How Distractions Jumpstart Our Homeschool Day

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Distractions, don’t we have lots of them? I’ve learned that there are some distractions that slow me down and keep me from achieving my goal. Like when I focus on blogging, I get distracted by Facebook updates on the side. So what do I do? I delete the Facebook tab and finish the post I am supposed to publish.

In our homeschool, we also get a TON of distractions. Let me share with you how I used these diversions to get some work done.

I have had questions from other moms who asked me what’s a typical homeschool day for us. Usually, Coby and Jianne discuss their lessons with me in the morning. After which they do exercises or skill practices that are assigned to them. Sometimes I do follow ups on Coby’s writing work or projects in the afternoon.

At least four times a week, both kids have Math and English (Language and Reading). These subjects needed to be practiced daily to gain skills and eventually master them. The other subjects like Science, Social Studies (History), Filipino, we just alternate twice a week. Bible can be done outside our homeschool schedule and that’s where family devotions come in.

To be honest, I wish my kids would have an enthusiastic attitude for learning every single day. I wish they would readily say to me “Mama, we’re so excited to do school today!” Of course, this is not always the case.

Right after breakfast, I would immediately send them out to get their books and pens ready for class. They would lay their books on the table looking prepared but their minds are somewhere else. I would find one child distracted over the stray cats or the basil plant that is growing in our garden. While the other one would be watching the birds perched on the tree branch or tinkering with his/her favorite toy.

I find myself competing with the toys and other distractions more often than not. In the past, I would get annoyed and I would then say a litany of “why you need to focus on school” or “what is more important now”. Then I had that aha moment.

Instead of jumping right at dividing decimal numbers or practicing handwriting, why not give in to their distraction for a few minutes. I allowed them to play with their toys or observe the plants in the garden or just do anything they want for 10 to 15 minutes. Then after, they had to settle in their seats and get serious with school work.

Coby's favorite toys

Coby’s favorite toys

Surprisingly, this compromise worked for us. I noticed that when they were given the freedom to “de-stress” for a few minutes they became more ready to face their respective tasks. Eventually, they successfully completed the work needed for the day.

I am not suggesting we should break the rules we set for the kids but when the rules aren’t working anymore, I think we should be ready to tweak it. As our kids also get older, we need to LISTEN to them more.

Lalaloopsy for Jianne

Lalaloopsy for Jianne

We don’t do this all the time. I’m happy to share that there are days too when they wake up excited and raring to start school. I call these my glorious days! I only adapt this “compromise” as the need arises.

If we insist on what we want and not consider the opinions or feelings of our children, we will make them obey externally but internally rebellion is brewing in their hearts. Don’t get me wrong, we are still the authority in our homes but as our kids get older we need to let go just a little to give them room to breathe too.

Are you struggling with your homeschool schedule? How is your school day like?