Most every year around mid-semester, 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? You could do a unit on electricity & circuits or on magnetic fields, for example, to spice things up! This change of pace can really help everyone’s attitude and make you feel better about the process! Here is a long list of other hands-on activity ideas.
- 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!
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
- Why Our Homeschools are Always Changing –Does your homeschool change a lot from day to day, week to week? We’re always adapting and changing things up in our homeschools.One of the joys and benefits of homeschooling is flexibility. We have the ability to go on tangents, dive deep, reschedule things, go faster or slower. Still, it can feel like we’re being tossed around in the wind at times. This was a post I wrote last year… you can read more here…
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
10 Things I’ve Learned About Homeschooling Math (and 30 Math Activity Ideas!) Lots of fresh, inspire ideas for making math engaging and fun!
See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages — Note, I just updated the Science Resource Page last week, so be sure to visit that page!!) which have links to dozens of posts. You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group. Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. ~Liesl
Free Homeschool Planner and Discovery Journal. I tend to change up my homeschool planning pages regularly as our needs change, so this packet of materials has steadily grown in size! There might be something you can use there! ?
Homeschool Science Checklist (K-8)
This is a checklist I put together of the various science units I hope to cover in the elementary and middle school years. It’s free to download and print out over at this post: Homeschool Science Checklist
If you are new to our blog, you might want to check out these free resource guides, which I put together to help answer questions like… Where do I start? How do I know what to teach? What units did you kids do when they were in __ Grade?
Creating Your Own Homeschool Curriculum: These are some resources I made that might be helpful as you create your own homeschool plans. These are somewhere between 30 and 50 pages and are FREE to download:
Magnetism Unit: Magnets, Magnetic Fields, Magnetosphere My kids really loved the section on magnetic fields!