4 Homeschool Hacks to Salvage a Bad Day
Face the inevitable: You will have a bad homeschool day at some point. It happens to everyone. The kids are in an off-mood and are bickering. You had a busy weekend and have nothing planned out for the day. Or, you had several important business calls, workmen in the house, or the toilet overflowed (name your poison) during school hours and the kids, well, you know…it wasn’t pretty.
That’s okay! You can actually use these days to your advantage. Yup, believe it or not, you can salvage a bad homeschool day (via homeschool hacks) to become one of the best days of your year. Keep reading to see how you can create or shore up your arsenal of bad homeschool day hacks!
1. TURN THE NEGATIVE INTO A POSITIVE
First of all, know that it will happen someday and be prepared. There is a trick that I have used for many years to help turn a bad homeschool day around instantly. I always keep something new on hand to bring out when things go awry. A new educational game, an outdoor play game, new art supplies, or a new book the kids have been wanting are all things that have salvaged our homeschool days.
Next, set aside all expectations and focus on the new thing. Play with the kids. Get involved in the excitement of something different. It is far more important that your kids learn to turn the unpleasant into a joyful experience than it is that they learn math. This is a key LIFE LESSON! Remember, homeschooling is not just about academics; guiding these impressionable human beings to model character traits such as mindfulness, gratitude, and positively struggling through adversity (among other things) are key components in a learning environment as well.
2. REDEFINE YOUR EXPECTATIONS
On days where nothing seems to go right, cut yourself some slack and only do their favorite subjects. Whatever your kids enjoy the most, just do those. My kids like art, apps, read alouds, and nature study, so those are the ones we do on bad days. This always makes them smile, which makes me smile, too.
3. SEE THE BIG PICTURE
Remember, your goal is not to finish the pages planned for today. REPEAT THIS TO YOURSELF. Your goal is to educate your children to be able to go out into the world and walk the path meant for them. Keeping things in this perspective allows for the flexibility needed to get through rough times. Be honest and real with your kids. I cannot stress this enough. Kids detect our B.S. quite easily and quickly. They know when you are going down in flames. Let them see you be human and deal with circumstances the right way. On these days, we set aside everything and have what we call the “Brothership Circle” class (you could call yours “Life Lessons” or something more catchy). Think of Oprah Winfrey’s show Super Soul class on the OWN network. “Brothership of the Kings” is actually my sons’ life mantra and a spoof off the title of the first book “The Fellowship of the Ring” from the Lord of the Rings book. These are actually some of my favorite memories with my kids. Talk, laugh, and live real life.
4. GO WITH THE FLOW
Sometimes, there are lessons to learn that simply cannot be learned in the homeschool classroom. Hence, life has this sneaky, yet beautiful, way of teaching us when we don’t even know it. It’s best to just go with the flow and take a day off without guilt or frustration and go enjoy your kids. There might be lessons to be learned that you and your children may never even realize you needed to know. Trust that as you follow your heart and live in the moment, everything will work out.
Finally, don’t get caught up in the drama and forget that your children watch how you handle things. One of the best lessons your kids will ever learn is to make the best out of what they are given.