So its pretty much a given that we will and have had rough homeschool days along the way. Since we began homeschooling back in August, I can proudly say that there havent been many. Much to my surprise the better days have far outweighed the bad. So, even though this is a truth, when the bad days come, it feels like the end of the world for me. Today is no exception. I usually only post weekly about our homeschooling experience, but today everything went wrong, so I thought I would pop in and share it with you. This is not to bring your day down, but just to vent and tell the truth while I am still in it. There will be no sugar coating.
So every morning in this house usually begins around 8am. The girls by now know that they must stay in their room quietly until then. But as I have noticed over the years, the moment everyone gets up, the chaos and hecticness that is this house immediately begins. There is no calm walking to the breakfast table, quietly waiting for their food. Nope, its immediately chasing their little brother around, bothering him, causing screaming and fighting. Then the girls start to fight and whine. Then they complain about what I am making for breakfast. Then its a fight to get Hunter to stay seated in his chair, then its a fight to get everyone to finish their breakfast or then they will start to request a snack the moment I just finished cleaning up their breakfast. This is our morning on any day of the week. And what also happens on every day of the week, even weekends, is Hailey in her whiny voice asking if we have to do school today. I tell her yes, then she whines some more. Then there is fighting over pillows, outfits, teeth brushing, etc. Then there is fighting over toys. Then there is whining over who reads to me first.
I think you get the point, but I could go on and on throughout the day, but I won’t. Usually I can tell myself that this is just part of the responsibility and it usually doesn’t effect our school day, but today it did and it almost did yesterday as well. I am at my whits end. I guess I am usually at my whits end with them, but I am for real this time…Hailey didn’t get any of her tickets today (we do a ticket system to get Kindle time), which translates into Hailey whining and not trying with anything single little thing I asked her to do. It can seriously make me stark raving mad when she gets into these funks. It puts me in a funk, which in turn makes any little thing seem all the much more annoying if you know what I mean.
So, even though I know days like this are going to happen again and again, it still makes everything super overwhelming for me. I now begin to get anxious and start to really worry about the following days ahead. I am really looking forward to some time off, as I am sure the girls are as well. Below are some things that I do to help me get through the rough days:
The Best Ways to Help us Manage the Bad Homeschooling Days
- Keep things in perspective..and when they leave your perspective, do it again and again throughout the day. I know today is not an indication of how the rest of the year will be. The better days happen 95% more than the bad. Those odds are in my favor for sure.
- Keep your frustrations where they come from. Its easy for me to become frustrated with Hailey for not trying just as much as its easy for me to start to take it out on Lilly and Hunter. Lilly was still trying hard and doing her work today, so I tried to keep it just with Hailey. Lilly got her tickets and got her Kindle time because she tried hard and earned it. I must not lump them together.
- Be okay with cutting the day short and not getting to everything on your list for the day. I can’t tell you how many times I just erased things from the planner. Always use a pencil, no pens or markers. Erase and consider completing tomorrow.
- Think about how my kids would be doing in a regular public school classroom. They would be there all day long, and probably not learn anything that day. Again with keeping things in perspective; even if you cut your day short and don’t finish everything, your kids have probably learned more within the past few months than they would the entire school year in a classroom.
- Keep school frustrations with school. This one can be hard for me because I don’t just drop my anger at the school/dinner/breakfast/lunch table and go about my day like everything else is fine. If the school day is hard, I will most likely drag it out. Not because I want to, but because my frustrations still remain. I’m pretty sure I am not the only one that is like this, so in order for me to try and leave it behind and not ruin the rest of the day, I tell myself to simply “not let this ruin the rest of the day”. So I don’t. Done.
- Taking deep breaths and giving myself moments to do these steps, even during the school lessons helps
- The craziest one is for last: Consider not even doing school that day, or take the next day off. Sometimes just the simple thought of not having to worry about school that day can bring it all around for me and my kids. This is something that I would not have considered last time I did homeschool, but I do now. Back then I wouldn’t even consider marking things off the list that we don’t complete.
- Cut yourself a break. I know everyone says this and I know it is easier said than done, especially when you are down in the dumps about a failed school day, but like I mentioned before, keeping things into perspective really helps a lot. You love and care for your kids leaps and bounds more than any school teacher does. You care so much that it truly makes you sad when they don’t try their hardest. You could simply say “oh well”, but as their mother or father, you just can’t. While that makes it harder on us sometimes, it also makes it better for us and most importantly, our children. What better teacher is there for our children than us? No one.
So I hope this list helps as it really helps me when the hard days come…and please feel free to share any of your tips on how you manage the hard homeschooling days!