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How to Have More Good Homeschooling Days

forsythia and blue skyLast night I stayed up past 10, which was great then.  But it’s not so great today.   I was even yawning during a trip to the woodlot with my husband to get another load of firewood!  Imagine how inspiring I was during homeschool lessons.  Poor kids.

Elizabeth Elliot once wrote that to get up early you’ve got to start the night before.  Altering that slightly for me, if I want to have an energetic, peaceful, and productive day, I need to start the night before by going to bed early. My big need is sleep.

You probably need to do something else to be in top form for homeschooling your kids.  We’re all different.  Some moms cannot focus unless their menus are planned.  Others need to have a written list of what the kids should learn that week.  Some prepare fancy workboxes to keep their lives running smoothly.  A few have all the meals prepared and in the freezer.  Some need to have their many carpools arranged to feel peace.  Others need to have a date night planned for the end of the week.

But often we moms don’t really know why our days go well when they do, and why they don’t when they don’t.  It’s worth thinking about. Once you know what makes your bad days bad, you can do something about them.  Or if you can’t, you’ll know that as well, and learn to leave it with the Lord.  If you know what makes the good days good, that’s even better, for then you can set things up to have more peaceful, happy, productive homeschooling days.

Here are some more things that drain me enough to take the shine out of our day:

  • Sunday clutter in our entryway after the weekend
  • Unmade beds
  • No milk in the house
  • Low-calorie breakfasts
  • Getting up late
  • Running around
  • Forgetting a homeschool subject until late in the afternoon

Of course, the basics of good days include Bible and prayer time, healthy food, exercise, outside time, and laughter.  Here are some more little things that make the days so much smoother for our family:

  • Smiles
  • Sunshine
  • Good breakfasts
  • Computer time before breakfast
  • Sweeping the floor
  • Finishing a dreaded task first thing in the day

What works for you as a homeschooling mom?  Is there anything that doesn’t work for you that you can fix?  Is there anything that does work that you can do more of?

–Shared at No Ordinary Blog HopBetter Mom Mondays , Encourage One Another Wednesday, Women Living Well Wednesdays, Works For Me Wednesday .  


  1. Jenn says:

    I need sleep, too. Please pray if you think of me. I really need sleep tonight. Tomorrow I must be ready to lead us well and right now, I am dragging. Very fitting post!!! Thanks.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      I didn’t see this until the morning, but I do hope you had a good, peaceful night with no coughing, and I pray that you’ll be able to do today’s work.

  2. JoAnn says:

    I need to have space in my schedule. If I’m rushed I get frustrated and stressed and that makes for a very hard day.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Yes, that’s true for me, too.

  3. This is neat outlook on having a good homeschool day. Thank you! I find I need to start schooling in the morning before computers or anything else to have a smooth day. 🙂

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Yes, that’s a good point. It seems to work for many people. We’ve tried it before, but every family is different, and it didn’t work well for us.

      We like to have some computer time before breakfast, and then none until the day’s work is finished. Of course, we must be disciplined to get off the computer at a specified time, or we lose the whole morning.

  4. Genevieve says:

    I think that those things are not only necessary for the homeschooling momma but for all of us! I know that wehn I don’t get enough sleep I have a horrible day, and instead of spending time with my toddler I feel like i let the the tv be her teacher. I’m still trying to figure out what works. I think I will take some of your list and see if applying them helps me out.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      You are so right. It holds true for anyone. Thanks for pointing that out.

      And with kids you can never get into a rut because as they grow and change, so does the whole household. I hope you can find something that works now and as your little one grows.

  5. Hilary says:

    I have to have a plan for myself. I’ve also found that I need to let my strong willed preschooler have some say in things or we both end up getting frustrated and are unproductive. So I have to plan in appropriate things for her to choose from.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Yes, without a plan I spin my wheels, too. That’s an important aspect of having a good day. It’s nice for her to learn to choose, and I’m sure that makes her feel and act more peaceful.

  6. Lynda says:

    I’m still working on getting the dreaded thing done first thing in the day. Great list and wonderful advice. Thank you for sharing, and for linking up at NOBH. Have a blessed day!

  7. I enjoyed this post very much! I can relate to all of it so well as my hubby reminds me alot about how lack of sleep the night before causes a tough homeschool day! Thanks for sharing your insights at NOBH! 🙂

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Husbands can often see things like that clearly. That’s such a blessing!

  8. Great Post! New follower and fellow homeschooling mom!

    When we started homeschooling (only a few years ago), I was one of those moms who had to write it all down, keep schedules, plan etc…but I find over the last 12 months, I have relaxed a lot and let life just flow more…happier times here now. I never thought I would be a homeschooling mom who did not stick to the schedule, but I guess people change!

    Oh and I can’t start the day (early for me) until beds are made!

    8) Be blessed!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      People change, and people learn. Life comes in stages, I find. 🙂

      I’m working on the bed-making rule too. Sometimes I forget to remind the kids, and then they don’t all get made…sigh!

  9. Brianne says:

    Sometimes I need to remember to let go of my seriousness and have more fun. If things are getting to serious, I need to remember to say, you know what? Let’s go outside for a little bit, we’ll get back to this (whatever we’re doing that was stressful). Or let’s do a fun art project, something simple, and get back to this more difficult subject later. I need to be flexible to change things around sometimes and be spontaneous other times. I also need to rest on tired days and remember that we can always get caught up. Sometimes after we’ve done a lot, it is important to have that rest, and I know I have a hard time resting! But I’m trying. Thank you for this post, it is helpful and encouraging!

  10. Jedidja says:

    Lately I read this post. Ik ben geen moeder die haar kinderen zelf les geeft maar jouw tips zijn bruikbaar. Goed slapen en goed ontbijt zijn voor mij een must. Tegenwoordig eet ik ‘s-morgens havermout. Dat is goed voor mij. Ook een planning, omdat ik ADHD heb.

    Lieve groet uit Holland.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Yes, Jedidja, planning is necessary for most of us, even without ADHD. I didn’t know you had it. Do you think it helps you as an author? I love to hear encouraging stories about people with ADHD and ADD.

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