Nope Cards

You know what stinks about being a homeschooler? No snow days. No random excitement of waking up and thinking you have to do All The Things and then suddenly getting a reprieve.

Particularly when you do year-round school, it can get intense after a while.

Earlier this summer, Petra had a series of absolute meltdowns over school work (to be clear: “school work” for her is writing literally anything and doing about 10 math problems). So I decided to make “nope day” cards. I invited the kids to create a card they could play when they just couldn’t deal with anything. If they hand in their “nope” card, they don’t have to do chores, school work, uke practice, etc. They just get a day to do absolutely nothing.

refrigerator with everyone's "nope" cards and our daily checklist on it.

We each made one—sometimes Mama needs a nope day!—and I laminated them and hung them on the fridge with sticky magnets. We each get one “nope” per month. Petra usually uses hers by the middle of the month, but Silas and I sometimes don’t need them. We put them in a particular spot when we’ve used them, and then return them to the fridge at the beginning of the month.

Somehow, even just knowing they have the option of noping out helps them get through the rough days. One time, Silas went to use his right after finishing his math. I pointed out that he’d already done the thing that usually drives him to “nope,” and he’d already done a chore. He loves his writing work (right now, we’re working through the American Shakespeare Center’s rhetoric cards). So…he’d nope out of that, uke practice, and another chore? He decided he could save his card for another day.

I wish I’d thought of this sooner—and I love their card designs.


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