Every homeschooling family hits a period of time where they have “the blahs.” It usually occurs after a few years of homeschooling, when the routine is getting old, nothing feels fun or exciting anymore, and everyone is bored, tired, and just…blah!
First of all, it’s OK to take a break. Really, it is. Skip school for a week or two and stop feeling guilty about it. You don’t have to wait for a scheduled break or plan everything around a public school schedule. Embrace your freedom and think outside of the box for a minute. Seriously.
If you really can’t manage to do nothing for an entire week (or two), there are still five really good ideas to help break your family out of a rut.
1. Get around town
There are never, ever, ever, ever, ever too many field trips. Hands-on, personal, experiential learning is always the best. Always. Trust me, they are learning. Not only are they learning whatever subject the field trip was arranged for, but they are learning lots of socialization lessons (navigating tourist crowds, conversing with tour guides). You know we never socialize, right? So get to it! Spend a week or two on “staycation” and explore the opportunities in your area.
2. Get in the kitchen
That’s right, I said kitchen! Cooking is an important life skill (we all have to eat, right?) and it’s fun and loaded with learning potential. You don’t even have to *try* to make it educational. Plan a full week of exciting recipes and work together to make it happen. Not only will your kids learn a variety of recipes to make on their own (bonus points for having them take over dinner one night a week), but they get to do all kinds of useful, educational things – list making, hunting for discounts & shopping, organizing and planning a menu, a variety of math topics, and more. Yummy food is just an excellent perk.
3. Get your game on
There are dozens (and dozens) of fun, educational, amazing games! Spend a week doing nothing but tangrams, chess, Apples to Apples, Scrabble, Checkers, Monopoly, puzzles, Trivial Pursuit…..need I say more? All of these are good for the brain, and great for pulling out of that rut. Dare I suggest making this a part of every week? Your family will thank you!
4. Get outside
Go hiking. Look at stars. Sleep outside. Head to different park each day and play tennis, or basketball, or football, or soccer. Ride a bike. Draw with sidewalk chalk. Have a water balloon fight. Take up archery. Learn about nature hikes and start a nature journal. The world is literally waiting to be discovered. And in my experience, kids sleep better at night after a full day outdoors. BONUS!
5. Get artsy-fartsy
Have you found you are neglecting art, music, and drama in favor of reading, writing and arithmetic? Traditional subject are great (and necessary!), but studies show that kids need art. Our brains are wired to crave it and it aids in learning and development for humans of all ages. Plus, it’s really awesome. Go see a play, or Shakespeare in the park, or a local high school musical, or a concert of any kind. Visit an art gallery (or two, or three), plan some fun art activities for your family. Google searches yield hundreds of fun art projects. Get your hands dirty! Fling paint, sketch, dance! Erect a makeshift stage and have your kids write their own play and act it out. The possibilities are endless. Embrace your creative spirit.
Learning is not confined to books, and schedules, and a “school” like environment. Never be afraid to follow the rhythm of your own drum, especially when things are in a rut. All it takes is a little imagination to make things come alive again.