Following spring break, homeschooling became mandatory for millions. Many parents quickly came to the realization teaching wasn’t in their wheelhouse. As social media feeds lit up with posts of funny homeschool fails, the silver lining became clear. These posts are letting other first-time homeschooling parents know it’s okay not to be perfect and resulting in some much-needed humor along the way.

Homeschooling: A Lesson Plan In Love, Laughter, And Realism

All over the internet, there are snapshots into the lives of parents suddenly thrust into homeschooling. When searching social media feeds, people will see the majority of posts are examples of the best efforts by loving parents to get the job done. Since the syllabus for homeschooling is “routine, routine, routine,” these five steps may help create a routine while maintaining realistic expectations.

1. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do bleary-eyed tonight.

Don’t take on this behemoth task alone; just assign chores to be completed by family members before television or phone time, a reward system that works wonders. A good day’s homeschool routine starts the night before. Look at the next days’ lessons, check the material that wasn’t covered that day, and find the answers to homework problems the night before as well to avoid looking like a deer in headlights. Then put down the teaching materials and pick up a bottle of wine.

2. Leave time for wiggles, giggles, and questions.

There isn’t a formula for the perfect homeschool day, and if there were, it would’ve hit the circular file three nervous breakdowns ago. A routine should be a loose interpretation of how the day should evolve. Having neat little time slots jam-packed every minute will only stress out child and parent. Leave realistic margins in between activities so bathroom breaks and meandering won’t cut into going over fractions for the fourth time.

3. Don’t fall to pieces; break it up into chunks.

Cutting down the day by time frames helps get the day under control. If it’s tweens and teens in homeschool, schedule a study period at the beginning of the day. The extra time allows students a chance to finish homework and study for tests while fresh if time is short at the end of the day, don’t stress out about getting to every subject; it’s just not going to happen, and that’s okay.

4. Homeschooling will break the bank if you let it.

Since time is money, this tip is a windfall. Money, for a lot of households over the recent weeks, diminished. A few ways to cut the cost of homeschooling down to a fraction is to search the internet for homeschooling supply hacks. Hacks are a fun and easy way to make supplies from loose items around the house at minimal or no cost. Go a step further and do an art project out of it for the kids.

5. Stay calm and teach on.

Yes, even having a hissy fit wastes time. If it is a must, go outside, yell for twenty seconds, march right back in, and get over it! Leave the stomping tantrums to the kids. If not, a parent will never get control of the classroom. Across the US, let the collective sighs and deep breathing begin. Recite the mantra; there’s always wine, there’s always wine.

Lastly, remember this little quip. My optimistic homeschooling friend last week: I have a schedule! My deflated homeschooling friend this week: I give up.