writing tools with paper airplane, with text overlay how to reverse your bad homeschool day step-by-step

Reverse Your Bad Homeschool Day Step-By-Step

paper airplanes with text overlay, how to everse your bad homeschool day step-by-step

We all have a bad homeschool day from time to time, but did you know that you can quickly turn that day around?

Your Bad Homeschool Day Begins…

Let me guess, your day started out something like this…

You overslept, the four-year-old completely soaked his bed, your youngest managed to break into your nail polish and paint the bathroom sink, the kids are complaining about doing their schoolwork, and you’ve done absolutely no homeschool lesson planning for today.

You feel like you’ve lost total control over this homeschool day and you must somehow take hold of the reigns of this bucking bronco and tame it down to a manageable level. If you can relate to any one or all of those scenarios, believe me, I get it!

BUT, you can turn this day around, fairly easy, you just need a strategy. The 4 R’s is your way to turn your day around and take back control of your homeschool routine or schedule.

The 4 R’s to a Better Homeschool Day


Most of the time all you need is a reset.

Distance yourself from whatever is making this a bad day. Take a few minutes to breathe. Walk, read your bible, pray, watch a funny animal video with the kids, or take 15 minutes to color. This is just one moment in time that will not last forever, so just take a minute to reset.


Who are you doing the things you’re doing for? Yourself, your spouse, your children, God?

Think about how they feel or how they would feel about what’s happening right now.


Readjust your mindset.

What is your main focus for the day? If the answer to that question is to be there for your children, then you should think about how you can be a better you for them.

Decide what you need to accomplish this day. What can you do to make that easier?


Come up with a quick plan of action. Take a look at your homeschool day schedule or routine, if you have one. Decide on the tasks and subjects that must be done that day.

Back up to the point everything started going south. Decide where to restart your day. Then, prioritize what needs to get done that day. Pick three tasks. If you get those done and can add more to the list, that’s great, but focus only on getting through the three.

If one of the tasks is to clean the house and the kids are old enough and can help, assign tasks to each child by room. Set a timer for 15 minutes for each room and get busy.

Read How We Homeschool, Then and Now, to find out more about how we homeschool.

My Bad Homeschool Day Battle Plan

The scenario I gave you earlier, was based on actual events and here’s how I handled that day…

First, I washed up the pee-soaked child and put him in fresh clothes. Then, I let the kids watch something on TV while I had a cup of coffee, read my devotional for the day, and washed up and dressed for the day. I stripped and cleaned the peepee bed and threw the sheets in the washer. They washed while I got the kids some bowls of cereal and we ate breakfast.

After that, the kids changed into their clothes for the day and started their chores while I removed the nail polish in the bathroom sink with acetone. When everyone was done with chores we settled down to begin our school day with a read-aloud. When the read-aloud was over we sorted out what other subjects we’d do that day. And you know what?

It was all ok.

Plan Ahead

Plan ahead for a bad homeschool day. They happen to all of us. If you know what strategy to use to overcome them, it’s a whole lot easier to pick up the pieces.

So, already have something in mind you’ll do if your homeschool day takes a turn for the worse. Having an alternate homeschool schedule could help.

Will you throw in the towel and start again tomorrow? Do you think you could have a dance party and change the mood? Maybe you could have a “learn anything day” where your kids learn all they can about a topic and put on a skit or presentation at the end of the day to convey what they’ve learned. Can you take learning outdoors?

A Realistic Homeschool Schedule

You don’t necessarily need a homeschool schedule to homeschool effectively, but if you don’t have one and seem to be having one bad homeschool day after another, maybe it’s time to seriously think about putting a schedule or, at the very least, a loose routine in place.

If you don’t know how to make a schedule, check out How to Make a Homeschool Schedule. Are you more of a routine type of person? Take a look at this post from Raising Arrows for 25 Simple Routines for Moms Who Don’t Like Schedules.

Want to see one of my family’s homeschool routines? Read here or this one about my version of block scheduling.

homeschooling planner contents graphic image

Are you looking for a good homeschool planner? The Large Family Homeschooling Mom’s Planner has all the things you need. Documents, logs, schedules, and healthy doses of encouragement can all be found within its pages.

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