Tuesday, January 10, 2012

10 Helps for a Home School Slump!

Do you feel like your in the doldrums? Like things just aren't going well, and you wish you could be inspired, renewed, excited again? I think we all go through times like this. While I don't think it's realistic to expect that we always be excited, I definitely relate to wanting to pull out of a slump. Here are 10 things I look at when I'm in a slump:

1, Are you taking care of yourself? Eating right and drinking lots of water? Getting enough sleep at night (or are you burning the candle at both ends while you look for something to motivate/excite/inspire)? Getting exercise? (fresh air and a bit of sunshine can be hard to come by in winter months if you are in a cold climate but are VERY important to your emotional well-being. Get outside when you can, but get some kind of exercise at least 3 times a week, outside or not.) Spending time with God in the Word and in prayer? (Even just 10-15 minutes in the word followed by a prayer walk can be so uplifting! Or choose a meaningful verse to meditate on and memorize.)

2, Character issues with the kids--nothing can make school more a drudgery than kids who are at each other all the time. Evaluate this and come up with a plan on how to work on some issues. Be positive--show kids what TO do and not just what NOT to do, encourage them, spend time in training and not just reactive discipline--help them make some necessary changes. I sometimes ask my kids--"what kind of home do you want to live in? One where there is constant fighting and strife? Or one where we get along, have fun, encourage each other?" and so on.

3, Are you trying to do it all yourself, or are you involving the kids in regular chores and household items?

4, Clutter--sometimes what discourages me is a closet that's gotten out of hand, or the guest room (aka "catch-all room"), or a school area, or my desk...maybe spending some time decluttering this week would help you feel refreshed and ready to go.

5, Curriculum issues--is there a curriculum that has become a drudgery, not because of the subject matter, but because of the way the curriculum works? Maybe it's not a fit for your child, or maybe it doesn't fit your teaching style. Can it be tweaked? Can you make some changes to it over break that will make it more doable? Or do you need to purge it and try something new?

6, Has school taken over your life so that if they kids have a question about God or growing up, you feel like you don't have time to answer because you have to get school done? Is everything you are doing necessary? Maybe it is--there ARE some very busy seasons...but it's worth investigating.

7, Similar to that...are you too busy in life in general? Too many outside activities, too much volunteer time at church or other places? Does your family have time to just relax some evenings, can you just play a game sometimes or do another fun family activity?

8, Do you get out at all, even once a month, with a girlfriend or two, just to do something fun?

9, Do you have something each week to look forward to? For my kids, it's Friday Friend Day. Actually we all look forward to this. We do a half-day of school on Friday and then spend the afternoon at a friend's house. Usually we all go to one house, and the mom and I talk while the kids play. But sometimes the kids go different places and I might enjoy some quiet at home; or the kids might have friends over but since they are occupied I still get a bit of time for myself.

10, Meals--maybe you're in a meal slump, and just having some different meals to look forward to might perk up your week. It's funny how my kids will get so excited about certain foods, like having a taco bar, or nachos for the super bowl, or pizza night (homemade or order in). Something like that can make a family night a fun tradition to look forward to.

Evaluate and change something up if you need to. And let me know your ideas for pulling out of a slump, I need all the help I can get!

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