We’ve all been there, mama!
Maybe WE are the ones who are “off.” Maybe it’s the kids who are “off.” Regardless, we all have “off” homeschool days and it’s just the nature of the beast. I just want you to know that you are not alone and not all hope is lost. There are some simple ways to turn your bad homeschool day around! Below, you’ll find my top 3 tried and true ideas to turn a bad homeschool day around.
Drop what you’re doing.
There, I said it. I give you permission to drop what you’re doing. Drop the curriculum, drop the activity, drop the experiment, drop the read aloud. Things aren’t always going to go as smoothly as you expect them to. Your kids may struggle with difficult concepts in the lessons you’re working on and they may shut down completely. Believe me, I’ve been there with my oldest! Perhaps you’re the one who is frustrated, trying to figure out how to teach something in a way that your child will grasp. Or maybe you’re struggling to juggle ALL the things and just snap! It happens. Give yourself a little grace, mama. Take a break. Or skip it all together. End your homeschool day early. Or move on to something else. Allow the kids some free or creative play time. Follow a rabbit trail and engage in some interest-based learning, instead. Revisit things when all are in a better headspace, whether that’s later in the day, tomorrow, or even next week. It will be okay. Just a note - If curriculum is what’s causing you and your children frustration, remember that you are not MARRIED to it. You can stray from it, bounce around, skip lessons, or try other curriculum, resources, or teaching methods.
Get some fresh air and head outside.
Weather permitting, of course! You might be surprised by what getting some vitamin D and fresh air can do for bad attitudes (yours or your children’s!). Whether you’re taking the schoolwork outside, or taking a break from the learning altogether, all will benefit from a little time outdoors. Bonus if you can work in some nature exploration or even some family exercise while you are outdoors. Go for a walk, head on a nature scavenger hunt, or embark on a family bike ride. Do some outdoor yoga. Make an obstacle course. Draw with sidewalk chalk. Play hopscotch. Blow bubbles. Plant some flowers or weed your garden. Dig or play in some sand. Pick some wildflowers for a pretty flower arrangement and bring them inside. Run through the sprinkler or spray each other with the garden hose. Raining or snowing outside? Stomp in some puddles or build a snowman. When you return indoors, all will be in a better headspace to continue learning and get along (or rest if you’ve called the kibosh on the homeschool day)!
While I may be a biased book lady, I have researched the numerous positive benefits of reading aloud. You can’t ignore facts and science! Reading aloud is so good for kids and adults of all ages. Just check out The Enchanted Hour, The Read Aloud Handbook, or The Read-Aloud Family if you don’t believe me. Related to turning around a bad homeschool day, reading aloud to children will not only strengthen family bonds (so it’s no surprise that it’s so great to do when everyone is butting heads!), but it will also help relax all who are involved (yes, you too, when emotions are running high!). Sounds like a win-win to me! You may not know this about me, but I struggle with anxiety and I have on and off all of my life. When my anxiety is running especially high, I suffer from a visceral response. I can tell you firsthand that when I take some time to read aloud to my kids in moments of high anxiety, the tightness in my chest will quite literally melt away. All of this to say that you and your kids will likely get along better and be in a much better mood following a read-aloud. Whether it’s a chapter book, a stack of board books or picture books, a magazine, comic books, the bible or your family’s favorite devotional, no matter the read aloud, taking some time to read aloud as a family will undoubtedly help turn around your bad homeschool day!
There are many other other things that you can do to help turn a bad homeschool day around.
These are just my go-to strategies to help turn things around when our day has gone sour. Note that if you find that you are having more bad days than good ones in your homeschool journey, I’d love to be a resource for you. Use my contact form to reach out so I can try to help diagnose potential deeper root causes to your family’s homeschool troubles. Or seek out some veteran homeschool mama friends for some insight and guidance. You’re not alone in your struggles and veteran homeschool mamas carry so much wisdom and are often willing and eager to help, no matter what you might be dealing with.