I have noticed that when it comes to homeschooling, I struggle through more hard days then easy ones. I’m learning that’s the nature of homeschooling. It has forced me to re-evaluate my goals and expectations and learn to be more flexible.
It is a treat indeed when we have a really good day, but it’s unrealistic of me to think that can be a regular or normal way of homeschooling. Is it rewarding? Absolutely! But it does not come without challenges.
So what happens when you hit a rough season or life takes an unexpected turn and you need to continue to homeschool despite the circumstances?
Take time to reflect on what has been working in your homeschool and what hasn’t. Spend time in prayer and jot down your greatest challenges as well as your greatest successes. Think about the struggles each of your children go through and jot them down.
I like to keep a weekly journal of our progress and will write down when a child is struggling and what they are struggling with. Detailing the time of day and the subject are helpful in determining whether something needs to be changed.
Consider those things that are not working for your child and brainstorm a few ways you can make changes.
For example, if your child does math after lunch and they really struggle with focus, try moving it to the morning when they are fresh and alert. (Though, the opposite can be true for some children. Some do better in the late afternoon or evenings).
Maybe you have a child who isn’t ready to work so independently and they struggle to stay on task as a result. Perhaps your child needs to master a concept before moving on to the next one in order to be successful and what follows. Do not feel like you need to be tied down to the schedule of a boxed curriculum.
Shift your mind to work with the season you are in. If you are pregnant or just had a baby, do not be afraid to make adjustments for this season. You do not need to continue doing full days of school. Instead, focus on strengthening the basic 3R’s – reading, writing, and arithmetic. Have your children work through areas they may be struggling in until they are strong in them. Remember your long term goals. Your short term goals may need a little tweaking in order to fit in the season you’re in.
If you have middle or high school children, have them help the younger ones. Reading aloud goes a long way!
Consider the current needs of you and your family and structure your lessons around that. There are no rules that say you cannot do lessons in the evenings or on weekends. Learning happens everyday. There’s no need to restrict it to certain days or times.
Offer your children the chance to explore freely, requiring a little less from you. Consider a book box or basket filled with living books selected by you. Set aside time each day (15 mins – 1 hour) for your children to quietly read any book(s) they want from the book box/basket for that specified time.
If you want to take a step further, you can ask them to share some of what they read with you.
Don’t feel like you need to be tied down to one way of homeschooling. Be flexible and flow with the seasons of your family life. Sometimes a good shaking up will help wake everyone up and freshen up the homeschooling days.