I’ve been homeschooling forever…Ok, not really, but there are days when it feels like that! 😛
I added up all of the years I’ve homeschooled my 3 children, starting with kindergarten, and it’s been 23 years altogether.
It’s never been something that my husband and I decided, once and for all, that we were going to do indefinitely, but rather, each year we re-evaluate, and decide what’s best for that year. As it so happens, we’ve homeschooled full time, all but 3 years with our oldest child, who is now married. He went to public school for 5th grade, and then to private Christian school for 11th and 12th grades.
I do have a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, but I certainly don’t think it’s necessary for a parent to have a degree in order to capably homeschool their children. There are so many resources available nowadays to help parents in giving their children a wonderful education, and I’ve used many different curriculums myself.
I’ve come to the conclusion though, that the specific curriculum doesn’t matter as much as the “follow through” of the teacher/parent, and in this case, me. I’ve learned through trial and error, and stumbling through at times, what helps to make this process of homeschooling my children a more manageable and pleasant experience.
So here is my list of Top 10 Tips for Making your Homeschooling Year Easier:
- Pick materials or curriculum that work for your family and your children’s age, based on how much time you have to give, and your children’s learning styles.
- Have all the necessary materials on hand, so that you’re not running to the store or library, or having to pause in order to borrow or order materials.
- Have a place to organize your curriculum, and a clear table or desk/s for your children to be able to do their work. We’ve used our dining table most of the time, and it works just fine.
- Break up the day, or not, whichever works for you. Some people like to go strong till they get all of their school work done. My kids and I take a longish break for lunch, and I let the kids play for a bit, then we get back to light school work in the afternoon, like history, science, health or reading.
- Have a schedule. According to your personality this can be a firm or loose schedule. Kids tend to work better and have a better attitude, with less grumbling and complaining, if they know what to expect each day.
- Add in some “fun” courses like an entertaining typing program, or a computer programing course. Capitalize on your children’s interests.
- Mix things up. We’ve had years where we’ve done all our schooling on the computer, and years where we used all books and workbooks, and I’ve come to the conclusion that what works best for us is a combination. We now do at least one course online, and the rest as book work, and we’ve found it makes school time less monotonous.
- Make sure your schedule isn’t so full that when your children need help, you don’t get impatient with them, because your to do list is overflowing. If there’s breathing room in your schedule, you can listen and help patiently, making the experience better for all. This can mean staying off the phone till school time is finished.
- This may seem obvious, but eliminate distractions, like the tv, phone and video games.
- Pray for wisdom, and strength to do a good job, and first and foremost, love your children. No one will love them like you, so let that be evident to them through your character as you teach them. It’s not all about Reading, Writing and Arithmetic…Love them, and use this opportunity to teach them character, self-discipline and life skills.
What tips would you add to this list?