If you are like me, you have had “THOSE DAYS”. “Those days” are the days that the kids decide to see how long my patience will last. At every turn, I have a child who is distracted, bored or just plain tired. And speaking of tired, there are “those days” that I am just plain tired. Maybe I am not feeling well, or traveling, or just in need of a break.
Homeschooling is a job. As a home-school mom, I am responsible for teaching our children. And yes, we can take a break day here and there but what if I can still have my children learn on “those days”. Then “those days” can be a successful day.
So here are some tips for “those days” survival:
Keep things simple
Let’s face it, there are so many cool curriculums and Pinterest ideas out there that are just way too much work. And for my ambitious days those are great, but I am not supermom. The thought of doing cool science experiments or art projects everyday is daunting.
Therefore, I keep things as simple as I can. I use tools that can help me be hands off, games that the kids can play on their own, or just make comments about what is around us. (More on these in a following section)
Enjoy the outdoors
The outdoors provides us with many learning opportunities. Nature walks, physical fitness and opportunities for serving others are some of our favorite outdoor activities. Our kids really enjoy their outdoor times also. They love to collect ants, play sports and even rake the neighbors yard. We take these opportunities to discuss the things that we want our children to learn such as what it means to be a good neighbor, hard work or taking care of the world around us.
Support of other Home-school parents
I think this is one of the most important. There are things that only other home-school parents will understand. They can appreciate the small victories we have and can understand the stress that comes along with teaching our own children. They can give you tips and advice on things that work for their families that you can implement in your own. And if something doesn’t work for your family they can encourage you to keep trying to find something that will.
In addition, having a friend that is a little further along in the homeschooling process can be a value beyond measure. They can mentor you through some of the pitfalls that you may hit along the way.
Use your resources
In this age of technology, we have so many resources available to us. Collect some of your favorites to use on the days that you need a break. Some of my favorites are:
These are the best for long car rides or just for the days when I don’t have the energy to read out loud to the kids.
Coloring books/plain old paper and crayons
Let the kids creativity flow. My kids love making their own card games and drawing monsters. My 4 year old daughter enjoys writing her letters. Let them go crazy with it!
Perfect for traveling again. No need to bring along a ton of books and it keeps my oldest from waking all the other kids (and me) up at 6.
There are so many great games that can help with certain skills. I love to use simple things like dice or cards for addition/multiplication games. The boys love to time themselves to see how fast they can get things done.
There are many of these. Find ones that work well for the skills you are trying to teach and go along with your beliefs. Ask other parents what they like and then test them out.
Distraction Basket for younger kids
Make a basket of toys that only comes out when you are working with other kids. This way the toys are special resulting in buying you a little time to focus without the small kids climbing on you.
Get out of the house
Go to a museum, park, zoo, campground or historical site. Take a day trip to a different city and explore. Have your kids try to navigate you (using map skills) even if it takes longer to get somewhere. There are also places that will host home-school families for a day, such as the Children’s Museum or Heritage Hill.
I hope that these tips will help you to survive “those days” and I encourage you to leave your survival tips in the comments below. We are nothing without others to support us!