The following is a post from Tabitha
Sometimes homeschooling your children is just hard. However, we keep doing it, just like we keep parenting, because we know we are doing what’s best for our children, day in and day out. Consistency is important.
On the other hand, one of the great things about homeschooling is the freedom to just take a break when it is needed. This can be when YOU need it, when the kids need it, or when a special opportunity comes up that just can’t be worked in any other way.
How can you tell when it’s time to take a break? (scheduled or unscheduled… unscheduled is more fun.)
- When you don’t want to get up in the morning (more so than usual)
- When the kids don’t want to get up in the morning (see above)
- When everything for school seems to take twice as long as it should
- Getting behind on your homeschool schedule
- When your December/January temperatures are in the 60s and you don’t live in Florida, California, or anywhere else that it’s normal
- Snow day. Need I say more?
- New baby
- Morning sickness (see above)
- Family events
- Free day at the zoo or museum
- Homeschool group activity
- Sick day
- Special event on TV
- Pet died
- Lots of little arguments breaking out for no reason
- When there is nothing you are looking forward to
- Nothing seems to go right
- Haven’t had a day off in a while
Now, a lot of these reasons to take a break have obvious things to do on your break, like the homeschool day at the theme park or the snow day. The reason for the break IS the thing to do for your break. Sometimes we aren’t sure what to do to break up the routine, though. Some things we like to do…
- Play outside
- Field day
- Bike ride
- Visit friends
- Go to the museum, zoo, art show, car show, etc.
- Go to the movies
- Have a movie marathon at home (or TV show). This would involve popcorn, tents, and pajamas. If that works.
- Library day (sometimes an unplanned library trip holds adventure unseen!)
- Visit a nearby state park
- School play- either visit a local school or make your own
- Make your own art day
- Make a mess day- paints, playdough, all the messy stuff out at one time
- Water day (works best in warm weather…)
- Pool day
- Window shopping, people watching, mall day. This sounds worse than it is. Just don’t do it during the holiday season!
- Culture day- new foods, costumes, experiment
- Science day- do the science experiments that aren’t part of your curriculum… like a huge volcano… or something from Mythbusters you aren’t supposed to try at home.
- Kids plan the day… fill a jar with things they want to do with you for fun (on slips of paper) and draw one thing at a time.
I think you get the idea. Sometimes we all get into a set pattern and just can’t see how to get out of it. That’s when sometimes it’s good to drop everything and do something different for a day or more. You come back to your work with a clear mind, refreshed and ready for new challenges. It doesn’t always work but it’s worth a try and doesn’t hurt anything. I have found that when this happens all the time, we may need to change up the whole routine and that’s a whole other story.
More often than not, a break is just what we need and we are ready to settle down to learning again, looking forward to the next day off, whenever that may be.
Tabitha (wife to Tom, homeschooling mom to 8+ kids ages 15 to ‘on the way’, learning something new all the time).