Have you ever had a day or month when the kids just won’t cooperate with homeschooling? I’m sharing practical tips for getting through rough spots in homeschool without drowning.
This week has been rough. Last week was off-kilter, too. We are in a season of change. Our homeschool is changing, our therapy schedules changed, and the boys are changing. And there’s been a coup. At least it feels that way.
“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Throw your teacher overboard . . . .”
Yep. That’ a pretty good summation of what our house/homeschool has felt like. Anyone else had that kind of day/week/season? Here are a few tips for homeschooling when your kids try to throw you overboard.
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Homeschooling When the Kids Don’t Want To
“I don’t wanna . . .” does not a happy homeschooling mama make. What are you going to do?
- Get practical. Lunch needs to be made. Have your kids make sandwiches. Incorporate math. Dinner needs to be planned for the next week, sit them down with a recipe binder, grocery store sale list, and a budget. Be creative but work it to take stress off you if possible. When you are in a season of “let’s work together to drive mom batty”, you need all the help you can get, so let them unknowingly be your assistant.
- Get clean. If they refuse to work to learn, they need practical life skills to allow them to make a living. Scrubbing windows, toilet, floors, whatever. Let them know, lovingly, that you are trying to prepare them for life. They must have a skill set of some sort to survive. If they don’t want to learn math and grammar, they can learn sanitation and line cook skills.
- Get rid. Of bad homeschool programs, there’s a ton of free homeschool material online if you don’t have the money to purchase something that will work for your child. Of a method that does not teach the way your child learns, Montessori and Charlotte Mason are not for everyone, that may include your 6 year-old who’s merely trying to express frustration but doesn’t have the words to make you understand. Of the Pinterest-perfect Little House style home full of love and learning you pictured in your head. No one, I mean NO ONE, has a perfect life or a perfect homeschool. Quit comparing your real-everyday-messy-chaotic-how did I get here-life with anyone else’s, especially the one they share on Facebook.
- Dig deep. What has changed? Who has changed? Ask the hard questions. What can I do to help you with _____? What is making you feel ____? If you need a great read on how to help your child understand while helping yourself understand, check out Parenting the QBQ Way. It’s a game changer.
- Dig deeper. Have I made this situation? Have I made it worse? Have I lost my direction? Am I spending time with God? Am I spending time where He has called me? Be accountable to the Holy Spirit and the nudging, both gentle and not, that you are getting. Be accountable to yourself and to your children as well. Homeschool is a family thing.
- Say no. To anything that is making your family or children feel rushed, overwhelmed, over scheduled, or just over it. Not every good thing that comes your way is meant to be yours. Learn to say no so your yes becomes the best yes. And read The Best Yes for some incredible encouragement in the department if you’re like me and have trouble saying no.
- Take a vacation from school. Maybe you are tired. Maybe the kids are tired. Maybe your family has been in speech therapy for two and a half years and just need a break from everything right now. (Hypothetically). Maybe God wants you still for a week, together, enjoying each other, relearning your now-tween/teen/preschooler struggling to become a young man-child. Maybe you getting out in the woods together exploring is what your kids need. Maybe a campfire, maybe a one-on-one coffee date. Have you taken the time to just be with your kids? Maybe it’s what you need, too, tired and frazzled homeschool mom.
Whatever the reason, somedays homeschooling is just hard. When it becomes more than a day and turns to a week or a season, it’s always OK to step back and give yourself grace to figure out the “why”. The relationship you have with your child is more important than any math curriculum will ever be. Make their heart, and yours, a priority. And be encouraged. We are all in this together.
Helpful Resources for Homeschooling in the Hard Seasons
How to Have a HEART for Your Kids
The 5 Love Languages of Children
The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance
Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World
These books and fun things are just a few ways to get the happy back into your homeschool. Enjoy your days mama. If you’re having a hard time, leave your name and we will pray for you and your homeschool. We’re all in this together!
Linked up with Time Warp Wife: Titus 2 Tuesdays
Also…double check for learning problems, and ask things like “What’s the hardest part?” sometimes this can be a really revealing question to ask our little learners! Oh and sometimes…hard days are precludes to sick days. I don’t know how many times a rough morning turned into stomach flu by bedtime. Yucky tummies are awful 🙁
I loved this post! Yes, some days homeschooling is just hard! You chalk it up to a rough day and move on. Usually the next day is better. And I loved to hear someone else say that if they don’t want to do math and grammar, they can at least learn sanitation and line cook skills! Ha! Great read, so encouraging, thanks!
I love the diversity in your suggestions. Say no (to focus on school) and Take a vacation seem at odds, but they really aren’t. Stepping away so we can dive back in with the focus our nos allow us can be a recipe for success! We’d love for you to join us at the #LMMLinkup http://www.foreverjoyful.net/?p=881
This is great! I honestly laughed out loud at your “row row row your boat” 🙂 From the cluttered counters, to the crying baby, my first year of homeschooling certainly made me feel like I was drowning at times. Thank you for the encouragement to remember that I have the freedom and responsibility to switch things up if they are causing more harm than good for our family. I love your suggestions and especially need to practice saying no to outside commitments. I’m looking forward to checking out your resource links, thank you again for sharing!
Michelle Caskey says
Great tips for when you feel like the kids are conducting a coup. Been there experienced this! You can lead a child to information but you can’t make him learn. I agree that it’s extremely important to learn when to say “no.” I know my boys HATE being rushed… they get so much more accomplished if they know they have the whole day to do it rather than knowing they need to be done by a certain time because we’ve got somewhere to go…