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Dear Homeschool Parents Whose Kids Are Still in the Books

 

Guest post by Davonne Parks.

Dear Homeschool Parent Whose Kids are Still in the Books @hsbapost

Dear Homeschool Parents Whose Kids Are Still in the Books,

It’s that time of year again! Many homeschool (and soon, public school) families are finished with textbooks until August, free for the summer and catching up on sleep.

But not you. You’re still trying to fit in the last of the spelling and history lessons even though you’re pretty sure your kids are barely learning a thing. Their eyes have glazed over as they stare out the window and resist your efforts.

Dear Homeschool Parents Whose Kids are Still in the Books @hsbapost

The frustration is mounting and you’re probably analyzing the entire year trying to figure out exactly what you could have done differently in order to have made sure your kids finished “on time.”

How do I know this? Because I’ve been there – one year we didn’t finish school until July and only had a seven week break before we had to start again. By the following summer, we were all so burnt out that I decided never again.

Based on my own experience, I’d like to suggest something that may sound outrageously absurd to you. I want you to consider wrapping up for the summer even if all of the textbooks aren’t complete.

Think about it: When you were in school, how many textbooks did you ever go through from start to finish, reading every word or answering every question without skipping a single lesson?

Zero? I thought so.

Now, I’m not suggesting laziness. I’m not implying that we shouldn’t strive for excellence or completion. I’m merely trying to say that it may be time to ease up, just a bit, on the schedule.

Dear Homeschool Parents @hsbapost

Here are some ways I responsibly finished this school year without making my children complete every problem in every textbook:

Have verbal lessons.

Grammar is my oldest daughter’s best subject and I know that she knows how to write the answers. So we completed most of her final unit verbally in two days. The same can be done for any subject that requires a lot of writing.

Leave out extra activities.

I know that cutting out science and history projects is a huge no-no in the homeschool world. But think of the time you’d save if you just discuss the lessons. Don’t skip projects forever, of course. Just consider skipping over most of the extra activities for the remainder of the school year so you can double-up on lessons and close the books for the summer.

Skip a few lessons and give the final test early.

When I could tell my daughter was really struggling to stay focused on her schoolwork, particularly math, I flipped ahead in her workbook and noticed that no new concepts were taught for the rest of the school year. So I ripped out her final test and handed it to her. She did fine and I told her she was done with math for the year, free to reinforce skills with free math programs online.

Having one subject off her plate gave her the encouragement she needed to complete the rest of her subjects with vigor.

Consider leaving something until the next school year.

Is it really the end of the world if your first grader needs to spend a few weeks finishing up his first grade spelling book in August? Part of the beauty of homeschooling is allowing your child to work at his own pace. Embrace that!

Remember the big picture.

We will never be able to teach our kids everything they need to know. Our job is to help instill a love of learning in their hearts because when our kids know how to learn, and have a love for learning, one day they’ll be able research anything they need to know that we didn’t teach them. {Tweet This}

We’re also probably doing more harm than good if we’re fighting over the last of the textbook lessons when everyone would rather be outside digging for worms or buried treasure in the dirt.

Bonus Tip:

To avoid rushing through books at the end of next year, consider starting the school year a bit early or beginning a subject or two this summer.

For example, I’m taking my children with me to my husband’s office two days a week right now so I’m letting them work on Math (my almost-kindergartener) and grammar (my almost-fourth-grader) at their own pace. This gives them something productive to do while they’re inside with me as well as gives them a head start for the upcoming school year. Double-win!

 

When and how do you wrap-up the school year in your family?

 

Davonne ParksDavonne Parks is a married Christian homeschool mom who blogs about cultivating a heart for motherhood, as well as time management and organization, at DavonneParks.com. Davonne believes that some of life’s richest moments happen when we embrace the beauty of imperfection as we extend grace to ourselves and others. She’s written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”

 

Davonne (4 Posts)

Davonne Parks is a married Christian homeschool mom who began teaching her children at home in 2009. She blogs about cultivating a heart for motherhood, as well as organization and simplicity, at DavonneParks.com. Davonne believes that some of life’s richest moments happen when we embrace the beauty of imperfection as we extend grace to ourselves and others. She’s written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to her blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”


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A New Year, A New Plan

A New Year, A New Plan
I love it when New Year’s comes around.

Always a chance to plan and refocus, a lot like I do in September, after the summer is over.

I do a lot more life planning, as opposed to school planning, come January first.

  • Menu Planning- I really like having at least a loose plan for meals. I don’t shop to my recipes, but I have a few tried and true favorites always ready.
  • Workout Planning- I know. We ALL plan to workout every January. I have been researching Crossfit at home and it is totally something I can fit into my day.
  • Blog Planning- My blog goes so much smoother when I have a plan and direction.

I don’t forget, though, that my plan isn’t always His plan.
I don’t get so attached to mine that I don’t make room for His.
It’s no fun fighting it and trying to be a control freak. Ask me how I know this.

Do you use the New Year as a chance to plan and refocus at home?
What are some things that work for you?

photo credit: DonkeyHotey via photopin cc

Katey K (14 Posts)

Mama Kautz is a self proclaimed Jesus Freak. She drinks her coffee iced, even in winter. She is a Patriot who writes about her homesteading and prepping journey, with teens, and a touch of their homeschool lifestyle. Married to The Principal, they live on 5 acres in North Idaho where she enjoys the simple life and watching her chickens.


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***SUNFLOWERS UNIT STUDY * New from SEE THE LIGHT 66 pages of dynamic, integrated, comprehensive instruction for an entire month for the student ages 10 and up. $9.99 - http://www.seethelightshine.com/store/unit-studies/sunflowers-unit-study.html***

Toddler and Baby Friendly Homeschool Room

This is my second year homeschooling.  My two older boys are in 1st grade and Kindergarten.  Easy peasy.  However, the 2 1/2 year old and crawling 8 month old are a force to be reckoned with.  The spring was a challenge with a newborn and a toddler, but now that the baby MOVES, I have to be as efficient as possible.  This means a tidy, organized, inviting, and baby proofed school room.

Here’s what I came up with.  Tips are in the captions below.  This morning was our first official day and it went pretty smoothly!

Toddler and Baby Friendly Homeschool Room

post1

Keep DVDs, TV, and DVD player up high. Those dangling cords proved to be a problem for me today. I need to find a taller trashcan to distract my 8 month old. He pulled the plug RIGHT in the middle of our Math U See lesson.

the post 4

We use Sonlight and last year I kept my notebooks on a desk and so many pages got ripped out by my then 18 month old. Keep mommy friendly things out of sight to prevent disorganization.

Keep books up high to prevent little ones from ripping pages.  A couch or comfy chair is a MUST if you're nursing a little one!

Keep books up high to prevent little ones from ripping pages. A couch or comfy chair is a MUST if you’re nursing a little one!

thepost3

Even though you’d like to keep the littles out so that you can concentrate…DON’T! Include them. Hands-on, non choking manipulatives are great (mine throw them and sometimes it gets nuts, but we’re working on that ;))

Post a clear, easy to understand schedule so that ALL your kiddos, young or old know what's coming.  (And so mommy doesn't forget!  I forgot handwriting for like a month last year!)

Post a clear, easy to understand schedule so that ALL your kiddos, young or old know what’s coming. (And so mommy doesn’t forget! I forgot handwriting for almost a month last year!)

Framed chicken wire hung up high is the perfect place to hang art work with clothespins.  Hanging things too low down will allow your little ones to rip them off the wall....and then eat them.  Hey, it's a rough homeschooling world out there!

Framed chicken wire hung up high is the perfect place to hang art work with clothespins. Hanging things too low down will allow your little ones to rip them off the wall….and then eat them. Hey, it’s a rough homeschooling world out there!

Keep markers, pencils, and big boy crayons up high.  I buy jumbo crayons for my little ones to use and keep them in a place they can access them.

Keep markers, pencils, and big boy crayons up high. I buy jumbo crayons for my little ones to use and keep them in a place they can access them.

If you’re a homeschool blogger and you have a post sharing your school room for this year, please join in and link up.

Click the graphic through to visit iHomeschool Network’s Not Back to School Blog Hop: School Room Week!

Not Back to School Blog Hop 2013

Liz (5 Posts)

Liz was a cheerleader swept off her feet by the football player back in high school. They’ve been married nearly ten years and are the proud parents to four young boys. She’d always envisioned working and sending her kiddos off to school so she could live the ‘normal’ American dream. However, life and the Lord surprised her and she’s learning to ‘redefine having it all’ while being a debt free homeschooling housewife. She enjoys finding strength from God’s word, the Today show, talking on the phone with friends, and being real about finances and parenting.


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Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale - Up to 92% Off!
***SUNFLOWERS UNIT STUDY * New from SEE THE LIGHT 66 pages of dynamic, integrated, comprehensive instruction for an entire month for the student ages 10 and up. $9.99 - http://www.seethelightshine.com/store/unit-studies/sunflowers-unit-study.html***