I don't know how things are going in your home, but we have a new baby on the way, remodeling projects in the works, and 3 kids to homeschool. We're as joyful as ever, but feeling a bit overwhelmed.
I've found some great ways to conquer the chaos, and this month, I want to share them with you!
In this Issue:
- Create a Homeschool Schedule that Works!
- Tips for Homeschooling Multiple Ages
- What's New?
Create a Homeschool Schedule that Works!
In addition to preparing to add a new member to the family, we've also added new activities to our routine. I am used to successfully winging it, but as our obligations have grown, I've found that a schedule is essential.
Here are my tips for creating a schedule that works:
- Consider your personality, and your family's natural habits and preferences. Are you most productive in the morning, afternoon or evening? Do you like following a consistent routine from day to day or do you often get bored, and need a change of pace? Don't limit yourself to a traditional schedule. A schedule that works is a schedule that meets your family's unique needs.
- Plan your day around specific anchors such as mealtimes and rest times. Even if you don't have lunch at the same time every day, you can still follow lunch with daily read-alouds and outside time. Designing your routine around anchors allows for flexibility, while bringing a consistent, predictable flow to your day.
- Make a list of tasks you want to accomplish each day, and schedule them around your anchors. Begin with the most essential tasks first, such as chores and the 3 R's, then schedule in a few extras. Take care to limit yourself to what you can reasonably accomplish. Over-scheduling can be as much of a hindrance as not having a schedule at all.
To view an instructional video about scheduling, use our scheduling worksheets, look at sample routines or share a routine that works well for you, visit our page about homeschooling schedules!
Tips for Homeschooling Multiple Ages
Instead of just focusing on my oldest, this year I'm officially responsible for a 3rd grader, a kindergartner, and a toddler. There were times this fall when I was being pulled in so many directions, that I didn't feel I was adequately teaching anyone.
Here are some strategies I've learned for teaching multiple ages:
- Start with the youngest and move up to the oldest. I begin our days by reading or playing with my toddler, then teaching my kindergartner, then moving on to my 3rd grader. I've found that my younger children are less likely to interrupt school if I give them a bit of one-on-one attention when we start our day.
- Foster independence in both older students and younger siblings. I give my oldest personal instruction in subjects like language arts and math, and I look for materials that will allow him to mostly work on his own in other subjects, like spelling. I also work on teaching my younger children to entertain themselves for short time periods. It sometimes helps to have specific toys set aside that only come out during school time.
- Learn as a family. We study subjects like history, art, science, and Bible as a family, making adjustments as needed for each child's level of understanding. This not only saves time, but builds strong family bonds. It is amazing to watch my 2 year old absorb information about biology and geography, and I've found that I am learning just as much as my children.
Here's a video that shows the results of family learning in our home.
For more strategies for occupying babies and toddlers while teaching older siblings, check out my video, Homeschooling with Little Ones.
Last month, Successful Homeschooling embarked on a new method of sharing homeschool information. In addition to finding insight, inspiration and ideas on our website, you can also find our instructional videos YouTube!
We also post thought-provoking articles and weekly updates on:
- Twitter, and
- My Homeschool Blog.
Follow this link to receive email announcements about new information on our website.
As always, feel free to pass this newsletter on to friends and contact me with your questions or comments.
Thank you for subscribing to Successful Homeschooling!
Enjoy the journey,