Sometimes, The Problem Is You

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homeschool vacation day


Do you ever feel like you are up against a wall with one of your children? I do, sometimes.

There are days when I find that no matter what I do, I cannot read one of my kids. I try to connect with them. I try to cajole, and I even try humor. (OK in the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess to you that I am really bad at telling jokes—so resorting to humor really is a last ditch effort!)

But when we are having one of those days, nothing works. Have you been there?

On days like that, I usually declare a homeschool vacation day. Usually, the only person who actually takes a vacation from homeschooling on a homeschool vacation day is me. My kids will immediately dive into independent studies or sometimes a group project springs up. No matter what, when I declare a homeschool day off, my kids are reinvigorated and schooling goes on full speed ahead . . . without me.

Most days that start out troublesome are caused by me. I really don’t do it on purpose. Maybe I am worrying about something. Maybe I am trying to fit too much into a day, and I am oozing “rushed.”

Now, sometimes it really isn’t me at all. Sometimes, it is one of my kids whose lack of sleep the night before or drama with friends has created a tough day for all of us.

As my husband always says, though, “If things are not going well with the kids, take a look in the mirror first.”

And if you find that you are the problem, do yourself a favor and take a day off. Recoup your sanity, fix the things you needed to work on, and find a relaxing way to spend the afternoon—all alone, if you can.

The beauty of homeschooling is that we can take time for ourselves when we need it. Our schedule is ours to define and create. Our children are ours to raise and love and respect.

And when you find you need it, you can give yourself the day off because sometimes the problem really is you.


Kirsten West – I am a homeschooling mom with twin teenagers. We have homeschooled them since they were young and now that I have more time, I blog, write math books and children’s stories, crochet a lot in the evenings, and work as an independent consultant for The Old Schoolhouse as the Affiliate Manager.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).