Monday, September 22, 2008

Homeschooling When You Just Don’t Feel Like It (and Neither Do Your Kids!)

I think this happens to all of us regardless of what our “job” is. There are many days that my husband doesn’t feel like going to work and I remember how much I used to HATE Mondays! After a few days away from work, I just did not want to go back.

Well, why do we think homeschooling will be any different? I do admit that it is much easier to love and I love it much more than any job I have had in the past. But still, when other things in life start to pile up and your brain, at least, is busy will a dozen (or million) other things, there are still times and days that I just don’t feel like homeschooling. The danger of this is that no one else is in charge and it is TOO easy to just “skip” a day, or two….

When the newness of your curriculum wears off, or you get to the middle of a unit study and have run out of “fun” things to do, or since the temps are starting to cool off and it is actually pleasant some days to be outside, this is when you need a change, and idea, an inspiration.

I have a few different ideas that may help through these times. First, if you are feeling “burned out” (either you or your kiddos), don’t hesitate to take a day off of school to do something different. You can still count it as a day of school if you play educational games or take a field trip or watch educational videos. Don’t you realize that they do this occasionally in public schools for the same reason? And it still counts as a school day for them.

Another thing that may be happening is that you are bored – yes, bored – with your day-to-day curriculum. Even a great unit study curriculum can get boring if you leave out the fun stuff like cooking, crafts and games. Sometimes, especially when we “get behind”, we try to get through the bulk of the material and leave out the “fun” stuff – GUILTY! You can often tell when this is happening by your kids asking, “How come we never do fun stuff anymore?” Ooohhh, that hurts! Here I am the great unit study teachermom who always does thrilling and exciting projects with her kids and then I get that question!! Think perhaps I have forgotten that learning needs to be fun? Perhaps I have gotten caught up in getting done and set aside the things that really make the learning stick?

Well, the cure is simple – do the fun things! Don’t be ruled by the curriculum, make the curriculum work for you and your kids. Take time today to cook a meal that goes along with your unit study, read a fun book that enhances your topic, play a game with your kids that helps them retain what they have learned recently. Do a science experiment and have fun with it! How about a craft project?

Ok, if you haven’t figured it out yet, this pep talk is aimed directly at me and we are going to have a “fun” homeschooling day today!! Yeah!! And I hope some of you have benefited along the way.

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1 comment:

Shanna said...

I totally agree with your post and I need to be reminded of it often. I'm so guilty of taking the fun out when we're "behind".