Written by Kara S. Anderson
We are on the cusp of another school year.
Are you ready mama?
Before you think I’m asking if your curriculum has arrived, or if your No. 2 pencils are all sharpened, I’m actually asking about something else.
I’m wondering if you feel ready to have a happy, fun year with your kids.
I know that might not seem like it should be the biggest priority..
I mean, we have taken on the responsibility of educating our children, right?
Perhaps we should be serious? Maybe make some charts or something?
But that right there is the very reason that we have to rethink our mindset before the school year starts.
Because homeschooling is important.
Because it matters so much.
And because our goal is to make homeschooling sustainable, right?
So if, like me, you’re in this for the long haul, today I am sharing why we should make sure that we are adding fun and happiness to our days together! I even have some ideas for how to do it! Read on:
We want to make memories
I’d like you to think ahead a bit here … I’d like you to think about your child, some day in the not so very distant future, sitting across from a friend. They are chatting about growing up, when your child, now maybe 20, or 25, mentions that she was homeschooled.
First, his or her friend is shocked. Your child seemed so “normal.” 😉
But next, the friend starts peppering your child with questions – what was it like, this homeschooling thing? Was your mom strict? What did you do?
And your child starts to share – “We spent a lot of time reading together,” she says. Maybe she talks about how you did a ton of science experiments, but only some actually worked! Maybe she talks about how her family once made “an apple pie and saw the world.”
These are memories, mamas. And we get the opportunity to make them every day.
They don’t have to be perfect. Maybe the dog ate that apple pie. Maybe the volcano melted all over the table. That’s OK, especially if you didn’t freak out, and instead laughed along with your kids.
We want to share the best of ourselves
There is nothing more powerful in your homeschool than a mama who is having fun. I promise you.
Let me give you an example: A few years ago, our history learning was kind of blah. We had loved listening to The Story of the World, but once that was done, we hit a valley.
But I had discovered through learning with my kids that history is actually pretty interesting! So I started reading more historical books on my own, in my free time.
The stuff I was learning was so fascinating, I couldn’t help but share it with my kids. (Ever heard of Operation Mincemeat?) Before I knew it, we had built a fun unit around studying fascinating History Mysteries.
See, my own enthusiasm couldn’t be contained. I was having fun, and then we were all having fun. Total Homeschool Magic, right there!
Homeschooling is hard
OK, I don’t want to discourage you, but homeschooling isn’t always easy. Kids wake up cranky. They break pencils during handwriting because cursive Zs are weird.
Toddlers get into stuff. Babies get new teeth and decide to let everyone know about it ALL NIGHT LONG.
You might pick a read-aloud that everyone kind of hates, but be afraid to give it up. (Please give it up! Life is too short to read just-OK books!)
You might have family stuff going on, or everyone might get Strep Throat.
So shouldn’t we at least get some joy in exchange for all the hard work?
I’m not talking about making your homeschool a non-stop thrillfest. I’m not saying that you need to bring in a bouncy castle or magician.
But I am saying that book clubs with theme cookies are awesome, and going bowling in the middle of the week with friends is a fair trade for having to teach people, feed people, clean up after people, and make sure all those people have clean underwear.
Here are some other ideas for adding fun and happiness that we brainstormed over on Instagram recently:
- Say yes unexpectedly
- Take breaks to play games
- Let them make a special desert
- Get outside!
- Have a movie day
- Read silly books
- Do school outside or at park
- Have a yes day
- Make giant bubbles
- Build a massive pillow fort
- Have a theme day
- Have a pajama day
- Learn something new together
- Laugh at their jokes
- Start each day with a quick game
- Breakfast for dinner!
- Listen to a fun audiobook in the car (don’t worry about it being “educational”)
- Order pizza for lunch
- Watch a fun TV series together
- Give them recess instead of getting mad if they aren’t paying attention (they may just need to get their sillies out)
- Plan a day together with friends
- Meet Dad for lunch or a movie
- Eat dessert first
- Skip chores
- Have a dance party
Or I LOVE this idea my daughter found recently.
Remember mamas, homeschooling is a lot of responsibility, but one of the best parts of choosing this life is that we get to make the rules and design our days with our kids.
I hope you’ll feel inspired to add some fun to your days this year. And if you like these ideas, check out my newest ebook, 7 Secrets the Happiest Homeschool Moms Know.
It’s free and you can get a copy right here!
What are some ways that you can think of to add more happy to your homeschool days?
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perfectly timed. thank you!
I am really trying to do this with my daughter this year. I have really simplified our book learning and added a lot of fun activities.