October 21, 2014

When Homeschooling Is Hard

When Homeschooling is Hard | TheMarathonMom.com

 

Some homeschool days are all unicorns and rainbows, right?  Well, maybe not.  But some are definitely better than others.

Some days, homeschooling is just plain hard.  

The baby cries. All. Day. Long.

The 9 year old takes three hours to do one. Page. Of math.

The kindergartener and the preschooler fight.

The second grader needs help learning a new concept but he can’t hear you over the noise.

The printer keeps  malfunctioning, you’re out of bread for lunch, and the baby is still crying.

Some days, homeschooling is just plain hard.

On those hard days, I have to constantly do a number of things:

Keep My Attitude in Check

Oh  man, it’s so easy to get frustrated on those hard days.  Because in your head, you still want the unicorns and rainbows, and your reality sort of feels more like a cruel joke.  As mothers, we set the tone in our homes, so it is critical that our example reflects Him.  Homeschooling is a privilege, and a grateful heart changes everything!  On hard days, take a minute to stop and count your blessings.  It will help reset your attitude!

Stop and Pray

Often, when I see we’re struggling to get on the same page (and it is hard with so many ages and grade levels and personalities), I stop and invite the boys to pray with me. (And maybe this comes just after you’ve spent a few minutes thanking God for all your blessings.)

“Dear God, we thank You for this opportunity to learn together at home.  We invite You into our midst.  We ask for peace, for Your blessing, and for cheerful, happy hearts that are eager to learn today.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Amazing, the power of prayer!

Keep Children Focused on Their Work

Kids learn diligence, many times, by our example.  So if I am distracted, how can I expect them not to be?  If Mom is focused on learning and reading together, not only are the kids more apt to participate as requested, they will enjoy it more, too.  Keep school hours separate, as much as possible from all other distractions.  Keep redirecting kids’ attention back to their books and studies.  Eventually, they accept the routine and find learning time more enjoyable as they see their own progress and diligence pay off.

Stay Calm

Hey, tone-setter, are you blowing it sometimes?  As important as academics are, character training is even higher priority in homeschooling.  In fact, what if we’re called to homeschool our children for our (and their) sanctification more than for academic purposes?  (Quote from the recent Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summmit) Keep your cool, breathe, and remember the  big picture here.  The calmer you are, the calmer they will be, too.  Peace & Calming essential oil blend works wonders in the diffuser in your homeschool room or kitchen!

Set Boundaries

We have a daily routine posted on the fridge, chore charts hung in the cupboard, and the boys know their expectations.  This helps make sure everyone gets done what they’re supposed to for the day.  No toys are allowed at the table while we’re writing, studying, reading, and/or coloring.  There is plenty of time for play when we’re finished up, which should almost always be before Mom starts preparing dinner.

Accept Reality

Okay, so maybe homeschooling isn’t as cute as you thought it would be.  And it won’t always be this hard.  Little ones grow up quickly, and it won’t be this crazy in a couple of years. Hang in there.  For now, just keep plugging away the best you can.  Slow down, accept the pace at which you run most efficiently, and just keep running.

Switch It Up

If nothing seems to keep you on track for the day, consider switching your day up a bit with a trip to the park for some fresh air and outdoor exploration.  A trip to the library, maybe.  Or even a walk in your neighborhood.  There is grace for that in your homeschool journey, and you may find that by changing the scenery, you can hit the reset button in your homeschool day.  Remember to keep it fun, because after all, homeschooling is truly an adventure!

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What helps you and your children when homeschool days are hard?

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Comments

  1. Boy did this come at the right time! Out of bread. Check. Baby screaming. Check. Preschooler and kindergartner fighting. Check. No olders but the kindergartner was struggling with a new concept. And. And. And! So, thanks for this! We took a brain break. I’m baking bread and crackers. Got some snuggle time in. We DID pray at lunch, but missed it at breakfast and that makes a difference!

  2. Sandy Lovorn says:

    Hello! Really enjoying your blog, as a mom to six & homeschooling 5 myself. Very encouraging words! Something about February,huh? Thinking the weather really makes homeschooling a challenge, especially here in TN this year. God bless the remainder of your school year. Thanks!

  3. I am a stay at home mommy to three, trying to “test drive” homeschooling before making the decision about kindergarten for my oldest. He is four now, my daughter is 2.5 (ugh!) and my baby just turned a year. We had a great first few weeks, and then the baby started pulling up… Now it is awful, he screams the entire time we are trying to do school, everyday! I try to schedule school at nap time, but that means no shower for mom because I can can’t leave the baby unattended with the 2.5 year old who “hates” him. I really don’t know what to do. I’ve tried occupying him with toys, coloring (because he wants to be like big brother!) but he always ends up in a screaming fit and my poor 4 year old says, “I can’t work with all this noise!!” I’m ready to give up at 7 weeks in. I feel like it’s making me a bad mommy because it takes so much out of me. Should I press on? Should I maybe try again later when baby is older? I can see homeschooling all three once the youngest is 2 or 3. I have no idea how you manage 8! I am beyond my limit with 3. Yet I feel guilty about that. How can I make this work? Right now no one in the family is getting anything out of this! How do you know whether to press on or go a different route. I don’t want to give up, but what if homeschool is not what’s best for my family?

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