I have been homeschooling for almost six years! My daughter was four years old when we started our homeschool adventure. Just thinking about it makes it hard for me to believe! We have learned a lot together as a family and I have learned even more as a homeschool mom. Here are five things that have helped my family stay somewhat consistent and partially sane.
Have a Scheduled Time for School
We have two children and both love to homeschool, now with that said…it can still be a struggle every morning to get them to the dining table and start our day. If I received a dollar for every time my kids asked if we were having school today…I’d be set for life! They know that we have school every morning but somehow this becomes a constant question! We have a set amount of time that is to be spent on school. Whether that happens in the morning or afternoon, it will occur. Am I perfect in this? No, absolutely not! I wish I could brag on myself and say that every day goes exactly as planned but alas, it doesn’t!
Switch It Up
Having an organized idea is helpful to keep everyone in our family on task, but switching things up every now and then can really help keep everyone motivated all the way through the year! Be intentional when it comes to scheduling playdates or planning a nature walk with friends! Your kids need to get out and have social interaction with other children!When scheduling special things, I have found that Fridays work best for us. Knowing that all our hard work will be rewarded at the end of the week, give us something to strive for throughout the week. This doesn’t have to replace your homeschool day…just compliment it!
Mobility is Good
When I first started homeschooling I thought that the only way for my children to really learn was if they were sitting at a desk. This is the public school mentality that somehow has crept its way into homeschooling. Your children can learn just as well if they are lying on the floor as they can sitting at a table. (noted…practicing handwriting really should be done at a table)
If it’s a beautiful day outside, make it a picnic day and take your workbooks with you…or don’t! On your way to the park, rent a book about the seasons, local animals, how the pyramids were made…etc, and learn about something new while getting some fresh air.
During the winter, the shorter days can be really hard on our family and cabin fever becomes a real thing! If you are like us and are starting to get cabin fever, have school at the library! Bring your workbooks or find a new resource at the library and maybe even invite a friend or two!
Tailor-made lessons are one of the best advantages of homeschooling for me. For example, the other day my son wasn’t understanding how borrowing from the tens place worked… He looked at me with this confused look and said, “Mom, I just don’t get it.” Immediately, I knew that it wasn’t that he couldn’t do it…but that it just wasn’t registering in his brain. So, I turned the question into a monetary transaction from one bank account to another. The tens place became one bank account and the ones place became another bank account. In the end, we had to borrow from the ten’s account to ensure that the one’s account wouldn’t be overdrawn…This registered right away!
Why? Well, because my son is a saver…he works very hard to ensure that his savings account has way more money than his sister’s. Here is my point, if you teach your kids in terms that they find interest in, they are more likely to find it interesting. Therefore, they will tuck that nugget of information away for another day.
Popular Curriculums are not for EVERYONE!
Just because that curriculum worked for the Jones family, does not mean that it will work for yours! Don’t continue to struggle with a curriculum! If your child dreads doing something in school, take a second look at their curriculum. As a child, I thought I hated to read! HATED IT! Once I became old enough to choose my own reading material, I found out that I really didn’t hate reading…it was the subject and type of material that I dreaded! Homeschoolers have a mountain of resources to choose from! Include your child in the choosing of their curriculum! Sometimes their hangup can be as simple as a plain white paged Math vs a colorful fun page of Math. Both curriculums may teach the same thing…but one will be more appealing visually.