Let’s face it . . . some days just don’t go at all like we plan. There is a common misconception that homeschooling is easy and always fun. That may be the case for someone out there, but it’s definitely not the standard in THIS homeschool.
Our days are filled with interruptions, noise, meltdowns, laziness, noise, messes, did I mention noise, and more “But I just don’t wanna today!” than I care to admit. Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. It’s challenging work, but man, is it worth it!!
When you find yourself in the trenches of a tough homeschool day, remember that you’re not alone. God has called you to this momentous task, and He will equip you with everything you need to see it through. You need only ask.
You’re also surrounded by moms and dads who are in the trenches with you, plugging along through those challenging days the best way we can. If you find yourself needing some advice or encouragement to get through your next tough homeschool day, here are some tips that may be helpful.
Take a Breath
Step one to any difficult situation is to stop and take a breath. Pray! Evaluate why things are feeling hard. Did everyone get enough sleep? Is anyone hungry? Those two things alone are enough to derail an entire day. When my kids are hungry or sleepy, they are mean! It’s easy to feel like I’m on the edge of losing my patience in those situations.
Try to look at things from your child’s perspective as well. Is there something about the lesson that is just too hard? Is the curriculum you’re using suited to their learning style? Do YOU understand the topic enough to discuss it and answer questions, or at least have the time to research it with your children? If our children are having difficulty understanding something because we’re not presenting it well or the way we are presenting it doesn’t match their learning style, things can quickly escalate into a full-blown meltdown.
Switching things up can sometimes be enough to change the mood. We do this a LOT. My kids just don’t handle doing the same things the same way day after day. Honestly, I don’t know many people who would thrive in such an environment. It’s in our nature to seek our variety and new things.
Find a documentary to watch on your history or science topic. Kids can learn a lot from watching documentaries and even movies!
Play a game together! This is a favorite. We have lots of great games on hand that are very educational and can be used to bring everyone together in a relaxed, non-competitive learning experience.
Pack up the books and go outside or to the park. Sometimes a change of scenery works wonders!
Just Stop Already
Sometimes the best thing for everyone involved is to just stop the day.
Put down the books. Bake some cookies. Have a puppet show. Work in the garden. Sing some songs or play an instrument. Build a birdhouse or hang a bird feeder. Draw or paint or color.
After all . . . there is learning in ALL of these things and so many more that we do daily.
Learning doesn’t only happen when we’re sitting with a book or a worksheet. Our children learn by living life with us. Many times when I start to feel overwhelmed, it’s because I am expecting too much of myself or my children. I have to stop and ask myself, “In the grand scheme of things, how important is it that my children know this material right NOW?”
Hang in There!
Those tough days can feel devastating. We plow through the best way we can and then fall into bed feeling exhausted and defeated.
But it’s ok.
Tomorrow is another chance to greet the day with “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
And if it turns out to be another tough homeschool day, well then . . . that’s ok too. Just keep loving and nurturing those babies. Teach them about God, loving each other, and seeking after Jesus. Everything else will fall into place.
Let’s all encourage each other!
Comment below with YOUR favorite tips for
surviving the tough homeschool days!
Thank you to Michelle W at Life in the Nerddom for writing this article.