Take Action: Take a Break

A family finally decides to take the leap into homeschooling, and they are eager to do a good job for their children and not delay their education. However, sometimes there are some negative experiences to detox from (for both the kids and the parents). Also, it can take awhile - several months to an year or longer - to figure out what works. You know what didn't work, so pay attention to that and remember why you decided to homeschool.

However, what does work? You will figure that out as you ask for ideas, explore options, work through the trial and error phase, and treat this phase as its own adventure.

Meanwhile, know that it is okay to start by taking a few days off - maybe even a couple weeks. In some circumstances even longer. 

Take a deep breath, or several.


Consider providing your child(ren) with one or more of the following to occupy them while you take time to get your own feet under you:

  • One or more books, fiction and nonfiction
  • Journal with nice pens for daily journal entries (get a book of prompts if necessary or find prompts online)
  • Educational activities such as Minecraft, Legos, and science kits
  • Art set(s), supplies, and how-to books
  • Covey's Highly Effective Teens or Happy Kids books and workbooks
  • A project they will enjoy doing mostly independently

As you research curriculum options and learning strategies, bring them into the conversation as much as possible. You can all take one or more learning styles inventories together and use this as part of the discussion. You can also explore curriculum catalogs or attend a homeschool conference together (they have these online too!). 

As part of the ongoing communication, let your child(re) know that you need this time to explore but still want to make sure that some type of learning is happening. You might also want to read books or get training in communication techniques; Marshall Rosenberg's NVC series is popular for this.


Finally, make time to enjoy peaceful, quality time with your child(ren) if at all possible. What are activities that you can do where you can just enjoy time together?


  • Take a walk in a park or at a zoo
  • Watch a show together
  • Do an arts and crafts project
  • Go to a local animal society shelter to walk dogs
  • Attend a festival
  • Visit the local library
  • Make cookies

Options and results may vary, but this time for connecting and emotionally "grounding" can make the homeschooling process much better, especially for getting started.

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