Do you ever struggle to keep your homeschool day on track AND fun?
I'm a git' er' done kind of Mom. Even in the focus I've had this year to become the more gentle, joyful mom I desire to be, I have to face it: I am a task-oriented kind of lady.
I often get too focused on the checklist or my expectations and plans for the day. And to be honest, most days those plans and expectations fail me. At best I end up missing chances for joy and spontaneous fun. At worst, I make myself and everyone else miserable in my frustration.
I want to be a gentle, joyful mom!
I want our days together to be purposeful AND playful.
I want our homeschool to be focused AND fun.
Keeping Our Days Fun and Focused
Here are some little tricks I've been trying in my home to keep the fun and focus going hand-in-hand. Perhaps they will help you too!
- Keep a Flexible Routine: Have a daily and weekly routine that is simple enough to stick to but also flexible. Here is a post about our weekly routine and here's one about our daily routine. They have been SO valuable because when the day is about to fall apart, we just jump on to the next thing instead of stalling!
- Block Scheduling: Knowing that we'll do Co-Op on Tuesday, Science on Wednesdays, and Art/Piano lessons on Thursdays helps the weekdays seem less tedious, even though we have plenty we do every day of the week.
- Fun Day: Have a special day each week that you do something light and fun. A movie, a pizza party, a trip to the science museum, park, or zoo. It could also be a day to serve as a family!
- Quiet Time: Regularly practice quiet time and have a special music or learning CD playing. In our home, we have certain toys and busy bags reserved for those times and the kids play in a different space in the home. If mama is getting too frazzled, it's quiet time!
- Make Lunchtime Special: Change things up a bit when you can. It's in the middle of the day, so it is a natural time to lighten things up. Have a picnic in the yard, at the park, or even on the living room floor! Have cut-out sandwiches, muffin tin buffet lunches, a themed meal, or whatever will delight your children!
- Use Technology: My oldest especially loves it when we use our computers or iPads for learning. If things are getting dull or anxieties are getting high, look up something interesting on the internet together or let the kids play for 15 minutes something educational. We use Blue Manor eBooks (affiliate) a lot for this as well as free educational apps we download through Smart Apps for Kids (they have freebies every Friday).
- Play Music: When things start to get crazy (or if I feel it coming), I put on music to help change our mood. Here are some favorites:
- Pandora: Chidren's Folk Music station
- Pandora: Phil Keaggy station
- Pandora: Fernando Ortega station
- Pandora: Gypsy Kings station (great dancing music)
- Chris Rice albums
- Seeds Family Worship albums
- Veggie Tales music
- Hit the Reset Button: Many times our homeschool day is tanking because of how I'm handling things. I have been trying to seize these moments by stopping everything and praying out loud with my kids or by literally putting myself in time out. The kids find it very amusing. :) Then, when I've collected myself, we sing some songs, bring out the paints, have a dance party, or go outside to reset the day!
How do YOU keep your homeschool days fun and focused?
A big thanks to Tauna for this great list of ideas to keep us from becoming too focused on just completing a to-do list! You can read more from Tauna over at Proverbial Homemaker, and you can follow along with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!