There is no doubt about it, homeschooling is rewarding, but it can also be challenging. You might find yourself in a place where you and your student are stuck. You are not alone! E-v-e-r-y homeschool family faces this. Yes, even the all-put-together homeschool mom has days (or weeks) like this. So, what can you do about moving on where you are right now?
Identify the problem. Is your child overwhelmed or frustrated? Evaluate whether the material is too difficult or could there be a learning difficulty? Tired? Sleep is highly underrated and your son/daughter really does need to get a good night’s rest. If you find that sleep routines have gone by the wayside, establish bedtime and when they are expected to be up in the morning. Bored? is the curriculum too easy or just not keeping the attention of your pupil? Consider putting aside what you are currently doing and look at alternatives. You can go to the library and get books on the subject; watch a video and do a quiz or have a discussion afterwards; look for an online class; find a community class or a person who would enjoy teaching the subject
Ask for help. Call, email, or text someone who can listen and give some good counsel. There are Facebook groups, support groups, blogs, podcasts, and Instagrammers who can give you ideas. Have you considered there may be a physical issue occurring such as needing glasses; ADD; dyslexia; dyscalculia, or a food allergy?
Step away. Close the books, take a break, play a game. Sometimes everyone just needs to be done. If your child just sits at the table and plays the waiting game, have a talk with them and let them know that you are finished for the day, but the work will still need to be finished. You decide when that will be; is it before bedtime, tomorrow, by Friday or does the unfinished work go into the weekend? Consider having an effect for not doing the work. For instance, since they chose to waste time sitting and not completing work, their favorite activity is shortened too.
Praise when hard things have been attempted. It goes a looong way for your child to feel that you have seen the effort they have put forth. You can also have a small reward to be given as an incentive. I am not talking about a bribe, there is a difference. They can see that when facing a challenge, it is rewarding to overcome that task. If you have followed me for any amount of time, you know I struggle to keep my office desk clear. I put it off until I just can’t take it another minute. I have to reward myself or make the time more enjoyable by listening to an audiobook. So, if I have to do this, chances are your student does too.:) I am a big kid, after all. lol
Have a great week and remember, it’s okay to ask for help to get you and your student over the rough patches. ~Lisa~
I am not sure if you are aware of this, but I offer consulting for homeschool families and would be glad to help. I can offer ideas, discuss various curricula, look at your schedule, etc. My fee is $25.00 for a 30 minute Zoom conference. You can email me if you are interested, this does not include any legal or medical advice since that is not my area of expertise. I am neither a lawyer or a medical professional nor did I ever play the part of one. You can email me at: email@example.com. In the subject line write Educational Consultation.
It’s sooo easy to lose your joy when your school day is not going well and your student is not cooperating. Let me reassure you that alllll of us have days and sometimes weeks of feeling stuck and not much learning is taking place. But, the truth of the matter is, progress is happening, learning is taking place. Here are four things that help me when I need to bring back joy in my life.
What brings a smile to your face? Take time to do that! Is it reading a book, reading your Bible? Snuggling with your child? Cooking? Drinking a cup of coffee? Playing your favorite song? It doesn’t require a lot of time, but it is worth it to get recharged and “find your happy spot”.
Look back since the beginning of the year. Where do you see progress? Is your child reading better? Getting faster with their math facts? Writing more? Paying attention more? You may not be seeing huge leaps, but small steps bring progress too! This aways helped me to see that we really were further along than I thought. Think on the good things that are happening.
Take a Break- Everyone gets burned out and that includes you! If the math lesson is going badly, stop before you reach the point of no return and everyone is upset. Can you quit teaching math for the year, no. But, you can put it aside and come back to it tomorrow. If you have a younger student then you could work on another concept such as measurement and incorporate baking. If you have an older student you will need to continue on, but can you find a teaching video that could help explain the concept.
Reach out to someone who supports you. Truth: homeschooling is hard and there are days you need a pep talk. I hope you have someone and if you don’t, let me encourage you. You can do this, you know your child better than anyone else. You can challenge them to excel in ways a classroom teacher can’t since you know their strengths, areas they need to work on, and what motivates them. I believe in you and have great respect for you homeschooling.
How are you doing? How are things with school? Do you still have all of your hair? (just kidding!) Here are some things to consider this month for your school:
Progress- Is progress being made? If so, write down the area you see this occurring in your child with regard to school. Math, penmanship, independence, etc. Share with your child where you see them making progress. Praise adn recognition go a long way!
Reading– Reading is essential to all learners, all ages. Reading aloud for 10 minutes each day is extremely beneficial. Even high school students should read aloud, especially when reading difficult subject content. Be an example and read aloud to your children. We would read either after lunch or before bedtime, sometimes Dad even read to the kids.
Work Samples– Choose a paper from each subject to place in your portfolio review. If you haven’t done so yet, create a folder (either physical or electronic) and put it there. Label the date too so you can easily reference when this was done.
Master Schedule-Write a schedule of what needs to be done for the day (Example: School 8:00-12:00, Lunch 12:00-12:30, etc., 2:00- Appointments, Visits with Others, Chores, Errands, Sports, etc., 5:00- 6:30 Dinner Prep, Meal. Clean-up; 6:30- Family Time, Free Time, 9:00 Good Night!) The above picture is the calendar I got for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree. 🙂
I hope you have found this to be helpful. Have a great week!
I admit it, math is not my favorite subject. But, I do love literature and combining the two makes math fun for me. If I am having a good time then I feel like I pass that good attitude on to my kids (now grandkids 🙂 ). Oh, throw in some cookies, and now everyone is a bit more inclined to be a part of the math lesson. lol Here are two books that I have found to be not only educational, but also colorful and relatable.
The Crayola Book by Jodie Shepherd obviously has crayons that are the focus, but also fun real life pictures to accompany the colors that have been selected. This has great details about sorting and gives examples for children to see. I like that is gives the definition on the first page. “Sorting is grouping similar objects together. There are lots of ways to sort! You can sort by color, shape, size, and more!”
Sorting by Henry Pluckrose is a series called Math Counts. This book is for young students who are just beginning to learn about sorting. There are two more books in this particular series called Counting and Numbers. They also have books that are suggested to use before books in this series called: Pattern, Shape, and Size. Is your child beyond all of these concepts? That’s awesome! You can read these instead: Time, Length, Weight, and Capacity.
So, why not read the books and then gather some of your own things from around the house to do a sorting activity? You can also graph items to extend the activity. For example: You sorted types of fruit: apples, pears, strawberries, and oranges. Graph how many of each you have. Take a poll and see what is each family member’s favorite fruit. Graph the result. You can extend this again by having your student write a paragraph about the findings.
I am seeing pumpkins for sale in the store so why not buy a couple and use them to teach?
Estimation– How much do you think your pumpkin weighs? How many seeds in one large handful would you estimate there to be? If you feel like counting all of them, 🙂 then how many do you think there are in the inside of the pumpkin? How close were you in estimating?
Science- Study the life cycle of a pumpkin. Seed->Seedling-> Plant-> Flowers->Pumpkin You can have your child draw a picture of each stage by looking at pictures of the internet or watching a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB-dfi_0TsQ