Are you struggling to get back to homeschool lessons after taking a break? It doesn’t have to be so difficult. Here’s how!
It’s important for us to take breaks from our homeschool lessons from time to time. Rest is healing and is a great way for us to find our motivation again if we have been experiencing overwhelm. Sadly, some homeschool moms resist taking even the smallest breaks because if they do, they have a hard time getting back into a regular routine.
What if I told you it didn’t have to be that way – that it’s possible to successfully start after a break that won’t take more energy to implement than what you gained during your time off?
Prepare Your Kids Mentally
The first step to getting back to homeschool lessons is to prepare your kids. Imagine if you woke up one morning and had someone tell you it was time to start working on a project with no prior notice. Perhaps you had been dreaming about reading a book for pleasure, getting caught back up on your Netflix shows, or chatting with your friend only to learn that it wouldn’t be possible.
That’s how our kids feel when we don’t mentally prepare them that lessons will be starting back up. As adults, we naturally tend to think about how time is passing so that we aren’t caught off guard when our break is over. We get lesson plans together, straighten our space, and brace ourselves for what’s to come. We give ourselves time to adjust to the idea that our routines will be back in place within a certain period of time.
We need to help our kiddos make that same internal adjustment. Do a countdown with young children so that they know how many “sleeps” are left before homeschool lessons will begin again. Give older children a calendar on which they can count down the days until break is over. Talk about upcoming subject matter or activities to get them excited about what’s to come.
Also, make sure you have a positive mental outlook about lessons starting again. If you are dreading the end of the break, your children will as well. Our attitudes are contagious, so we want to be sure we’re spreading enthusiasm and not dread.
Prepare Your Kids Physically
Part of taking a break is relaxing our routines… which is great while we’re trying to recharge. But it’s difficult to get everyone back on board with homeschool lessons when we have gotten used to sleeping in, are eating more for convenience rather than health, and aren’t being as physically active as we might be otherwise.
If you want to set your kids up for success, help them get used to a more structured routine before they actually need to be. Remember that it helps to ease back into things with gradual changes.
We all sleep better if we tend to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day. Try to institute regular bedtimes again at least a few days BEFORE you start back with lessons to help everyone adjust.
Also, if you have gotten away from eating healthy meals, be intentional about transitioning back so that you’re fueling your children’s brains properly. Imagine giving your car sugar water rather than gasoline and expecting it to start and drive smoothly. It isn’t going to happen. Our brains and bodies are much more complicated machines than cars and yet we feed them junk and wonder why the results are less than ideal.
Prepare Your Kids Incrementally
It’s jarring to our kiddos if we expect them to absorb lessons from all of their subjects their first week back. I definitely advocate a more gentle approach to returning from a break. Start by covering subjects they enjoy and be sure to include plenty of read aloud time and even learning through games.
It can also be helpful to do some review the first few days to help them build their confidence and get back into the swing of things.This is a great way to lubricate their brains and help prepare them to handle new, harder material in the days to come.
Also, consider adding in some extra motivation with rewards. This is always a great idea but can be even more helpful when starting back lessons after a break. Find out what motivates your child and reward him with that. Give him ways to earn more screen time, extra treats after meals, time with friends, special art supplies, music lessons, or anything else that will inspire him to want to do his lessons with a positive attitude.
Getting back to homeschool lessons after a break can jar the entire family. With a bit of preparation, however, we can design a less painful transition and can even help the entire family anticipate returning to a more regular routine.