Have you ever given much thought to homeschooling when it’s hard?
Not all homeschool days are pretty. I’ve caught myself feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and downright frightened at times. Many parents are finding their worlds turned upside down in this bizarre and untypical time. But homeschool, like life, has its seasons. And thankfully, not all seasons last.
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Folks, we are not homeschooling in the traditional sense. This is crisis-schooling. We are quarantined like many others. We are unable to go to our extracurricular activities including ballet, horseback riding lessons, and weekly library visits.
There is struggle in finding our new normal.
I helped my daughter try on her homemade surgical mask and it felt so surreal. Like something out of the twilight zone.
Is this the Spanish Flu of 1918?
No, it is 2020 and suddenly social distancing is the norm.
This is NOT how we homeschool. We miss our family, friends, community and our activities. But this is also necessary and hopefully temporary.
Homeschooling When it’s Hard
We’ve all heard about how to homeschool when mom or the kids need a sick day, but what about when sickness lasts for WEEKS or when family tragedy strikes or unforeseen situations occur?
We’ve had a rough couple of months (year) of homeschool, folks.
Life threw several things our way in February. Though the shortest month of the year it seemed to drag on and on…
Two weeks of the flu combined with 358 days of rain…
I’m only kidding about the rain… a little.
Flooding in our basement, a roof that started leaking, a beloved pet staying multiple days at the vet for a procedure, and a loved one entering the hospital three times and then having surgery were thrown upon us during the shortest month of the year…
And as if all that wasn’t enough March began with just as much uncertainty. The death of the children’s Nana and the world’s first pandemic in many years hit us like a ton of bricks. It feels like March lasted another 359 days.
All of this adds up to some cranky, anxious, frightened, and tired kiddos with a mom who feels the same. We are trying our very best to figure out our feelings and emotions while understanding all that is happening around us.
Homeschooling has its Seasons
Like many of you, I have found this winter and spring to be especially hard. Our “new normal” is just that…new. Having to teach our kids, manage our schedules, manage our businesses, and manage our households in a world full of unknowns is scary.
Some days we do all our normal homeschooly math, reading, writing, and everything in-between.
Some days, we just play games and do puzzles.
Other days we bake, jump on the trampoline, and snuggle while listening to audio books.
Folks, we’re winging it during this time of crisis and hard days.
I don’t have all the answers. But I have found that staying present within yourself and with your kiddos is super important when fear and anxiety try to take hold. The only way to approach hard homeschool days is to approach them one day at a time. Try to stay present with your kiddos. Choose to connect with them every chance you get. You are stronger than you think, and these hard days too will pass.
At-Home Learning Resources
Here are some of my favorite homeschooling resources to help you get through these hard homeschooling days:
- Read alouds are a great way to build connections with your kids. Here are 35 of our favorite read alouds. Also, individual reading for older kids. My son is obsessed with WWII and survival books.
- Play Games – Here are 50 of our favorite games.
- Nature – Get outside if you can. Open your windows and blinds. Let the fresh air in! If you have a backyard go on a worm hunt or start watching the backyard wildlife. Exploring Nature with Children is an affordable option for a week by week study of nature throughout the year.
- Curiosity Stream for the best science, history, and nature documentaries!
- Brain Pop
- Pianosaur is a wonderful online piano service for ages 4-8.
- Gentle Guitar – online guitar lessons that my son has been taking for several years. It’s awesome to be able to skype his lessons each week.
- FabuLingua is a lovely Spanish storytelling method for language learning.
- Duolingo allows you and your kiddo to learn dozens of languages for FREE!
- Chalk Pastels is a beautiful and calming art resource.
- Masterpiece Society is another amazing art resource!
- Reading Eggs is perfect for children 7-13
- Math Seeds is a fun math supplement for ages 3-9
- Around the World Stories is a fantastic geography cultural story resource!
- Amazon Audible has been a favorite in our home for over 5 years! Here are 70 of our favorite audiobooks.
- Amazon Kindle is helpful if, like ours, your library has been closed for the time being.
- Outschool offers online classes appropriate for all ages and across all subjects.
- KiwiCo subscription boxes are seriously fun and enriching science and art projects that have been favorites in our home for many years.
Encouraging Posts for those Hard Days
You may also enjoy these encouraging posts:
- 12 Books to Help Children with Death, Grief, and Loss
- When You’ve Lost Your Homeschool Rhythm
- The Pressure to be the Perfect Homeschool Mom
- When You Can’t Do Everything: Overcoming Homeschool Burnout
- Homeschooling with Joy and Sometimes on Impulse
If you are working from home, then be sure to check out my friend Jen at Practical By Default as she provides oodles of tips and tricks for getting started with working and homeschooling!
Are You Interested in FREE Reading and Spelling Resources?
Below are some learning activities you can download to use with your children. Select a learning topic to view and download all the resources available for that topic FREE from All About Learning.
Explore Big Emotions
This printable emotions face is a great way to help your little people explore big emotions! Explore a little social-emotional learning and craftiness at the same time!
Tell me, how are you handling these hard homeschool days?
Erin, so sorry to hear that you’d already weathered such a rough few weeks even leading up to the pandemic. I enjoy your blog and had popped over here a few times and noticed you hadn’t posted recently so it’s nice to see you’re coming up for a bit of breath after what sounds like really trying times. Yes, these times definitely do not make for regular life – thanks for all the wonderful ideas and suggestions:).
Erin Vincent says
Awe, thank you. Yes, I had to set the blog on the back burner for a bit as we weathered some of these storms of life. I appreciate you stopping by and for your kind words. I’m sending you a virtual hug! The world feels a bit crazy right now for sure. Thank you again.