It started with a phone call.
When I hung up the phone, I could almost sense the resistance. I had no idea that this minor interruption would completely derail our homeschool day.
“I don’t want to do this,” my oldest daughter whined.
“I hate writing,” she continued, “it’s stupid, and it takes so long.”
The author in me cringed.
“You need to do this,” I told her.
The day continued.
There was resistance.
There were battles.
There was the rolling of eyes and the stomping of feet.
There were exasperated sighs, whines, and complaints.
At the end of our lessons, I was emotionally drained.
I began to wonder why I was even doing this. I had snipped several times at my daughter and felt exhausted from the never-ending battle.
My daughter happily retreated to her room. Her mood had changed the moment we closed the books.
She was done and she was ready to enjoy her day but for me, I was crushed.
The morning’s lesson loomed over my head.
I reflected on the conflicts.
I questioned what I could have done differently.
I debated and deliberated.
As I reflected on the morning, my heart sunk.
I needed something positive to fill me up.
What do you do when you have days like these?
I have a few strategies to recover my joy and I would like to share them with you.Here are some ways to find joy in your homeschool days! #homeschooling #hs Click To Tweet
I find that riding the exercise bike for 15 minutes is rejuvenating (especially if I pedal fast)! I may also put on a yoga DVD; deep breaths and mindfulness can do wonders for your body, mood, and mind!
Pray and read scripture.
I always feel better after I pray and read the Bible. Unloading my heart’s burdens helps me feel so much better.
Go for a walk.
Even if my kids have been challenging, a nature walk can almost always restore the joy that was lost in a homeschool lesson.
Sometimes escaping to a fictional place with some of your favourite characters can provide much relief from a stressful encounter.
A recent practice has been to find the joy even in the toughest days.
I created a “homeschooling joy journal” to document our happy and joyful moments. Every day, I write something positive about our day or about homeschooling in general.
I find that if I push myself, I can find something positive in every day.
What I love about my homeschool joy journal is that I can look back and reflect on all the beautiful moments that homeschooling has given my girls and me.
On a tough day, I can take out my joy journal and be edified by the positive memories and precious moments that have come from homeschooling.
Make a joy journal of your own.
I use a small notebook for my joy journal. I decorated the front cover (with page from a colouring book) to make it extra-special. When I document the joyful moments, I just write one or two sentences. Sometimes I’ll get creative and doodle a picture too. If I’m feeling especially inspired, I may include a photograph as well.
I have one rule in the joy journal… all moments are to be joyful. I don’t want to look through it and think “Oh yeah, that was the day we had that epic battle.” Rather, I wish to look through it and reflect on delightful moments in our homeschooling journey.
How do you handle your tough days? Would you consider using a joy journal?
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Jennifer Bly is the creator of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram for homeschooling updates and inspiration.