It is completely normal to have an “off” day (or two) every once in a while. With children, it seems that the balance between positive and negative can be thrown off a lot more easily. In this post, we will discuss why that is and how to help your kids to have a more positive attitude during your homeschool day.
One of the reasons why I think that it is harder for children to keep the balance tilted toward a positive attitude or outlook as opposed to a negative one is true is because they are still learning to discern between what is important to be emotional about and what isn’t worth it. Let’s talk about how to help kids be more positive on bad homeschool days and how to avoid them!
How to Help Kids be more Positive on Bad Homeschool Days
Emotional self-regulation can be so tough for children. Emotions are intense and very passionate. Have you seen a kid that is extraordinarily happy to find a penny on the sidewalk, an overly loud and excited child who gets to stay up 5 minutes past their bedtime or a young one in complete despair over a broken crayon?
This isn’t new at all. Children tend to feel emotions more intensely. As parents, if we play our cards right and have this particular set of tips, we’ll be able to successfully tilt the balance to positive during our homeschooling time! Come take a look how!
And if you have more tips that you have found helpful, please leave them in comments below and I will add them to our list! Ready?
1. Get a good night’s sleep and have a plan.
All of you need good rest the night before. Go to bed on time and have a good bedtime routine. We love to use essential oils and CBD oil to help them relax at night. If everyone is tired and grumpy, you can obviously see where your day is headed. Here’s a good essential oils list.
Have a plan for the morning. Chore charts are very helpful because it takes away the guessing part on what to do to get ready in the morning. I have 2 chore charts for each chid. The morning chore chart includes, in order, what to do each morning (get up, make bed, brush teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, clean room, get homeschool materials to table).
The afternoon chart has the other chores like practice piano, feed the chickens and collect eggs, hep make a snack, etc. For younger kids, you might want to check out our homeschool life skills checklist to see what kids can do.
2. Start your day with peace.
It is very important to focus on getting things done in a calm manner before homeschool begins. If everyone is stressed out, loud and grumpy, that will definitely spill into your homeschooling hours as well.
Having homeschool setup ideas (click on the link to see homeschool room pictures and get a list of homeschool room tour) to make mornings go smoothy. One of those is copywork for homeschool use or for fun. If kids are done with their morning routine, they can go to the homeschool table or room and do some copywork.
I personally like to use Scripture because that helps with promoting peace. But the copywork can be on anything educational or not, whether it is homeschool cursive or manuscript work (this depends on the chid’s writing level). Kids trace and write on the copywork pages in silence.
Here are some ways to promote peace at home.
3. Exercise patience.
I cannot stress this enough! If you, the homeschooling parent, is patient, your children will be able to get their tough emotional spots a lot faster. Trust me. It’s true. Some days, it is easier to keep my cool. But on other days, I am also having one of “those days” and it takes an added effort to keep things calm.
None of us are perfect. All of us have “on” days and “off” days. Patience comes hard sometimes, especially on crazy days. This is why it is important to give patience the priority it deserves. Everyone in the family deserves to have a patient attitude toward one another. Homeschooling days will go smoothly when patience is present and there are things we can do:
You can come up with a list of homeschool project ideas that help exercise peace and patience with each other. Having discussions about it and running through scenarios will also help.
There are many different ways to homeschool. We even change our methods as the years go by. Our experience, the kids’ ages and other variable contribute to any changes that we make. There are too many different homeschool methods to list. But I have made a homeschool style quiz that many focuses on 8 of the main types of homeschooling styles.
Let me clarify something for you. This quiz isn’t an “Is homeschooling right for me?” quiz. This is a homeschool style quiz for those who have already decided to homeschool, but are wondering what method fits you and your kids the best.
4. Plan a surprise.
Give the kids something to look forward to, without giving them details or telling them what it is. I let my children know that I have a surprise planned for 10:30 (right around the time we take a short break). If we finish our work by then (and I specifically say what needs to get done so there are no assumptions, negative surprises or room for negotiation), we will have a special surprise.
No, it isn’t bribing. It is still something you want to do for them because you love them, but you are building a positive sense of expectation. Sometimes, I give them a special snack that they love. Other times, I let them watch a short educational video during their snack (like Magic School Bus LINK). And sometimes, I let them go to the backyard to play with our chickens (which they love to do).
When we get our Little Passports (LINK) package in the mail, we might do that or I might give them an extra long visit to the park after our chores are done. Or we make some fun homeschool crafts. You can also take a look at our list of free homeschool printables to find something fun to print and do together.
5. Focus on the positive.
Encourage your kids. Encourage them regularly. Tell them positive things often. Always foster a positive environment at home, or at least as much as possible. The other day, we had a bad morning with my son. He was negative, had a bad attitude with lots of backtalk and, needless to say, he had several consequences because of it.
The next day, I took him aside and recapped the previous day. I then challenged him to make 3 specific changes, just to test out a theory. It worked! We had a much better day (actually, it was like day and night from the day before) and he said he had a much better time learning. He thanked me for reminding him that being positive brings more happiness and more good things to our lives.
It really is possible to have good homeschooling days! But it starts with us. As adults, we have had more opportunities and years to practice emotional self-regulation than our children. It is our job to help them learn this very important skill. It might be quick and easy or it might take a few years of going at it daily.
Regardless, it will pay off! It will be worth it!
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