Cranky, whiny, unwilling to try, frustated, tearful, and just plain mad; all adjectives that describe the prevailing homeschooling attitude of a day going horribly wrong. But what do you do about it and how can you get everyone back on track? This attitude won't do you any good.
When you are feeling all these things, you are no good to your kids and life is not fun anymore. We have enough apart from our kids to suck the joy out of our days, so we need not let school do that as well. So, here are a few practical steps to help you find your happy place.
Take a break. Call recess. Make all the kids go outside and play for half an hour. You do what you do to relax. Do not stand around wringing your hands about school. Go clean your room, sort your closet, ride a bike, lift some weights, knit an afghan, or scrapbook about happier times. DO NOT wash clothes - you may find clean clothes with the dirty ones and that will just annoy you more. DO NOT wash dishes - you could find the mornings cereal in the sink when the kids told you they had dumped it out in the garbage - you will be annoyed more. DO NOT clean the kids room - nothing is more irritating than to go to your child's room and finding the $130 Nintendo DS on the floor. (But, you COULD play the DS.)
Phone a friend with kids who act worse than yours (we all know someone!). Do not talk about your kids. Talk about hers. I know this is rotten. But, it helps to see the mediocrity of others. Do NOT call that mom who has everything together, bad timing, it will make you want more, and just overwhelm you.
Write a blogpost or Facebook post about the merits of public school. This will remind your why you do what you do!
Get back to it. When you get off the phone and call the kids in, you will need to try again. Remind yourself Rome was not built in a day and your children won't be educated in one, either. Rest assured, they will learn to read, they will learn their numbers, they will do it on their time table and not yours! If your attitude is still bad, put it up for the day. Nothing is worth the damage you will cause to the relationship with your kids.
Remember, if what you are doing doesn't feel like love, then stop. Love on your kids. This morning my children eagerly demonstrated the things I do when I get mad or frustrated. It wasn't pretty and I certainly did not ask them to. It made me want to change.
So, this is my blogpost, while my kids are playing outside. I am going to drink a cup of coffee, call a friend, and then get back to it!