homeschooling on a bad day

Yesterday was one of ‘those’ days in homeschool with Luke.  He was a grouchy mess and my patient, long-suffering meter was reading at like 12%. LOL   Whether you homeschool or just have issues with getting your children to clean up after themselves, you KNOW what I’m talking about!

I don’t know why I am surprised that it ended the way it did… but it did.  Looking back, it was within my power to change the course of the day, but instead I just let the negative spirit he had rule our time together in school.

I think it finally hit me when he smarted off and said, “DO NOT make all those ‘x’s on my paper anymore”.  Or maybe it was when he said,  “You are getting me mad”.   From the rolling eyes to the beyond sloppy handwriting, it was going downhill fast.

Yes, as a good Mother should, I disciplined him properly when he smarted off to me.  But this morning, I realized something WAY HUGE that I’ve already known for ages.  But even though I know it, I get lazy.  And my laziness hurts Luke and it hurts me.  It turns the awesome memories we COULD be making into sour ones.  

So, instead of being lazy today, I will think ahead like ALL good teachers do no matter how many pupils they have.

I’ll choose to give Luke something to work towards… instead of just having a negative in place if he has a bad spirit.   Here’s things I’ve done in the past that have worked WONDERS!!!

Something as simple as a treat gives a young mind a fun goal.
Or I can award an extra 15 minutes play time if his handwriting is neat.
Doing his seatwork with a special colored pen is a nice way to make things exciting.
Or I can let him grade his own paper, with my red pen if he has a sweet spirit all morning.
How about letting him get a pass on 1 seat work paper, if his first 3 are done ‘on time’ and correct?
I can play his favorite music in the background during a portion of the day.
It’s fun to allow him to do school ‘out of order’ to change things up some.  He chooses which subject to do next.
Nothing is more exciting than getting to do his work at mommy’s desk when he’s had a great spirit!  Yep, and I have to sit at his desk! =)

Or what about the classic hangman, but with a twist?  Each time he displays great spirit during a subject, I add a body part to the hangman, but even 1 bad mess up can take off a body part.  He needs the ENTIRE MAN HANGING to choose what I cook for supper!

Do you see how I really set the tone for our schooling?  If I prepare and have a plan, he always responds.  It doesn’t have to be done EVERY day… but I have to be willing to provide something POSITIVE for him to work for, especially on those grouch-days like yesterday.

So today, the paddle gets put away, and the hang man will take it’s place as the motivator in our precious homeschooling hours.

Until tomorrow, I hope you , too, will get a plan to help your children work towards something… instead of out of fear of something.

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