Homeschooling in a Crunch

Homeschooling in a CrunchWith school in full swing and so much as stake, you may have found your family making the decision to homeschool, instead of choosing the traditional path for your child. As a teacher myself, I know the intense work it takes to properly educate a child.  I also know that unless you work in that environment, it may be overwhelming to take on the challenge of teaching your children at home.  I’m here to tell you…DO NOT FEAR!!!  It truly IS going to be ok!

Here’s my top ten ways to help you homeschool in a crunch!

  1. Create a schedule. Children thrive on routines as it provides security and a sense of safety and puts them in the right state of mind. Helpful Hint #1: Make the schedule WITH your child and hang it up.  Encourage them to keep track of the times so that they take control of their own day.
  2. Set up a work space. It doesn’t  have to be fancy but it does need to be a comfortable area that they identify as their work space. If you’re homeschooling more than one child, try facing them away from each other so that they keep their focus on their own work. Helpful hint #2:  If you want your child to really be excited about their “new adventure,” then give them a say of what else should go in there.  Example, let them pick out a special lamp or a cool chair to sit at in their work space.  If you give your child some choice and voice in the planning of this space, they will develop a sense of ownership and will be more inclined to work harder. 
  3. Don’t forget physical activity and the arts!  Researchers say that students who receive an education in the arts develop better brain structures in memory, learning and attention; develop fine motor skills, and demonstrate better language development.  So don’t forget outside play, time listening to music, and exposure to viewing and creating art.
  4. Keep it fresh! Incorporate hands-on learning and make their learning relate to their life. Helpful hint #3, The first step in getting your child to WANT to learn is by making it exciting to them.
  5. Pencil in brain breaks!- Small breaks to get up and move around actually increases children’s focus and helps them stay engaged in their schoolwork. Helpful hint #4,  Keep them around 1-3 minutes long and pencil them in BEFORE your child reaches that frustration level.
  6. Know your child and know yourself- Take into consideration what works for not only your child, but you as the instructor. Remember, this is a time where your “mom hat” is momentarily put aside and your “teacher hat” comes alive.  Look at BOTH the student and whoever is going to be the homeschool teacher because just like it takes two to tango…it takes two to homeschool as well.
  7. Be Flexible! Things are going to happen and situations are going to come up.  When it does, acknowledge it, take a moment to breathe, and then continue on.  Where your focus goes, your energy follows.  Helpful hint #5,  Don’t put a lot of reaction to what you can’t change. Little minds are watching you.  Show them how they can tackle a problem…not make it bigger.
  8. Go with the “flow”- Flow is when students are completely immersed in what they are learning, happy, focused, and moving from task to task in a seamless worry-free state. Helpful hint #6, Part of creating a learning “experience” instead of a learning “environment” is to take a concept you’re trying to teach and make it their own.
  9. Prepare your supplies! Set up their workspace so that they have everything in one place. This life skill will go far as you are teaching how organization can reduce anxiety and can better prepare them for the future. Helpful hint #7, Have everything you’re going to need for the activities that day ready before you go to bed the night before. 
  10. Set goals and celebrate! If a child doesn’t decide where he’s going, he won’t know when he’s arrived.  Goals are necessary because it lays down the road we’re wanting and gives us the picture needed to envision the finish line. Helpful hint #8, Help your child come up with 3 goals for the week.  Helpful hint #9, Celebrate them when accomplished!!!

If the Lord has called you to homeschool your child, be confident that He will provide you with what you need.  Change can be tough, but you are tougher.  Uncertainty is strong, but you are stronger. The love you have for your child is great, but remember…the love the Lord has for His children is by far greater. Helpful hint #10, A quote from Harold B. Lee…”The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.”

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