When you first begin homeschooling your little one, you are so energized and excited about the learning process. You spend countless hours looking at materials and resources and you can’t wait to try them all! Like anything else; however, the novelty of homeschooling will inevitably wear off. No one likes to think about that or even admit it, but the truth is there are days when you really don’t feel like teaching. On those days you will have to push through the urge to give your child a “free day” and force yourself to stick to your schedule. That’s easier said than done. How do we address the dilemma of how to homeschool your child even when you don’t feel up to it?
A Bad Day
I had successfully entered the seventh week of homeschooling with Sydney, but that week I had my first encounter with what I like to call “No-teach-itis”. I woke up on Monday morning and I was in no mood to teach. I didn’t have any desire to engage in the learning process.
I was so disappointed in myself because I felt like I was failing my daughter. I was contemplating not teaching at all that day, but my personal conviction wouldn’t allow me to do so. As I informed Sydney that her morning play time was coming to an end and school would be starting soon, she immediately heard the lack of interest in my voice. “Mommy are you okay? You sound funny.” I knew right then, that I was going about that day all wrong, so I took a deep breath and began to think of a way to teach her with enthusiasm – the way she deserved to be taught.
Here’s what I came up with:
Day of the Week/Weather: We sang the days of the week song. Here’s a cool link for the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIvQOab00OQ. Then we went outside and talked about the day, the month, and year. We discussed the weather for the day, and what you might wear in that weather.
Spelling: We walked through the house and outside identifying all of the items we could find that began with the letter of the week.
Math: While I prepped for dinner, Sydney helped me measure and count ingredients. She also helped me set the oven timer.
Writing: I made up fun sentences and helped her spell them out, and write them on lined manuscript paper.
Reading: We read a sight word reading book outside on our back patio.
Gross Motor Skills: I taught her how to pump her own legs while swinging on her backyard swing, so she would be empowered to swing on her own.
We ended the day with playing freeze dance to one of her favorite sight word videos:
She learned, got a break from the norm, and had lots of fun. Meanwhile, I fought off the teaching rut and enjoyed myself as well. Here are a few tips to help you overcome a less than enthusiastic day like a pro:
Don’t Try to Fake It
First things first – don’t try to fake interest in teaching when you’d really rather be doing ANYTHING ELSE. Be honest with yourself, and admit that you aren’t up to it. Now, don’t start jumping up and down yet! Your personal honesty doesn’t mean you get to take a personal day. You need to stay consistent in the learning process, so I’m not suggesting that you abandon your teacher post. Rather, once you know you aren’t up for the traditional teaching process, you can begin to identify an alternative option for fulfilling your role in your child’s homeschooling experience.
Unorthodox is Key
When you just can’t motivate yourself to teach, it’s time to think outside of the box. The most important thing is that your child learns something and has fun. Get more hands on and personal. Relate your lessons to the individual interests of your child. Don’t think that every day has to look the same or follow the same schedule. The beauty of homeschooling is the opportunity for customization.
It’s Okay to Have an Off Day
Don’t beat yourself up when you aren’t feeling like teaching. This lack of enthusiasm happens to the best of us! Just make a commitment to fight through it to give your child the best learning experience.
What are some ways you fight the homeschooling blues? Leave me a comment below and let’s discuss!