Barely Adequate – 5 Days of Threadbare Homeschooling

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On this third day of my 5 Days of Threadbare Homeschooling series, I have for you another definition of the word threadbare: something that is barely adequate due to shabbiness. I must admit that this is the post which caused me to want to write this series. Sometimes, mama, we all have seasons where all we can get done is all we can get done. I want to share with you what that has looked like in our home and a few reasons why.

5days Threadbare Homeschooling
Barely Adequate Homeschooling

“What did you learn in school this week?” I hate that question when my kids are asked it by anyone other than my own husband. Many times, my kids just draw a blank and don’t really provide much of an answer, making it look like they are either completely ignorant or like I don’t actually make them do school work. But sometimes I hate that question because, even if the kids figure out what to say, it’s a very threadbare answer.

I don’t know about you, but we’ve had some times in our life where “just the basics” was all we could get done. If you haven’t been there yet, trust me – it’ll happen someday. And it will be totally fine when it does! A few reasons and seasons we’ve done almost no school work include:

  • We were in the process of moving. It’s way more headache than it’s worth to try and keep up all the schoolwork during a move. Don’t try it!!!
  • Someone in our immediate family was sick. If one person is sick and thus gets out of school work, the whole day goes down the drain. Moreso if it’s mom that’s sick…
  • Mom (that’d be me) deals with a chronic pain and fatigue health concern. We’re learning to put together a plan for my worst days, but sometimes the kids getting their computer subjects done is all I care about!
  • It’s really pretty outside and we’ve been cooped up all winter. Need I say more?
  • We are between curricula and just skip a subject or two while we find something new to use.

Have you had days and seasons like that? Sometimes it’s just a day. Sometimes we take practically the whole week off, maybe getting in a spelling test and a novel. Sometimes everyone passes around the flu for a month and we all get bits and pieces done, or just quit early for our regular break.

5days Threadbare Barely Adequate

Adequate Homeschooling

For us, the basics include reading – which means actually reading a novel or history assignment, Bible (which might just be reading in one), math, sometimes a language arts learning component, and often an online subscription which will expire and needs to be finished in time. These days, bare minimum requirements also include anything we are using for the purpose of review.

I love history, and I love teaching it. I’lla dmit to not enjoying science personally, but the kids always love when we’re diligent with those studies and experiments. Art? Music? High school electives?

In our homeschool, we are trying to foster a love of learning. We feel like once our kids have learned how to learn, and have the skills they’ll need i n the real world such as cooking,  balancing a checkbook, and changing a flat tire, that they’ll be okay. We can miss a few days. We homeschool year-round, so we actually have over 250 days that are available to us for learning. (In case you aren’t aware, public schools generally attend for 180 days, and most homeschooling curricula are geared for that schedule or even shorter.)


It’s totally fine if we miss a day – or a week, even – here and there. It will be fine if I need 3 months this year to sort out my health and get myself situated in a new season of life. It’s okay if my first graders haven’t started history yet, or science, or the grammar curriculum that I pulled out last week. We’ll get there and they will soak up every bit of learning. (And in case you missed it, I wrote this paragraph for myself.)

It’ll be okay, mama. Everyone has seasons where their homeschooling is barely adequate. Every season has an ending, and God has a plan for your good. Have YOU had any seasons like this? Mind sharing your why? Tell me what YOUR bare minimum looks like!