It happens to us all. Things go bad. Maybe you wake up earlier than you wanted to the sound of whiny or grumpy kids. Maybe you miss your alarm. Maybe you spill your morning coffee. Maybe school starts off ok but everyone ends up frustrated and in tears. Maybe the kids cannot focus on the learning activities you are trying to do. “Mama said there’d be days like this!”. It doesnt have to stay this way and the beauty of the relaxed feel of homeschool is that we do not have to push through it. There is no real reason or benefit to forcing it when things are going badly. If the mind isn’t open to learning, its not going to learn. At home we have the luxury of pulling the plug, or at least taking a breather to shake it off, when things are spiraling down.
Here are a few of my favourite ways to turn the tide on our day when it starts falling apart.
- go outside
- Changing up your environment can be a huge help in changing moods. Especially when that new environment includes fresh air, sunshine, and burning energy
- put some music on
- calming or dance music – you choose!
- KooKooKangaroo on youtube
- My kids love to dance along with one of their silly dances! I will just caution you to set it up yourself as youtube isn’t really a site you want to give kids freedom on.
- make a snack or hot drinks, grab a book and start reading out loud
- nothing settles my girls down like listening to me read from our current chapter book (ps, you can train young kids to listen to chapter books. Sophie has been listening since she was 3 and shes a wiggly, rough, high energy kid!)
- get messy with playdough or paint
- or a mud puddle, or a sink full of water, or a sensory bin. Engage their hands.
- put your kids in the bath with some toys
- this is one of my go to moves for sure! My girls will stay in the bathtub for an hour happily playing. Now, granted, it does look like shamu was putting on a performance in my bathroom with how much water they get on the floor, but it’s worth it for the change in attitudes!
Sometimes we will go back to where we left off on school once moods have changed and sometimes we don’t. Maybe I need to reevaluate how I’m teaching or what resources I’m using. Maybe the child is missing some basic knowledge to complete this task and I need to back the bus up. When you take a break, make sure you also reevaluate what went wrong. Maybe nothing was wrong other than that they needed a break or to move their bodies. Perhaps they are just tired and today is not the right day to learn this. Maybe you need to back up and reteach an earlier skill. Maybe you need to come up with a new way to explain or teach the task. Maybe the resource isn’t working well for that child. maybe they’re hungry! (That is a HUGE one with my youngest. Doesn’t always realize she is hungry but the first thing I do when she is melting down is feed her). It could be so many things but it makes it easier to come back to it if you’ve evaluated your approach. And maybe you’re just done for the day and decide to try again tomorrow and that’s ok too!
These ideas are applicable in any home and not just in a homeschooling scenario. Use these ideas anytime your day with your kiddos seems to be going downhill. But mamas, can I encourage you to make sure that you utilize this reset for yourself as well. Remember that as the mom, you are setting the culture and climate of your home. You are setting the tone for the moods for the day. So be sure to come back from this “reset” in a positive and upbeat headspace; ready to forigve, forget and move on. Hugs and “I love you’s” are a great way to do that.
I’d love to hear how you turn a rough day around in your home!