I have had many days where I was waiting for my latest cup of Jo or tea to kick in so I felt awake and ready to homeschool.
Though I was tempted to add another shot of caffeine to my latest brew, I figure out quickly that I was just having an off
Of course, if you were to ask me that day, I probably would have embellished my bad day to say that the whole year was off.
Today, in sharing 5 ways to handle off days when homeschooling, I want to share ways I faced the wimp-itis monster for the day.
Just Say No!
■ Go back to bed.
Okay, maybe you can’t do this completely because of the sweet kids. But sometimes an off day in homeschooling is a signal that you just need more rest.
When I am completely unreasonable, I have figured out that I just need some down time. At least get some rest for the day and sometimes that means just saying no to school for the day.
■ Start the day slower.
My normal time to begin school when the kids were little was about 8:00 a.m. because my household was young and everybody was up by 5:00 a.m.
Now that we have hit the middle and high school years, we start school about 9:00 a.m.
I have figured out that starting school even an hour later helps me to still have a productive day and to figure out if I am having an off day because I am tired or just over planned.
■ Toss Out Your Homeschool Approach – Temporarily
One year when I had many off days, it was because I tried to forge ahead using a homeschool approach I was adamant about using.
A few of my off days, I tried using a topic or unit study approach along with hands-on ideas sprinkled in. My day came alive with the new approach. Check out my article, 5 Signs that You Need to Switch Your Homeschool Approach.
Temporarily trying something new for the day was the twist I needed to see that my homeschool approach wasn’t a match for my boys.
Give yourself permission to try a homeschool approach that you have been mulling over. Doing it temporary lets you know if it’s a fit for your family or not.
■ Head Outdoors
Many days, I needed to get away from the house though I loved being there every day.
Many of us homeschoolers like the comfort of our homes because we can learn in a relaxed way.
But the change of scenery gives you a new energy for the day even though you may not think you need it.
If the weather is unbearably hot, look for something to do indoors like rock climbing, ice skating or hit the library.
It doesn’t have to cost a lot when you feel off.
If the weather is glorious and dreamy, my favorite is to take a nature walk and have the kids collect their nature bounties.
Use what they collected to teach science the next day. We had snake skins, feathers, bark, tons of flowers and all kinds of leaves.
■ Meet up with other homeschoolers. Excitement is contagious.
I always say if it was left up to me, I may never leave the comfort of my home.
But my boys love being with other homeschoolers and when it’s all said and done at the end of the activity together, I felt the same way too.
I find that when I’m tired or can’t figure out what is off about the day, I call just a few homeschooling friends and spring an unplanned field trip on them. Live wild (well for me anyway because it was unplanned) when you homeschool because the years pass by fast.
From Drudgery to Dynamic Homeschool Day
Having an off day in homeschool doesn’t have to be a waste, but can be a lesson for the day.
I would have never switched my approach to homeschool unless I gave myself permission to tiptoe over into another approach and try it.
An off day created an outlet for me to try something new that eventually became a permanent part of our homeschool and an approach I treasure to this day.
Embrace off days when homeschooling, you never know what might unfurl.
Hugs and love ya,
Also, check out From Struggling Homeschooler to Empowered Educator.