So it was bound to happen. I just was expecting it at the very beginning not now (hence being blind-sided)…not 14 weeks into homeschooling. The mule kick. The one moment where your kids look at your defiantly and say “not doing school work today mom”. Oh yeah..she’s 4. I guess I’m always a little shocked when she looks at me with that teenage glint (that she shouldn’t have yet) and stands her ground.
So we were doing great and then thanksgiving break! I was so excited….probably more than the kids since school is such a new concept for them both in general but also homeschooling school, they don’t realize that breaks are possible! So we had a great thanksgiving and besides me getting deathly ill on saturday and thus missing my favorite day of the year (Friendsgiving and this particular year I had planned a surprise 40th party for a friend!). But thanks to homeopathy and the fact that my husband handled the kids (so I didn’t have to) I could recoup for the day and woke up 99% better the next day! (wild) That being said I was just a little tired as Monday approached.
So turning on the charm and armed with the weeks lesson plans I stared at my child thinking “uhhh what do I do now?” I started to argue…which never really is effective and then I chatted with my husband who was heading out the door to be gone for a long week of traveling. He suggested that I offer them the choice of chores or school. Ok…so I did that. They chose school. However I KNEW this wasn’t an answer….after all the benefit of tailoring a program for your children is that they get to enjoy learning…not dread it….not pick over a threat. It’s kind of like that meme that is circulating right now “Behind every Christmas picture is a mom threatening to take away all joy”. yeah I don’t want our school days to be that way.
Unfortunately this week was a bust…between behavior issues that usually surface when my husband leaves and then the defiance to school I didn’t feel like there was a battle I could win. And so I didn’t. I just survived.
But what my children don’t realize is that mommy has allies…and sage wisdom from other moms who have done this before! So today I got the chance to meet up with them and pick their brains as to how they handle these situations.
Here is a countdown of their 5 top ways to reset a homeschool week.
#5 Brain breaks— The hustle and bustle of breaks…usually makes the thought of school a drudergy. After all it requires some sitting and some amount of concentration. So interspersing more brain breaks with activity is probably more essential than a typical school week as you ease back into the usual schedule. Some great brain breaks we do is stretching. We also play a game that their spanish teacher over the summer had introduced us to called “ven! Para” which is basically stop and go. So even though my kids don’t get it entirely, they love that the power of their words stops mom or even sister! Ring around the Rosie is another favorite just to move! We do lots of different types of exercise….I made a list of fun youtube channels for exercise and that’s always a great way to break up our day. One of our favorite channels is Cosmic Kids Yoga!
#4 Get out of the house—-Sadly this is just not as easy now that the weather has changed into officially winter…but getting out of the house…is a good way to learn something maybe in nature or at a museum. So bonus is that you get out of the house and you can chalk it up to have a good conversations with your kids on some topic! I definitely need to remember this!
#3 Giving them choices– Sometimes this feels like a step backwards not a step forwards as a little kids choices are typically…I want to watch tv. But guided choices are the key here. “This is school time…you get to pick what we do first…reading or math”. Every person loves autonomy and I think as parents even though it’s our challenge it’s a good reminder that they need that to grow as a person!
#2 Throw out your list—- So I’m not going to lie that this suggestion made me cringe. I mean how could I throw out my precious school list. I mean I put things on my list that I’ve done just so I can check it off! Ann laughed. She said “you just need a different list” She says sometimes her husband asks how her day is going and she’ll tell him I’m on plan X…and she started with plan A. Ahhh flexibility is not my strong suit but maybe I can make a list for when these situations happen so I can “roll” with things better!
#1 Read— Every. Single. Mom. Suggested. THIS! Read. When all else fails and there is nothing else you can do to turn a school day around. Read. Cuddle your kids. Read a story…You’re not just reading a story but you can challenge their brains expand their minds, develop their vocabulary… take their minds on an adventure. There are so many benefits to reading aloud. Check out some benefits here! They are doing more and more studies that are showing that reading not only develops language skills but expands comprehension. The hope is that it’ll make them fall in love with learning all over again. After all isn’t that the point of education after all. Because if they fall in love with learning they can do anything!
So as you can see turning a day (or in my case a week) around might not be a simple task but now new or savvy homeschool momma you are armed with a new batch of techniques that even the stare down with a defiant four year old will melt with!
Rock on momma!