Would you be surprised if I told you that homeschooling is not always sunshine and rainbows. Kids have rough days no matter what you do. Occasionally, I am to blame for their rough day. If I'm having a high pain day, my patience is short, and they notice it. Other times, it is so NOT my fault. I have learned that regardless of where the fault may lie, there are several things you can do to reverse it when the day seems to be going south. Here are some tips on how to calm a rough homeschool day.
How to Calm a Rough Homeschool Day
The first step to calming a rough homeschool day is to call it like it is. If you're at fault for the rocky day, own up to it and apologize. If it's just an off day, try one (or more) of these things to turn it around.
Take a break
If your child is struggling with a particular lesson, a great way to fix the situation is to take a step back and move on to something else. This gives your child a minute to step away from what they are struggling. Circling back, when in a better frame of mind, can give them the peace they need to make it easier when you go back to it. This doesn't mean that you don't tackle hard things. You do. But if the hard things are bringing on tears, your child isn't learning anyway. Take a break, and come back when they are able to learn.
Play a game
Getting out of the doldrums may require a fun game. We are fans of using games in homeschooling, and I was delighted recently to receive the opportunity to add a few Exit: The Game titles to our mix. Exit: The Game are Escape Room games for the home and are a great way to shift the focus crummy day to fun game. You'll want to stock up, because these games are one-time use since you must mark up, fold, and tear the game materials to crack the codes.
Turn on the TV
Most streaming services offer several educational options you can turn on at anytime. I am not above doing homeschool with Amazon Prime or other streaming options. If your homeschool day is not going so well take a peek at what is offered and gather everyone around to watch a documentary or educational TV show for a moment while you take a few deep breaths. I've a list of movies that I've compiled for when our day comes crashing down. Having the list makes it handy, so that I can just pick and click, instead of having to search and surf when already frustrated.
Pull out a sensory activity
Sometimes your child is just having a bad day. Even kids can struggle with stress or anxiety. When your child is struggling take a moment to pull out a relaxing sensory activity. From playdough to a sensory bin the options are endless and the result is a claiming peace that allows your child to center and get back to learning with a calm mind and body. I have one kiddo that could paint for days. When going gets rough, Mom gets the paints out. She also loves to make slime, so as much as I hate the stuff, it does make it into the rotation. There are many sensory options for when the homeschool day gets rough!
Sometimes when the homeschool day is not going well you can change things around very easily by simply getting your kids outside to reset the day. Running off your child's extra energy and getting some fresh air can help your child regain focus and calm a sensitive cranky mood that can make teaching your child difficult. When you come back inside you should be ready to start again. This is why teachers will often do an extra recess if their classroom is struggling for the day.
Even if hanging around outside is not an option you can usually find a way to get out of the house to change things up. An impromptu field trip or a run to the library can do wonders for calming a tough homeschool day. That change of scenery helps to relax and keep you and your children from feeling cooped up at home.
Add some food
Pull out a snack or make baking part of the day's math lesson. Kids and adults alike can get stressed and cranky when they are hungry. A great way to calm a crazy homeschool day is to add a snack or work food into your next lesson allowing your child to eat and help balance out any attitude that having an empty stomach has left them with. While you're at it add some water to keep your kids hydrated.
Call it a Day
Sometimes the best way to calm a rough homeschool day is to just call it a day early. Give yourself a break and let the kids spend the rest of the day playing and being kids while you take some time to ensure your own needs are being met so you can have the energy to teach your child tomorrow.
Be sure to check out these tips on homeschooling the uncooperative child?
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