10 Ways to Simplify Your Homeschooling

 

Homeschooling is a wonderful opportunity to teach your children what they really need to learn, and in a way that is custom-tailored to their personalities and learning styles. However, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed and to try to take on too much at once, which can rob you of your joy. If you feel that your homeschooling experience is becoming too busy and stressful, then you should check out these 10 Ways to Simplify Your Homeschooling!

10 Ways to Simplify Your Homeschooling so you can enjoy it more and worry less! hsbapost.com

10 Ways to Simplify Your Homeschooling

 

1. Reduce Materials

If you want to simplify your homeschooling, then one of the best ways is to reduce how many materials you use. Perhaps you can choose one resource or curriculum as a spine for your learning, along with a few educational websites and books from the library. If your bookshelves look like mine, maybe some decluttering is in order. Try digital homeschool resources to cut down on the need for storage space.

2. Make Lesson Plans Early

There’s nothing more stressful than having to come up with a lesson plan tonight for what you’re going to teach tomorrow. You’ll have a better experience, and be able to plan better, if you make your lesson plans or general course of study outline ahead of time.

3. Use A Homeschooling Binder

Use a homeschooling binder to organize your finished lesson plans, possible lesson ideas, things you want to remember, things you want to look into further, etc.

4. Have a Dedicated Homeschooling Space

A great way to simplify your homeschooling is to have a dedicated homeschooling space if you can. Use it to house the majority of your homeschooling supplies, and to give your kids a regular place to work.

5. Have a Consistent Daily Schedule

Having a daily schedule can be very helpful in simplifying your homeschooling! It helps your kids gauge how their day is going to go, and also allows you to better plan your day around your homeschooling time. The schedule doesn’t have to be a strict, by the hour type of schedule either. You can just break it down into flexible “before lunch” and “after lunch” time periods. Or find the routine that works for you on a consistent basis.

6. Unschool

Rather than following strict lesson plans, have you considered unschooling? Unschooling is perhaps one of the most flexible and simplified types of homeschooling. It allows your children to follow their own interests and curiosities and learn from them, rather than following a direct lesson plan. It’s a wonderful way to develop a love for learning in your child! We use delight-directed learning in our homeschool.

7. Reduce How Many Subjects are Covered Daily

You’ll easily stress yourself out if you’re trying to engage your child in a dozen different subjects within one day. Instead, have a few core topics you cover daily, and then include other topics every once in a while.

8. Let Your Children Work Alone

If they’re old enough, leave your children alone to work on their lessons. If they need help with something, they’ll know where to find you. This will help them learn to be independent workers, and will give you the time to work on some of your own things.

9. Give Your Children a Notebook

Rather than you being the only one who knows the lesson plan for the day, why not share it with your children as well? Give them a notebook, and every day write down their lessons. Your kids will likely enjoy being able to see their school day at a glance, and it’ll keep them from having to keep asking you what they should work on next.

10. Be Forgiving Of Yourself

Not every day will go as planned. That’s fine. One of the many benefits of homeschooling is that you can take the time to adjust, or to make up for lost time. In the end, your kids will learn everything they need to, so don’t fret the small stuff and forgive yourself the less than perfect days.

How do you simplify your homeschooling?

 

 

The digital homeschool Omnibus has all the great resources you need to simplify, organize, plan, and find the joy in your homeschooling:

Homeschool Omnibus

Sara (141 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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Evaluating Learning Gaps

 

Evaluating Learning Gaps in your Homeschool. hsbapost.com

Homeschoolers can become confused and frustrated by the unevenness of learning, and seemingly gaping holes in their child’s understanding. When you wonder if you’ve finally met your match because your kid is just not getting it. Or you’re subjecting yourself to all kinds of guilt because maybe your kid should have been evaluated by a professional for a learning disability after all.  And the worry that this particular delay or issue doesn’t fall within the parameters of “normal”. Oh the anxiety produced when we second-guess ourselves and doubt our ability to recognize our child’s needs! And all too often, we are subjecting ourselves to much of that anxiety because we are comparing ourselves and our kids to others or to an unrealistic standard.

Now, I’m not saying that learning disabilities and challenges aren’t real. As Leah explained in “Does Your Child Need a Special Needs Label?” there are cases in which a formal evaluation and diagnosis can be very helpful in addressing a child’s specific needs. And I add my encouragement to parents to trust their own instinct and knowledge about their child as to whether pursuing a diagnosis would be a wise move.

The reality is that even kids without a special needs label can experience a real difficulty in one subject area even though they do fine, or excel in others. It’s also a reality that kids can hit a roadblock in their learning that slows their progress significantly, even though they don’t have a specific learning disability that is causing their slowdown. If you’re puzzled by a student that is surging ahead in some subjects and stymied by others, or seems to be completely stuck in understanding a concept, how do you handle it?

Let me offer two suggestions to combat the worry: Put the problem in perspective. Resist the temptation to compare unrealistically.

Most importantly, I believe you need perspective on the problem. Is this roadblock another piece in a puzzle that is starting to look like a special need or learning disability? If it’s something that’s part of a bigger picture that your gut says you should pay attention to, then do what you need to do. But it’s also possible that your child just needs a little extra time or a different approach. Try to look at that big picture. As an example, one of my students learned letters and phonic sounds easily by first grade, but then seemed to hit a wall when it came to sounding out words of more than three letters. A word like “spill” would come out as “slip” even though the sounds were in the right order when done individually. We were getting nowhere fast in second grade reading. And I worried. I worried because an older sibling had learned to read almost effortlessly, so I was sure that either I was doing something terribly wrong, or this child had a learning disability. Turns out I was exaggerating. When I did some research and consulted a good friend who was an early education specialist, I found out that a child’s mental ability to put together the “puzzle pieces” of something they understand into a bigger picture develops anywhere between five and eight years old. Was my child dyslexic? Quite possibly, but since he had never reversed numbers or written numbers or letters backwards, it didn’t seem as likely any more. So I relaxed and waited, and sure enough, that child learned to read.

As students get older, and move past the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, you may find that a kid that is going along great guns in every subject except one that they just don’t seem to grasp. The problem can become something akin to a special need during the high school years when subject areas overlap or one is dependent on another. A student that struggles with reading comprehension will be slowed down in almost every subject. A student that struggles with math and is “behind” grade level in that area will have a really tough time in the sciences that are so dependent on formulas and equations. I’ve got a student that does great in every subject area except math. And I can sympathize, because I’m somewhat math-challenged myself! This is where homeschooling can be such a blessing, because we can keep working at finding the curriculum and resources that make math understandable, without sticking a “remedial” label on it. We can keep working to interest and ability in the subjects that are strengths while finding workable solutions for learning the things that are not coming easily.

There will be learning gaps and uneven places in any education. Gaps where information was missed, and gaps where one concept or skill was elusive while others were mastered. Uneven places where learning moved quickly in one area but stumbled along in another, or where some subject areas had to be put on hold until the student could catch up in another area. Homeschooling offers the benefit of being able to adjust course for the uneven places, and come up with individualized solutions for filling in the gaps as we recognize them. This very ordinary – yet very special – need for overcoming an individual struggle is one we’ll all face at some point in our education.

 

Kym (14 Posts)

Kym is in the middle of her 17th year of homeschooling her four kids, two of whom have graduated. She and her husband of 27 years are Canadians transplanted to Maryland. Kym loves coffee, history, and homeschooling, and you can join her for coffee break at her blog, Homeschool Coffee Break.


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What to Do When You Want to Quit Homeschooling

 

Have you hit a rough spot in your homeschooling? Or maybe you never planned to homeschool in the first place, but you’ve found yourself in the thick of it, unsure of your own ability to educate your children. There are so many different avenues and approaches to homeschooling, but we generally all have one thing in common — tough days when we feel like we want to give up and quit homeschooling.

What to Do When You Want to Quit Homeschooling. Encouragement at hsbapost.com

If you’re committed to homeschooling and believe it’s the best option for your children, you’ll find a way to push through that slump or uncertainty. You just need a little encouragement and practical advice.

I understand — and so do my homeschool mom friends in the iHomeschool Network. That’s why we collaborated on this book: Homeschooling: What to Do When You Want to Quit.

What to Do When You Want to Quit Homeschooling

We have a lot more to say than just “Don’t give up!” We share the strategies we’ve actually used in our lives when the chips were down. There are 250 pages of encouragement for homeschool moms, along with practical advice. You don’t have to suffer with burn-out alone. There is hope and help for you!

I’ve written two chapters in this book:

How to Cope When Homeschooling Means Isolation for Mom — when you want to quit because you feel like you are on your own

Fighting Fears with Faith — when you want to quit because you feel inadequate to teach

I share my own experiences, as well as some solutions and discussion questions to help you think through your situation. Those are my chapters, but there is so much more in the book!

 

The Encouragement You Need

Whether you’re just starting out or are already a seasoned homeschooler, discouragement hits us all at one point or another. We all doubt our decisions, worry about curriculum choices, and have moments of sheer panic. The inner voice asks, “What am I doing? This is crazy! I can’t educate my children at home!” Or maybe that voice screams out in frustration, “I’m utterly spent. I can’t take one more minute of confusing fractions, tedious read alouds, or messy science experiments!”

Sometimes all we want is simply a proper dining room instead of a cluttered, homeschool disaster area where the table used to be.

On the worst of days, we have all looked longingly at the flashing lights of a yellow bus and considered —for one brief moment —putting our kids on it.

These negative feelings about homeschooling are the genesis of this book. Despite our very real feelings of wanting to quit, we, the bloggers of iHomeschool Network, have persisted in the path of educating at home. And we can tell you that it is worth pushing through the stress, exhaustion, and fear.

This book addresses nearly every potential frustration point that a homeschool mom faces. We tackle the irritations that make you want to throw in the towel for good:

  • having toddlers and babies along for the ride
  • working from home while homeschooling
  • high school!
  • feeling under-appreciated
  • feeling inadequate as a teacher
  • having your own emotional meltdowns
  • handling things solo as a single mom or one whose husband is frequently away from home
  • raising a special needs child
  • dealing with a family crisis, job loss, or a move
  • being burned out
  • feeling the criticism of others, maybe even family members or your own husband
  • being totally unorganized with school record keeping
  • living in a messy, chaotic, loud house

See a copy of the full Table of Contents here (PDF) to see exactly what all 56 chapters are about or read sample chapters here. This is a digital product in PDF, MOBI, and EPUB formats with over 250 pages of uplifting, but not sugar coated, practical help for 56 different reasons you might want to quit homeschooling.

Also available in PRINT on Amazon.

 

Have you ever felt like quitting?

 

 

 

Sara (141 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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