~ Creating a Homeschool Schedule ~

It’s that time of year and school is starting.  YAY!  I thought I’d put together a list of ideas to help with scheduling.

As homeschooling moms, we have to be a homemaker AND teacher.  Some moms may even work in or outside the home, also.

Our lives are full which is why having a schedule is a must for creating order and peace.

Every family’s routine will look different but we have the freedom to customize our calendar according to our own needs and desires.

Here are some ideas to take the guess work out of creating a schedule.


~  Have homeschooling goals for the year mapped out

If not for the year, do it for the semester or even the month.  I like to have my subjects, classes, books, and workbooks written out for the semester/year and I make lists so I can check off their assignments each day on my clip board.  

Some people have a calendar for their schoolwork or they use a curriculum package that does it all for them. It’s all good!  Do what works for you. 

~  ANOTHER THING ~

I figure out when I want to finish a class or book and divide it among the days I have scheduled for that particular subject etc.  While there is always flexibility to adjust, it helps to organize and plan ahead.

~ How many hours a day & how many days a week

Take into consideration the homeschool requirements of your state, work schedules, baby and toddler needs, how old your children are etc.  Figure out what works for you and block out sections of your day that are dedicated to doing school only ~ AND STICK WITH IT!

 ~ Schedule a free day once a week or once a month

Every Friday, we have a lighter load for school work.  This is the time when we go to the library or the park and have more of a relaxing school schedule.  This is also the one day when they do all their work independently without my help.

If there is a subject we do one-on-one or as a family, we take a break on Friday and they only work on the things they can do on their own.

Our high schoolers will pick and choose what school they do on Fridays.  This is what we do ~ but your free day can look anyway you want.

~ Start first thing in the morning

I always like to tackle school first and early.  Everyone is more awake and alert and we always get more momentum.

We get up, get dressed, eat breakfast first thing as if we’re headed out the door.  We do all of this before we start school.

Two days a week we have devotions as a family first after breakfast.

Then I start with the youngest while the older ones do their independent work and then I work with the other two.  Our youngest is already 7 so my homeschooling with a baby or toddler days are over.  But when I had a baby or toddler, I had more to consider.

Usually, the younger they are, the less time it takes to help them with school.  The older they are, the more school they have but they also do more work independently.

~ Independent work

All of our children do independent work no matter how old they are.  This is pretty self explanatory.  I give assignments tailored to their needs and personality that they work on by themselves.  The older they are, the more they do on their own.

~ Keep it interesting

Change things up so that it doesn’t get boring.  Have them explore things that interest them and learn about it.  One of our children loved coding and learned to make video games and videos.

~ Be flexible

Sometimes I change our schedule or our curriculum to fit the needs of our family.  If there is a struggle with a subject, the pace is too fast or too slow, or a need comes up whether it’s educational or something else, I make adjustments.  This is pretty obvious but sometimes the temptation to be rigid is strong especially if you’re on a roll.  Be flexible.  Listen to the Holy Spirit.

 The LORD says ~ “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you.”  Psalm 32:8

Having year-round school based on my husband’s work schedule has worked for us for over 18 years.  We have 3 long heavy days with a lot of instruction, a half day, and then of course, as I mentioned before, our “Free Day Friday.”

And naturally, we have breaks and vacations periodically throughout the year, as well.

Our high schoolers have their own schedule and do most of their work independently.  My main role with our older children is lesson planning, grading, record keeping and accountability.  I still do some one-on-one for math or explaining assignments but for the most part, our teens establish their own routine.


I have a lot of homeschooling ideas in my blogs ~ Kindergarten is the HARDEST! (Part 1) and (Part 2)

Kindergarten is the HARDEST! (Part 2) is filled with A LOT of fun activities and school ideas that will promote fun and successful learning for years to come.


~  Have homeschooling goals for the year mapped out
~ Figure out how many hours a day & how many days a week you want to work on school work
 ~ Schedule a free day once a week or once a month
~ Start first thing in the morning
~ Schedule independent work no matter their age
~ Keep it interesting
~ Be flexible

Writing out your goals, wants, wishes, ideas, classes, and schedule, is so beneficial and helps with lesson plans and record keeping.

~ BY THE WAY~

Your lesson plans and record keeping can be one and the same.  Then you’re killing two birds with one stone.

If you are new to homeschooling and you’re feeling overwhelmed, start slow and small.  Do a couple things at first and then increase the workload.

DON’T FORGET: I have a lot of homeschooling ideas on my blog ~ Kindergarten is the HARDEST! (Part 2).  CHECK IT OUT!


Let me know what your homeschool schedule looks like.  Do you have any ideas or tips you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear from you.

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Check out my other articles:

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7 Tips For Encouraging Teens To Wear Happy Pants ~ Not Grumpy Pants

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4 Things to Remember When Things Don’t Go As Planned

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Inspiring Teens to Make a Positive Impact For Christ

“Teens will be teens” is one pastor’s response when he heard that some students in his youth group were drinking, smoking and doing drugs.  Although parents and leaders were aware, these kids not only continued in their habits but they led other teens down the same destructive path.  Now ~ I’m not going to criticize the thoughtless comment because I will be the first to admit to often speaking before thinking.

But unfortunately, some people think that teenagers should act foolishly and impulsively and this is their time to do so.  

As children navigate through their teens from childhood to adulthood, it’s important for the adults in their lives to gently and continually guide them toward Jesus ~ not make excuses.

See my post ~ Five Lies Concerning Teens

It’s a breath of fresh air when young people are living for the Lord, blessing others and are mindful of their future.  The world notices.  It should be expected because what else is a child of the King to do?  Obey God and serve others, of course!

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.  1 Timothy 4:12

SPEECH

Lives can be saved or destroyed by the words that are said because words matter.  Young people can impact younger children who look up to them and want to be just like them, be a blessing to their peers and family, and also set an example for the older folks who have forgotten the right way to live ~ or the right things to say.  Adolescents have a stronger influence than they realize.  It is important to always look to the Lord and put Him first in everything ~ including what we say.

CONDUCT

What a pleasure to have children who are wise.  Proverbs 23:24

Even children are known by the way they act, whether their actions are pure and right.  Proverbs 20:11

It’s a well known fact that kids will sometimes do dumb things.  Which is why they are closely supervised by adults until the age of 18 or older and car insurance is usually sky high until age 25.  They’re still growing and learning.

When mature adults act foolishly, it’s inappropriate and embarrassing so it shouldn’t be overlooked or tolerated when teens engage in this type of conduct.

When we were in high school, there were a group of teens in our youth group who were bold and faithfully served the Lord.  Some had godly parents who were good role models and some not so much.  We had a super great youth pastor who carefully guided us and encouraged us to walk with the Lord.  He challenged us, taught us, and lovingly pushed us out of our comfort zones.

At the same time, there were adult leaders in our youth group who were living worldly lives and destroying the very kids they were suppose to serve.

It’s a tough world to live in and living a selfish life will not make life easier.

There comes a point in everyone’s life when they decide which path they’re going to take.   Teens don’t need to wait until after they do all the stupid and foolish things first before deciding to live right.  

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15.

LOVE

Teenagers will often have a low self esteem.  But the truth is ~ it’s OK.  It’s OK to still be learning and failing and not knowing what to do or say. We’ve all been there.  No one goes from being a kid into a perfectly mature adult over night.  Most people don’t become that in a lifetime.  But continually looking to the Lord and growing in Him will make all the difference in the world.

Young people:  God loves you so much and is crazy about you.  He knows every little detail about your life and He will guide and direct you.  He loves you so much that He died on the cross for you.

All you have to do is believe and trust that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and rose from the dead.  This is important.  The most important decision you will ever make!

You don’t need to try to impress people.  If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior, God is already pleased with you and you matter to Him.  You have the freedom to love yourself and to love those around you ~ even if it’s awkward and imperfect.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  John 3:16


And Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”  John 14:6


FAITH

Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1

We can have faith and trust God even when things look grim to us.  Many people go to college after high school because they know that the hard work and dedication will bring rewards in the future.  It will bring a better life and a higher income.

Teens need to think that way for their personal decisions also.  Making good positive choices in their daily lives will make a better future for them and their future family.  One day teens will have a family of their own and the things they do today can affect their future spouse and children.

Teens need to learn the value of having faith and seeking God every single day.

PURITY

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Galatians 2:22-23

~ Seeking and loving God

~ Loving others

~ Discipline

~ Honesty

~ Integrity

~ Right living

~ Self Control

~ Sexual purity

These are all areas teens need to learn and grow in.  They’re not going to do this perfectly and they’re going to fail, but that’s the beauty of growing up.  You learn from your mistakes.

Being intentional in your children’s lives to show them accountability with love and direction is immeasurable.

~ SHOW UP

~ BE THERE

~ CARE

~ WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD

It’s important.


 Five Lies Concerning Teens

7 Tips For Encouraging Teens to Wear Happy Pants ~ Not Grumpy Pants

 


Parenting teens isn’t easy and I don’t have all the answers.  In fact, I’m learning this as I go along even though I wouldn’t exactly call myself a newbie.

Sadly, we have found that it’s not uncommon for teens in church youth groups to engage in cruelty, rejection, drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, porn, and homosexuality.  These are not just the typical rebellious teenager or unchurched bringing a negative influence to youth groups but homeschooled children, church leader’s children, and children whose parents are very active in the church.  No one is immune.

It takes faith and boldness to be a teenager who is a shining example these days ~ but it’s a life worth living. Strength and courage comes from God and parents can make a huge impact on their children with their loving encouragement and faithful prayers.

People who are quick to dismiss our concerns haven’t raised a teen in this tech savvy, politically correct, God-hating times.  Be vigilant and look to the Lord.  If something seems off, investigate until you’re satisfied.  Don’t be afraid to hold your teen accountable.  It may very well save them.


Please comment or email me ~ I’d love to hear from you!  Subscribe to my blog today ~ BLESSINGS!

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My other posts:

Family:

Five Lies Concerning Teens (MOST RECENT)

The Diagnosis ~ Forever Changed

Walking With Excellence

7 Tips For Encouraging Teens To Wear Happy Pants ~ Not Grumpy Pants

DO NOT READ THIS BLOG!

Calling All Overworked & Under-Appreciated Moms  (4 Reminders)

YouTube Videos:

Jaimee’s Blog Video (Mom Vlog)

Mimi Speaks (Encouragement video)

Calling All Overworked and Under-appreciated Moms (Video)

Devotional Series:

Getting Rid of Distractions

He is a Jealous God

How Much Does God Love Us?

Live Loved

Dearly Devoted 

The Power of His Resurrection

Spiritual & Inspirational:

Oh Be Careful Little Mind What You Think

The Time I Gave Up Social Media For Lent

The Time I Gave Up Social Media For Lent (Part 2)

How To Be A Perfect Mom

4 Negative Emotions Moms Should Avoid

One Important Key To Being A Good Mom

How To Keep The World From Getting In Your Head (4 Steps)

4 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Change Your Life

4 Things to Remember When Things Don’t Go As Planned

Homeschooling & Money:

Handling Homeschool Stress Gracefully 

Kindergarten is the Hardest! (Part 1)

Kindergarten is the Hardest! (Part 2)

6 Ways to Save Money on Homeschool Curriculum

7 Money Saving Tips

 Health & Recipes:

How I Cured My Food Allergies

Chicken Noodle Soup

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Perfect Homemade Flour Tortillas

Hooray For 3-Minute Pizza

Salsa Recipe

 

Handling Homeschool Stress Gracefully

Now that most homeschoolers are either on a summer break or light load, I thought I’d give encouraging guidance on how to handle tension during the time when people are probably not stressed.  Be sure to read this again around October!

When we first started homeschooling, 18-years ago, we got excessive criticism for our decision.  As far as the educational needs of our children, we had an option just like everyone else.  We respected other families for their choices and hoped for the same in return.  I can honestly say that most of the homeschooling stress had to do with the judgement of others and the endless questions sent our way. Whether it was people we knew or cashiers at the store, we had to deal with how our decision to homeschool was received by others.  Protecting our children from quizzing and lecturing interrogators and helping our young ones through the pain of handling remarks like they’d be smarter if they went to a public school or that folks can tell that they’re homeschooled because they’re weird and uncool, proved necessary ~ which, by the way, is an appalling thing to say to any child.  It wasn’t just the mean ones we had to deal with but all the excessive questions and comments as well.  It was like playing 20 questions with everyone who asked us anything school related, which seemed to happen every time we left the house.

This kind of stuff is stressful!  Algebra is not! 

Fast forward to 2017 ~ people are much friendlier and knowledgable about home education, especially here in Missouri.  But there are other kinds of stress for homeschoolers.  Now that I don’t have people jumping down my throat every time I say “homeschool,” there is less anxiety for us.  But what about the other kinds of stress?

As a homeschool veteran, I thought I would offer some encouragement and help on handling homeschooling stress gracefully.

Judgments, Questions, and Criticism

It never ceases to amaze me how many misconceptions people still have about homeschooling (which is fine because that’s how it is with most everything).  I used to get a lot more questions than I do now, and many of them, I couldn’t answer. But homeschooling isn’t as deep as many think.

When I was in 6th grade, I had a serious health issue which led me to miss 6 months of school.  I was mostly home alone all day while both my parents worked and my sisters were at school.  A tutor came to my house twice a week to give me my assignments.  She would appear with a stack of school work, explain stuff to me and then come back another day to pick everything up and give me more assignments.  Academically, it was the best thing that could happen to me because after this, I grew into a straight A student and school made more sense.  Miss Tutor didn’t spend a lot of time explaining things to me, just 15 minutes a day twice a week.  As far as my emotional well being, socialization, and safety ~ it was great and I did fine (there was no internet, video games, iPads, or cable TV in 1980). Eventually, my health improved and I slipped back into the routine of going to school and classes without missing a beat.  My grades were good and life went back to normal.  And the best part… I wasn’t held back because of all my absences…WHEW!

In today’s world, the above tale wouldn’t be a textbook setting and experts would probably frown at this ~ but for me ~ it was splendiferous! (I love that word!)

The point of the story was that I thrived learning at home in a not-so-great situation from a tutor who barely gave me the time of day.  But home education is much more than receiving and dumping assignments. Homeschooling is family driven with different educational needs and goals ~ so there should be no apologies.

Answering questions and criticism about homeschooling didn’t show my irresistible side nor did it reveal my strengths.  Because I was unprepared to handle the push back that our educational choice caused, when people asked me about homeschooling, I feel like my answers were less than brilliant.  My critics became some sort of scholar with a PhD in education leaving me feeling like a nincompoop unqualified to even teach our children how to spell their names.  And I seemed to have no answers to tell a different story.  But if I could do it all over again, my response would explain respectfully and with kindness, that in homeschool we study much of the same things as they did when they were in school ~ History, Science, Math, Language Arts, Bible and other fun stuff.  I would say that I enjoy it and our kids are thriving.  I would explain to them with confidence that we like homeschooling because we are fond of the curriculum and the environment.  And one reason why we homeschool is because we are concerned about their socialization.  I would say that we’re glad that God opened the door for us to do this and we love the work involved.  We don’t push others to like or agree with our choices or to think like us.  We’re living our life the way we feel is right for our family and our situation.  I would say those things no matter what they asked because that is the truth and probably answered the real questions they are asking.

It’s not that deep and not worthy of all the attention we had to bear. Looking back, it’s easy for me to say that I should have been more bold, confident and firm. But my job wasn’t to educate the public but that of our children.  Debating and defending has never been a strength of mine so I’m not going to beat myself up about how I handled this in the past but maybe my story will help others in the future.

Answering questions and fostering discussion is great every once in awhile but dealing with judgmental and harassing questions regularly is exhausting. If you’re like me and can’t think of clever answers off the top of your head when you’re put on the spot, then keep it short, simple and lighthearted.  Or maybe just smile at your critics fans and move on.

Parents are capable of educating their children and don’t need to prove anything.  Because homeschooling isn’t as big of a mystery as it was in years past, hopefully this won’t be much of a problem anymore.  But if it is adding stress to your homeschooling experience, especially if you have disapproving relatives, it’s time to let that stress go.  Suffering from inappropriate interrogations isn’t necessary or helpful and can have damaging affects on your children.

Of course, healthy questions are welcome and isn’t what I’m talking about.  But unfortunately some will disguise harassment and manipulation by making it seem like they’re just asking a question or they’ll criticize with their questions.  There’s a big difference and even children can sense the contradiction.  If a question feels more like a criticism or a comment is plain rude, pray for the Lord to give you the right answer.  Sometimes it is best not to say anything at all, shake the dust from your feet, and move on.

The Stress of Behavior Problems

It doesn’t take long to realize that all children are unique.  They have different personalities, different learning styles, different strengths and weaknesses.  It’s important to be consistent, persistent and patient with academics and behavior.  Children will need to learn how to do school.  It will take time for them to get the hang of the curriculum, working hard, and stepping out of their comfort zone.  It also takes time for kids to adjust if there is a change to the curriculum, schedule or if they start homeschooling after going to a school.

Some children are more difficult than others and sometimes there are severe behavior problems.  It’s even more prevalent now a days with ADHD, ADD, and other neurological problems escalating.  Autism has increased more than 800% in the last 16 years, which is an incredible statistic!  Blaming lack of discipline is as outdated as saying homeschoolers lack socialization.  We all know better.  But what do you do?

Well, the short answer is ~ you need to be consistent, persistent and patient.  You have to be all of those all of the time with the Lord’s strength!  It’s not easy but it’s not impossible.  Even the most stubborn and spirited child needs to learn academic discipline.  You may need to make school easier or have them do less but a little bit will go a long way. You can always increase it later.  Here is a list of additional things that may help with behavior problems:

~ Make your child’s bedtime earlier.

~ Start school first thing in the morning.

~ Make sure your child is eating healthy especially for breakfast.  No sugar or junk food.

~ Healthy brain and gut are important for kids.  Omega -3 Fish Oil supplements are good for the brain and Probiotics are essential for gut health.

~ Remove food from the diet that your child is allergic or sensitive to.

~ Be calm and loving but also firm.  Let them know what is expected of them and work everyday towards that goal.

~ Have fun ~ school is fun or can be!  (Our teens may say differently)

Check out my blog “7 Tips For Encouraging Teens To Wear Happy Pants ~ Not Grumpy Pants”

~ No TV, video games, iPads, or smartphones during the school week.

~ Don’t allow them to go too long without eating to avoid hypoglycemic symptoms.

~ Don’t give up.

See also “Calling All Overworked & Under-Appreciated Moms (4 Reminders)”

~ Patience Patience Patience!  It’s good for you!  You can do it! (I’m talking to myself right there!)

(People will often comment about how patient I must be to be able to homeschool.  If I have patience, I learned it BECAUSE I homeschool.  Not the other way around.  AND I STILL HAVE A LOT TO LEARN!)

~ Last but not least…PRAY OFTEN!

Have a Schedule

Having a schedule that works well with your family and sticking to it will help to reduce the stress of homeschooling.  We plan our school around my husband’s work schedule.  When he worked early and only 4 days a week, then we started early and had an extra day off.  When his work day schedule changed and he went to work later, then our school day started later.  Our children get the same days off of school as my husband.  Once we get into a routine of starting school first thing and going until we’re finished, then our days usually run smoothly and things get done.

Include lesson plans, grading, cleaning, and laundry into your schedule too.  Have routines and teach your children to have routines also.

Plan a day at least once a month where the kids do some reading and assignments on their own but you don’t do any school work with them. This will help them learn independence and also give you a chance to catch up on your work, nap or just enjoy a piece of chocolate cake.  OK ~ that was random…but you get the idea.

Exercise

I love to workout and dance but since my kidney surgery a year ago, my bladder and kidney hurt so badly whenever I do anything.  But I found that even doing simple exercises help so much.  I will do 10 squats, 10 crunches, 10 push-ups, 10 second plank, and 10 battements (ballet leg kicks) on each side.  This all takes me less than 5 minutes to do but it’s a good workout and doesn’t hurt my kidney and bladder too much.

It’s important that the kids play outside to get their exercise.  We will go check the mail (with our steep driveway, this is exercise in and of itself) and then walk around our property.  Sometimes we’ll run around our house.  It’s quick and simple but it works.  Exercise and activity are more important than we realize.  It not only helps with basic overall health but it can prevent neurological and some behavior problems.


For more great homeschooling ideas see my other posts ~ Kindergarten is the HARDEST! (Part 1) and Kindergarten is the HARDEST! (Part 2)


 

Schedule Fun

I probably don’t need to say this but I will just for the heck of it ~ HAVE FUN!  Go to the library, the park, swim and go on field trips.  Make crafts, make messes or do school outside!

Quiet Time

This should be the first and most important thing ~ Spend time with God by reading the bible and praying every single day.  People who have a relationship with God and spend time with Him regularly are able to handle stressful days better than those who do not.  God is your Rock and He loves you so much.  He is also crazy about your children and He wants you to bless your kids.  Look to Him.  Seek Him.  Trust Him.  

This year, I have been using the Blue Letter Bible App on my phone to read through the bible in a year chronologically.  It’s AWESOME!!!  I’ve always read regularly but this is the first time I’ve read chronologically.  I love reading the Psalms and Proverbs at the same time as Kings and Chronicles.  It’s super cool.

Conclusion

Slow down

Get organized

Don’t do too much

Make a list

Take breaks

Exercise

Be consistent

Don’t let criticism and behavior challenges wear you down

Pray for strength

Rely on the Lord

EAT CHOCOLATE!

There you have it.  Even more great ways to handling stress with grace and dignity! You’re doing a great job, pretty mama.  Keep it up!

Please share your thoughts and ideas concerning homeschooling stress. I’d love to hear from you!

Subscribe with your email and share this post.


My other blogs:

Family:

Walking With Excellence (MOST RECENT)

7 Tips For Encouraging Teens To Wear Happy Pants ~ Not Grumpy Pants

DO NOT READ THIS BLOG!

Calling All Overworked & Under-Appreciated Moms  (4 Reminders)

YouTube Videos:

Jaimee’s Blog Video (Mom Vlog)

Mimi Speaks (Encouragement video)

Calling All Overworked and Under-appreciated Moms (Video)

Devotional Series:

Getting Rid of Distractions

He is a Jealous God

How Much Does God Love Us?

Live Loved

Dearly Devoted 

The Power of His Resurrection

Spiritual & Inspirational:

Oh Be Careful Little Mind What You Think

The Time I Gave Up Social Media For Lent

The Time I Gave Up Social Media For Lent (Part 2)

How To Be A Perfect Mom

4 Negative Emotions Moms Should Avoid

One Important Key To Being A Good Mom

How To Keep The World From Getting In Your Head (4 Steps)

4 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Change Your Life

4 Things to Remember When Things Don’t Go As Planned

Homeschooling & Money:

Kindergarten is the Hardest! (Part 1)

Kindergarten is the Hardest! (Part 2)

6 Ways to Save Money on Homeschool Curriculum

7 Money Saving Tips

 Health & Recipes:

How I Cured My Food Allergies

Chicken Noodle Soup

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Perfect Homemade Flour Tortillas

Hooray For 3-Minute Pizza

Salsa Recipe

 

 

 

 

 

The Time I Gave Up Social Media For Lent

I technically gave it up the Sunday before lent and stopped Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In stalking and posting.  A well needed break from the distraction of all these sites were essential as I was knee-deep, no, drowning in my responsibilities at home.  There had to be a way for me to stay on top of my life without feeling like I was in survival mode all the time.  This list sounds more like a new year’s resolution but since lent was just around the corner, I decided to use that as a timeline to get my life back on track.

In addition, writing this blog has been a dream of mine for sometime and it’s a blast for me to stay on top of my articles.  But I didn’t want my weekly post to become a stress for me and my family.  So I took a break from that too.  (Well ~ sort of ~ still wrote ~ just wrote differently to make it easier.)

So what will happen when I unplug and take a break?  Will I figure out my life?  Why am I treading water at this time in my existence anyway?  There are times when life’s challenges launch me into survival mode but I shouldn’t be feeling like that all the time.  Definitely time for me to be on my knees in prayer.  Here’s a peek inside my thoughts to see if I can determine the cause of my chaos and find the secret to successful living.

~ Reflection ~

Priority #1:  I have a lot on my plate and I want to make sure my focus stays on God no matter what season I am in life or what I have going on.  An important priority for me is to put God first.  Focus on God, spend time with Him, read the bible, pray without ceasing and listen!  This is my number one priority.  God can help me and lead me in these changes I’m desperate to make right now.

Seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and He will give you everything you need.  Matthew 6:33

Priority #2:  From my homeschooling perspective, life is a piece of cake (comparatively speaking, of course.)  I’ve had my fill of homeschooling two in high school, two elementary, while having a baby, at the same time as teaching four ballet classes in our home and one class at our homeschool group.  Now that I only have 3 homeschooling children which makes teaching less demanding, my homeschooling challenge at the moment is to make sure I have plenty of time to study and make curriculum for my kids. Tons of fun but takes awhile to complete ~ so definitely a priority for me.

Priority #3:  Time consuming attitude issues are a concern in the kid sector right now so I’m needing to be creative and clever with “out-stubborning” my offspring.  (You know it’s rough when one uses “stubborn” as a verb!)  I feel like my creative juices are lacking in the “young human problem solving” department.  I should be a pro by now with all my kid raising experience (HAHA!) but no ~ I am at a loss.  Love, consistency and trust in the Lord is all I have to offer the dilemma currently taking over our household.  This is both time consuming and exhausting.  As we continue to work on this, we’re already seeing some improvement.  See what a little love, focus, diligence, consistency and a lot of prayer can accomplish?  Goodbye distractions!  I’ve got important work to do!

Priority #4:  Another time consuming struggle is managing our 6-year old’s diabetes (well, I guess he’s 7 now, having a birthday after writing this). It’s like trying to manage body temperature if the body is broken and won’t regulate the temperature anymore.  Giving medicine to prevent it from going too high and treating it if it goes too low.  And having to take into account, the weather, temperature, what their wearing, and how they’re feeling before calculating the medicine, plus constantly taking their temperature to make sure it’s in the safe zone 24/7.  That’s how it is with taking care of Type 1 Diabetes except it is managing his blood sugar. Checking blood sugars, calculating carbs, figuring out insulin dose, giving insulin shots, treating low blood sugar, inserting his sensor, and doctor appointments are a constant for us ~ 24/7.  It’s hard but we’re getting the hang of it and managing it well.  This will always be a huge part of our lives and a massive priority to stay on top of it correctly. Thankfully, we have our whole family taking part in handling this including our 7-year old who is a master at keeping an eye on his blood sugar and detecting lows before his Dexcom sensor does.

Priority #5:  I also decided to do the Whole30 diet from March 1- 30.  I did this diet last year and felt amazing. (Read about it here.)  My main objective is to lose the 25 pounds I keep gaining.  I’m not really feeling enthusiastic about doing this diet because that’s a long time to neglect my chocolate addiction. But that extra 25 pound thing is really pestering me so I’m going to suffer  push through it.

Last But Not Least ~ Priority #6: Probably the biggest obstacle in my life right now that has been an ongoing relentless process for years is ~ PURGING.  My problem is that although I have taken decluttering more seriously recently than I have in long time, I still struggle with trying to organize my mess instead of doing a significant amount of clearing out my stuff.  About 3/4 of our belongings are being stored ~ unused ~ which makes it nearly impossible to find the 1/4 of the things we use most of the time because of the clutter.  But where do I start and what do I do?

I have serious difficulty with getting rid of things.  I can talk myself into keeping anything better than a young child with his blankie.  I’m an expert with over 40 years of experience in justifying my junk.  I’m surprised I’m not a hoarder.  (Well~ Actually ~ I am secretly and it’s hidden in the depths of my closet and in each cupboard which continuously spills into the rest of our home.)

When it comes to true purging to make my life easier ~ I hit a brick wall every time.  I end up cleaning and organizing but it’s not making my workload lighter in the long-run because the stuff is still there.  So purging is a necessity and overcoming my mental block is a must.

I’ve challenged myself to purge, get rid of, clear out, clean up ~ whatever it takes ~ before Easter!  I’m the only “hoarder” in my home so I don’t have to worry about any meltdowns from my family.  ONLY ME!

 


~ Conclusion ~

Priority #1 ~ Spend time seeking God and knowing Him better.
Priority #2 ~ Making sure I have plenty of time for creating homeschooling curriculum.
Priority #3 ~ Promote positive attitudes in our home.
Priority #4 ~ Stay ahead of diabetes.  This life-threatening matter is an urgent priority that will be a part of our lives forever!
Priority #5 ~ Stick with the whole30 diet for 30 days so I will lose 25 pounds.  (Chocolate will be waiting for me when I’m finished ~ with boundaries, of course!)
Priority #6 ~ P U R G E & O R G A N I Z E our home.

Finally:  I will reveal my progress in each of these areas next week.  So~ how did I do?  What did I learn?  What did I accomplish?  Am I still treading water, sailing or somewhere in between?  Do I have time for the important things in my life?  Did I diminish in size or did chocolate distract me from completing my diet? What about my clutter?  Whew! I’m tired just writing this!  I’ll let you know how it all went next week.  Stay tuned!


Did you give up anything for lent?  How was your Easter?  Let me know what you think ~ I’d love to hear from you.  Don’t forget to subscribe with your email and “like” my Facebook page.  After you subscribe, you’ll have to check your email to confirm the subscription before it will start sending you my blogs.


My other posts:

Devotional Series:

Getting Rid of Distractions

He is a Jealous God

How Much Does God Love Us?

Live Loved

Dearly Devoted 

The Power of His Resurrection (Most Recent)

Spiritual & Inspirational:

How To Be A Perfect Mom

4 Negative Emotions Moms Should Avoid

One Important Key To Being A Good Mom

How To Keep The World From Getting In Your Head (4 Steps)

4 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Change Your Life

4 Things to Remember When Things Don’t Go As Planned

Homeschooling & Money:

Kindergarten is the Hardest! (Part 1)

Kindergarten is the Hardest! (Part 2)

6 Ways to Save Money on Homeschool Curriculum

7 Money Saving Tips

 Health & Recipes:

How I Cured My Food Allergies

Chicken Noodle Soup

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Perfect Homemade Flour Tortillas

 

 

 

 

6 Ways To Save Money on Homeschool Curriculum

Saving money on homeschool curriculum is a big one for me. We’ve been homeschooling for 18-years and it can be down right expensive! It’s actually a pet peeve of mine that homeschooling stuff if so expensive (although I understand) when most of us homeschoolers are trying to live on one income. But I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you homeschool without breaking the bank.

1. Make your own curriculum

 I REALLY enjoy making curriculum for my kids! When I first started homeschooling that is all I did. I bought a few things here and there but I pretty much made everything myself. But when my kids started junior high, I started buying curriculum because I was unsure of myself and worried if I could be thorough. I spent a lot of money, even though I bought the less expensive curriculum. I ended up re-adjusting the instructor guides to make it the way I like it and not using all of the books, which made spending all of that money worse. So, although I still buy some things, I went back to making my own curriculum. It’s a lot more cost effective, a lot more fun and a lot less aggravating.

HELPFUL TIPS: This is the strategy (and books) I use for making my own curriculum.

~I have them read a good book and we read aloud

~they work through a good workbook (Spectrum, Wordly Wise, Explode the Code, Latin, Writing and Rhetoric, etc.)

~flash cards every day (vocabulary from each subject etc.)

~Bible reading and write about it every day (I also do devotions with them twice a week)

~I get nonfiction books from the library and have them read them and write about them

~I make my own educational activity sheets from library books or readers

~I have them write vocabulary words from their readers or read alouds and use as flash cards

~ memorize bible verses then recite to the family

~ here are more ideas from my homeschooling Kindergarten blog

I also use Apologia for Science and…

…Horizons and Saxon for math.

~ I use books from the library and Pinterest for art (again… check out my homeschooling Kindergarten blogs for more ideas!)

2. Use catalogs

 I use homeschool catalogs to get ideas for making my own curriculum. I also buy supplies from these companies but I don’t buy a lot. So I feel like I’m still supporting these businesses while at the same time, saving a lot of money on curriculum. Mixing up buying curriculum and making it myself has been extremely helpful in having a complete set without spending too much money.

3. Compare prices

 I always compare prices on eBay, Craigslist and other online companies. And I’m generally won over by free shipping. Because it has been cheaper and more cost effective, I’ve been buying brand new books from my favorite homeschool companies. Buying used hasn’t been great for me lately but I still look just in case. The exception is math textbooks. eBay has won my heart in buying Saxon Math books although I really love my brand new Algebra 2 textbooks I got from Christian Book Distributors several years ago.  A friend blessed us with a couple Teaching Textbooks CDs that are good too.

BY THE WAY: In case you’re wondering what my favorite companies are for homeschooling, I use:

Sonlight Curriculum

Alpha and Omega Publications

Classical Academic Press

Christian Book Distributors (CBD) (this is where I buy most of my stuff)

I don’t get paid to promote any of these companies or products.  I’m just sharing what we use and what we like!  😀

4. Look for free shipping

 I already said this but since I LOVE free shipping, I’ll say it again. Some companies offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount so I’d wait until I needed that amount of books and then I’d buy to get the free shipping. Thankfully, for readers and read alouds, I don’t need anymore for awhile WHEW! But I bought them brand new from Sonlight making sure I got free shipping!

5. Buy only what you need

 The temptation to buy a whole bunch of curriculum or buy for the year is great. Don’t do it!! I buy only what I need. I make a “grocery” list of things I need and stick with it. If I’m trying to get free shipping, then I wait until I have enough for free shipping.

6. Outdated books

 You can get a lot of great classics and homeschool curriculum on a thumb drive on eBay. I got 400 books for $30. I print them out as I need them. G.A. Henty, Encyclopedia from 1911, McGuffey’s Readers, Bobbsey Twins, Harvard’s classics etc.


ALSO: I don’t use a lot of online or computer curriculum but our kids do practice their math on Khanacademy.org and their typing on this site.  They also sometimes take free online classes from our local library.

What are your favorite educational websites?


What curriculum do you use for your homeschool?  Do you make your own curriculum?  Please share any money saving tips you may have.  I’d love to hear from you!!  If you like this post ~ please share it with others!  🙂

THANK YOU & GOD BLESS!

 

Kindergarten is the HARDEST! (Part 2)

My “Kindergarten is the HARDEST” post was so long that I had to split it up into two articles. But it’s worth it! These helpful tips were a huge blessing to me when I first started homeschooling…and still is!

A HUGE BLESSING!!

Click here for Kindergarten is the HARDEST! (Part 1)

Here are some fun and simple ideas to make your child’s Kindergarten year awesome. These ideas work great with the older kids too. Keep in mind that these are just a few ideas. There are many, many more things to do and you’ll come up with some on your own as you start working with your child. Pinterest is my best friend!

BUT AT THE SAME TIME: Don’t be overwhelmed!  There is plenty here to keep you busy for many years.

Want to know the secret ingredient to a successful homeschool?

READ BOOKS!

I can’t stress enough the importance of reading a lot to your child. We go to the library every Friday and we all have stacks of books that we bring home.

We get:

~story books

~ picture books

~ nonfiction books about everything

~science books

~biography books

~ chapter books

~audio books and more.

I THINK YOU GET THE PICTURE!

I love to go through the nonfiction section for kids at the library and get a lot of books. There are so many books at the library to help them learn. You don’t have to read them all to them, have them browse the pages on their own. I have a daily 30-minute or more silent reading time even for the ones who aren’t reading yet.

Reading Writing Math and Bible

READING

In Kindergarten, you’ll focus on the basics… reading, writing, math and bible. For reading, I used “Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons” by Siegfried Englemann to teach all 5 of my children to read. The lessons take about 15 minutes and are divided up to make it easier. There are other wonderful books out there too but this is the one I used. Feel free to do a lesson a day or spread out a lesson during the week so you’re doing less each day. I always started out with a lesson a day but went to a page a day as the lessons got harder. It really depends on the needs of your child. There is no right or wrong way since every child is different. They say the book is for ages 4-6 but in reality, depending on your child’s personality, I think it should be for ages 5-7.  For younger children, you can still do the book but if they cry or get frustrated, just slow it down to meet their needs.

Here’s a short video sample of the book, “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.”

WRITING

Have them practice writing their letters and numbers. There is practice in their reading and math books but extra practice each day will help. This is the part of school where I have them practice as perfect of penmanship as possible, at least once. When they slow down and work hard, they can learn to write neatly.

MATH

 For math, I used Horizon’s workbooks from Alpha and Omega Publications for Kindergarten through 4th grade (I like Saxon Math for 5th grade and up). You can also print off worksheets online for free to get you started.  This picture is for 1st grade.  I don’t have any of the Kindergarten books handy but you can see the Kindergarten math book in the video I have posted in the “Reading” section of my blog. 😀

 BIBLE

 

 

I absolutely love Egermeier’s Bible Story Book. They have short, simple and engaging stories that keep little one’s attention as it takes them through the bible. They have simple questions at the end of the book that help the kids understand each story. I’m usually still reading this to them throughout 1st grade also. Your book probably won’t come with the fancy artwork on the cover!

  

Another thing I like to do is read verses from the bible. I start in the old testament and read through 5 verses at a time. I also do this with Proverbs and the new testament. You can do bible anyway you want. You can pick up your bible and read, or get curriculum. Reading the bible regularly to your child is important even if it’s just a few verses at a time. Read it and discuss it with them.

JOURNALS

One of my favorite things to do that I did with all 5 of my children (and still do) is having my children write journals. First, I have them draw a picture. It could be about their day, about a book, or about whatever they want, then I have them write about it. At first when they write about their picture, their letters are just scribbles, shapes, or random letters but I have them write anyway they want. I focus on writing their letters correctly and spelling correctly during another part of their school, but not journaling. When they’re finished drawing and writing, I have them tell me what they wrote and then I write out what they say. Then I always label their work with their name, date and their age. I keep all of their journals but you can keep the best of the week or month and put them in a notebook or folder. Or you can make a book out of them. As they mature and grow, you’ll start seeing them improve in their journaling.

CALENDARS

Every month we make calendars. I make them by hand but you can print out a template. It will give them writing practice in general, and they’ll learn their numbers, months, and days of the week. They can color and decorate their calendar and I remember getting stickers for their calendar for my first two kids, but not the younger three haha. When they’re first starting out, I fill in the entire calendar for them and have them copy the numbers in the squares and copy the name of the month. As they got older, I had them fill in more of the calendar by themselves. I usually do this through 7th or 8th grade but I get started in Kindergarten or even preschool.

NATURE WALKS

Another idea we love is going for a nature walk. We would just go in our back yard or the park and look for bugs, look at all the different plants, look at the sky, the clouds, the weather, and the birds, and then we draw and write about what we saw.

 

I’d have the kids “write” anything they want and then when they are finished, they would dictate what they wrote and I would write it for them. As they got older, they would ask me how to spell words for them, or they would even sound out the words themselves. There is no right or wrong way to do this.

 

LEARNING CARDS

 I did this next idea for preschool also and carried the activity into Kindergarten. I made big cards out of card stock. I drew or printed out pictures of an apple, boat, cat, dog, elephant, frog, etc. and glued them to the cards. I put names of the pictures on separate cards and also the first letter of each picture on the cards. I’d set out the pictures and have them match the first letter or the name of the picture with the picture. I also made number cards with a number on each separate card. I had them put the numbers in order, skip count them or put them in backwards order. The ideas are endless with this. I started out laminating them but as I did more of them, I just did the card stock without going through the trouble of laminating all of them.  It worked just fine.

LAP BOOKS & HOME MADE BOOKS

Pinterest has a TON of lap book ideas and samples.  I also have them make their own book based on a science or history book they read or a book report, or they’ll make their own “About Me” book or “Nature” books. Lap books are the same idea as homemade books but you glue their small pages and flaps in a manila folder. I took a class on making lap books at a homeschool convention but before that, I never heard of them.  The ideas are endless with this!

 LEARNING WITH BOOKS

Another idea: we like to get books from the library and then I have them draw a picture from the book, any picture, and then pick a word from the page and copy it. I usually have them do this after they’ve had some practice writing their letters so they know how to write the letters correctly for this exercise. Or I help them copy the word they chose correctly. My kids love this.

CHRISTMAS IDEAS

For December curriculum, I include several extra special things in school.

Scripture Reading: We read the Christmas story from Luke 1 and Luke 2:1-40.  I divide up the verses into the amount of days we have and I read a little bit of it every day.  I discuss each section with them and ask them to share what stood out to them.

CHRISTMAS SONGS: I take a Christmas Carol each day or each week and go over the lyrics with them and explain the meaning. Then we listen to the song 2-3 times. This makes me cry every time. My kids are more amused with me crying than with the actual activity but it’s an important tradition to me.  🙂

We watch Christmas movies: The Nutcracker, The Grinch, A Christmas Carol… you get the idea! I also try to find a new Christmas movie or special that the kids haven’t seen yet since we’re not real big on watching the same movies over and over… weird… I know! But the Nutcracker is always a MUST SEE around here!

CHRISTMAS CRAFTS: One year we made Christmas decorations and put them up around the house. The next year we made Christmas gifts for people and Christmas pillows. We also make homemade Christmas cards.

We bake Christmas cookies: That’s pretty self explanatory. Usually, we just make chocolate chip cookies and maybe put M&Ms on top. I’m not really an extravagant Christmas baker but that doesn’t seem to hurt anyone’s feelings too much.

Advent Calendars: Sometimes they’re homemade but this year I bought one and I have them take turns opening the little doors each day. The homemade advent calendar is usually a homemade calendar with Christmas stickers for each day.

OTHER RANDOM ART IDEAS AND MORE

 ~ Cut shapes out of colored construction paper and have them glue the shapes to cardstock. (It could be random gluing or they could make a house or pizza with toppings.)

~ Get markers (at your own risk haha), crayons, glue, glitter glue, paint and stickers for your child to play with.

~ BAKING ~ nothing thrills a child more than making cookies in school (enough said)

~ On pinterest: I find simple art drawing tutorials (key word is “simple”) and I draw them for my child to copy. Then I have them color their picture. The library also has books with step by step drawing tutorials for kids (and moms!)
    

There you have it: LOTS and LOTS of fun and easy ideas that work for kids of all ages…not just Kindergarten. If you missed my “Kindergarten is the HARDEST! (Part 1)” blog you can see it here. I have some ideas and helpful hints in that blog as well.

What are some of your favorite school ideas and activities that you do with your child? Do you have any special activities that you do for Christmas? I’d love to hear from you!

My other posts:

Kindergarten is the HARDEST! (Part 1)

4 Things to remember when things don’t go as planned

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kindergarten is the HARDEST! (Part 1)

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When I decided to write my first blog on homeschooling Kindergarten, I couldn’t even imagine the emotions that it would stir inside of me. As I sit here writing my experiences and my story, I realize with some sadness and a whole lot of shock that my youngest child, my fifth born, the baby of the family, is…

IN FIRST GRADE!!!!

I need a moment! HAHA!

I didn’t even think about it at first but now the realization that I will never homeschool Kindergarten again is very real! At least the odds are very low since there are no more little Keiths after our first grader.

I’ve been homeschooling for 18 years and although it feels like a lifetime ago when I started, it also feels like I’m at the very beginning also… because I am!

So here I am ~ attempting to write this blog ~ my brain is literally exploding with so many thoughts and ideas that I can’t get it out fast enough but at the same time…

…I don’t know where to start or what to say!

 

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SO HERE IT GOES:

Simple ideas to make homeschooling Kindergarten EASIER (PART 1)!

Homeschooling isn’t hard but it isn’t easy either. When I hear moms struggling with their Kindergartener while homeschooling, I always tell them…

KINDERGARTEN IS THE HARDEST!

I hear more questions related to teaching Kindergarten than I do any other grades. I have homeschooled 5 kids and two of them have graduated from being homeschooled.

That means ~ 5 years of teaching Kindergarten ~ (if I’m doing the math correctly haha) ~ to 5 completely different children and personalities.

So if you’re struggling with Kindergarten, don’t worry, I can honestly say that it definitely gets easier.

Here’s the thing:

No one gets intimidated when thinking about teaching Kindergarten and no one would ever question your ability to teach that magical grade. But once the ideas are all on paper, lesson plans and curriculum all figured out, and you sit down to teach your little one, that’s when it hits…

It’s not as easy as it sounds!

I’ve had kids in high school and junior high while I was also teaching one in Kindergarten (happened twice! Ha!). And I usually have someone make a comment about how they can’t imagine how hard it is to homeschool high school. I always say that high school is a piece of cake; it’s Kindergarten that’s hard!

Don’t get me wrong… IT IS A LOT OF FUN TOO!!

Homeschooling Kindergarten keeps life in perspective especially when you have teenagers in the house.

THE POWER OF PRAYER

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Before I go any further, I want say something important…

Pray every day for your children and your homeschool. Find encouraging verses in the bible and pray those for your family! My life, my family and my homeschool are forever changed and blessed because I pray regularly for them. Draw close to God every day through prayer and daily bible reading. Pray for your children, your family, for wisdom and for joy! This is a short and simple paragraph but the most IMPORTANT part of your day!!

Keep it simple!

The truth is:

There is a lot of curriculum and products out there especially for Kindergarten and I’ve bought some of them. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money on Kindergarten. You don’t have to spend a lot of money period but especially Kindergarten. They’re just learning the basics and they’re learning how to “do school.”  An easy way to get started for free is by checking out books from the library and read to your child A LOT. Keep it simple!

Set your schedule according to your child’s needs but also set it to what your needs are too

When you’re planning your curriculum and your schedule, keep in mind what your child’s personality is like. Some kids love writing, drawing, coloring and doing workbooks while other kids won’t sit down for 2 seconds in a chair. Usually, by this point, you know what your child likes and dislikes. Some things you will know ahead of time what will work and won’t work for you and some things you will learn along the way by trial and error. Don’t be afraid to try something and then change it up because it didn’t work for you or your child hated it (or should I say because it didn’t work for your child and YOU HATED IT.) That’s another reason why it’s probably not a good idea to spend a lot of money on Kindergarten curriculum unless you really want to use something and you know for a fact that it is what you all will love.

Don’t forget about YOU: think about your needs also and schedule a day for you to catch up on things or even catch your breath. Whether it’s a full day once a month, half a day on Fridays, or a little bit each day, make time for yourself.

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A word about scheduling & teaching

My biggest struggle was to over schedule and over work my little ones with a lot of bookwork. I’d get in a routine and I felt like I was pulling (or dragging) them through school. School may seem very easy for us as adults but they’re young and are just learning. Some children seem to pick everything up so fast, they practically homeschool themselves and others seem to take extra long to learn the simplest concepts…THEY’RE NOT. It’s all GOOD!!!

There is no wrong way!

Just like children all learn to walk, talk and potty train at different ages, the same goes with things like reading and writing. But when it’s all said and done, they all eventually walk, talk, read and go potty. It’s not a race, so don’t make the same mistake as I did at first and treat Kindergarten like graduate school. 🙂

I like lists!

When I set up my schedule, I make a list of ideas and books I want to do in school. Then I make a list of stuff I want to do for the week. I prefer making lists instead of using a calendar, but a calendar works fine too if you like that better. We do just a little bit of each of the reading, writing, math and bible at first and then I increase their school work as they get older. After the core assignments, we do things like color, read books, arts, crafts, play games, free play, do simple experiments, workbooks, cut paper, glue things, journals, nature walks, weather watching, flash cards, puzzles, play-dough, playing at the park, library field trips and whatever else we decide to do.  I’ll have more detailed ideas in Part 2!


HOMESCHOOLING ISN’T HARD BUT IT ISN’T EASY EITHER


You’ll probably spend about 5-15 minutes a day, 2-4 days a week doing the core, reading, writing, bible and math with your child at first. As they get used to doing school and as they get older, they’ll be able to handle more work. I like to have 2-3 heavy days, a light day and a fun day. When they’re young “heavy” can mean sitting down for 5-15 minutes to concentrate on the basics. If two minutes, twice a week is as much as they can handle working on their letters, numbers and reading etc., then that’s perfect!  What should you do for the rest of the time?

PLAY & READ & PLAY PLAY PLAY (and read some more)!

All of it learning at this age.

SO BASICALLY ~  work on school stuff for an hour, focusing just a few minutes of the core reading, writing, math and bible and then 45 minutes or so doing fun activities…. then PLAY!

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Don’t rush reluctant learners

Learning is a process. A little bit goes a long way. It’s okay to do just a little bit in school especially in the beginning. If your child is reluctant and doesn’t want to do school work there are several things you can do to encourage him.

Have a heart to heart talk with your child about the importance of working hard on their school. Even listening to a story is working hard. I started talking to my children about what I expect from them in Kindergarten months before we started. I got them excited and let them help me in the planning and creating process, if they wanted. If you don’t have months to prepare them mentally for Kindergarten, gentle reminders throughout the week or before bed will help too.  Be excited for them.  If you’re excited, they’ll be excited too.

If my children work really hard but then get tired, I will take a break and do something fun. Reward their work. Sometimes I work with them for a little bit and then we play for the rest of the day.

This next idea may sound crazy…

…but something else I’ve done that help my children stay motivated is I don’t allow TV during the weekdays at all, only on the weekends (except what we watch as a family, which isn’t a lot). I also don’t allow my children to play any kind of video games on the console, computer or any kind of devices until after age 12 and then it’s only on the weekends. Once I implemented this rule, my children were happier and more content. They also worked harder and were more motivated during the time we were working on school. My two oldest were raised in the 90’s before all of this technology and I found that they were happier children and more content than my younger ones with all the technology. So I did away with it and they were happier, more creative and actually found more constructive ways to entertain themselves.

My older children didn’t get a smart phone, iPad, iPod touch or their own computers until after they graduated from high school, most of which they bought themselves in their 20’s. Our younger 3 children don’t have any of those things, including our teens. It has made life better for all of us.


Always remember that a little bit goes a long way


 Homeschooling Kindergarten is a lot of fun and very rewarding. There is so much to learn and explore.

Keep it simple and keep it joyful!


DON’T FORGET TO PRAY!


REMEMBER:  Set your schedule so that it works well for your child AND for you. Start slow if you need to and then increase the work as your child grows and gets the hang of it. If you have a struggling or reluctant learner, slow it down and have fun. There are many games and fun activities that promote learning without them even realizing they are learning.

Kindergarten is the hardest… but it’s one of my favorite grades!

You’ve been teaching your child new things since birth. But there’s something extra special about watching our little ones learn to read and write for the first time in school.  This is EXTREMELY REWARDING!

Have fun and ENJOY!!

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Kindergarten is the HARDEST! (Part 2) is filled with A LOT of fun activities and school ideas that will promote fun and successful learning for years to come.  Click here to read Part 2!

I’d love to meet you.  Please introduce yourself and your family!