Monday, March 28, 2016

A Cup of Coffee and a Word of Advice - Be Flexible


A Cup of Coffee and a Word of Advice - Be Flexible on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Part of the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents blog hop hosted by The Schoolhouse Review Crew @ SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com

Having just come from a holiday weekend, a week especially full of distractions, and some much improved weather, we have a touch of spring fever at our house. My guess is that it will escalate in the next couple of weeks too, and that poses a problem - we have schoolwork that has to get done!! I know I'm not the only homeschool parent that faces this dilemma so grab a cup of coffee and let's talk.

A Cup of Coffee and a Word of Advice - Be Flexible on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Part of the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents blog hop hosted by The Schoolhouse Review Crew @ SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com

Distractions, disruptions to routines, minor emergencies, lack of motivation - these things happen to all of us, and sometimes it's predictable like spring fever and winter blahs, but often it's not. What can we do when things aren't working out the way we'd planned? My answer is something that comes relatively easily to some people, and is more of a challenge for others.

A Cup of Coffee and a Word of Advice - Be Flexible on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Part of the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents blog hop hosted by The Schoolhouse Review Crew @ SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com

Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape.
That humorous quote has a lot of truth to it. The ability to adjust and adapt when life throws us a curve can save us a lot of stress and headache. I think flexibility and patience are related. When you're flexible, you can shift to a Plan B without panicking; and similarly, you're practicing patience by not coming unglued when things aren't going well. You can maneuver through the obstacles with a confidence that it will all come out okay in the end.

When you're having a bad schoolday for whatever random reason
Just take a break. Put the books away and go outside or do something fun. Tomorrow is another day.

When the schedule you thought would work is constantly being disrupted
Change it up. Try moving things around a little to get more in sync with your real life.

When you don't seem to be able to get it all done
Relax. Are you trying to cram too much into the day? Be willing to do "just enough" in the things that are less important, or skip less important things altogether, so that you can devote the necessary time to the essentials. You probably know that in the public schools, they rarely finish the entire textbook. As homeschoolers, we may hold ourselves to a higher standard of what we consider 'completion', but that still doesn't mean that you must do every possible assignment and activity.

When you or your kids are lacking motivation
Again, consider taking a break or switching up the routine. Sometimes shaking things up a little helps.

When you're falling behind 
All those little disruptions and slow-downs eventually add up and you realize you're way behind in a few subjects. Declare a catch-up week. Put the subjects that you've kept fairly current on hold for a week and work only on the subjects in which you've fallen behind. Or declare a Science day (or whatever subject) and spend the whole day knocking out the work for that subject and get caught up.

When a curriculum is not working out
Well, first try to figure out why it's not working. Once you know what the problem is, you can consider ways to tweak the curriculum or adjust to compensate. For instance, a lot of writing required in a history course and your student hates writing - reduce the number of written assignments or have your student do quizzes orally. Practice being flexible with how you use curriculum! And if a curriculum is really a bad fit for your student, be flexible enough to change it! That might be a tough pill to swallow if you've spent a lot of money on it, or it's something you or a sibling loved, but if it is making your kid miserable or he really isn't learning, it's not worth it.

What's your best advice for being flexible as you homeschool? Leave a comment and let me know!

A Cup of Coffee and a Word of Advice - Be Flexible on Homeschool Coffee Break @ kympossibleblog.blogspot.com - Part of the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents blog hop hosted by The Schoolhouse Review Crew @ SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com

Get more helpful tips for homeschool parents from the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents

Or start with these participating bloggers, and see what advice and helpful hints they are offering today!

Megan @ My Full Heart
Melanie (Wren) @ finchnwren
Melissa @ Mom's Plans

This encouraging word is also linked to 5 Days of Homeschool 101.

5 Days of Homeschool 101

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11 comments:

Melissa Batai said...

Yes to this! The first year we homeschooled, I wasn't very flexible, and it lead to endless frustration. Go with the flow, even if it's the way you don't really want to go right now. :)

Linsey Knerl said...

This is one of the reasons we homeschool in the first place. Expectations need to be in line with real life. We are the definition of flexible!

Cassandra Holdeman said...

This was my day one tip too and it is the key to our homeschooling. I used to be rigid and inflexible, but that just lead to insanity for me. I changed to be way more flexible and now things happen and we just adjust, not a big deal. Great minds think alike!

Annette Vellenga said...

good advice Kym. :)

Meg Falciani said...

Flexible is key...because as soon as you plan something, life happens!! As my son says, "It's ok if you run out of letters for plans...there's always other alphabets."

Lisa M. (aka. Lisa @ Farm Fresh) said...

LOL! I thought about writing on being flexible, but I discovered I wrote about that on a previous 5 Days of...LOL. Totally excellent advice and goes hand in hand with my own tip today!

At Home where life happens said...

I love to read your writing and advice. So practical and stated so full of empathy and understanding. Thanks! - Lori

Melanie said...

Love the Science Day idea! :)

Jen Altman said...

My post today was on Flexibility too, on of my number one reasons to homeschool!! :D

Melissa Langley said...

Yes! I love the flexibility that homeschool allows!! Just have to remember to do it!

Melissa Langley said...
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