11 Methods to Conquer the Homeschool Slump!
Are you in the slump? You know, that one. The one that hits about two or three weeks into the new year. The Christmas decorations are down (or they should be, but you have no energy to do it). It’s colder than it should be, so everyone is inside and getting on each other’s last nerve. The curriculum you LOVED in September has lost its luster. Your fourth grader is five weeks behind in math and your kindergartener says school is boring. You’re wondering if you are still meant to homeschool. And that long yellow school bus never did look so good.
I’m there, too (right down to the five weeks behind in math). To fight the slump, I’m focusing on my head, my hands, and my heart in these eleven ways, and I invite you to join me in it!
Using your Head, Heart, and Hands to Beat the Slump!
Head – thinking about your homeschool year!
Remember. Why did you start homeschooling in the first place? What are your hopes and dreams and goals? Are those still true? Very likely, yes! Remember why you started this journey, and realize that momentary stress need not derail those dreams.
Reflect. Take some time to think back on the past several months. How has your child responded to the learning you have tried to inspire? At the elementary age, I do not yet assign grades, but I evaluate my children each year on three things: how well they have learned the material in each subject (head), how well they have acquired new skills (hands), and what their attitude toward learning has been (heart).
Get a FREE worksheet to Evaluate your Homeschool!
Remember, Reflect, Rejoice, and Refocus with this printable worksheet! Sign up below!!
Rejoice. Rejoice in what has been learned! Because, yes, good stuff has happened! Learning has happened! Curiosity has been sparked! Make a list with your child of the good stuff from the fall and celebrate it!
Refocus. In the areas where things are not going as you hoped, take a few minutes to analyze why, and decide if you need to refocus or you just need to give it a little more time. Consider what other goals you want to set, whether short-term or long-term, and not just for school. My daughter is in American Heritage Girls, and so we tend to take some time every January to see what badges she wants to finish so we know what to order. Sometimes we include things that we’ve already done so we can check them off the list, too! Getting things done helps with the slump.
Hands – do something different in your homeschool!
Remove. If there is something that is absolutely not working, it’s okay to take it out completely, even for a short time. (Okay, you shouldn’t stop doing math, I guess, but you can take a break for a week, or change the book).
Recycle. Bring back something that you did in the past, but haven’t done for a while. A different subject? A math game? A read-aloud book from last year?
Remix. Find a new way to approach a familiar subject. Maybe instead of throwing out the math book, you can add something else in that is new – maybe a new game or a new practice website? Or have your child do every other problem instead of all of them. Go to the library and get some books out about a new topic your children want to learn about. Start a new read-aloud as a family. Choose a new Bible unit (we use Grapevine Studies and like to start something new in January.) Or, if you don’t want to change your curriculum, try doing it in a new way. Change the schedule order. Try something new, like loop scheduling instead of doing the same thing everyday. Sometimes, just making one change from our same-old-same-old is a breath of fresh air.
Heart – focus on what matters most!
Refresh. There are so many ways to find refreshment – do what works for you! Listen to music, light scented candles, use some essential oils. Especially, get outside! Even in the winter, if the sun is shining, letting it shine on you helps! Make a commitment to spending at least some time outside every. single. day. Fresh air, exercise, and sunshine – it really does work!
Reconnect. Find ways to reconnect with your children. The holidays are hectic and even though we say they are focused on family, we often just connect on the surface, not deeply. Take time not just to be your child’s teacher, but his or her parent. Play a game. Watch a movie. Go for a drive. Go out for ice cream (yes, even sub-freezing temperatures!). Do something not connected to school together.
Relax. Take a break. There have been a few days when we (gasp!) didn’t do school. That is one of the beauties of homeschooling – setting your own schedule! Taking a day off when you need one! And do it without feeling guilty!
Recognize. Look ahead with the realization that the days may be long, but the years are short. Note what milestones are coming up and purpose to be intentional with all the moments leading up to them. We can choose to let those things bring us down, or we can allow them to give us a boost to enjoy the PRESENT and live in it fully, even when we want to stay in bed an extra hour. Because even when I am in a slump, God is right here with me, and He has given me the precious gift of these weeks, days, and hours with my children.
And that is something for which I am profoundly thankful.
Kristi Bothur is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom of Two on earth and five in Heaven. blogs at This Side of Heaven, where she enjoys encouraging other women on the topics of family, femininity, and faith. One of her passions is reaching out to other moms of babies in Heaven, lost in pregnancy or infancy, which she does through her Naomi’s Circle ministry Follow Kristi on Facebook ; Twitter; and Instagram!
Latest posts by Tiffany (see all)
- A Homeschool Mama Accountability Partner - February 16, 2018
- Resurrection Day: An Easter Activity Book Curriculum Review - February 16, 2018
- 4 Ways a Low Impact Schedule Can Boost Motivation - February 15, 2018