Do These 5 Things When You Don’t Feel Like Homeschooling

Do These 5 Things When You Don’t Feel Like Homeschooling

The alarm pierces the dark coolness of my room, jolting me awake. Is it morning already? As I wipe my eyes and stumble to the bathroom, the thought of another day of teaching overwhelms me. I don’t feel like homeschooling today. I need a break, and my kids probably do too. But I still need this day to count towards our school year.

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We all have days where we feel like this. Maybe we went to bed late the night before, perhaps we’re sick, or maybe the baby indulged in an all-night kegger (of milk, that is). Whatever the case, some days we just need a break from doing normal homeschooling. There is no need to feel guilty about that. Here are 5 low maintenance and educational things you can do instead when you don’t feel like homeschooling.

#1 Have a Read-A-Thon

Remember read-a-thons from elementary school? They were so much fun, and the teachers loved them too. All you need are books, puzzles, and all things cozy. Don’t forget a book for yourself! Read-a-thons are fabulous on rainy winter days.

Lighting candles around the house really sets the mood. My kids love read-a-thon days. My fourth grader devours Minecraft books, while my second grader bounces between picture books, beginning chapter books, and Epic!. What if your child isn’t reading yet? No worries! Did you know there are hundreds of read-aloud books on Youtube? If you’re sick or not in a position to actively read to your child that day, this is a great option.

#2 It’s Baking Day

When I don’t feel like homeschooling, I’m probably (definitely) in the mood for homemade treats. A baking day is a great alternative. I’m pretty sure it’s in the homeschool mom guidebook that we must use baking to teach real-world math, so why not make a day of it? Have the kids plan a menu, order groceries, and have at it! Pro tip: Cooking with kids is more enjoyable when you work with one child at a time. Also, it’s a pretty special milestone when the kids can cook on their own without burning down the house.

#3 Watch a Documentary

Pull out the blankets, pop some popcorn, pile on the couch together, and turn on a documentary. There are so many great options! From Disney+ to Netflix to YouTube, you can find a documentary about anything you’re currently studying or something the kids want to learn more about. After it’s over, have a group discussion. Then, the kids can then write a movie review, draw a picture of something they learned, or act out their favorite scene. Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

#4 Pull Out the Board Games

I love board games. Love. Being an only child, I didn’t get a chance to play them as much as a wanted. Well, I am making up for lost time now! Board games teach so many essential skills.

Benefits of playing board games include critical thinking, practice turn-taking, collaboration, flexibility, communication, accepting loss, and strategy.

So many benefits! I really appreciate how there are options for cooperative board games these days. They are a fun way to build up sibling relationships, and it is so sweet to see the kids encouraging each other. Some of our favorite board games are:

#5 Pack Up for a Day Outside

Have a change of scenery and get out of the house! Seriously, the forest cures just about any woes, in my opinion. But if hiking in the woods isn’t your thing, that’s ok! Head to a playground, a pond, your own yard, or even a random empty parking lot. Wherever you can go, you can make it work. My perspective on spending the entire day outside changed when I realized that There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather. We just need the proper gear. So, friend, pack up all the snacks, lunch, water bottles, blankets, and good outerwear, and enjoy the outdoors! It’s literally a breath of fresh air.

These are all things I do when I don’t feel like homeschooling, whatever the reason may be. I hope this sparked some inspiration for you when you are needing a break. Did I miss anything? I want to hear about it. Tell me in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to share this post, because these things are more fun when you do them with friends.

The Top 10 Picture Books About Faith for Easter

The Top 10 Picture Books About Faith for Easter

Picture books about faith are such a great way to teach our kids about the love of Jesus during the Easter season. My kids’ faces light up with excitement when they discover new books in their Easter baskets. Below are our favorite engaging stories that are sure to spark wonderful conversations about our Lord.

Through beautiful illustrations, this book tells the story of the Bible (in broad strokes, of course) from the Garden of Eden to the resurrection. Furthermore, this story explains the purpose and importance of salvation.

Arthur, as my children affectionally call this book, has been a favorite story in our house for many years. This book does a wonderful job of showing the characteristics of God in a fun and engaging way.

Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers is a series of small books with a big punch. These books explain the big ideas of the Christian faith in a way that is easy for children to understand.

“You can do hard things,” is a mantra often repeated in our home. That is the big lesson in this tale about a little lion who learns to be brave in order to save a friend.

Technically, this is not a picture book, as in it’s not telling one story. Yet, this science-based devotional is so good that I had to include it in this list.

This story wonderfully illustrates the beauty of diversity in the world and that Jesus came to Earth for everyone.

This book tells the story of a child with a disability through their sibling’s eye. Children learn we are all different but also the same. This story encourages wonderful conversations about compassion, diversity, and empathy.

I love the Little Bible Heroes series so much. Each book is a double story. You can read the first story, then flip the book over and read a completely new tale. Who doesn’t love a 2-for-1 book deal?

This rhyming picture book shows children God sees all and knows their hearts, and that fact is something to take comfort in.

Your family is sure to enjoy these picture books about faith as much as we do! Exposing my children to Jesus through books has fueled their understanding, curiosity, and love for the Lord in an exciting way. The questions and conversations we have had after reading these books have been incredible. And if your kids aren’t into reading books right now, have no fear! I have totally been there. Go check out this post to spark a love of books in your child.

Help! I Have a Reluctant Reader

Help! I Have a Reluctant Reader

Spoiler alert, I’m writing this as a parent who has a reluctant reader. Learning to read is just harder for her than other subjects. It’s not a bad thing; it just is what it is. Sometimes you have a child who just loves to look at books. But what if your child doesn’t want to be read to or read a story before bed time? How can we as parents cultivate a love for books? The stress on parents to get their kids reading and reading early is strong. Often we hear about little Susie who is reading beginning chapter books by age 4, but we never really hear about little Janie who can build an elaborate block city, or little Stevie who is unbelievably kind and empathic with his friends. All of these things are equally important for child development, but somewhere along the way reading got put on this pedestal. What I’m getting at is this, it is okay if your child doesn’t naturally love books. The best part is that there are things you can do to actually encourage a love of reading.

Model a Love for Books

I want my children to LOVE reading. I grew up seeing my parents devour books. Reading as a hobby was never a foreign concept for me. Therefore, that is step one. Read your own books in front of your children. If we want our kids to enjoy reading, then they need to see us enjoying reading. Mama, when was the last time you read a book for pleasure? Probably quite some time, especially if you’re in the early baby and toddler years. But, this is an important thing we can model for our children.

The Power of Audiobooks

The second step for encouraging a love for reading in our child who might be a reluctant reader is utilizing audiobooks. Seriously, listening to audiobooks in the car is what sparked my child’s interest to care about stories. I can’t thank Junie B. Jones enough! (These are good books for the car because there is a lot of funny dialogue) Another wonderful resource for audiobooks is Epic! (Read the best books for early readers on Epic!). Epic! is an app used in homes and schools alike. I like that I can tailor each of my kid’s profiles to their interest and reading level. For example, my pre-readers have all read-a-loud books to choose from, and my early reader has a mix of read-a-louds and age level books. We have independent reading time as part of our homeschool, and Epic! is always a popular choice. I feel like audiobooks have been a great jump start to their love of stories. It’s not something I see talked about very much, so I’m excited to share this gold nugget with you.

Manage Your Expectations

Lastly, it is so important to set appropriate expectations for yourself and you kids. I’ve seen conversations, in the homeschool community especially, saying that we need to be reading these long classic books to our young elementary school aged kids. And yes, I totally get it. I want to read Little House and Charlotte’s Web too. But, also, it’s fine if your kid isn’t ready for that just yet. Meet them where they are at first, then slowly build. For us, it has meant reading some Shimmer and Shine books that basically retold a TV episode they loved. So, what? It was a book they were excited about, and excitement has been my goal. They’ve since built up their reading stamina, and now ask for more complex stories. You can even implement Tea Time into your routine, which creates a fun and low stress environment to read to your children.

Developing a love of reading a books takes time, especially when you are dealing with a reluctant reader. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. We did audiobooks for probably a year before my kids started showing an interest in hard copy books at home. And that is okay by me, because now I’m seeing them consistently excited when we sit down and read together. They shout “more! more!” when I tell them that’s all for today. Turn off the noise and pressure you might be feeling. Turn your attention to your sweet little ones and meet them right where they’re at.

Below, you will find a list of books my kids have loved:

Owl Diaries

Zoey and Sassafras

Greetings from Somewhere

Tum Tum and Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall

Junie B. Jones Books 1-4