Saturday, August 13, 2011

Homeschool Tips

All around the blogging world (and in the real world) people are getting ready for school. The public schools around here have already been in school for a week. I am also getting things ready for our official first day. (I still don't know what that will be, but it will be by Labor Day.) Having been homeschooled growing up and this being my 4th year of homeschooling my girls, I thought I would give you some "tips" for homeschooling. Now these are things that I have discovered that work for us, and I understand that they may not work for others. Each family needs to find what works for them. However, if I can help even one Mom in her homeschool journey I want to. So, here are my homeschooling tips:

  1. Only school four days a week.  The curriculum that we use in our house has a built in "free day." This is a day that can be used for errands, doctor appointments, or for anything else that needs to get done. On this day, I schedule our extra curricular classes that are not required for the grade level. This includes Art Appreciation, Music Appreciation, American History, and Geography. If, during the school year, we need to take a day off of school for any reason, this is the day that we skip. Since it is not required, I don't feel like we are behind. It also helps me not feel so stressed to know that we have a built in "free day." Our "free day" is usually Wednesday or Friday depending on what we have going on during the week.
  2. Don't worry so much about having a school room. Work wherever it is best. For our family that is the kitchen table. I have tried a number of times to have a room set aside just for schooling, but we always seem to gravitate back to the kitchen table. This is probably because I spend most of my time in the kitchen and surrounding areas. This year I am not even bothering with a school room because I know where we will end up!
  3. Don't be afraid to tweak your curriculum. If something isn't working for you child/family then change it. Last year, in first grade, Brianna was getting nothing out of science. This was very disappointing because I knew she would LOVE science. We ended up completely stopping  science! This year I was determined to not let that happen. Looking through the science for 2nd grade, I knew immediately that she would not enjoy it. So, I pulled rank and completely changed science. (Yes, as Mommy I have rank over WHAT my kids learns! Wonderful isn't it!) This year we will be using Apologia Science since I have heard many rave reviews about their science program!
  4. Children are pre-programmed to learn. You don't have to be the BEST teach! Your child will still learn! 
  5. Enjoy homeschooling! I love homeschooling! I love having my kids around!  Does it get crazy? Sure, but in the end it is very enjoyable and I wouldn't do it any other way. If it homeschooling isn't enjoyable then something is wrong. The main reason I see why mothers do not enjoy homeschooling is because they try to do too much. Remember you are homeschooling not doing school at home! There is a HUGE difference. If I tried to recreate school at home I would go crazy! It is OK if you child finishes and then plays. Really it is! In the state of Tennessee (where we live) you are only required to be in school 4 hours a day! (They don't even say they have to be consecutive hours.) The rest of the day is yours, enjoy it!
Happy Schooling!


Debi said...

Good tips!

Josette said...

those are awesome tips!! I couldn't agree with you more!
I was chuckling to myself about the "schoolroom" advice.

When I was homeschooled we always gravitated to the kitchen table too! I told my dh that though a school room it great, they will gravitate to the kitchen table and...they do. But we do have a really cute school/play room.