Homeschooling Simplified

Homeschooling Simplified

A few months ago, I was feeling completely overwhelmed.  Sammy had just been in the hospital for 4 days, the house was exploding, and I felt like my homeschool schedule was running away from me!  I decided to cut out all of the extras from our homeschool schedule and just focus on the basics.  This was a tough decision because Sammy LOVES all of the extra fun.

However, I decided to do this and get through the holidays and use my “extra” time to focus on all of the other things I needed to finish!  We simplified to math, reading, science, spelling, and handwriting.  Sammy loved that he could be finished with his school day so early.

Sammy used our time to learn new skills like vacuuming, emptying the dishwasher, and entertaining himself.  All of which are great life skills that I suspect his wife will thank me for someday *winks*.

Vacuuming

What I found was that Sammy was learning just as much, if not more, with the simplified schedule.  He was bringing me non-fiction books to read to him.  He was reading as much of a book as he was capable of, just for fun!  He was pulling out his snap circuits and building with those and listening intently to my husband’s instruction!  Sammy was embracing homeschooling and thriving even though I had “simplified” to only a few core subjects.

After making it through the holidays and getting school started back up for the year, I have added a few things back to our schedule.  But, I am embracing the homeschooling simplified schedule and allowing Sammy to show an interest in an area so we can dig a little deeper.

Are you feeling overwhelmed and needing a break?  I would encourage you to take a break and focus just on the core subjects and see where your child’s interests are!

Lindsay BytesOfMemory (7 Posts)

Christian, wife, mom, knitter, reader, and wearer of many hats (literal and figurative). I am also a computer geek, homeschool mom, sock sorter, and a blogger. I like coffee, tea, chocolate, Mexican food (not together), and lists!


A Word From Our Sponsors

The 2014 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner
***Bring Master Art Teacher TOS/HEF columnist Pat Knepley into your home! Year’s curriculum. Step-by-step lessons. Biblical integration. www.seethelightshine.com***

When Homeschool Plans Fail

Homeschool Plans FailOn the last day of our beach vacation, we got up early to watch the sunrise.  Sammy had been getting up before the sun each morning and we kept sending him back to bed.  On Thursday night, we planned to get up and watch the sun come up over the Atlantic.  As you can see, it was cloudy.  We laughed and went back to bed for a little while!

Isn’t that just how things can be sometimes?  Even when we think we have everything all perfectly planned out, something out of our control makes the plan useless!  I try to be a glass is half full kind of person.  So when homeschool plans fail, I try to make the best of it!

10 ways to repair failed homeschool plans

  1. Pray and ask God what his plan is for your year.  This isn’t a quick fix, but it will certainly help you see what is important.
  2. Salvage what you can of your plans.  Will some subjects still work? Can you adapt the curriculum to meet your needs?
  3. Focus on the basics – What subjects are the most important to your family?  Get those subjects up and running and add in any extras
  4. Take a short break and use that time to re-plan.
  5. Think back to why you started homeschooling and what your long term goals are.
  6. Ask your kids what is fun for them; what projects, field trips, curriculum did they like in the past and try to work them into the new plan.
  7. Don’t try to keep up with the other homeschool families!  Focus on what works (or doesn’t work) for your family and not about the new curriculum everyone is trying.
  8. Try a new approach - unit study, notebooking, lapbooking, Charlotte Mason, Classical, etc.
  9. Think back to your favorite year of homeschooling.  What made it work? What did you avoid? How can you make those changes for this year?
  10. Lessen your load – Maybe this season in your life has you overworked (new baby, illness, working outside of the home, etc.).  It’s okay to lighten your load and focus on the very basics.

Do you have any other tips for repairing failed homeschool plans?  I would love to hear them in the comments!

Lindsay BytesOfMemory (7 Posts)

Christian, wife, mom, knitter, reader, and wearer of many hats (literal and figurative). I am also a computer geek, homeschool mom, sock sorter, and a blogger. I like coffee, tea, chocolate, Mexican food (not together), and lists!


A Word From Our Sponsors

The 2014 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner
***Bring Master Art Teacher TOS/HEF columnist Pat Knepley into your home! Year’s curriculum. Step-by-step lessons. Biblical integration. www.seethelightshine.com***

How to Plan (When You Don’t Know What’s Next)

How to Plan (When You Don't Know What's Next)

I admit, I haven’t been the best at writing lately. I am burning double-ended candles, and I know that eventually it’s got to end. Right?

Gosh I hope so, because things may be about to get even crazier around here.  I’m applying for a very selective, short-term college Phlebotomy program. I have made it through the first 3 hoops and now I’m waiting to see if I am chosen.

How do you prepare for a season of upheaval in your homeschool?

You plan for it. I don’t know whether I will be accepted into this program or not. It looks like I may be, but they only take 20 students and there were 60 of us that attended orientation. I have to keep an open mind and yet be realistic. I may be gone in the mornings for several weeks.

Whether you’re taking a college class, having a baby, caring for a sick relative, or tearing apart your kitchen for a major remodel, a little planning ahead will go a long way for your sanity.

Be aware of what your students are capable of.

If you’ve got middle school and high school students, they aren’t going to be as dependent upon you as your third grader is, but don’t set the bar too high. Or too low.

Know where you’re going.

If, like mine, your time of uncertainty or upheaval has an end point, prepare for it. Know where you want to be when you reach that point, and plan for it. Come mid-November, I know that life will go back to normal and I have an idea of what I want accomplished by then.

Keep it simple.

Don’t create elaborate lesson plans that lean too heavily on any one thing, if there’s a possibility that the one thing may not happen. You can always add in things as you’re able, when you’re able.

Train your kids ahead of time.

We have 3 weeks before I begin school (if I get in) to start working on expectations and responsibilities. We will have another 4 weeks before I’ll have to be gone during the mornings. This 7 weeks will be our training period. The time you put into preparing them will help later on.

Don’t expect perfection.

Be realistic. When dealing with uncertainty, you cannot expect yourself or your kids to do everything perfectly. This is a good rule for life, actually.

Set a routine.

For us it will be a regular system of what happens in what order, so that they can check it off as they go and they will know when they are done. This includes chores and school work. If they don’t get done, there will be a set list of consequences for their inaction.

Do use a planner.

Without my planner I would be lost. Nothing would get done consistently. Find one you like and use it. Write in pencil.

Touch bases with your kids and husband weekly.

Be sure that everyone understands what is expected, and how things need to happen. Find out how they are handling it.

Hold your plans loosely.

If you have to let school go for a short period of time, it’s not the end of the world. You will get through the crazy time, and then you can get back on track when it’s over.

Are you entering a season of upheaval? How are you planning for it?

 

The Momma Knows

Dawn (22 Posts)

Dawn is still happily homeschooling after 16 years. She teaches her two sons, 13 & 11, enjoying every minute of "the second time around". She lives in Eastern Washington with her husband, the youngest 2 of their 6 kids, and an assortment of barking, squeaking, and clucking critters. She writes at her homeschool/parenting blog The Momma Knows and her new chapter, Dawn Marie Perkins. You can also find her on Twitter @DawnMPerkins, , and Pinterest.


A Word From Our Sponsors

The 2014 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner
***Bring Master Art Teacher TOS/HEF columnist Pat Knepley into your home! Year’s curriculum. Step-by-step lessons. Biblical integration. www.seethelightshine.com***