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How to Homeschool During Struggle

I am having chocolate for breakfast this week (yum!). Any guesses why?

Once I saw the calendar and weather forecast, I knew I needed the power-up that chocolate provides. I also tossed my regular lesson plans for this week. I am dropping my expectations to finish up any projects on my list as well, and I recommend that you might want to do the same.

This week is what I call a survival mode week.

Why?

It is a full moon paired with weather changes (front moving through, significant temperature change, rain, thunderstorms, etc.), and it just doesn’t pair well with learning new things in our family.

I don’t understand all of the physics of it, but I do know the full moon and weather changes effect our ability to focus and finish. This is part of history I don’t want to repeat. Instead, I have learned we do better if I focus on being present with my kids first.

When the full moon is combined with weather changes, I find that it is NOT the ideal week to teach new skills. It is also NOT the optimal time to take on a project or get a ton of extra tasks accomplished either. The more I push to do either one of those, the more resistance (and accompanying drama from them AND me) appears.

When you homeschool, it is so important to remember the home part. When I know there is a history of struggle at certain times of the year, I need to honor what works in our home first.

The other factor in our home is that my husband is a CPA, and it is the end of tax season. He has been working long hours, and the last thing we need to do is to create unnecessary stress in our home.

So, what are we doing for homeschooling instead?

I am giving my kids the choice of how we will spend our homeschool time this week!

Can I send you my 5 Ways to Thrive Checklist?

By giving them options that each offer an opportunity to practice skills or gain knowledge, any choice they make is one with which qualifies as school. 

However, these activities are all about the process, not the end product. This allows us to relax and just enjoy having fun together and not worry about completion.

1. Cook together in the kitchen.

2. Do an art project.

3. Make a card for someone you love.

4. Try a new app (I like Draw, Then  Write. It is new and only $3.99)

5. Watch a PBS show, like The Wild Kratts or Reading Rainbow (some episodes are free with Amazon Prime)

6. Plan the next celebration. Someone has a birthday coming up or there is holiday around the corner. Get on Pinterest and pick 1 or 2 ideas (no more!) to try.

7. Go outside and look for evidence of the season (if the weather permits, of course).

8. Do a science experiment. Check out my Pinterest Board for ideas.

9. Play with your kids. Get out the Legos, board games, puzzles, or build a fort. Let the creativity entertain you.

10. Play dominoes (and sneak in some math).

11. Build something out of Legos. See if it floats or can hold up a book. Experiment and have fun.

12. Turn up some music and dance. We like to make up steps and then teach them to each other. It is great for our memories, and it gets us moving.

13. Plan some menus for next week. Ask the kids to help make the grocery list or follow a budget to build a yummy meal.

14. Watch YouTube to learn something new or to just laugh. My kids enjoy watching Nerdy Nummies and Charli’s Crafty Kitchen.

15. Put on a play to retell a story. You can even make puppets if you wish.

16. Play “Would you rather….?” It is a silly thinking game where you take turns asking each other questions like, “Would you rather live on the moon or the bottom of the ocean?” There are no wrong answers.  It is just really fun!

17. And my personal favorite…Snuggle together on the couch and read. Maybe make some cocoa or tea.

Yes, you may need to do a load of laundry or cook dinner, but find a fun way to do those things together. We have set a timer to get it all done in 10 minutes. If we are successful, we take turns giving each other a foot rub! 🙂

Whatever you do, just focus on being present with your kids.

What else can you think of to do during wonky weeks? Tell me in the comments!

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