Wake-up! You’re Half-Way There!

Half-way through the school year… It’s at this time of the year that we can feel like we are exhausted, running on empty, just putting one foot in front of the other because that is what we are supposed to do.

That’s okay! Just because you may not feel that spring in your step or that excitement for planning school lessons doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing one of THE most worthy pursuits you could be doing. Just because you aren’t receiving accolades from your kids, your friends or even your spouse doesn’t mean that you aren’t making a BIG difference in the lives of your kids and your family. Just because your kids may not be the smartest, the pleasantest, the most organized band of children in your neighborhood or co-op doesn’t mean that they aren’t in process, taking plodding steps just like you, to learn more, cooperate better and integrate life skills, one day at a time.

These dreary winter months are a great time to WAKE up, SHAKE up and try something NEW!

Here are 4 ways to get out of the doldrums and get excited about school once again:

1. Take a field trip! Yes, it’s cold outside and it’s easier to stay in and work on textbook assignments, but that gets tiresome after a while. Bundle up the kids and head out for the zoo or a local museum or an indoor waterpark, for goodness sake. Okay, maybe the waterpark isn’t educational, but the kids may learn a little bit about physics and acceleration on the water slides (okay, that’s a stretch). Even if they don’t, at least they’ll have fun and you have shaken up the daily routine. We are going to our local science museum on Thursday. We are excited because they have a new Mythbusters exhibit about blowing up stuff, which is extremely fascinating, don’t you think?

2. Try a new curriculum or a different approach. Do you have a child that is bogged down in math? Put the book away and try math in real life. Get out a bunch of containers and have him or her experiment and understand liquid measurements, such as how many teaspoons make a tablespoon, how many cups in a gallon, etc. Make predictions and then find out the exact answer. Or grab a ruler and a yardstick and have him measure everything in the house. Spelling driving your child nuts? Try a different curriculum or have her just work on words that she misspells during the course of other assignments. These are not permanent changes, but ways to change-up the pace and make the day more interesting. Return to the regular curriculum after a few days or ditch it entirely for something new. Sponsor a curriculum swap with your co-op where everyone brings what they aren’t using any longer and you can swap with each other.

3. Change the location! Maybe school at home is just too comfortable and kids are bickering with each other and whining and complaining at you. Take them to the library to work on school assignments or even the coffee shop. Bet they won’t fight there!

4. Change the time! Do you always do school first thing in the morning? Just to keep your kids on their toes, perhaps you might want to switch the schedule for a day or two. Run your errands in the morning and work on school work when you get home or in the afternoon. Try doing some things on the weekend with dad, such as science experiments or written reports. Warning… a change in routine could be disastrous if you have kids that are creatures of habit and find great solace in predictable schedules, so do give your kids notice of a change coming, if that is necessary and be prepared to punt or call it a day if attitudes sour more easily later in the day. :-)

While we can become discouraged that we are only half-way through the school year, we can also be encouraged for the exact same reason. Look back to August or September and remember where you started. Think of all that you have accomplished. Remind yourself that your kids are learning and that you are instilling values and good study habits and knowledge into them.

Good job, mom! You are half-way through another year. You should be proud of yourself and your kids. Tell them how proud you are of them today and give them an extra hug and a kiss for half a school year well done!

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 at 10:37 am and is filed under Homeschooling. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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