But what does a wasted, failure of a homeschool day look like?
First let me tell you what does not constitute a wasted homeschool day:
- Veering off the lesson plan to follow your child’s interests
- Not finishing the lesson plan because you were busy building a relationship with your child
- Spending your day exploring the outdoors
- Taking an impromptu field trip
- Watching a movie together on the couch
- Spending a day working on good character and resolving discipline issues
In other words, spending time together, building relationships, learning in various nontraditional settings, building character, and learning flexibility are not wastes of time. Nope, on these days, your learning might look a little (or a lot) different. But you’re still learning and there is value to your day.
So on the days when you don’t feel like your day isn’t much to write home about, know that you’re still accomplishing great things.
So what is a wasted homeschool day?
- When you haven’t planned fully
This is the day that you think you’ll wing it. It’s not long before your day crashes down all around you. You’re not productive; you feel scattered; your children feel lost. On these days you spend time hunting down lost resources, re-reading parts of the teacher’s manual that you don’t quite understand, or running to the store for items that you forgot to purchase.
The first key to a successful homeschool day is preparation and planning.
- When you haven’t prepared your heart for the day
You might have lesson-planned and purchased supplies but you woke up with a rotten attitude. You feel burnt out and tired or you don’t want to face your children and attempt to teach. Your day is wasted because you have so many missed opportunities to sneak in learning, excite them, challenge them, encourage them, and build on your relationship with them.
The second key to a successful homeschool day is finding time to refresh and recharge through self-education, devotions, prayer, or encouragement from others.
- When you’re not fully engaged
When your teaching with a divided heart and only giving your children part of your attention because you’re too busy making plans for later or thinking about all the chores or cleaning or cooking or reading or sleeping that you could be doing, you just wasted your homeschool day. Your children miss you and they don’t rise to their fullest potential when you’re only half-heartedly schooling them.
The third key to a successful homeschool day is being attentive to your children and their needs and being fully engaged and enthusiastic about learning.
It’s easy to waste away your homeschool day.
On the other hand, it’s simple to experience success.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to homeschool your kids, you just need a plan, a prepared heart, and a fully engaged mind. Homeschooling success looks different for each family, but it is achievable for anyone.