The toddler has ripped off his diaper and used sharpie to color all over his arms, legs, torso, and rear. One child is in tears over math while the other hangs upside down like a bat from the trampoline and (loudly) recites his math facts. The doorbell rings and the neighbor girl sheepishly asks to come play. And that one library book? Still lost.
We all have them: the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad homeschool days. Not to mention the more common ones that just didn’t go the way we wanted.
Breathe, mama! You can turn this bad day around faster than you can say “where’s that school bus?”
The first and best thing we can do is go before the Lord in prayer for our homeschool. When things start to go south, pause and acknowledge that Jesus is with you in the moment and cares about the details of your day. Ask Him to give you eyes to see things clearly and the wisdom to use the situation, whatever it might be, for His glory. Pray that He would work in your heart and the hearts of your children. He is faithful to do it!
Meditating on God’s Word is a wonderful way to combat pesky lies and doubts with His truth and get us back on track. Pick one or two scriptures that really speak to you in this busy season of life and memorize them! Tack them up on the wall or tuck them into your Bible. (I’ve even been known to put them on a book ring in my bathroom.) Make them a part of your every day homeschool life. When things get hairy, run to the living and active Word of God! Get started with these scripture cards for homeschool moms.
Hit the Reset Button
There are those moments when you realize things are taking a downward turn and you can save it if you move fast! This is the perfect time to “hit the reset button.” In our home we have said “we’re having a hard day – time to hit the reset button and start over! We run to the table and smack the middle like we’re hitting a big button. Silly but remarkably effective to lighten the mood and start fresh! You could also consider a spontaneous dance party, a surprise treat, a group prayer, a family cheer, or anything that helps everyone get a do-over!
Whether it’s a little nature study in the backyard, a jaunt around the block, or a family hike, getting outside is a surefire way to calm things down and give everyone a fresh and new perspective on the day! Just pack up and head out! Even if you can’t personally go out and do this, send your kids to the yard to do a few laps and you’ll see great improvement in their attitudes! (eventually)
Watch a Movie
Yes, I said that. I like to be careful of how much we use TV in our homes as well, but your sanity and the relational well-being of the family as a whole is a completely legitimate usage of screen time! Make it educational if that helps! Then sit down and have a cup of tea or coffee and meditate on scripture, read a book, or message your husband or a friend and support each other though your day.
Reach out and see if some neighbor friends, homeschool friends, or grandparents are willing to get together for some social time! Play board games, let the kids play outside, do a group project, or have a simple ice cream party. Whatever helps you all relax and re-set the day!
Leave the Building
Yes, sometimes just a change of scenery helps. Along with getting outside, you could simply take your homeschool on the road and see how it livens things up! Try a local fast food place or coffee shop, another homeschool friend’s house for art day, or the dining room table at Grandma’s house!
Assess Your Approach
If you’re seeing a pattern of these bad days it’s time to assess the situation and see if something in your approach or routine needs adjusted! Perhaps simplifying your family schedule or the curriculum would help. Is there anything that would lighten the load or decrease points of strife? Or maybe you need to look at how you’re scheduling your day and move to a more relaxed, rhythm-based system. Whatever it might be, taking the time to intentionally evaluate and adjust as needed can make or break your homeschool year and help reduce the number of these crazy days!