Most every year around February or March, I wrestle with some of the same problems. Maybe you’ve noticed this too:
- Being tired
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Letting things slide
- Having too many commitments
- Feeling like the kids aren’t “doing” enough
- Feeling doubt
- Feeling really critical or cynical, irritable or impatient
- Feeling frustrated or anxious
I find myself reaching for education and teaching books, hoping to find the perfect motivational nuggets to get me through the week. And, I know I’m not alone, right?!!
I think we all have various strategies to work through all this. I thought I’d share a few things that come to mind. Some of these may work, others may not, but here are some things that work during these times:
- reach out to homeschooling friends and talk to them. Long conversations definitely help! Having the social support we need is really crucial for getting through the rough patches.
- add in *more* activities. It sounds counter-intuitive, but I find that when we’re doing experiments or really unique activities, the kids are excited and it just gives our whole homeschool a “boost.” Maybe it’s time to find some fun science experiments, add in some critical thinking activities, play some active math games outside? This change of pace can really help everyone’s attitude and make you feel better about the process!
- send the kids outside to play. The benefit? I get a bit more space, they burn off energy. It’s a win-win! And this time of year, the critters are probably more active. Just yesterday, the kids saw a snake for the first time this season. Cool!
- plan an educational trip or two (with friends is even better!!)
- remember it’s not “how much” we cover, but how engaged the kids are. Homeschooling is never a race to get through the book or to check off the box. I have to cut myself some slack and take the pressure OFF!!
- ask the kids/family to help out a bit more. Chances are there are things that by mid-way through the semester there are at least a couple things that have slid around the house. Having everyone pitch in to tackle the trouble-spots (laundry, dishes, piles of paper, toys, shelves…) can create a sense of accomplishment even more meaningful than checking off the box for spelling that day.
- switch it up if need be. If one particular curriculum is not going well, perhaps it’s time to lay it aside for a while. It is absolutely okay not to finish everything from start to end. Perhaps it’s time to start a new read aloud novel?
- add in some educational videos or documentary. Sometimes I find that the PBS, BBC or IMAX films and documentaries cover material *way* better than I ever could! They have a bigger budget for sure!!
- cut back on school a bit. Have alternating half-days… Cover science, reading and math one day and history; spelling and math another day (or whatever works). You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment for getting some school work in, but the shorter day may leave you time to decompress!
- Be sure you have personal time! Make sure you have some time to exercise, read, pray, catch up with friends, spend time with your family (not related to homeschooling)… find time for the things that “fill” your bucket!
Know that this is normal! You are invested in your kids. You know them better than anyone else. You are creating a unique learning environment. Because of all that, you ARE amazing!
Many of these posts were written in February or March too!! Related Posts That May Be of Interest:
- Homeschool Encouragement: To Homeschool You Need… (In this list you’ll find things like… love, to believe in ourselves, etc.!)
- Homeschool Motivation – 10 Ways to Keep Going!
- Organization: How We Keep On Top of Things While Homeschooling
- Challenging and Inspiring Students without the Overwhelm or Fear of Failure
- 8 Things to Remember about Homeschooling
- High Standards and a Nurturing Atmosphere
- Why You Shouldn’t Reward Kids for Learning
- Advice to New Homeschoolers
Here are some fun outdoor math games that we played when the weather warmed up last year. They are good for *any* math practice!: 4 Fun, Active Games for Practicing Math Facts