Have you ever got out of bed and weren't feeling well? Maybe woke up with a headache or just didn't sleep well? I have learned along my journey of the past ten years of homeschooling, that the children will pick up your attitude. So if I am short with them, and crabby.....they will be too. So these are a few ideas to keep a good control of your day without giving away your attitude.
1.) You can have a 'home economics' day. Make a game out of cleaning, cooking...whatever you need to absolutely get accomplished that day. Now, this may not work for all ages, but even high schoolers would rather do a few chores than Algebra. Ha,ha. This is how I do it, I put on a good CD (fun and lively) and turn it up really loud! Then I give each of the boys a task to accomplish and we act goofy while singing, dancing and cleaning. ;)
2.) Ask the children what they would like for dinner. Have them look in the freezer and choose something. Then get the recipe out and start planning. My youngest gets really excited when we get candles out. He always asks if we can eat by candlelight.
3.) Grab a great book and make it an errand day. Have the older child read aloud in the car to the other children. Give each of the children a list of items to get for the cart (pair younger with older if needed). Then, reward them for good behavior with a special snack on the way home....like ice cream.
Of course if you have a headache or don't feel good, taking a trip to the store or doing errands may not be a good idea for you. If you are just tired, a quick strong cup of JO would get you through the 'shopping day'. So if you aren't up to this, you can get a good book for yourself (or the latest Country Living magazine), a cup of your favorite beverage and take the kids to the park! Let them explore, play, 'socialize' (saying the word socialize very sarcasticly) while you take a day off. You can have the older ones pack a lunch for all. This can be easy with a loaf of bread, knife, peanut butter, jelly and some juice boxes and maybe a few apples.
Remember, it's ok to ditch a day or two here and there. YOU set the school mood for your children. Don't cheat them by having a non-productive day. At least ditching the whole day once and a while, you'll have good mojo in the air and some fresh air with sunshine!