How to Keep Going on Hard Days

Photo by Anna Shvets on

Wails, whines, and why’s coming from our children all happen at some point when homeschooling. But, how do you look past the behavior and continue with school?

Talk to your child about their behavior.
Is the work too hard? Is there something s/he is not understanding? Is s/he tired? Or, has this behavior worked before and you have stopped the lesson to maintain peace? (This happened in our school.)

Take steps to correct the behavior.
If the material is too difficult then go back to a previous lesson that your daughter/son understood and build from there. This will help them to feel successful and more willing to move ahead when the material is more challenging.

Is your child staying up too late? Try changing the bedtime routine, have quiet activities in the evening and turn off all electronic devices 60 minutes before bedtime. If you keep late evening hours then start school later in the day.

Has less desirable behavior given your daughter/son the desired outcome of stopping the lesson for the day? Wearing the ‘ol mom down was something I had to determine that I would not let happen as often as possible. Although, it certainly did happen at times. I found out that if that happened too often it became an established habit that was hard to break. I would tell the boys that the work was still going to be there, regardless if they did it that day or the next, or the next… I would have them do at least a little of it and we would tackle more of it the next day. I like to think of it as eating I detest them, but I know they are good for me, so I figured out that if I put a bunch of them on a fork, grab a glass of water, shove the peas in my mouth and swallow them like pills, I have “eaten” them.

Let your child know you are partners in homeschooling.
You are both learning, you are both tackling hard things. You might not like teaching Social Studies, but you are going to because it is part of the Ohio homeschool requirements. Our attitudes, as teachers toward schoolwork and routines, help set the atmosphere of our school.

Celebrate the victories!
Doing things that are hard deserve recognition. Call attention to good behavior and perseverance. If it was especially hard, then give a sticker, ten minutes of extra time for games, whatever you feel would be appropriate. Let your child see that you appreciate their effort.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

The Unexpected: 7 Things to Keep Going

You plan as best as you can and, seemingly out of nowhere, something happens to derail those plans. Having to help school your child at home; having a baby, losing a job, moving, illness, you can fill in the blank for what has happened to you to change your circumstances. You probably feel overwhelmed and a bit stuck on what to do next. Screen Shot 2020-08-17 at 12.44.41 PM.png

1.Reach out Having someone to listen is a great help. Many times they can offer help or give a different perspective.

2. Get connected Is there a support group that can help? What about a Facebook group, an internet meeting, a community program? Since Covid-19 so much more online opportunities have been created and there are more ways to be doing things virtually. I know it isn’t like being there, but you can get connected with people and programs.

3. Do the next thing What is one thing you can do right now? You will feel better knowing that you have done something rather than nothing. Maybe just writing down all of the things you have to do will help. That is the first step…

4. Make a plan What do you want to see accomplished today? What do you need to do to accomplish it? Just write down a few reasonable things that you know can be done. One year I was teaching four classes and having to create all new lessons for  50% of them and was tutoring ten students. I know! What was I thinking?! I had an extremely long list of tasks I needed  to do and it was sooo gratifying to put a big ol’ line through the items I got finished each day. I try to be too ambitious and put a bunch of things on the list. I have realized that if I plan for a couple of things I can always add more to what I wanted to do for the day.

5. Ask for help How many times have you seen your child struggle and you know if they just asked for help they could go on. I tell homeschool families that I don’t have all of the answers, but I will try my hardest to find someone who can help.

6. Help others I know that may sound crazy when things are topsy-turvy, but being in a situation that you didn’t expect gives us compassion for others. Even if you do not have the time to help, making a batch of cookies or asking how they are doing and listening will help lift your spirits too.

7. It’s okay to fail. Isn’t this what we tell our children? Why don’t we heed our own advice?  I try to drag out the spandex tights, cape, and the bright red boots , but I realize that I don’t look so good in that costume and it show every flaw I have, and believe me, I have a lot!  It’s a costume after all, not “real” clothes.

For you who have been thrust into homeschooling, I believe in you! I know you can do this. You love your child and want the best for her/him and I know you will help them to succeed.

Have a great week!  ~Lisa~ 




Learn Something New

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As teachers of our children, we expect our scholars to learn new concepts and build upon them to further their knowledge. My goal was to raise our sons (and now my precious grandchildren) to be life-learners. In order for them to have a desire to do so, I need to be a role model.  Here are my thoughts on how this can be beneficial to us and them.

The struggle is real. When my family sees me try and fail they are watching me continue to try repeatedly until I am successful or I fail (example- rock hard breadsticks). They see they are not alone in learning something new. I feel like I have a renewed sense of what it is like for each of my students when they are learning something new.

We are role models. By observing you and me, our children see how we problem-solve; we don’t quit; we go over the directions again (and again), and we make corrections. Our children see that we don’t just sit down once and be successful every time. It takes time and practice, practice, practice in order to achieve success.

We are willing. We are willing to continue through the frustration of failure to see the project through to completion. When things are h-a-r-d and I feel like quitting, it makes me try harder when little eyes are watching me.

Our attitude is everything. I have certainly had my shares of getting upset and walking away. However, I do try to maintain a positive attitude throughout a new skill being learned and talk about what I learned. If (and when) we fail, it’s a good teaching moment to discuss how we are going to do it differently the next time.

You have permission to fail. Not everything comes easily and sometimes we just aren’t very good at certain things.  My sons would get frustrated when I would hand back an assignment because they hadn’t done it correctly. I had to evaluate whether it was my lack of explanation or their failure to understand. We learn from our mistakes and try again. Sometimes you just have to put it aside and come back to it later.

What is something new you would like (or have) to learn? Can you share your experience with your son/ daughter? By trying something new we continue to model that we are all life-long learners. ( I am learning about technology :(, morphology for teaching language skills, and what staples to stock in my pantry.)

Have a great week! ~Lisa~


Homeschool Quotes

Many of you are finishing up your school year in the next month or so and I thought you might need some encouragement to keep on teaching. You can do it;  you are nearly there. (You can quote me on that! 🙂 )

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

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I want to give credit where credit is due. The first picture and third pictures are from, and the last picture is from wikicommons. com. The final quote is from Robert Brault. 

Homeschooling During Uncertainty

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In this time of difficulty, you might find it hard to homeschool. Concerns about jobs, keeping everyone healthy, wondering when life will return to normal,  can certainly be a distraction while you are homeschooling your child. Please keep in mind:

You are not alone. You may feel isolated since you can’t go out of your house as you once did, but remember that your next-door neighbor is home too! Perhaps start a neighborhood text or a Facebook page to connect with those nearby. If you don’t know your neighbors, maybe you can knock on a few doors and introduce yourself. (Of course, keep 6 feet away from them. 🙂 )  You can also call a friend or two, FaceTime them or do Hangouts so you and your children can see friends.

Have discussions with your children. Be open with your children as far as letting them know that you or your spouse (or both of you) are staying home for a while. Inform them as much as they can understand, but do not make them scared. Ask them if they have any questions so that you can assure them that you are there for them.

Keep things as normal as possible. Sticking to your regular routine as much as possible will help allay uneasiness. If you have family members that are working from home and need things to be quiet, what subjects can you do that are (relatively) quiet and what can you save for lunch break that might be noisier? (science experiments, read aloud time, etc.) Can school be started earlier or begun later to accommodate working schedules? Consider incorporating educational programs that will keep your children learning and engaged while keeping the noise level down.

Find teachable moments. Have you ever wondered what kind of topics are you going to cover in health after you have taught it for sooo many years? Well, I think this year health will be discussed nearly every day,  from washing your hands, to being loving at a distance, etc. Character qualities can be discussed (kindness, patience, love, self- control, etc.) and practiced by everyone.

Find ways to serve. Maybe your children can’t go to co-op to see their friends, but you can send a letter! This would be an excellent way to incorporate spelling, writing, and handwriting. How about making vegetable soup in the crockpot and a loaf of crusty bread to go with it? Have your child(ren) help prepare it. Everyone can add an ingredient to the pot and can help with this easy, no- knead bread.  I love this recipe and it won’t last long in your house. No-Knead Bread  

Thinking of you! ~Lisa ~