Homeschool Mud

I’ve been working on some pretty hard changes to our homeschool routines. My constant motion children need their fins nailed to the floor at times!

There’s been a rash of constant complaining whenever it’s time to gather for lesson time – be it on the computer, at the table, crafting/experimenting in the kitchen, or going on a field trip. It doesn’t matter. They’re in the habit of vocally hating lesson time, and it’s worn my nerves to bits!

After much heartfelt prayer, I discovered part of the problem is me. Ouch!

I knew the plan for each day, but they didn’t. So, *deep breath* I posted a schedule.

ACK! I hate schedules that are posted. I had this knee jerk reaction to the schedule: “Now it is set in stone, and it’s going to fail right out of the gate because our days are in as much constant motion as the kids sometimes!”

You see, flexibility is key when dealing with medical issues (my own chronic pain or my son’s Arthritis/Epilepsy) and behavioral issues (SPD, ODD, and ADHD). Monkey wrenches are often thrown into what we thought we were going to do each day.

I wanted to try it anyway. So, I kept our schedule loose! I planned out large blocks of time: quiet time, school time, and free time. I wrote in meal times for reference and to show that there would be breaks. Simple and flexible! The only hard and fast time I set is for the benefit of the kids as well as myself. At 2 pm, I switch gears from their work to my work. They are released to play while I’m released to get my work done. Whatever we did or didn’t do with schoolwork is just going to have to be enough.

To my surprise, this schedule worked amazing well… for the first week. This week, we are back to the groaning, refusing to participate, sabotaging/destroying lesson work, whining, and complaining.

I’m not throwing out the schedule. It does work! I’m just going to try a few more ideas, one at a time:

  • I’m going to set timers for them to know, and hear from someone other than me, that it’s time to get to work. I’ve done this before, but forgotten about it’s effectiveness.
  • I might *gasp* add to our schedule different sections of school time: group work and individual work times.
  • I’ll bribe them and allow Minecraft computer time during their free time when they participate without complaint and do their best.

I don’t have the answers for the muddy, slow progress season we are in, but I do have a few ideas and hope.

I know I’ll just keep swimming. The mud will eventually dry up to firm ground, or I’ll just learn how to walk through the mud better. God is faithful. HE won’t give up on me or my kids. So, I won’t give up on my kids either. I’m grateful to God for my husband; he helps me remember these truths and keeps giving me great ideas.

God is with me (and you!) even in the homeschool mud.

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