What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “gimme a break”? Is it that 80’s sitcom starring Nell Carter? Is it a Kit-Kat bar? Am I just a mom stuck somewhere in 1987? Or has homeschooling pushed me over the edge?
I’m sure most of us have mumbled the words “gimme a break” at some time or another. As a mom, I often feel like I’m on a speeding train, and I need it to stop so I can catch my breath periodically. I’m sure most moms have those same feelings. A general misconception when it comes to homeschooling is that we never catch a break. Believe me, some days it does seem that way! Don’t believe those negative statements, because that’s all they are – just another’s opinion.
When do we take a break?
Whenever we need it! As homeschoolers, we have the freedom to take a break whenever we wish. We don’t have to consult a school calendar, or ask the boss for a few days off. Our days off don’t have to be centered around some major holiday like the rest of the world. Use that freedom to your advantage! Don’t wait until you’re frazzled either. I recommend “just because you can” breaks in your homeschool. They are often the best ones! Scheduled breaks that fall around the holidays are often packed with so many activities and tasks, they may not seem like a break at all!
Won’t we get behind?
Absolutely not! That’s another big misconception. We are always in forward motion even when we have to take a step back to redo a math lesson, or need an extra day to complete a science lab that didn’t go exactly as planned. It has taken me several years, but I’ve omitted the phrase, “we’re behind” from our vocabulary. I do run a pretty tight ship when it comes to honoring our “school time”, and I like to complete the majority of our curriculum. Taking a few days off will not throw off our schedule, or put us behind. The needed break adds refreshment and refocus that is needed to keep plugging along. Remember, homeschooling is a marathon, not a sprint!
Our recent break
Your homeschool will be better if you take an occasional break from it. I used a few days off to catch up on some administrative duties that come with homeschooling, to catch up on housework that gets neglected while we are busy homeschooling, and of course, took some time to have fun! Like I said earlier, enjoy this time with your kids! That doesn’t mean you need to be their event and entertainment planner either. No matter if they are big or small, downtime is good for them. Kids rarely get the opportunity to be “bored” these days, and that’s sad. That’s when their ingenuity and creativity really shines!
We recently took a short break, and we worked and we played. One day we helped my mom around the house, another day we took a day trip to an amazing hiking trail. We all pitched in and gave our house a thorough cleaning. I voted. We completed errands without having to interrupt our school day. I even took the time to paint my nails purple! We enjoyed our time together, and we enjoyed our time doing our own thing as well. We all have had a chance to sleep in, and are ready to tackle the weeks ahead as we enter the holiday season. Now, if only someone could write the next few weeks of lesson plans for me…….