Homeschool Parents: Use These 5 Activities When You Need a Break


As a homeschool parent, you probably find yourself needing a break every once in a while. This blog post offers five activities that you can use to keep your child engaged while you rest.

Gimme a Break!

Most parents get a break from parenting when their children go to school, but that isn't the case if you're a homeschool family. If that's your situation, school time doesn't mean taking off one hat; instead, it means putting on yet another one. But even homeschool superheroes occasionally need to hit the pause button, be it to make a phone call, take a brain break, or rest. Here are five activities you can use in this situation to keep your children learning when you need a break.

1. Classroom Clean-Up

Teaching your children a sense of responsibility for their surroundings is important even at a young age. It shouldn't always be your job to put away their school supplies and tidy up their ''classroom;'' they should take an equal part in keeping the school environment orderly. In addition to the daily process of putting things back where they belong, engage your children in a monthly or bimonthly clean-up activity that involves more focused cleaning and organizing. This is important because it:

  • Keeps the homeschool classroom neat.
  • Teaches personal responsibility.
  • Ensures that your children are productively engaged when you need a break.

Classroom cleaning is a good homeschool activity for when you need a break

2. SMART Goal Check-In

As you probably know, an effective approach to learning is to create goals that your children will strive to reach. Consider having your children create a short list of SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely) that they can work toward throughout the school year. Working together, write these down and display them somewhere prominent in your classroom area. When you need a break, have your children check in and see how they're progressing toward their goals by writing a self-report or filling out a rubric.

3. Journaling

Journaling is an engaging ongoing activity for students of all ages, one that lends itself nicely to those times when you need a break. Buy each of your children their own journal. Let them pick the journals out for themselves, or buy plain ones that they can decorate with stickers and markers. Allow them to write in their journals whenever they want to, in addition to assigning particular reflection work.

You just have to follow one sacred rule: promise to never read your children's journals. It'll help them feel comfortable expressing themselves freely and openly.

Journaling is a good homeschool activity for when you need a break

4. SSR

SSR, or sustained silent reading, is a classic school activity. The name pretty much defines the activity: your children read a book silently for a sustained period of time. Usually, this will be a book that your children choose for themselves, maybe from a homeschool classroom library of pre-approved options. Depending on their age, children can focus on SSR for up to an hour, which will give you a rather generous break time.

Try SSR when you need a break during homeschool

5. Student Teacher

During the times that you need a break, enlist an older child to teach the younger ones, or have multiple children teach each other. They can explain the most interesting thing they learned the previous week, for example. Let them use the whiteboard and whiteboard markers to get them excited about stepping into a new, respected role. Or, alternatively, you can have one child read aloud to the others during ''rainbow rug time.''

Whichever of these activities you choose, you should be able to keep your children engaged and learning while you take your well-earned, much-needed break.

Looking for more information about homeschooling? Check out's homeschool resources to get answers to common questions.

By Daisy Rogozinsky
October 2019
k-12 homeschooling

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