Some days, I feel like we can’t get anything done. We have appointments, or I have a meeting somewhere. Bug masters something really quickly, and I realize I am way off base, or he finds it impossible to grasp a concept and we get stuck on something. Sometimes the experiment takes longer than expected, the paint spills on the table and needs scrubbed, or we get lost on the way home from a field trip. Our day never seems to work out the same way I planned it on paper.
I get frustrated feeling like my “to do” list will never get done. I get grumpy with the kids, and loose my patience. Sometimes I get really annoyed at myself for not doing “better”. When I get really overwhelmed, I turn to the other Homeschooling Mommas in my life; they offered me this sage advice on how to deal with homeschool scheduling woes and the frustrated feelings that come with them.
Take a break
“Take a “time out” with a cup of coffee or tea and go to my room for a min. Sometimes I need that peace to regroup my emotions and thoughts and sometimes I need to vent to my friends or family. After that, I can let go of my frustrations and move on to the next thing that needs to be done. It’s not easy to let go but if I don’t then I’m stressed for the rest of the day and everyone is miserable because of it”
Take note of what you DID get done
“I record what we actually get done instead of what I think we should get done. I was starting to feel like we weren’t getting as much done as we should and when I started recording it “backward” like that I was amazed at all that we ARE getting done. I didn’t realize how much fluff I’d added over time.”
and another Mama agrees
“Sometimes I can’t believe how much they’ve accomplished and other times we have to buckle down for the evening and focus (like when the weather is nice).”
“I’m pretty flexible if we don’t get things done. As long as the kids finish the morning subjects (Math, Reading, Handwriting, Composition, Spelling), then I call it good enough.”
Remember nothing is perfect
“I get incredibly frustrated for a few minutes, but then figure nothing is ever perfect, so, whatever. We work as hard as we can and check off all the stuff we’re supposed to do, even if it takes until 5pm.”
Know when to throw in the towel for the day
“When things don’t go as planned we just walk away and do something else. If I’m being fought every step of the way I try a different subject or sometimes I just say “forget it, let’s go get ice cream!” I always remind myself that even if I spend 5 minutes on something, it’s still more 1:1 time than he was getting at school.”
Catch up when you can and stay flexible
“I have a schedule and we try to get all of it done, but if it doesn’t, I don’t stress too much. Things have been crazy since we moved here. Sometimes I make a real effort to make it all up in the same week, and sometimes I just catch up when/where we can. We just plan on going all year through and that way we can take breaks when things come up.”
Roll with the punches
“Life still happens while we’re trying to do school. Things come up, errands have to be run, etc. You just do the best you can. There are days when I feel overwhelmed, but mostly I just look at it as something everyone deals with. No one’s life is perfect. No homeschooled child gets everything done with a smile on their face and no mom always has a pristine house unless she has a maid (don’t I wish!). Life happens. You can choose to be overwhelmed and fight it, or you can choose to accept it and roll along.”
Remember why you’re Homeschooling
Your kids are “getting a CULTURAL education, which is just as important. You’re not ruining them for life. There are times when I freak out when I see what public schooled kids have covered and we haven’t, but then I think about all the things we cover that they never will. They know a little about a lot of things but never get to study things in depth. We have the time to explore.”A special thanks to my friends, mentors and panel of experts from my Homeschool group who gave me the wisdom and advice to share in this post. This post is a part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog Cruise. To read more posts on the topic of “When your day doesn’t go as planned” click the banner below after April 23, 2013 9 am EST.