Sharing ideas, teaching tips and resources for the homeschool journey.
If you're new to homeschooling How to Homeschool 101 was written for the new homeschooler who wants the essential information to home school with confidence. It covers getting organised to homeschool and gives ideas on how to teach homeschooling.
Do you have all the resources that you need but you aren’t finding time to teach them properly?
With a little bit of forward planning and structure you can foster independence and get more homeschool work done in less time.
Planning is an integral part of our role as homeschool mothers.
We not only have lessons to organise, we have a household to manage and a life to live.
To help you plan:
Don’t Get Bogged Down In The Plan
Choosing our own homeschool curriculum and setting our own routine is one of the many advantages of homeschooling but this freedom of choice also has a level of anxiety attached to it.
Don’t let your search for the perfect curriculum, or planning the ultimate timetable becomes your routine—they don’t exist!
I find that my children work all around the house. I have even caught them doing maths on the trampoline. Our kitchen table is used more for lessons than their desks. So if you do not have a school room don’t worry.
Set up your home to facilitate learning rather than setting up a school room.
Make space for your children to:
We use boxes and baskets to help organise work.
My bookshelves have a number of magazine boxes where I store subject specific materials.
We also use magazine boxes and baskets to organise our children’s work. Boxes are clearly labelled with the child’s name and stored on a book case when not in use. It stores:
At the end of each term I clean out the boxes so we can start afresh next term. I store away what I want. I don't keep everything, if it’s just drill or worksheets that I know I will never use again then it goes in the bin. This way I keep their homeschool boxes fairly lean.
The other box (I use baskets now) is their independent work box. This has about ten lessons for them to do each day. It has all the books that they need to complete their lessons. The children follow a schedule to complete their work.
Homeschooling requires time and you need to carve it out or it won’t get done.
If your schedule is completely full before homeschooling starts then you need to change it.
Decide on your needed hours and then inform friends and family you are schooling and are not available. Pull the phone out of the hook if need be (I can’t resist a ringing phone.)
You’re a working mother—a working homeschool mother.
We only have structured lessons for four days per week. The other day is left for errands, field trips, visiting and special events.
I have set up a simple routine in my home. It is the perfect mix for me. A little routine to stop me stressing out and feeling like “we do nothing”, and the freedom to pursue interest and play.
This is time when I work with children on lessons that need individual tuition such as teaching reading.
I try to combine tuition if possible, for example I teach two of my children English language lessons at the same time.
We also have group time.
This varies in its format but includes:
This is done before or after our work alone lesson time. It all depends on how organised I am.
Work alone time
This is when my children work independently on their assigned work.
This can include:
You can also put together a box for your preschoolers who want to do some school work. This could include puzzles, picture books to look at and simple crafts.
You’ve planned the homeschool, you’ve set aside time, you’ve a space to work; now it’s time to get the work done.
Teaching them to work independently takes time and requires input from the parent. They need to learn to work alone.
My kids were dependent on me to keep things going. I set up schedules for them to follow but if I didn’t keep my eye on them they would stop working. I was the lynch pin to the day and if I got distracted (which I often did—still do) the whole system fell apart. This was stressful. I couldn’t always be beside my children making sure they are working. It took me quite a few years to get this system working well.
Sue Patrick’s Workbox System helped me enormously. It changed the way I organised my children’s work. I saw a way I could encourage my kids to work independently without me having to guide them through every step of the day. After using the workbox system for one year my children are much better at doing their work independently.
“Give your children a rich and living education that is not merely school at home.”
I don't really like routine and structure and I resisted it for a long time this meant that we weren't really operating our homeschool as best we could.
Here's a video of my modified sytem