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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Thinking About Special Needs

 

Growing up it was quite rare for me to come into contact with an individual that had special needs. As I’ve gotten older it has become much more prevalent. There are many who believe that children today are misdiagnosed with disorders such as ADHD/ADD, sensory disorders, or even autism. Some diagnoses today I don’t even know what they mean by the term. Other special needs we can readily see, such as Down Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy.

Before you get defensive, I’m not stating that these children do or don’t have whatever they are diagnosed with. For the purpose of this post, it really does not matter if they do or do not. Rather this post is about understanding what it means when a child or adult is diagnosed with a disorder, of any kind. What matters is how you react to the child and their family.

Thinking About Special Needs -- how to support homeschool families with special needs. hsbapost.com

It is human nature to shun what we don’t understand; to avoid what makes us uncomfortable. One reason I think I did not have contact with special needs children or adults while I was growing up is because they were not included in the general activities as all the other kids. They instead were kept to a room or building where others “like them” could be taught and cared for. {This also isn’t a post about whether that is right or wrong, then or now.}

Nowadays there is a much stronger push for inclusion in schools and so society in general may be getting a more realistic view of what it is like for those with special needs. Those children in those classrooms see that the child with special needs struggles with sitting still, talking quietly, learning to read, working on math, etc.

It is amazing how many homeschoolers I have come into contact, in real life but more through online correspondence, who are working with children with special needs. It is tough! But at the same time, those families are learning something that other families may not be learning: what it takes to step out of yourself for the sake of another.

By that statement I am not saying that homeschooling families of children with special needs are superior to other homeschooling families. But you would be shortchanging them if you made a statement that they don’t have more of a struggle. They require a strength that some others do not possess because they have never had to work that part of themselves because they do not have special needs in their lives.

So what I’m proposing is for us to put ourselves out there for those families with members with special needs. Take time to support the entire family.

Do:

  • Ask questions to better help understand the situation and circumstance.
  • Be humble.
  • Offer support that will be beneficial to the child and family (be careful to give support that is not self-serving).
  • Take time on your own to research the particular needs so that you can be better equipped to help the family as they need it.

Don’t:

  • Do not be belligerent or tell them that their child (or other member of the family) doesn’t have whatever diagnosis that is stated.
  • Don’t tell the family what they should do for their child or situation. Offer humble advice that is based on relevant experience and understanding of their situation.
  • Don’t avoid the family because you don’t understand the needs. (See “Do” list.)
  • Do not take it personal if the child or parents do not want to talk about their situation. Each person and family are different. Respect their space and them as people.

What are some specific ways we can support those with special needs? Does your family have special needs? If so, what are some of the ways others can help you?

North Laurel (35 Posts)

Blossom- "North Laurel" to the online world- lives in Ohio with her husband and two teens, homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way with Ambleside Online. She is graciously allowed to be a moderator for the Ambleside Online Forum. North Laurel loves to read, be on the computer, and learn. You can read her blogging about homeschooling, book reviews and life in general at North Laurel's Musings.


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4 Ways to Preserve Curiosity in Children

 

Guest post by Candace of Breathebelief.com

 

Children are naturally curious and voracious learners. As a mother, I am sure you understand the constant questioning of 3- and 4-year-olds. They are anxious to learn skills they see other people do and to understand how the world works.

4 Ways to Preserve Curiosity in Children4 Ways to Preserve Curiosity in Children

Hal Gregersen said, “If you look at 4-year-olds, they are constantly asking questions and wondering how things work. But by the time they are 6 ½ years-old, they stop asking questions because they quickly learn that teachers value the right answers more than provocative questions. High school students rarely show inquisitiveness. And by the time they’re grown up and are in corporate settings, they have already had the curiosity drummed out of them. 80% of executives spend less than 20% of their time on discovering new ideas.”

Isn’t this a great quote and oh-so-true?!

Slowly curiosity is drummed out of us, like the quote says. Children realize that, in school, the right answer is what’s most important. And all too often, they are taught they need to regurgitate information told to them—rather than discover things that interest them, or come up with their own ideas.

But this is not something that needs to happen in our homeschool environments. We can provide our children with a different kind of environment.

We can create an environment where:

1. Questions are encouraged.

2. Their ideas are taken seriously and valued.

3. Mistakes are expected, and it is understood that mistakes are an irreplaceable part of the learning process.

4. We, as parents, model curiosity and innovation.

In this way, we can preserve our children’s curiosity, and fuel their personal innovation.

Today I encourage you apply these 4 crucial steps into your homeschooling. Help your children come up with new ideas and think for themselves. As we do this, we can prepare our children to be the leaders that the 21 st century so desperately needs.

I believe in you!

~Candace

What other ways do you encourage curiosity in your home?

 

Candace @ Breathebelief.comCandace Cornelius is a wife and mother to three daughters. She writes about homeschooling at Breathebelief.com and records a daily 5 minute podcast to let homeschool moms wake up with uplifting messages designed just for them. She is passionate about empowering homeschool moms, education, business, self-improvement, family, and following Christ. She loves board games, baby snuggles and fresh flowers. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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