If you’ve been homeschooling for very long, you know that the hiccups in your day are generally more about you than your children. Whether you are a school-at-home mom, unschooler, classical homeschooler, eclectic or any of the other number of ways to homeschool, the common ingredient is you— the mom. We are the parent in the principal’s seat, so it’s our job to keep the day running smoothly or completely ruin it. Here are five actions that tend to ruin my homeschool day.
1. Skip the Schedule
Waking up in the morning with no clear direction for where I want my school day to go is a certain way to fail. I’ve found that I don’t have to get up early and have a minute by minute schedule, but I do need a plan. Adhering to routines versus strict schedules works well for me.
2. Have a Bad Attitude
We all know that our children reflect our own attitudes. When my attitude is out of control, my children pick up on that and mirror it. When I notice a spirit of irritation or impatience, I take a moment to identify why.
- Do I need to eat?
- Do I need more sleep?
- Would a quick moment of solo Bible reading and prayer rejuvenate me?
- Maybe I need some physical activity to shake off the funk.
Nip that bad attitude in the bud before its contagion spreads to your whole home.
3. React Instead of Plan
This is one of my very worst errors. Living my life continually reacting to whatever comes my way instead of intentionally setting a course and as much as possible sticking to it, is a pattern for frustration. This mistake goes right along with number one. A schedule will help you be intentional in your day instead of reactionary. A homeschool mission statement and short-term goals are other guideposts that keep you intentional about your daily choices.
4. Let Curriculum Dictate My Day
The handy list that comes with a curriculum is a guide to keep us moving forward. It is not supposed to inspire guilt about being behind or drive you to become a frustrated taskmaster, inflicting unreasonable expectations on your children. Stay in tune with your children and be flexible when you can tell the set plan for the day just isn’t going to work.
5. Not Have Any Fun
Don’t forget that one of the reasons you wanted to homeschool was to spend quality time with your children. Make sure some of that time is not about math and English; add something fun. Play games, go to the park, plan a field trip, do whatever you need to do to make school more enjoyable!
I hope that none of these are wrecking your homeschool mojo today. I know that I’ve been guilty of every single one of them, sometimes all in a single day! The good news is that these disasters can turn into a prayer list. I’m so happy to know that I can take these mistakes to God in prayer and ask “Help, please!”