What to do on Days You Don’t Want to Homeschool

Ever have one of those days? You know the ones where you wake up and just decide, ” you know what, not today.” I certainly do! Sometimes it’s for a good reason, like a kid is sick, or I’m sick, or everyone is still run down from the weekend. And sometimes it’s for no reason at all. Sometimes, I just want to throw my lesson plans in the air and enjoy the day with my kiddos. So we do! And it’s great! And, with some helpful ideas, I can keep them learning, even on our less structured days!

1. Reading Day

Read a book! It’s really that simple. Have everybody grab a favorite title and spend the morning reading. Or gather in the living room, curl up with some blankets and pillows, and pick a favorite book you can read aloud to everyone! Brew up coffee or tea, fix some hot cocoa, and enjoy a relaxing day with your children. And don’t feel guilty! Reading days encourage both the skill and a love of reading!

2. Home Economics Day

This one is just a fancy title for whatever-needs-done-around-the-house day! Home economics days are flexible and change according to your needs. Is family descending upon you tomorrow? Spend the day scrubbing the house. Other options are to spend the day knitting, sewing, fixing up the lawn, or painting a child’s room. These are also great days to spend in the kitchen baking your children. Check out these fun kitchen ideas for littles!

3. Nature Study Day

Get outside in the fresh air! Explore parks and nature trails in your area. Discover things in your own backyard! Look for animal tracks, observe the trees, and search for signs of the upcoming season. Pack a lunch so you don’t need to return home too soon, especially before you’ve had a chance to stretch your legs and wear out the kids. Nature scavenger hunts are a really fun way to keep little ones engaged on walks.

4. Art Day

So, confession time: art is not my thing. I constantly put art projects off for a more convenient time. A time when I’m not racing the clock to dash to the next activity, or get to the next lesson, or put dinner on the table? But art day comes to the rescue! You can paint. You can draw. Create clay pots. Design stain glass. Color pictures. Finger paint out in the fresh air. Spend the day completing all those fun, messy projects you never seem to get around to. You and your kids will have a blast.

5. Field Trip Day

Not all field trips need to be scheduled. Take the opportunity to sneak out of the house and check out the local museums. Drop by the zoo. Go swimming. Check out an area of town you rarely visit. Wander your neighborhood. If there’s a university nearby, take an afternoon to wander the campus. If nothing else, you can observe the various architectural styles of the local buildings. There are even virtual field trips when leaving the house isn’t ideal.

6. Library Day

The library is such an underutilized tool of modern society! Take a day and introduce the kids to the library. Explore the nooks and crannies. Look up books, subjects, and authors on the catalog. Explain the Dewey Decimal system to your kids. Being familiar with a library is a needed part of your children’s education, even in the internet age!

7. Documentary Day

This one is a personal favorite. I am a very visual learner, as are both of my kids, so documentaries have been a big part of our educational journey for years. We find them to be a fun alternative to textbooks, especially if everyone is under the weather. Instead of trying to focus on a white page and tiny text, spend a day watching documentaries about topics you’re studying. Look for documentaries on history, science, and geography topics. Documentaries allow you to get a new perspective on what you’re studying, giving you a view of a world it’s hard to visit. See the Great Wall of China. Check out the moons of Jupiter. Dive deep into the ocean. Watch a world appear to your children they never dreamed of!

8. Movie Day

Movies are stories brought to life, and there’s no reason not to include them in your learning journey. You can see historical figures and see what made them the people they are. People such as Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great are no longer names in a textbook. They become living, breathing people to your kids. Movies are an awesome way to visit other time periods and see different cultures. Documentaries can give a factual experience, but stories bring characters to life. This is one of our favorite ways to enjoy classic literature like Little Women and A Christmas Carol.

9. Science Day

Art isn’t the only subject that gets pushed aside in the rush of modern life. How many times have you postponed science because there’s no time for the experiments? How many times have you put an experiment on hold until later? Today’s the day! Haul out those science supplies, make a run by the store if needed, and spend the day doing science. Read what makes the experiments work. Do the experiments and see what happens yourself. Have a look at some crazy experiment videos for some inspiration. Have fun and learn science at the same time!

10. Game Day

Pretty simple! Just pull out all the games in the house and play like they’re going out of style. Pop some popcorn or bake cook something yummy to enjoy while playing. Get outside and play a game of soccer or basketball. Backyard games of baseball and kickball are popular around here. Game days are a great opportunity to work on good sportsmanship, discuss ethics, and chat about cheating. Teach your kids how to handle winning and losing like a pro. There are endless learning opportunities on days like these!

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