Homeschooling on Dark DaysLeah Courtney
I live in the South where winter means rain, clouds, and an uncomfortable damp instead of bright blue skies shining on snowy vistas. When days are cold and dreary, my inside tends to be a little dark as well. I feel unsettled and generally down. And there are times when it’s warm and sunny outside, but events still leave me feeling dark inside.
I have to admit that it’s sometimes difficult to homeschool on dark days, on days when my inside feels dark and restless. It’s hard to think about lesson plans and teaching my children when it’s all I can do to get up and do the basics of taking care of home and family. So what’s a homeschool mom to do on dark days? How can you keep on keeping on with homeschooling when you’re feeling down? Here are a few of the tips I’ve learned to help me homeschool on dark days — whether literal or figurative.
Pray and Read Your Bible
It used to be a joke in our adult Bible study class at church that the answer to any study question we couldn’t think of an answer to was, “Pray and read your Bible.” Despite the joke, there is quite a bit of truth to the statement. Almost any question can be answered and any problem solved with prayer and seeking God’s will in His Word.
On those dark days, it’s especially important to take time to turn to God’s Word and spend time in prayer.
I know, I know. Mom’s are super busy. And you may wonder how to have time for a quiet time between dressing kids, changing diapers, cooking meals, cleaning house, and teaching. But God’s Word is so important on dark days that it’s worth squeezing in.
One way I’ve done this is to hang up a printed sheet with Scripture for rainy days by my desk. When I’m having a dark day, I can take time to look over my list throughout the day. Prayer and meditating on Scripture is so important that it’s critical to make time for in dark days.
Change Things Up
It’s okay to change things up when on dark days. Drop the regular curriculum and read good books. Use a DVD or online television programing for learning for the day. It’s even okay to take a complete break for the day and not have homeschool lessons at all.
Sometimes on a day when I’m having trouble getting focused and feeling positive, we head out on a field trip. Even though it’s hard to get motivated to do that, once we’re out and about, I usually feel better. As a bonus, the kids have fun, and we learn through active and hands-on experiences.
To be honest, there are times that I simply need to be with other homeschooling moms to have someone to talk to. I need to think of other things instead of dwelling on the things that pull me down. On those dark days, I like to find a friend that might be able to hang out at the last minute.
If it doesn’t work to physically get together, a phone call or text chat can be an encouragement as well. And, in the age of Facebook groups and Twitter chats, sometimes I can find encouragement in an online group as well. However I can make the connection, being with friends really helps when I’m homeschooling on dark days. Sometimes it’s merely knowing that I’m not alone that causes a shift in my mood.