It can be hard to keep up right now. So many day-to-day decisions that have been altered and that can leave us all feeling a bit disoriented. Some days I am right there with you! I have not offered up many blog posts since my mother passed earlier this year and because of the craziness of COVID life changes, I was choosing to be more family focused. As an act of self-care I was choosing to decrease my irons-in-the-fire and focus on my primary Clinical Herbalist work that is keeping me busy.
But with all the questions and concerns people are having about their kids going back to school on a reduced schedule or possibly choosing to homeschool them, I have decided that this is my forte, this is my area of expertise so to speak. For this blog post I am going to be bringing a life coach perspective to help you gain your own perspective on the coming school year.
In my opinion, my goal as a parent is to provide my children the best life that I can, while being a contributing member of society and maintaining my own personal needs. Does that sound like your goals as well? If so, we will be working from that framework.
If we stop, pause, and breathe we can take a moment to try to get into a proactive rather than reactive position given the challenges ahead of us. I am not going to try to be sunshine and rainbows here as dismissing our reality is not helpful. But I am going to try to keep us thinking of our challenges as not solely negative challenges. So let’s take a step back and get our minds thinking about the school year ahead. This post I am going to focus on those choosing to homeschool. Although those faced with the likely 3-2 schedule may benefit as well.
What is your biggest challenge in your mind? I can guess what they might be. Trying to work and homeschool your kids? Not sure how to keep your kids’ education on track? Not sure how to facilitate their learning such as choosing the right curriculum?
Trying to work and homeschool your kids?
As someone who works a full-time job, I understand this is a challenge. It takes dedication to both your job and your child to make it work. As a coach, I don’t have the answers for you but here are some things we should get thinking about. Is your job flexible in terms of hours you work or location that you work? What are you support structures? As Americans we love to be self-reliant but this is a time for interdependency. Interdependency is a sign of maturity and not weakness. So who is in your network? Can your partner/spouse, if you have one, flex their schedule? Do you have family that can support your efforts? Do you have neighbors or friends that you can cooperatively support?
Can you afford some paid support? The answers to this question should be a wide brainstorm.
Leave no stone unturned. Radical times demand radical thinking.
Now that you have some idea of the people that can support you, then we need to think of what that might look like. Maybe you work allows you to work in the office 3 days a week 10 hour days and 2 days a week from home for 5 hours. Not everyone will be this lucky, not everyone has this type of job, but many do. Workplaces know that if they can be flexible they will need to be this year. So don’t hesitate to reach out and ask them. Now what about those support structures? I have found that a couple focused days of work can make all the difference. Is there a friend that you can swap kids with? Having even one ally like this can reduce your days with your kiddos by half. These are win/win dynamics for both of you!
Not sure how to keep your kids’ education on track?
This really depends on your children’s ages. Generally as homeschoolers, many of us feel that younger elementary ages are best served with free play, reading time, and time in nature. Personally I look to some of the Scandinavian countries that don’t focus on formal education until the age of 7 and their children are in no way “behind” academically. For parents of younger kids the benefit is that classroom time is not usually all school time so it doesn’t need to be at home either. There is more oversight needed but it is less intense subjects. Together I’d be more than happy to walk through how to make it work with your learning style. At its most basic a simple morning might mean audiobooks for an hour, math manipulatives or worksheets on the table, followed by free craft time, a pre-arranged “learning center” for slightly older children and free play for younger children while you try to get some work done. Now it is lunch time! If your child is over the age of 5 they can be increasingly tasked with this. A charcuterie board is EASY and kids love to do it! Afternoon can be free-play or drawing cards for a senior citizens home.
For older elementary aged kids there will be a need to focus on some subjects, unless you are choosing to unschool, so you will likely need to carve out some school focused time in either the morning, afternoon, or evening. Choose what works for your kids and you. Let go of traditional ideas of what school must look like. We have historically “done school” about 2-3 hours 3 days a week and my children are now 5th and 7th graders and are in NO WAY behind.
To meet your children’s educational needs some parents may want to choose online options that keep their children busy, but with a bit of flow you can make anything work depending on your goals. For me, I love the time I spend teaching and learning with my kids. It is time I will never get back in our lives so I choose a more hands-on approach to learning. A dedicated couple hours a day is more than sufficient when you have "teacher" to student ratios like you do in a home environment.
For junior high and high school learners there is the challenge that the subjects are harder to teach and they need more regimented learning time, but the upshot is that they can also be very self-directed learners at that stage. If our goal is to teach our kids life skills then learning how to plan their day and their time might be THE most important thing you teach your child. Invest in a planner that THEY like. There are online planners that I can recommend as well as basic notebook scheduling where each morning you write down what they are expected to accomplish that day, until they get the idea of how to do that themselves.
Not sure how to facilitate their learning, such as choosing the right curriculum?
This question is where many are focused right now. There are so many choices. I think it all comes back to understanding your goals for your children and their learning style. Also an honest assessment of how much you want to interact with your child and how much “work” you want to do. This will be a unique decision for each family that we could talk through or that you can talk through with a homeschooling friend that you might have. Consider all-in-ones or an eclectic mix. Consider de-schooling for a while. Consider child-led learning. Consider unit studies. Consider your child’s unique strengths and motivations.
Maybe this is the year they get to focus on watching YouTube painting classes whenever they want to and creating art to their heart’s content. Maybe this is the year that they get to write a book, explore nature, learn to code, train for a marathon, build a tiny house, learn to cook, volunteer. Remember many of the most important things we learn in life do not come from books.
I would encourage you to think of the whole child. Given the stress of all that is going on your child might need a different rhythm for learning this year. They might need more down time, more parent time, more fun time, more outdoor time, or more creative time. Try to honor your child’s needs this year while honoring your own. If we simply place our children in front of a computer program all day and expect them to learn and have a fulfilling year then we are greatly missing the opportunity we are given to build our family bonds this year. I encourage you to think about how you might make this year a special year to remember and not just a year of overwhelm or drudgery.
If you would like help navigating these complex discussions for your family please contact me! Coaching sessions can be scheduled at katebodmanncoaching.com. Your first 25 minute discussion is FREE!
Feel free to share this blog, ask questions in the comments, and stay tuned for future posts!
Coaching has become a popular term in recent years but what does it mean? And how do you know if you NEED it?
Let me start by explaining why I call myself a holistic health coach. I believe every aspect of your life is impacting your health. As a holistic health coach I am focused most on helping you get the most out of your life and being the healthiest you can be. That may mean discussing traditional topics such as nutrition and exercise. But for so many people we need to go deeper. Their life and health is not optimal due to stress, unmet expectations, not feeling fulfilled and a myriad of other topics. My goal is to dig deep with you to help you live the life that you want! If you wake up with a session of purpose and the intention of living intentionally everything else can flow from that.
One of the biggest things that I have learned from helping people with their health goals is that what people really need is someone in their corner, encouraging them, listening to their concerns and helping them come up with solutions.
That is why I practice appreciate style coaching where we focus on what you want MORE of in your life! Whatever it may be, I can help you move confidently towards your health and wellness goals. Some ideas that you might like support with include:
Is this the kind of support that you need in your life? Don’t hesitate to contact me!
It is my desire to offer topics of conversation to explore in the group dynamic. Group coaching can be a powerful, positive experience. With this method we gain the wisdom of many, and the support and accountability of a group setting. I hope to see you at this next session!
Living Your Values during the Holidays and in the New Year
What are your personal goals for the upcoming season? Are you taking the time to truly be present? Are you creating meaningful traditions?
Join us for this session where we begin the coaching process to help you discover what changes you would like to make!
December 4th 7:00-8:30 $15
What is going on in your busy life? We all have the good and the bad. It is as they say, which wolf you feed and focus on. When we stop to really think about our values and what our heart yearns for, it can help us to live a more focused and intentional life.
What is your heart's deepest desire? Peace with oneself and those around you? Joyful moments? Strong family? Loving relationships?
As a small business owner, a woman in the healing arts, a homeschooling mother, a Girl Scout troop leader, a wife, and a friend, I fill a lot of other people's cups but it is important to carve out a bit of time doing things that really nourish me. Our goals in life may not look the same but we all have a deep desire to live our values and get what we desire out of life.
Two weekends ago my family carved the time to go backwoods camping just for a night. The kids have been trail hiking with my husband on Thursdays while I work so they were ready for a bit of a hike with packs. We pulled out our old Army gear and loaded it with what we would need for the cold night ahead. The 1.75 mile hike was good for our bodies and to quiet our minds from the busy of life without leaving us worn out. A little work to gather firewood filled our primal need for security. And after that we were able to simply relax and enjoy the sunset and the Omaha skyline from the bluffs of Hitchcock Park. It was a bit of physical effort but all in all good memories and fun!
If you need help finding your values and making time to live them, reach out. I'd be happy to help!
Life Agenda Mapping
Kate Bodmann, Certified Health and Holistic Wellness Coach
What do you want MORE of in your life?
Are you living the life that you want to be living?
Are there changes you would like to make?
Join us for this FREE session where we begin the coaching process to help you discover what changes you would like to make!
Many of us struggle to say “no” in our lives. There are so many thinks we want to do, we are supposed to do, and we need to do. I personally struggle with this like everyone else. Since my practice comes from the appreciative model of coaching, we try to focus on the positive and what we want MORE of in our lives. Well how do we get MORE when we are already full?
First, personally, I no longer say, “Yes!” to events, projects, or requests that I know that I won’t enjoy or are not fulfilling for me. It is easy to fall into the martyr role or the victim/rescuer/persecutor triangle. If I really look at why I am spending time on an activity and it is as one these roles then I am not living my best, most balanced life with good boundaries. I will share more about this drama triangle on another post but here is a quick example. If I have a volunteer opportunity that I know I’d be good at, and they need my skills or help, and they might not survive without me; then I am falling into the rescuer role and may end up feeling the victim as if I had no choice but to volunteer. If choose to do it because I want to or will be fulfilled by the roll then it that is good way to possibly spend my time. But it isn’t a healthy dynamic for myself (and the group) if I was guilted or pressured into it. This can be a difficult exercise but one worth doing. Once we have looked at our motivations and we have considered weeding out those commitments that no longer seem to fit us, then we come to the question of, what do we want more of!?
Here is my tip for you! Don’t think of it is as saying, “No.” Think of it as saying, “Yes!” Over the years I have learned a lot about myself, and you have learned a lot about yourself, which is why in my health practice we say, “You are the expert on You!” One thing I know about myself is that my love language is quality time. In our busy, high-paced life, time is at a premium so how do I get my quality time? For me knowing that about myself helps me see the Yes/No dilemma in a different way. When I say, “No” to getting together with a professional group I enjoy, I am saying, “Yes” to an evening spent with my family or an evening of much needed downtime! Can you see situations in your life where saying, “No” is actually saying “Yes?”
Now the scenarios I shared might be different than yours, but I am guessing some of you might resonate with the similar challenges. Some of you might not be sure how you truly want to spend your time? If you are unsure, I would be happy to go through a values alignment exercise with you as part of your health coaching journey. Or if you are needing help deciding what you want MORE of and how to make changes in your life to get it, reach out and set up a Get to Know You free consultation so that we can Get Started!
You can also join me for a free Agenda Mapping Session on October 10th to begin to map the changes you want for your life!
Needing a fast weekday meal that is healthy!? Try this delicious fritatta. Packed with protein it is an inexpensive meal. For basically the cost of a half dozen eggs and some leftover vegetables, meats, or mushrooms you can have a complete meal in less than 20 minutes.
Give it a try next time you are pinched for time!
Follow the basic recipe here or use what you have on hand!
A few of my kiddos favorite combos are:
Pepperoni and dairy-free mozzarella cheese
Bacon and broccoli
Sauteed mushroom and onions with dairy-free smoked gouda cheese
Going to a health coach might seem a bit intimidating for some people. It can be hard to share our challenges with others. It can make us feel a bit vulnerable. It is important for me to share with you that in my health coach practice I use appreciative coaching as a basis of my coaching. What does that mean? It means that you won't be judged. We will celebrate your successes both big and little. And if we fall off track for a bit then that was an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and our motivations! Take a moment and read this list of growth mindset statements and try one on for size this week when you need a little affirmation.
So many of us battle with our desires for delicious sweets. And while many of us may beat ourselves up for our sweet tooth it is something that is ingrained in the history of our species. In earlier times sweet little fruits would have been plentiful for short periods of time. Or a sweet stash of honey that we found would have lasted us for a whole season. Our current problem is two-fold. The first is that our lifestyles have shifted in that our little sugar rush rarely comes from fresh fruit anymore and more often comes in the form of processed sugars. While it can still be possible to overdo fruit, in particular dried fruit, when whole fruit is eaten with the fiber, as it naturally grows, we don't get such a sugar rush and it is harder to overindulge. The other issue related to this is that with modern agriculture sugar and the products it is in are cheap and readily available. It is no longer a little sugar rush and is more like an ongoing sugar crash, day after day! Can you relate to that cycle of mid-afternoon slump followed by a candy bar snack that lifts us for a bit and then crashes us again!? If so you are not alone.
In 1822 the average American consumed 45 grams of sugar per week. We now consume almost 3 lbs of sugar per week on average! This leads to increased fatigue and increase in blood sugar swings. Ultimately, for many, it leads to insulin resistance, an increase in fat around the belly section, and a pre-diabetic state.
Would you like to change your relationship with sugar?
Let's start with 3 quick tips to try once you are ready to take action!
1. Track how much you are actually eating - Step on is to know thyself! Take a look at your labels and keep a quick log of how often you are eating sugar. Once we know here our weaknesses are we can begin to truly see where we are and make healthier choices.
2. Avoid sugar drinks - For most of us this is where we find most of our empty calories and excess sugar consumption. Just one can of pop/soda per day every day adds up quick, to the tune of 15 lbs of added weight per year! The American Heart Association recommends no more than 9.5 teaspoons of sugar per day but on average adults consume 22 teaspoons and children consume a whopping 32 teaspoons per day. Take a look here to learn more!
3. Make baby steps towards healthier snacks - If you'd really like a mid-afternoon pick-me-up sugary snack try making your own trail mix! Add in just enough dried fruit or chocolate chips to keep it interesting but try to make sure there are brain boosting walnuts and macadamia nuts with healthier fats.
Hello! I am Kate! Through this blog I hope to share simple health tips and positive support to help you achieve the healthiest YOU that you can be!