Keeping a large family focused and moving forward while homeschooling is a difficult task. One child wants to play with LEGOs, another child needs to potty train, and yet a third wants you to explain algebra. There are so many needs and so many opinions. How do you juggle it all?
Work from a detailed schedule which begins when you wake up and ends when you go to bed. Time is allotted for chores, meals, playtime, and homeschooling. You’ll never be able to follow the schedule exactly, but the schedule will form the framework of your daily routine. Everything that needs to be done will get done.
As I type, I am currently about 1800 miles away from my home in Minneapolis. Because my husband had to work and I needed to experience some adventure this summer, I decided to be brave (or maybe crazy), and hit the road with my four kids—all the way from Minnesota to Glacier Park, Montana. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I’m sure the ride home will be just as great. But without looking too far into the distance, I thought I should let you in on a little secret: reading is the key to a successful long car ride.
Everyone organizes differently for a new homeschool year, but we all want creative learning spaces that are both functional and fun.
Discover unconventional ways of organizing by arranging furniture differently. Take two open backed book cases and lay them sidewise. Butt them back to back. Place a large finished out piece of wood on top of the bookcases. Use a few nails to keep the top in place, and you have a beautiful work table with open storage below.
I walk into a new book store, and take a whiff. I find a seat, pull out a book, and read. Taking in the sights and smells that surround me, I revel in the smell and feel of a new book.
We are a family of readers, and most of the time we have a book in our hands. However, I rarely buy new books. One reason is of course to save money, but the other is that, quite frankly, we don’t have the space.
As home educators, we struggle with self-doubt, wondering if we are teaching our children the right things at the right time. There are plenty of models to pull from: public school, private schools, curriculum publishers, etc. But if we are not careful, we can become burdened by feeling we must fit it all into our schedule.
Realizing that I can focus on only a few things well as a teacher, I chose to narrow my yearly homeschool focus to one or two overarching goals each year.
Once you are homeschooling, you realize how easy it can be to adopt a fluid sense of time. In fact, you might sometimes lose track of what day of the week or hour of the day it is when you remove yourself from a traditional school schedule! However, with that flexible perspective on time comes a need for being more particular about the ins and outs of our day. Otherwise, we become so fluid that we end up wasting our precious hours.
Are you super careful to protect your time or are you extremely casual with the hours in your day?
In our homeschool, my children constantly encounter new vocabulary words during their individual reading time or during lessons. My naturally curious kids are great about asking, “What does this word mean, Mom?” Typically I ask them to look it up using an online dictionary.
But sometimes we use them our new words in one of these five fantastic vocabulary games.
Homeschooled children have huge advantages in many areas of their education, but a lot of children find themselves in shock when they are studying in a traditional setting (such as a co-op or higher education). For example, they may find tests, pop-quizzes,and research tasks intimidating because they have little experience with these academic requirements.
Luckily, with a few simple tips and opportunities to practice, any child can be taught to study effectively. These skills will benefit the child not only in a traditional school environment, but also throughout life.
As parents, we encourage our children to read high quality literature at home, but another great way to boost interest in reading is through peer experiences such as a homeschool co-op. Through my own experiences in numerous local co-ops, I've discovered some helpful steps for forming a group and making it run smoothly.
Who do you want to include in your homeschool literature co-op? Just boys? Teens? Girls Only? All ages? Think about what you want out of the group and what age ranges you are going to include.