Tips for Weathering Those Not so Great Homeschooling Days

Some homeschooling days just don't run as smoothly as I'd like.

Today I blamed it on the weather and did my best to keep us on track.

The day started out great!

We had an early morning orthodontic appointment and all the boys were ready so early that we had time to run errands before our appointment!  Alec learned that his palette expander was all set and we didn't have to do any more adjustments.  The rain held off while we were out and about.... it looked like it was going to be a great day.

Then we got home and started school.... and things did not go so well.

There are only so many things I can do to try and turn our day around. 

Today I tried them ALL!

 All three boys started with math: 

 It was slow going and rather painful today.

Evan didn't want to do any schoolwork so he whined and complained a lot.  He finally finished one page on adding two digit numbers with some re-grouping and then we worked together on a page about arrays.

 Ian completed two pages on adding mixed measurements and converting them; he hated the work and teared up a few times because he was confused and frustrated.

Alec was working on a page adding 4 digit numbers with some regrouping and started getting confused between adding and multiplying.  He then worked on a page about dividing with remainders and broke down sobbing.

1.  I finally had everyone put all the math away and told them all to take a break.

It was dreary and pouring rain by then so we had to find things to do inside.

2.  I tried to think of "fun" things to do instead.

I finally sent Alec to his room to read.  I know he loves his stories and that it would help calm him down.  

Evan and Ian pulled out some scratch art papers and started trying to make some pictures.  The boys enjoy arts and crafts and we thought that would be fun.  But, the set that we bought a while back is actually pretty hard to scratch.  

The black does not remove easily and often we end up scratching right through the paper.  It's pretty annoying and Ian was getting frustrated.  

3. I thought it might help if I offered to work WITH them. 

I finally offered to go sit and read with Ian and he readily agreed packing away the art supplies gratefully.

We read two more chapters in The Hunger Games and if it wasn't getting so close to lunch time we may have ended up reading a third.  I warned Ian that it was going to get even harder to put the book down now that we're in the thick of things.  We only have about 10 more chapters to read; it's amazing how willing he's been to read with me everyday without fail.  He read a few pages from each chapter and did a really good job.  Once we were done reading he wanted to go make his own lunch.

Evan called me in to read with him next.  He picked out a book called Fat Cat Sat on a Mat.  It was actually a pretty long story and he did a good job with it.  He did tell me it was to long though and he didn't want to read it ever again.

4. We Turned to Non- School Things:

As soon as I finished up with Evan, Alec was calling me.  He needed some help getting the siphon vacuum to work in his fish tank.  The water has been getting cloudy and not testing well and he didn't want any of his fish to die.  We did notice the fish all swimming around much faster and only in the top of the tank where the new water was like they were all happy and excited again.  It was pretty funny and we were giving them voices and telling stories about what we thought they were thinking and feeling.

5. We Took a Break to Eat and Recharge:

By the time that was done everyone wanted to sit down to lunch.  Ian had already made his lunch and had eaten most of it but he hung around in the kitchen cleaning up after himself while I read aloud the next chapter in Harry Potter.

6. We Attempted School Again:

Sight Word Practice 
 Evan went through a quick re-reading of all the sight word stacking cups.  I was surprised to realize that it's just about time to go through them and change them already!    I have been noticing him reading a lot more of the print around us; yesterday on our field trip he was pointing out words to me on the power point presentation in the planetarium and on the various buildings.  He's becoming much more aware of all the words around us.

Writing/ Harry Potter Unit Continuation:
We finished our day with another Harry Potter Quotes page from the Scholastic site and then settled down to read about the snowy owl in Ookpik; The Travels of the Snowy Owl.  Alec told us a lot more about the lemmings they eat and we had a discussion about the arctic and the owls.  I was going to follow up our reading with a craft/ art project but no one wanted to.

7.  We ended school early

Once we had MOST of our schoolwork completed, I listened to the boys and we ended early.  We had a few more activities and projects planned but nothing that was worth plowing through and making us all miserable.  We had finished quite a bit and turned our day around; I was leery of pushing too far and having our day end on a sour note.

The boys wanted to head to Gamestop and buy the Minecraft game for the Xbox so we called an early end to our day and piled back into the car.

We're almost finished our Red Pyramid book and listened to some more of that while we were driving.  The boys are making a lot of comparisons between the Egyptian and the Greek/Roman gods that we learned about in Percy Jackson.  Once at Gamestop they played a few of the games they had demo's for and took turns trying out Mario Party 10 for the Wii U.

Once home they all piled into Ian's room to finish the movie Yours, Mine, and Ours and then the younger boys helped Ian learn the ins and outs of Minecraft.  Even after dinner the younger two went back to playing Minecraft; funny enough Ian left to go woodworking with my husband.


  1. Sounds you did really well to me. I find myself debating home schooling and whether it would work for us so I love reading posts about home schooling. #twinklytuesday

    1. It is a big step; but one I am very glad we took. It did take us a good year to really find our groove and obviously days still don't always go well but most of the time we have a lot of fun learning together. Thanks for checking out my post!

  2. I love this! Some days you just need to cuddle or take the day off. I'm totally with you. My boys love Minecraft too, I hope yours enjoy it. Featuring you this week on Natural Beach Living. Thanks for linking up

  3. One of the most important things in hoomeschooling is learning to go with the flow, right? :)

    1. That is so true! It's something I struggle with so much too because I am not all that flexible but I'm learning... I'm learning.


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