As a new homeschooler I’ll tell you that there is no shortage of days that seem to blow up in my face. Maybe it’s a slight change to the routine, maybe we just woke up on the wrong side of bed. Whatever the reason, some days are not great. And on those not great days, I ask myself, “What am I doing?” But I find peace in the words of seasoned homeschoolers who say the first year is the hardest. You find your rhythm. You find your routine. You find what works and what doesn’t. Families who have four, five, even ten years of homeschool under their belts are going to have bad days.
On those days I ask my son if this is what he wants, and he has consistently answers “yes”. Even on the bad days. When I think I’m doing something wrong, I think about our kindergarten class in public school. There was a behavior chart, and if you weren’t having a great day, you had to move your clip down. If you were having a fantastic day, sometimes you got to move your clip up. I don’t have any clips. But I know that even in a public school classroom, some days will be good and others won’t go so well. And I was okay with that then, so I should be understanding of it now.
Monday for us was a nightmare. Every assignment was a fight and transitions were horrible. Today, I took a different approach and started the day off with a fun activity. Leftover marshmallows from Thanksgiving’s candied yams allowed us to build with toothpicks and marshmallows. Then, we used them to make snowmen and igloos. The rest of the day we eased into new subjects with care and each was a success.
In addition to regular math worksheets we used our hundred chart to talk about counting by tens and we used tangrams to build puzzles. We used the internet to research the Mojave Desert for our study of environments and printed out the Junior Ranger Handbook to get to know the plants and animals that inhabit the area. We worked in our social studies handbook and completed step two of our new program All About Spelling. When school was over, the kids cleaned the living room and then spent well over an hour playing with Play-doh. I made homemade spaghetti for lunch and homemade clam chowder for dinner. Yesterday we ate take-out chinese. Every day is different. If you are new to homeschool like us, embrace the amazing moments. There will be more of them, I just know it.
What are your struggles with homeschool? I’d love to start a conversation about challenges and how we adapt to the ever-changing children that we teach and love.