Want to hear something funny? I was so ready to write about my kids and how they used to get cranky during the day while homeschooling. I was getting my mind ready, and all I could think about was – “Them being cranky? What about when YOU were cranky?!” I guess that means that as I talk about how to keep cranky out of your homeschool, I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t mention what I did about my crankiness as well.
We all have those days when the plan goes awry, someone doesn’t get enough sleep or moods are just flaring. There are some practical steps you can put into place to get that cranky out of your homeschool – and fast.
Some steps you may need to revisit from time to time, and others can create lasting effects. I will start with what I did to keep my cranky out of our homeschool.
MOM – KEEP THE CRANKY OUT OF YOUR HOMESCHOOL
- Get some sleep – to keep the cranky out of your homeschool.
When I first started homeschooling, I also started working from home. I would work late hours and then think I could homeschool in the morning – no big deal. My fatigue eventually took over and yes — I became cranky in my homeschool. Try gradually going to sleep an hour early throughout the month and see how better you feel the next morning.
- Schedule appropriately – to keep the cranky out of your homeschool.
There is nothing like a chaotic schedule to get you winning the cranky-mom-award. Make a schedule that works for you and stick to it. What I did was adjust my homeschooling schedule to full days Monday – Wednesday. We made Thursdays a light day, and we take off Fridays. This allowed me to work a little later on Wednesday nights, get some work done Thursdays, and work full days on Fridays while my kids had the day off.
You can also consider Sabbath Schooling to avoid homeschool burnout.
- Two wrongs don’t make a right.
It will never help if you both are cranky, so try not to let your child’s cranky infect you. Since you have more sense, guess what mom…you need to take the higher road and handle the situation rightly.
- Do those dishes (before bed)!
Dishes get me super cranky; I will be the first to admit it. What is worse than doing the dishes? Having to do them in the morning to start off your day. Do dishes or assign them to be done at night. If you wake up cranky and take a look at a full sink of dishes, things just aren’t going to go well for the next 2, 3, or 10 hours.
- Take care of you – to keep the cranky out of your homeschool.
You may be exhausted mom, I know. However, taking a shower in the morning, putting a dab of makeup on and putting on not-your-pajama clothes will help. Taking care of yourself doesn’t stop there. Get something done for yourself once a month or every few months. Get your hair done, take a walk alone, have coffee with a friend (who won’t bring you down or gossip).
For me, it would be to get a pedicure – a goooood pedicure. You know the ones with stones and a good foot rub where you are not worried about getting a foot infection. That one! You are worth it.
- Keep God first – to keep the cranky out of your homeschool.
I saved the most important for last because I don’t want you to forget it. When we start our homeschool day off without reading God’s Word, the day just doesn’t flow as it should. When will we ever learn? Be intentional about seeking God in the mornings before homeschool or at night if that is your preference, to contend for your homeschool days.
KIDS – KEEP THE CRANKY OUT OF YOUR HOMESCHOOL
Now for these children, bless their hearts. They are our pride and joy yet can make us want to pull our hair out on those cranky days. These tips won’t fit every child since you may have a toddler, teen, or primary aged child, but here goes.
- DO NOT forsake the nap – to keep the cranky out of your homeschool.
Kids can use some downtime. Whether they nap or just lay down for an hour, it helps everyone to know there is a time to calm down and refocus. My teenager took that hour nap/reading time too! She LOVED the downtime, sometimes she and I would just talk through the hour. That helps also.
- Get kids to sleep earlier – to keep the cranky out of your homeschool.
When my son was in pre-K his teacher took me aside and told me that the school system would be requesting that I put my son on medication because of his hyperactivity. She said not to listen to them until I tried to put him to bed earlier around 7:30 or 8 and…
- Watch what they are eating during the week – to keep the cranky out of your homeschool.
The teacher told me to NOT give him any sugary foods or red food dye. I still follow through with this advice today, now that he is 9 years old. Many parents can take their kids off of red food dye and visibly see the change in their demeanor. You can read my post about homeschooling high energy boys for more ideas.
- Give your student your time – to keep the cranky out of your homeschool.
You cannot escape from the fact that kids need our attention. The more attention they get from us, the less they need. Make time to play, talk to, and listen to your child. If you have to designate a time, that is fine. Just do it.
- Head outside – to keep the cranky out of your homeschool.
I do NOT like the outdoors. That is NOT good for kids, especially if they are cooped up all day 4 -5 days a week. Get outside, get moving, exercise, and do it every day if the weather permits. Fresh air does a child well when they aren’t feeling in the best of moods – it can help you too.
- Warm showers can ease the crankiness.
Have your child take a warm shower. Somehow this works a lot of the time. Fill the bath up and let them soak in there for a bit.
- Use good eye contact.
Get at your child’s eye level and touch their face gently talking in a soothing tone. Getting at their eye level and touching them gently can calm them immediately. Be interested in what they are telling you — listen.
- An emotions chart can address feelings right away – to keep the cranky out of your homeschool.
Use an emotions chart to get them to express how they are feeling right away is effective. Point to the emotion in the chart, not to your child. It helps disassociate themselves from their feelings, allowing them to talk about their feelings more easily.
Homeschooling for many moms often means no breaks and a full-to-the-brim day. Things can quickly go south without some parameters or guidelines in place to troubleshoot crankiness a sit arises.
Be intentional about keeping the cranky out of your homeschool next year. You have got this, mom!
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!