7 Things to AVOID When in a Homeschool Slump
After making it through a slump or two, you learn some valuable homeschooling mama lessons. Like what NOT to do. The things to avoid if you want to maintain your homeschool AND your sanity possibly at the same time.
I have compiled a list of things that you should NEVER EVER (and I mean seriously, don’t even think about it -ever) do. No matter how tempted you are in a slump, these things will NOT help you overcome it and won’t keep your homeschool afloat. Consider yourself warned! 😉
1) Overhaul the System
Sometimes when you are in the trenches of the homeschool slump, it’s tempting to throw out the old system of things you were doing and bring in some new, seemingly glorious system that seems to work for that other mom. (You know, the one who gets it ALL done ALL the time? 😉 ) Well, take it from someone who has tried it: when everyone has already lost their motivation and you are pulling teeth and praying out loud just to make it through the day – it isn’t the time for a new system.
Even if the thought of a brand new homeschool overhaul makes you feel excited and somewhat motivated, your kiddoes probably won’t share in the excitement of such a mix-up. (Sugar coating it and using your leftover Christmas candy as bribery won’t work either…. ask me how I know! 😉 )
2) Buy ALL New Curriculum
Homeschool mamas tend to love shiny new curriculum. You know that feeling you get when you are at a conference and you can touch it, and hold it, and read it, and FINALLY purchase the curriculum you have researched and just know will be PERFECT for your homeschool? My kids never get that feeling. Ever. And they especially don’t when they are in the slump alongside me.
Where I see astounding possibilities, rich educational opportunity, and streamlined homeschooling days, they tend to see only schoolwork. Total Bummer. So, whatever you do, don’t throw out the curriculum you chose outside of the homeschool slump (when you were rationally thinking and praying over your homeschool). If it was working before the slump, stick with it through the slump!
3) Add in 25 Million New Resolutions
This one gets me every. time. There are always at LEAST 25 million things I would like to do each year. The start of a new year tends to bring the desire to start anew out even more. I am going to get up 5 hours earlier and eat only green things, and never lose my patience, and teach math every day from 9:00 – 9:45 while the toddler attentively listens and NEVER sneaks of to smear peanut butter on the windowsills and toothpaste on the toilet seats.
AND to accomplish my
delusions of grandeur wonderful resolutions, we are going to need all new curriculum and a new schedule that is planned down to the minute, and kids that don’t exist in real life, and a mama who isn’t outmatched and doesn’t require sleeping or coffee or chocolate to survive. Totally doable amiright? And, what better time to start them all, than when all my motivation is gone during the dark cold months that typically cause the homeschool slump in the first place? 😉 I am preaching to myself here: DON’T DO IT!
4) Yell like a Drill Seargent
Oh boy. Yelling totally makes everything better, right? I mean who doesn’t love to be spoken to harshly when they are already feely gloomy and unmotivated to keep trucking through the homeschool week? It certainly, always brings about restored relationships and obedient children, never hurts anyone’s heart, and helps us grow closer as a family all while educating our children. Except for when it actually does NONE of those things and worsens the homeschool slump considerably.
Resorting to barking orders, loudly, and repetitively isn’t the answer. I have found that when I am frustrated, my kids are equally frustrated. We are in this thing called homeschooling, and the slump, together. Being kind, respectful, and speaking in a way that honors the Lord is so important. These years of homeschooling will someday be completed, and I don’t want my children to look back on this precious time and see that mama’s response to the slump was anger. I want them to learn to rely on Jesus like their mama does. Yelling simply won’t get us there or help us out of the homeschool slump.
5) Lose Sleep
I know there are NO homeschooling mamas who ever lose sleep worrying about their kids. Are we being faithful to what the Lord has entrusted us with? Are we giving them enough? Are we doing too much? When will I ever get them socialized!? (Haha! Just kidding on that one 😉 ) Being in a slump can cause you to doubt your decisions, but hear me when I say: now isn’t the time to reexamine all that. You need rest to be the mama and teacher that God has called you to be.
Cast your worries on Jesus and ask Him to give you the rest you need so you can get through the homeschool slump and into brighter days.
6) Chase the Yellow School Bus
Ever wanted to chase after it? I mean all those other mamas on the corner seem to wave goodbye to their darling children and skip back to their homes singing. Maybe the yellow bus is what we are missing! Maybe it will solve all of out homeschooling motivation and frustration problems! Or maybe it will provide our children with a mediocre, second-rate education since God has called us to homeschool them.
As glorious as the thought of frolicking after that yellow behemoth is after facing down our homeschooling struggles, it isn’t what’s best for your kids. Don’t dream about it, don’t chase after it, and don’t be tempted to throw slushies at the other moms who skip back to their homes without the daunting task of teaching their kids everything they need to know. 😉
7) Throw in the Towel
Finally, now is not the time to quit. Throwing in the towel because of a seasonal slump is simply absurd. This slump will pass, and you will learn what not to do as you get through it as a family. Spring is coming. The weather will change. Your motivation will be rekindled as you use this time in the homeschool slump to diligently seek the Lord in obedience to what He has placed before you. Draw closer to Him, and let your kids see you flesh out where our help comes from. <3 Hang in there, mama! The homeschool slump will be over before you know it and you will get your homeschooling groove back! 🙂
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