Friday, March 11, 2016

When Life Interrupts the Homeschooling Day....

In my house, March is the busiest month of the year. We have (3) March birthdays (one every week for 3 weeks in a row). With the birthday planning and parties, along with the everyday demands of being a mother, wife, homeschool teacher, and running a household, it can be overwhelming. I often find myself having to take care of other tasks, vowing to catch up on our homeschool assignments later on in the day.  First of all, homeschooling means never having to follow a script or plan (unless you want to, that is). Of course, you do have to get lessons done, but on the days when you just can't follow your lesson plan, there are options. Learning doesn't have to stop just because we get busy, or because we need to take a homeschooling break. So, how can you homeschool, keep your kids learning and engaged, while you handle other everyday tasks? Here are just a few of my picks from my emergency bag of tricks: 

1. Make books, puzzles, and other educational resources available.

You don't have to have an organized plan in place for children to learn. Give them options of what they would like to work on or read, while you are making that important phone call, or catching up on laundry. You can see from my picture that even my 3 year old has choices!

2. Never underestimate the power of educational television!

Okay, so I know that we shouldn't use television as a babysitter. I have also read all of the studies showing the healthy amounts of television viewing for children. However, when you need to, educational programming can be very useful. Whether it is public television, National Geographic Channel, or Netflix, you can find something to keep the kids learning and entertained. You can always make that show into a lesson later. 

3. Create a masterpiece! 

Let the kids express their creative side by doing a craft or art project. It may get a little messy, but it's worth it! Let's face it, having kids at home all day, everyday, isn't easy on your floors (or walls, or carpets, or bathrooms) anyway. Sadly, they grow up, so enjoy the mess while you can. Remember, Magic Erasers are a mom's best friend! 
4. It's time for a change of scenery....

If your day, and your time allows, try getting out for a little while. Sometimes the fresh air is all that you need to clear your head and bring some peace back to your day. Those dishes will still be waiting when you return....I promise. 
5. Life Skills, (because I don't want my 18 year old calling me from college to ask how to do laundry)

In our hunt for the perfect lessons and the perfect curriculum we often neglect, Life Skills 101. Whether, it is helping with breakfast, cleaning up around the house, learning how to do laundry, sew, or fix a flat tire. Life skills are one of the most important lessons that we will teach. Having my 7 year old offer to make meals is a great reward for me, too! :-)

Of course, there are many more ways to homeschool when your day is filled with other important tasks, but I thought that I would give you a few of my favorites. Remember, the reason that we love homeschooling is because we can learn without limits. We don't have to be a slave to our lesson plans or timelines. It is important to follow through when your load lightens up, but if you don't check off all of the boxes in a day (or even a week), don't stress! The work will be there. Remember, homeschooling is not limited by walls or summer vacation, either! There's always time to catch up.

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Make today beautiful! 

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