Hi friends! I have 12 tips to share on handling those “less-than-perfect” homeschool days. Since it’s near the holiday season, I am following my own whimsical rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas with “The 12 Days of Homeschool.” (I hope you like it!)
Today we are covering the first 3 days.
A Headache that Lasted ’till Three
Sing with me, “On the first day of homeschool my children gave to me, a Headache that Lasted ‘till Three”. It’s true. Somedays are a pain, literally. My greatest tip is simply to remind you that most of us are not homeschooling because we love homeschooling. On the contrary, I could think of a lot of things I’d rather do with my time than settle spats, diagram sentences, and grade Algebra! So, why do we homeschool? We do it because we love our children. There is a big difference between loving homeschool and loving our kids. Don’t lose sight of that!
And in case you’ve never done the math for how much time you will gain with your children by teaching them at home, I have some encouraging stats for you. If you spent an average of 4 hours a day teaching one child for 180 school days, you would have spent 720 hours with them! (Let’s round that to 1,000 hours a year to account for time spent in the car getting to practices and co-op!) And, if you homeschool one child from Kindergarten through 12th grade at 720 hours per year, you will invest 9,760 hours into their lives! (Let’s round that to 10,000 hours.) Did you get that? You are investing at least a thousand hours a year into your children’s lives by teaching them at home. If you teach them all the way through their school years, you’ll get about ten thousand hours. (Imagine the possibilities!)
So my friends, while there may be days that homeschooling gives you a headache (because you are spending time with your busy, bouncy kids), think about the impact you can have in the life of your child with thousands of extra hours of “love.” Pour it out, friends. Pour it out!
Two Major Meltdowns
“On the second day of homeschool, my children gave to me, two Major Meltdowns. . . ” We all have them. From time to time, we just implode. When this happens in the middle of a homeschool day, ask yourself these two questions.
1) Is this a “consolable” meltdown in my child? If the answer is yes, then console away and move them along using your best parenting skills with a large dose of patience. If this meltdown is NOT consolable, meaning your child is horizontal on the floor and not getting up any time soon, then ask yourself this second question.
2) Is this a meltdown I have time to deal with right now, or does it have to wait? If you can take the time to help your child work through his or her issues, then, by all means, do so. Take them away from the chaos and distractions; pray with them, love them, and assure them the world is not ending. If though you really can’t deal with the meltdown and it’s time to get out the door, then physically intervene. Wipe the child’s tears, put their shoes and jacket on them, and carry them to the car or out the door. Along the way, assure them you will get back to this matter later by saying something like this: “Honey, I see you’re upset. I wish we had time to work through this. But we must get to (fill in the blank.) Tonight though, when we get home, let’s talk about what happened today and see if we can’t make this better next time. You know, I do love you!” Of course, if you have made this offer to get back to it later, then make sure you do. With love, prayer, and patience, help your little “melter” with the coping skills they seem to lack. Apparently, some of us need more time on those!
Three Toddler Tantrums
“On the third day of homeschool, my children gave to me three Toddler Tantrums . . . ” First of all, don’t be surprised that toddlers want to rule the world. It’s all they know! But do set limits to their protests. Toddlers need boundaries. Sure, they may not understand why they can’t run into the street or turn on the gas stove, but clearly, you can’t let them. The same is for kicking, screaming, and all-around tantrums. These must be reigned in by time outs, playpen time, and discipline. Is this hard? Absolutely. But try to be consistent by reminding yourself that every boundary you hold firmly today is one less struggle for tomorrow. (At least eventually!)
And while we’re on it, one of my favorite books on discipline is titled “Help! I’m a Parent” by Bruce Narramore. It’s a good one!
Stay tuned for more of the song with my three new tips next week! In the meantime, enjoy this free printable: