10 Homeschool Motivation Ideas for Days When You Just Can’t
Even though I love homeschooling, even after 19 years, I will find myself unmotivated to do school.
Sometimes I wake up with a headache, sometimes I just don’t want to do it, sometimes I’m overwhelmed with other things on my plate and skipping school sounds so good!
Whatever the reason, we all hit the wall and just don’t want to do school with our kids.
That’s OK, momma!
Don’t beat yourself up or think you’re the only one. You are not alone! I’m going to give you 10 homeschool motivation ideas to get yourself back on track with school and get those kiddos educated!
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1. Stick to the routine and let it carry you through
If you’ve read my other posts about scheduling, then hopefully you have a schedule or routine in place.
This moment right here—this unmotivated moment—is what I’ve been talking about with all of the routine and scheduling talk.
If you’ve done the work of creating a schedule, now it can work for you. Lean into your established routines and schedules. If your children are trained to their routines, you won’t even have to do much to get going in the morning. They will do the hard part, which is getting started.
If you rely on your schedule, you can let it guide you and you just sit back and ride the waves throughout your day. Do the next thing, take the next step, stay on your routine and you’ll make it through your day.
If you need help creating a schedule, I have a toolkit that can help you set up a schedule for the entire month. And, the best news, it’s done in an hour! Now that is homeschool motivation!
2. Take a break
Simply put away school and stop.
But don’t disengage your children. That will lead to chaos and then you’ll be angry at them and feel guilty for taking the break.
If you aren’t feeling the games, then turn on some music and dance in the living room with your kids. They will love it! I used to do this all the time but have done it less with my younger kids. I wish I would have done it more. The joy on their faces is worth it!
You will feel better and be able to get back on track with school after a break.
3. Make reading fun!
Cuddle on the couch and read, or let your children play with Legos or color while you read out loud. I’ve also let them play with my Math-U-See blocks while I read. Any manipulatives you have, they love to play with!
Do all of your reading for that day in this manner. This can work for science, history, read alouds, Bible– any subject where there is reading involved.
If there’s a workbook or activity that goes along with the reading and you just can’t today, don’t.
Just read and discuss, all while cuddling or letting them play/color.
They are still learning. I promise.
4. have a cup of coffee or tea
Sometimes a warm cup of your favorite drink is enough to get you going. Have some coffee or tea, hot chocolate or chai. Whatever you like, indulge for a little bit.
Sit down and really enjoy it, if you can. This might just be the boost you need to get back up and ready to go again.
5. Lock yourself in the bathroom
If you have very little kids, this won’t work, as they like to chase you down, but you could try it and see. As they get older, they tend to leave you alone if you’re in the bathroom.
Go in, sit down and take a break, read some motivational quotes on your phone, pep talk yourself in the mirror, splash some cold water on your face.
Take some time for yourself to figure out what you need to get through the rest of the day, remind yourself of why you’re doing this. You will come back out refreshed and ready to tackle the next thing.
6. When the kids nap, you rest
It’s so tempting if you have napping kids, to scramble around and get a bunch of work done in that time.
There’s so much you can’t get to when you’re homeschooling and if you have even an hour during the day to make some phone calls, you cram all of that in. But if you’re having a day where you are feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated, you need a break.
So when the kids take their nap or quiet time, you take one, too. During the whole time, if you can, lay on the couch or go to bed and actually sleep. I can’t take naps during the day, but I used to just lay down on the couch and recoup.
Read your Bible, read a book, close your eyes and breath deeply, but rest. Try to let all of the things that aren’t getting done while you’re laying there out of your mind.
Don’t feel guilty.
Taking this time will make you a better mom and you’ll feel happier and more engaged with your kids in the afternoon. They don’t need a grumpy mom, and you are keeping that from happening by taking this break.
No guilt here!
7. Take a walk with your kids
Getting outside can help to reset and refresh your mind and body. So get out there with the kiddos and talk a walk!
If you feel bad about not doing school, then make the walk educational. Have them collect different items and turn it into art or science.
- sketch their findings into a science notebook
- research or read about what they found
- learn the Latin names for their pieces
- stick their nature things (leaves, flowers, twigs) in between two pieces of clear contact paper and hang it in the window
- decoupage it onto some paper or an object
- paint with flowers, sticks and pine needles.
- sprinkle glitter onto pinecones or make a bird feeder out of it.
Look at Pinterest–there are ton of ideas there! Happy walking!
8. Pick one or two subjects
If you just can’t do the day, pick one or two of the most important subjects and do only those.
For me, I would pick Latin and math. Those are subjects we just can’t get behind on. It’s too hard to double up and there’s too much information to skip. But, of course, that’s different for every family.
The idea is to just complete those subjects and then be done for the day. At least you got those in, your child did something productive and you can have the rest of the day off. We all need these days and it’s OK.
If you feel especially bad, you can always do number 3 and do some fun reading, getting in more school but not feeling overloaded.
9. Ask your husband for help
Call your husband at work and ask him if he can do some school with the kids when he gets home or after supper. Even if it’s only one or two things, he can take some of that burden off of you. It takes two to parent and to homeschool. I’m sure he will help if you ask him.
If this isn’t an option, maybe a friend could help or you could call another homeschooling mom and see if she can help you for a small time.
Another option is to use technology. Stick the kids in front of some educational YouTube videos. Netflix has some great educational things, as well. There’s a Facebook group called “Christian Homeschooling with Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Roku and more!”
Try it and see how it goes for your children. You never know, you may spark an interest none of you knew existed!
10. Write a mission or goal statement and refer back to it
It might seem overkill to do this, but having a mission statement or a goal is a good idea. Sitting down with your husband, if that’s an option, is the best case scenario to figure this out.
Ask yourself WHY?
Why are you homeschooling?
When your children are grown and gone, what do you want them to know, what character traits do you want them to have?
What is the purpose of investing your time into this lifestyle?
Create a mission statement that encompasses these.
Another easier version is to write goals for each child at the beginning of the year to try to reach by the end of the year.
An example would be, “I want Johnny to read fluently” or “Katie needs to have her math facts memorized.” Whatever the case may be for your kids. You could also have character goals for them.
Write these out while you’re feeling motivated and use them to help you get through the rough patches. Refer back to them, remember what you’re trying to do, see the goal laid out before you and use that to help catapult you through the day.
It’s the hour by hour, day by day, week by week, small steps marching forward that will get you to your goal. Reflect back on where you’ve come from and where you’re going. This may be all you need to get through.
You can do this, momma! I know we all have days where we just want to get off the homeschooling merry-go-round, put the kids in school and have a margarita during the day. Or just take a 24 hour nap!
But your investment into your children through homeschooling is so important. You are doing kingdom work! I have unmotivated days, too and you are not alone. I promise, if you keep pushing through there are so many rewards at the end!
Keep going, don’t give up! You can do it!
I hope these homeschool motivation ideas helped!
What do you do to help with your homeschool motivation? Let us know in the comments below!
Thank you for being here!