Spring is nowhere in sight. In fact, we’re watching a winter storm move into our area right now. Summer is even farther away, but we’ve got some spring fever – or something. More days than not, my kids and I are struggling with feeling motivated to sit down and get to work. My younger daughter is struggling with her school work more than usual because of some neurological “glitches” (it will get better, but we don’t know when), and my older daughter is physically tired and wants nothing more than to curl up in bed with a good book, napping when she gets tired. It happens almost every year about this time, and when it hits, homeschooling isn’t fun. What do we do?
4 Tips for Homeschooling When It’s Not Fun
Here are some ideas for getting through the “not fun” times of homeschooling:
- Take a break. Sometimes a break is called for, and that’s okay. One of the huge benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility. If you take spring break early, or just a mental health day every once in a while, you can catch up later in the year, on Saturdays, or not at all if you homeschool almost year-round and are already ahead of the game. Sometimes stepping away from it to rest and recharge is exactly what’s needed to return refreshed and with renewed interest.
- Make changes. Look at what you’re doing. Is the curriculum still working? Have you quit doing the engaging hands-on activities your kids enjoyed so much at the beginning of the school year? Do they need something more challenging, or has the work gotten too hard? Taking a good look at your curriculum and activities may reveal some changes you can make that will improve the energy level in your homeschool.
- Play. If you’re just experiencing burnout and don’t really need a full break or significant changes to what you’re doing, take a few days to focus on learning through play. Read books to one another and independently, listen to audiobooks, play card games and board games, spend lots of time in the kitchen baking goodies for friends and neighbors, go outside and make snowmen (if you have snow 😉 ), watch movies or documentaries everyone is interested in seeing, allow lots of time for creative play (play dough, blocks, drawing, painting, etc.), encourage time for imaginative play, and just have fun together. It’s amazing how much your kids will learn while playing—without even realizing it!
- Keep going. Part of living the homeschooling life is being disciplined enough to get the work done. Sometimes you just know that everything is okay except for some spring fever (or maybe cabin fever) and that you need to be disciplined and push through. Our feelings are not always a reliable indicator of what’s really going on. Sometimes if we keep doing what we’re doing, our feelings will follow our actions.
What are your best tips for homeschooling when it’s not fun?