is good for them so this reply is really a non- reply but it works.
- "I'm your mother not your maid."-- Occasionally the maid is changed out with chauffeur or cook; depending on the need and the requests coming at me. I teach, cook, clean, organize and do 90% of all the jobs around the house. I need help and I can not go around picking up after everyone all day long. I can not make everyone whatever they'd like to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I can not drop everything at a moment's notice to run someone on an errand. So this is my way of reminding my family that I'm a mom; and if they want someone they can order around or someone to wait on them hand and foot they need to hire a maid, cook or chauffeur.
- "We're all different; if we were all the same the world would be a very boring place." --I use this mantra to remind my boys that the world is made up of many, many different kinds of people. We have to share our world with them all whether we share their beliefs are not, whether we understand them and their behavior or not, whether we agree with them or not. It's also my reminder to them that it's OK to be different. They are not going to please everyone all of the time and they don't have to. I encourage them to be true to themselves and try not to worry about what "everyone else" is doing.
- "Just do you best. You can't do better than your best. Your best is always good enough."-- This mantra is sometimes broken down into just one saying but it's to remind my boys that they might not always know everything they need to know. They are going to make mistakes. they are going to feel like failures at times; but it's OK as long as they gave it their all.
- "Friends come and go but family is forever."-- My kids usually get along pretty well but every now and then they will say mean or nasty things to one another. They sometimes hint that they can't wait until they're grown up and won't have to see each other every day. When they have friends over they tend to take one another for granted and I remind them that while they might not always get along the best they will always be in each other's lives. Even if they fight and become estranged as adults they'll still be family. Nothing they will ever do can completely sever their ties.
Ones I say in my head:
- "There's always tomorrow"-- when lessons or our school days are taking a turn for the worst I remind myself that we have no time limits for learning and we can always tackle the assignment or topic another day.
- "This too shall pass"-- kids go through so many stages and phases and I've learned that they all get better with time.
- "Will this matter in 5 days, 5 weeks, 5 months or 5 years?" -- This one helps me put what I think are BIG problems or major aggravations into perspective. Most of what I stress about during the day isn't even going to matter in 5 hours and I know I can just breathe, walk away, and let it pass.
- "They're only young once."-- A reminder to enjoy the time I have with my kids while they're still kids. They'll grow quickly and soon won't need me.
- "Live and Learn" or "Life is Learning"-- This mantra helps me remember that the kids have their whole lives to learn. It also helps me remember that even when I think we aren't learning or we aren't doing school they're living and learning and teaching themselves. Living and learning are not separate from one another and every day we spend on this planet is another day we're all learning, growing and changing.