Homeschooling can be great! Other days….well, if you homeschool you know that some days you wish you had stayed in bed. Today has been one of those days at our homeschool. We all have those minor colds that make you feel off kilter, but not bad enough to spend the day in bed. In times like this, school must still go on in our house. The thing is, while I may have the maturity to handle being uncomfortable, my kids do not as yet.
Homeschool moms generally have this invisible weight pressing down on them at all times, telling them that if they don’t do lessons as scheduled or impart a certain amount of book knowledge into their kids heads on a given day they must be failures. As soon as you take up homeschooling, even people you don’t know question your right to teach your kids. This pressure to be better than all the formal educational institutions and the desire to give our kids the very best makes a bad day of school make you feel like a failure as an educator.
The thing is, even teachers in public schools have bad days. Not to mention that the thirty or so kids in the classroom all have bad days too! Imagine how much better your one or two (okay, sometimes a week or so) bad days are compared to public educators! We also have another advantage when it comes these trying times; we are able to use the opportunity to develop our children’s character.
It didn’t take me long to realize that my kids were not going to retain much of our academic work today. The flying pencils and screaming coming from my children told me that much. Even the smallest task that I KNEW they could do received opposition. Thus I faced a decision; did I have them quit for the day, or continue working and teach them how to face a bad day and not give up? I chose to continue, though I secretly altered the lessons a tiny bit knowing how difficult it was going to be.
In the end it took us two extra hours to do our work in two subjects. By the time we were done I was laughing like a maniac because it was either that or tear my hair out. Despite how rough the day was, once the children completed their last assignments you could tell they were proud of themselves for not quitting. I hugged and praised them and we did something fun as a reward. I always, always reward the little things! It doesn’t matter how hard it was to reach the end, we did reach it!
Some days a wise person will simply choose a different path. Other days you stick to the road to teach something deeper than the words on a page or the facts being memorized. This is what sets us apart as home educators. One thing I always remind myself of is that teaching my children to recite facts for a time is something anyone can do. Teaching them how to learn and have the character to handle all life throws at them is something only we can do. A bad day in the schoolroom doesn’t make it a failed day. Rather, it is gift if we simply take hold and use it for God’s glory!