What to do when it all goes wrong

So you've set out your timetable, you've organised your workspace, but your day has completely fallen apart and the kids have spent more time in front of the TV than they have doing any schooling. What do you do? The answer is really very simple...don't panic.

It's easier said than done, I know. Because the first thing that will happen after the initial shock of anxiety, is the parent guilt will set in. This is the time you have to remember one very important detail. Yes, you have chosen to homeschool and yes you have every intention of doing it right. However, you are still a parent who has jobs to get done, jobs that would usually take place whilst a child is at school. Therefore, it is ok to give yourself a little slack. It's not about the failure that matters, it's about how you fix it afterwards.

Let me give you an example. I have quite a rigid timetable, our schooling starts at 8am and ends at 4pm Monday to Friday. Does that always work out? No. Do I stress about it? Hell yes! But before I cry myself to sleep and tell myself I've damaged my children forever, I think of a way to fix the broken routine. My husband retired in May 2021 and has taken over homeschooling, but for 10 days, he got a job offer which he couldn't refuse. As I work too, this meant that nobody would be available to homeschool the children during our usual 8am-4pm time slot. For the first 4 days it was pure hell, my kids spent most of the day on their iPads with no adult interaction whatsoever. But then I planned to cover the following week's schedule over the weekend, and the rest split between early morning and afternoons. That got us back on track.

What you have to remember is that when it comes to homeschooling, there is no such things as Monday-Friday. The sooner you get that into your head, the better. If you lose a day, don't sweat it, make up for it at the weekend or another convenient time. If you can't find a way to make up for a lost lesson plan, then don't. It isn't the end of the world. Take a look at my post about how to homeschool without actually homeschooling, which has some great tips for ensuring your children are learning, without you having to be physically present. It is important to remind yourself that things will go awry, you will get an unexpected appointment which means you will have to drag your children along and therefore, will miss whatever you planned to teach them at that time. You will also have days where you feel like you just don't have the effort, that's ok too. Make up for it with an 'educational movie' (Titanic teaches them all about history you know), or a walk instead (nature spotting is always a fun activity).

The beauty of homeschooling is that it should be flexible. It can bend and change to suit you, your family and your environment. Get your head out of the 'normal week' structure, there's no such thing, and open your mind to accept that homeschooling can happen any time, any place, anywhere, that's why you chose to do it, right?

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