5 Ways To Recharge Your Homeschool

Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday that we were excited about starting a shiny new school year with all our shiny new curriculum? We all had lots of motivation, and were sure this was going to be the best homeschool year EVAH! Now here we are, just a couple of short months later, and some of us are more than ready to take a break for the holidays, because we are running short of enthusiasm and are kind of dragging through our homeschool days.

I’ve observed that a lot of us start to hit the wall around this time of year. Not only that, but experience has taught me that even if I get all the way through the holidays, those Winter Blahs will hit sometime in February too. Maybe your seasons are different, but at some point, most of us feel like we are in a serious homeschool slump. Those distractions and doldrums have taken their toll, and we have lost our motivation. How do we get back on track when our homeschool batteries are running low? Here are some ideas that have helped us out over the years.

5 Ways to Recharge Your Homeschool

5 Ways to Recharge Your Homeschool

1. Plan to take a break. So simple, right? Some years I’ve figured that we would just work right through Thanksgiving week. Oh, we’d take Thanksgiving DAY off, but it’s not like we were going away or anything so the rest of the week would just be a regular school week. That almost never worked out for me. So I just plan on taking the time off. Look ahead at the calendar and build in breaks around holidays or busy family times. And if everyone is kind of hitting a wall and seems to need a break, just do it! A day off to refresh and do something different may be more valuable in the long run than slogging through yet another day when your hearts just aren’t in it.

2. See if your plans need an update.  Believe it or not, sometimes we don’t get things done because nobody is entirely sure what they’re supposed to be doing or when they’re supposed to do it. My kids could work independently, but they didn’t know what they should do next, or they were stuck on something and just . . . kind of . . . stalled there. This happens with my older kids when I (as the Chief Procrastinator) hadn’t given them an updated list of assignments and due dates. When my kids were younger, sometimes we could get out of a slump by adjusting our daily routine to allow more time for a certain subject, or taking our lunch break at a slightly different time. Another simple solution that just might make a difference!

3. Change it up! Maybe it’s just time to switch it up a bit. Enjoy a breath of fresh air, so to speak. Plan a field trip. Add a short seasonal unit study or family project. You might not need to ditch any curriculum, but spark interest and enthusiasm with something fun that ties in. If your curriculum is contributing to your doldrums, consider how big a change you need to make. There are plenty of ways to make your curriculum work better for you when it’s not quite perfect.
4. Dangle a carrot! That’s right, offer yourself and your students a bribe, a reward, whatever you want to call it. Go ahead and reward the little milestones along the way – another chapter in the math book finished, a perfect score on a spelling test, every twenty days of school completed. Last year I saw a cartoon that showed an Algebra problem and the character saying, “I have no idea. I think I’ll have a donut.” and showed it to my daughter. She told me she thought having donuts after completing a math lesson would help her work faster. Okay, I wasn’t about to commit to running to the donut shop every other afternoon, but I figured maybe a special treat after finishing a unit might be a good idea.

5. Remember why you’re doing this. Yeah, this should be first on the list, but it’s the thought I want to leave you with. Learning should be exciting and rewarding, but it’s easy get bogged down in the process and not even realize what we’ve accomplished. We groan so much about the hard work of getting to the next mile marker that we miss the wonderful things we can see on the way. Slow down and marvel occasionally.  Gaze at beautiful artwork. Whisper “That is so cool!” during Science class. Memorize an inspirational quote, a moving piece of poetry, or an encouraging word from Scripture. In fact, if you don’t already have a theme Scripture for your homeschool or for the year, pray about choosing one. Reflecting on the Scripture God has laid on my heart for my homeschool has helped me to refocus and regain motivation many times.


Kym (9 Posts)

Kym is in the middle of her 17th year of homeschooling her four kids, two of whom have graduated. She and her husband of 27 years are Canadians transplanted to Maryland. Kym loves coffee, history, and homeschooling, and you can join her for coffee break at her blog, Homeschool Coffee Break.

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5 Solutions for a Bad Curriculum Problem

5 Solutions to the Bad Curriculum Problem. | hsbapost.com

If you are like me, you are a homeschooling mom who is working hard to ensure you are providing your kids with the best possible homeschool curriculum and materials. I’m sure you are doing your research, talking to friends, reading expert advice, perusing the aisles at conventions and reading blog reviews. Doing all you can within your power to be sure that when you make the decision to spend your limited budget on a homeschooling item that it’s going to be the one that will work. What will be even better is if that material solves an existing problem.

But what are you supposed to do when that highly recommended curriculum, and expensive to boot, turns out to be a dud? {Tweet That} What happens when it doesn’t work for your child? What should you do when it’s not returnable, and you discover that it’s just not going to work? Or, what do you do when you have nothing left in the budget to replace it with?

These are all questions that homeschooling moms find themselves asking. So, what’s a mom to do?

5 Solutions for the Curriculum Problem

  • Ditch it! I promise, it’s quite alright to ditch a curriculum, you can usually re-sell it for a used product price. (Be sure to check copyright on each individual product to see if you can sell.) Then use that money to purchase another lower priced curriculum.
  • Save it for another child. What doesn’t work for one child, might be the perfect material for another.
  • Swap with a Friend. Your best homeschooling friend, might just be ready to ditch her own curriculum and is thinking what you have might be the best solution. Ask around at co-ops and field trips to see if anyone has what you’re looking for, or needs what you have.
  • Use It! I dont’ mean use it as written. Try using the materials but in a different way. Turn it into a unit study. Allow it to be your guide while you utilize online resources for lapbooks. Be smart, be creative, and think outside the homeschool curriculum box. You are, after all, a resourceful homeschooling mama.

Whatever you decide, know these two things: First, you know your children better than anyone else, if your heart is telling you that a curriculum isn’t educating your children, trust yourself to make the right decision. And second, it’s perfectly alright to change curriculum mid-year. You are, after all, in charge of your homeschooling schedule, your lesson plans, and you get to decide how that looks {Tweet That}!


Renée (25 Posts)

Renée Brown is author at her personal blog, Great Peace Academy. She is a homeschooling mom to her one amazing son, Jonathan and has been the wife of her Beloved Michael for 21 years. On her blog you will find discussions about her work as a homeschooling mom, her family and her faith.

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Perfection is Not the Target


Guest post by Kendy of The Frugal Homeschool.


Here is a typical day in our house:  We rise at 6:30 and everyone makes their bed, tidies their room and has some quiet time for personal devotions.  I am up and have breakfast made by 6:45.  We usually eat whole grain cereal or pancakes with fresh fruit and milk from our goats.  Then it’s time for chores and school work.  We can typically finish all our schoolwork by noon.  One of the girls then cooks a nutritious lunch and we have our afternoons for hobbies or field trips.

Ok, maybe this is more like it:  I wake up the girls repeatedly starting at 7:00 a.m. They stagger out of bed around 7:20.  alarm clockThree days a week they swim with me or they work out while I swim.  Then I push and push and push them to get out of the shower so we can get home and “start our day”.  They are on their own for breakfast, so sometimes it’s chips and salsa, sometimes fruit, sometimes dill pickles or leftovers if we have  eaten out the night before.  Breakfast is accompanied by a book and I begin to push again for them to “finish”.  Animals need fed and or let out and this presents another opportunity to draggggggggg things out.  You guessed it, more pushing.  Are you seeing a pattern?

Finally around 9:30 or 10:00 we have bible study together.  We are working our way through the book of Joshua right now and all three of us are copying the new testament.  bible studyThis is an ongoing project and will take them several years to finish.   After bible study/copying we start in with our subjects.  Twin number one dragggggggggggs everything out and must be pushed to complete her independent work, while twin number two rushes through all her work and is done in no time.  This presents a problem when we have subjects that we do together, as you can imagine.

After all schoolwork is done, most days by 12 or 1ish, we have lunch.  They are mostly on their own again and are happy snacking. Hubby and I have the same thing every day- chicken.  Some days I fix some for the twins, but most days they don’t want chicken.  For years I felt like “I” had to fix all the meals, and many homeschool moms (friends) told me I was crazy!  It’s so freeing, and yes, they still have to be fairly sensible in what they eat.

Quiet please signAfter lunch we sometimes have a quiet time (for mom) and sometimes we have errands to run or school to finish.  Sometimes they have had it with me and just want to spend time reading in their rooms.  That’s ok, sometimes I’ve had it with them too!  Sometimes I send them outside because I know I will have some quiet time.

Eventually we hope to really have goat milk for breakfast, but our goats are only 4 months old right now.  And sometimes we do have pancakes, but that’s only when I am really hungry for them.baby goats

We are probably not what you think of when you think of homeschoolers.  Most of our schoolwork is done in the living room lounging, or at the coffee table.  Rarely do they sit at their desks.  We do a ton of reading and most of it together.  And yes there are many days when the girls are still in pj’s!

If we are presented with an opportunity to really dive into anything that catches our attention, we’ll stop and do just that.  It may be wild turkeys in the front yard, or birds at the feeder or a family favorite, hummingbirds.  Everything comes to a halt if anyone yells “hummingbird!“.  This includes my married children and grandchildren. 😉hummingbird at feeder

We are not into textbooks either and use them very sparingly.  Give us a living book over a textbook any day.  We lean more toward a classical approach, and have studied things like Shakespeare, Latin and artists and composers of old.  Don’t think this makes us snooty, because we are anything but.

Well, that is a fairly typical day in our homeschool. We aim for a harmonious, productive, filled with learning day, and most days we are at least on the target.  Once in while we even hit a bullseye!bullseye

How about  you?  What does your typical day look like?


Kendy is a homeschool mom to 6 for the past 26 years.  She loves reading, quilting, nature, music, and family. You can read her blog at The Frugal Homeschool.





A Day in the Life of a Homeschool Family series at The Homeschool Post



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