Friday, January 18, 2008

Tips and Tricks of a Homeschooler


With homeschooling it is easy for others to casually think that we can take off at any time since we are home and all. The idea is that we can simply put school on hold for a few hours or even a few days to comply with new plans and this is acceptable in some cases but not always. I have taken school on the road before and in Walmart but when the whole day is going to be sabotaged what do you do? We live out of town and so I want to try and allow both visitors and school to co-exist. Trying to compile all of our subjects into a very small amount of time can be to stressful on all of us and can take away from the in "depth" learning of each subject when we have to do this but it is do-able. I sometimes wish we had our own building that we could run out to and that way we are not "home". This would help with a lot of things such as daily distractions such as phone, cleaning, computers, toys, and cooking and it would take away the casual idea of school because you must actually "go" to school which gives the illusion somehow that it is more important and can't be interrupted. Maybe not but it seems like that is the way it would work.

When considering the daily distractions I am realizing these...

1. That I need to commit a designated amount s of time strictly to homeschooling. During that time if the phone rings then it will just have to ring, it is not vital that I answer every call in case of an emergency. There is such thing as a message that I can check just for that reason.

2. Cleaning must take a back row seat in our classroom even though the classroom is it's domain. In order to help relieve the temptation of picking up the broom or vacuum I must have a cleaning routine that allows me to have a clean house before we begin school. And then if I allow it to slip and not follow it then I must be disciplined in putting homeschooling as an absolute first.

3. Cooking again needs to have a specific time of its own so that it does not call me away from my priority of teaching my children.

4. The computer and tv. These 2 distractions need to be highly supervised and restricted during any and all school hours. The computer can become a major distraction for me personally and the tv can play a big hindrance in the obtaining of and enjoyment of learning. I hope to give myself an open pass to "play" on the computer or blog at a specific time in the morning only with absolutely no exceptions can my time run over, a bodyguard would be nice to escort me out if I do decide to resist. The tv is restricted until Friday in which they are given 2 hours of time to watch either individual cartoons or 1 select movie.

5. Always start somewhere near your scheduled time otherwise the clock can cause havoc.

6. Self can really get in the way to if she is aloud to rein the emotional pool. Let's face it we don't always "feel" like enforcing school on our children because it drains a lot from us and causes us to pour all of the energy that we have out just to get through it all. She is always with you and she is hard to silence sometimes but there is another that is gently guiding you… But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

And with encouragement I am realizing these...

1. It is extremely important in this journey. My littles need A LOT of it as well as me! Stickers and stamps are awesome ways to encourage a job well done on worksheets, tests and copywork. MySuperman responds really well to this.

2. I have scripture printed out and posted on our refridgerator to encourage a right mind as we travel through each subject. Whenever I can see the rotten fruit of idleness during math I point to Colossians 3:23 on the fridge and gently remind him of this wisdom. And whenever I can feel the struggle of patience coming on I look to my sheet and am reminded of His wisdom and am encouraged.

3. Enthusiasm and a good attitude! When I am enthusiastic I can see that my children often reflect the same and having a good attitude and keeping it encourages them in the begining of school and through out!

Something else that I recomend is to have a nice quiet time in the afternoon where you can all relax and enjoy eachother. What we do, and I look forward to it each day, is turn on some classical music, Bach and this cd are our favorites, grab books and all sit on the couches in our living room and just ENJOY! It is always a truly wonderful time. We usually enjoy our own books for about 30 minutes and then snuggle together for our read aloud. Snacks are often provided.

That is it! These are just some things that I am learning as I walk this path of homeschooling. It has been an amazing experience for me and I am looking forward to the many years ahead and for what God has planned for us. Visit The Heart of the Matter today for more tips and tricks from other homeschoolers, be encouraged!


Sisterlisa said...

I also avoid the phone during our hours of operation. ;O)

Homeschool Help Web said...

We were actually blessed in our recent move - the TV reception is LOUSY out here (we're between major cities, just far enough from both of them to not get much from either city) and since we don't pay for cable/dish, the TV has effectively been shut off.

Now, the computer, on the other hand.... LOLOLOL

Anonymous said...

I'll ignore the ringing phone if we're in the middle of our schoolwork too, though the computer seems to call my name. :)

Better Late Than Early and other books by Raymond and Dorothy Moore have been a real encouragement to me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your tips and being "real". Seems like we all struggle in the same ways doesn't it?

Take Care

lori said...

No phone calls or computer...not during school....
we just recently put into effect a new one...
no t.v. in the evenings...if it's THAT good, we'll talk about IF the Steelers were in the Super Bowl (some things you have to see in REAL time!!!:):)...but otherwise we DVR it and save it for the weekend...
the kids have afternoon activities and it helps us to unwind and read, play a game....
it was resisted at first...(even by was FREE time) but now it's really COOL!

I DO STILL have to resist the temptation of that COMPUTER!!!
LOL :):)

Liz said...

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Rachel said...

Thank you for visiting my blog!

You have a beautiful family :-) I love the idea of the classical music in the afternoon and relaxing with good books. What a nice, peaceful image to look forward to!


Southpaugh Homeschool said...

Thanks for sharing your ideas!! Time management (especially with the computer) is my biggest downfall - - so, when you are not using your bodyguard (when you get one, that is)...send him over to my house, will ya? : )

Too Blessed to be Stressed said...

Can you e mail me?

pjacdemy @ gmail .com (remove spaces)


Lori Carr said...

The computer is a huge distraction for me. The kids also love it! I love your ideas on time management. I have almost got us in a routine for school. Now I have to work on adding in the house work.