Overview: If your homeschool isn’t working because everyone has a bad attitude and doing lessons seems way too overwhelming, here are some tips that should help!
Are your kids bored with their homeschool lessons? Are you struggling to stay focused? Many of us get spring fever this time of year and it becomes more and more difficult to stay on task.
It doesn’t have to stay this way!
When poor attitudes or boredom strikes, and our regular homeschool isn’t working, it’s time to take action. There are plenty of ways to revitalize our lessons and put the fun back into learning.
Here are 10 Ways to Revitalize Your Homeschool:
It’s no surprise that breathing fresh air will remove the staleness from your homeschool in a hurry. If you are experiencing good weather where you live, try taking the regular books outside and doing lessons in lawn chairs or at the picnic table. Let your kids run around between subjects and get their blood pumping. This extra activity and change in scenery are often enough to help everyone’s spirits feel revitalized.
2 – Unit Study
If the homeschool lessons are boring everyone to tears, it might be time to set aside the regular books and complete a unit study instead. The key to this working is to choose a topic your child is passionate about. Look for books, movies, projects, etc. which will help your kids to learn more about that topic and do a deep dive in that one area. Unit studies are a great way to get kids excited about learning again.
If you want to do a really fun unit study on knights and kings and peasants, check out my Time Capsule: Medieval England unit study!
3 – Have a Reading Day
Sometimes, one of the best things you can do is to set aside the regular lessons, grab a large stack of books, and spend the day reading. There are several ways to do this that will work well depending on the ages of your children. You can try reading books aloud as a group, listening to audiobooks together, or letting everyone go off to read on their own. Be sure to choose books which will be enjoyed by everyone and will refresh the soul.
This isn’t the time to tackle difficult classic works or books which will challenge your child. You want everyone to feel rejuvenated at the end of the reading session.
4 – Field Trips
Sometimes a complete change in venue is what’s called for. It’s great if you can find a connection with something you’ve been studying all year to help bring that learning alive for your kiddos. No matter where you live, there are plenty of interesting places to visit which are within driving distance of your home. If you’re feeling uninspired, you may want to visit a local tourist center and look at the brochures for your area to get ideas.
5 – Hands-on Projects
It’s easy to get in a rut with our lessons and to be tempted to want to skip the fun, hands-on projects which will help our kids to really delve into what their learning because we don’t want to take the time or deal with the mess which will ensue. So every once in a while, it’s fun to set aside an entire day to tackle these types of projects. Build an exploding volcano, do that messy science experiment with dry ice, let your child head to the workshop to build something out of wood, put a model rocket together and launch it in the back yard… whatever you think will be exciting for your child.
There are aisles at Hobby Lobby which are FILLED with these types of project ideas. If you’re feeling uninspired, try heading to the store with your kids and see what catches their eye!
6 – Have a Game Day
There’s nothing that will fill your child’s heart with more excitement than hearing that you’re going to have a game day. Kids learn a ton from playing board games. There are so many math and social skills that they learn from playing together. Most families have closets filled with games that can be pulled out on days like this. Make it a point to purchase new games at Christmas and on birthdays so that there are always new things to try together as a family.
7 – Movie Day
Having a movie day is a great way to recap what you’ve been learning. Whether it’s watching a movie after reading the book, watching a movie about a topic you’ve been studying, or simply watching a movie for fun. Movie days are a great way to let everyone have a break after weeks of working hard on the regular lessons.
If you’re going to have a movie day, be sure to do it up big. Draw the curtains to make it feel more like a movie theater, serve theater snacks, turn on the surround sound if you have it, etc. Have fun with it!
Sometimes the problem isn’t our curriculum, our kiddos, or anything other than ourselves. Let’s face it! Homeschooling is hard work and sometimes we are the ones who need some revitalization. When this happens, it’s often because we aren’t doing a good job of taking care of ourselves.
We have needs and we can only ignore them for so long before overwhelm will set in. It isn’t always easy to do, but if you are intentional you can find some ways to get a few minutes of alone time every week to recharge. Our attitudes are contagious, whether for good or for ill. And doing a better job in the self-care department will help elevate the attitude in our entire home!
9 – Have a Free Day
Homeschoolers are notorious for continuing to keep up with lessons even when the kids are sick, when your family goes on a field trip, even sometimes even over spring or summer break. And that’s a great way to help your kids get ahead or to catch up from time to time. But we all need breaks! Even God tells us we should work six days and rest on the seventh. So, if you’re sensing that your kiddos are mentally drained, you would be wise to pack up the lessons and let them have the day off to do whatever they want from time to time. You’ll bank a lot of good will from your children if you do this every once in a while. And you’ll probably be shocked at how much less resistance they give you when it comes time to do their lessons the next day.
10 – Talk to Your Child
Kids like knowing that they have some say in what they’re learning. It’s good to schedule regular times throughout the year for conversations with them so that you can discuss what seems to be working and what subjects might need a few tweaks. Everyone is unique and not all curriculum will work for every child. Just because you enjoy learning a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the best option for your child.
You may even need to completely change the way you’re running your homeschool the way I did when my boys were just hitting the teen years. The older kids get, the stronger desire they will have to give input and make decisions about their education.
The more you keep the lines of communication open and talk to your kids to find out their preferences, the less often you will go through phases of boredom in your homeschool. But when life sets in and you need to make some changes, don’t be afraid of it. Lean into this season and embrace the freedom that you have as a homeschooler. Be willing to make adjustments or to take breaks here and there and you’ll find your child’s desire for learning will bounce back much faster than you might ever suspect.
What do you do when your homeschool needs to be revitalized? How do you get the attitudes of your kiddos – or even yourself – to turn around? Please leave a comment below!