Not every homeschool day works well.  Some days are just blah, other days are bad.  There are stresses and struggles. And even when you have good days, they can become predictable and boring.

It helps to have some alternatives.20140318_115016

Switch subjects

We usually start with the basics; Bible, Maths, Spelling & Dictation, Language Arts, but sometimes we start with Core instead, or sit together for Read Aloud time, or start our Theme of the Day activity we normally do after lunch before the rest.  Beginning with a “fun” subject or activity can defuse any difficulty.  I often ask my youngest what subject she would like to start.  I give her a choice in leading her own homeschool day and so she doesn’t feel that I am dragging her through the motions.  She leads and feels motivated.

Sit somewhere new

Move outside, inside, under a tree, on the carpet, in the sunshine, in the shade, on the couch, in bed, outdoors, rearrange the study. By simply changing the learning environment, the whole atmosphere and one’s attitude changes.  And moms need this change as much as the kids!

When I was a senior primary school teacher I use to rearrange my classroom and seating for each new theme.  I created a coral island, a police academy, a courtroom, a puppet theater.  The buzz outside my classroom before the kids came in was electric!  I didn’t need to do much more to motive my kids!

Start a new read aloud

I have stated that reading aloud is the glue that holds homeschool together.  Sometimes, it may be the only homeschool we do when someone is sick, or when visitors stay, when the schedule is disrupted or when someone simply wants to give up.  If the current book doesn’t sparkle, gently lay it aside and go find a wonderful book that grips hearts and minds and takes you and your kids on a journey!

Get physical

Do something active!  A nature walk revives a weary spirit.  A good run, skipping with a rope, or jumping on a trampoline helps rev up the metabolism and energizes one.  Science experiments or hands on activities are stimulating and exciting. I often plan several alternative activities for each theme so that I can inspire fresh enthusiasm with a fun activity.  It’s amazing what a child can learn when creating a mobile or making a model.

Sing or do Fine Arts

Learning with catchy songs and music is fun and it sticks!  Our Geography Songs CD are a lifelong legacy!  Singing connects the group and music lifts the spirit.  Fine Arts (art, music, poetry etc.) inspire us, ease the soul and minister to our hearts.  Sometimes our Friday Fine Arts day is the only day that we love.

Don’t get stuck in a rut.  Switch things about a little and discover a new zeal and enthusiasm!

What alternatives worked for you?  Please share ideas in the comments.


6 thoughts on “Alternatives

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  3. Love your alternatives.
    I have three boys, so my best ways to get unstuck involve exercise or food!
    Sometimes it helps just to get out of the house and romp through the woods, we all cone back in a more receptive mood.
    When I’m feeling fed up, I find that getting the boys to do a bit of cleaning with me works like magic. It reminds me how much there is to appreciate in my boys. That really wouldn’t work if they were fed up, though!
    Finally, our quick fix is food! It’s amazing how much they eat. So many bad tempers or half-hearted lessons, are rescued by a slice of bread and butter and a banana. A really bad day can be turned into a great day by getting into the kitchen and trying a new recipe together.


    • @frogotter, I forgot about food! Healthy snacks, a nice, hot cup of tea, or a cookie and fresh milk helps refresh and revive body and soul! And I think boys need refueling far more often than we realize! Thanks for sharing!


    • @frogotter, I forgot about food! Healthy snacks, a nice, hot cup of tea, or a cookie and fresh milk helps refresh and revive body and soul! And I think boys need refueling far more often than we realize! Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

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