The Two Toughest Times to Teach
Is this your first year homeschooling? Are you struggling with teaching your children right now? Are you having second-thoughts about homeschooling?
Let me guess--your kids seem to have forgotten the basics, they aren’t listening to you, their attitudes are poor, and overall, they just don’t want to do anything school-related. You might even feel like this is a sign to give up on your homeschooling journey. But wait--read this first before you make that call to re-enroll your kids in public school!
I will let you in on a well-known secret from those who have a few years of experience--hands down, December and May are the absolute two most difficult months to teach children! Veteran homeschoolers and public school teachers can all attest to this! Having experience in both of these worlds, I can verify that these months that most kids have no interest in learning anything new--and why would they?!
In December, there are so many exciting, magical, and special events and projects to celebrate the season. And in May, the countdown is on to summer, which means relaxed schedules, more social time, and fun activities! Why do you think public schools pack so many assemblies, holiday programs, and crafts into December? And more assemblies, outdoor games, and field trips in May? They know exactly how challenging these two months are for educators.
We are happy to share our top 3 tips for not just surviving but thriving during these two long and difficult months!
Tip #1: Maintenance Months
Start thinking of December and May as maintenance months! These months are perfect for focusing on maintaining the skills they have learned this year. It is also a great time to focus on skills with which your children might struggle. With a quick search, you will find endless ideas with a December or May theme that practice every academic concept you can imagine!
Tip #2: Life Skills
Use these months to teach or reinforce crucial life skills! Skills like preparing food, time management, shopping, cleaning, and money management can be easily integrated into daily routines. Also, topics like health, exercise, communication, and decision making skills can be focused on during this time. If you do any holiday baking or shopping, include your kids (when you can) and discuss what you are doing while you are doing it--you will incorporate almost every skill listed above. We often just assume kids will pick up these skills but intentionally take these months to include them in your day to day activities!
Tip #3: Community Service
Take December and May to focus on others! Intentionally building a sense of service in your children will not only have them feel good but will strengthen your family and your community! Whether you encourage your children to support something they are passionate about or your whole family joins together to support a cause, the benefits of service are undeniable! They will develop a sense of responsibility, realize that one person (or family) really can make a difference, understand the benefit of sacrifice, and develop an understanding for those who are different than they are.
Realize you are not the only one struggling with school these months. Give yourself permission to venture from your typical schedule and focus your efforts on other important and valuable skills your kids need to know. With a slight change in perspective, you will be able to fly right through these challenging months and be ready “to get back to business” after these transitional months have ended. So please don’t call the public school--they are in the exact same situation as you are! Take a deep breath, give yourself grace, and recommit to your homeschooling journey.
Remember--You’ve absolutely got this!