Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Homeschool: 5 Tips to Help Things Run Smoothly

1. Plan
This can be as structured or as loosely detailed as you want it, but please make sure you take some time to plan. 

I actually like to see how many lessons a subject will have and divide it by the amount of school days we plan on having. Since we homeschool year around, this gives me basically a rough estimate of how many lessons I should do in a month with plenty of cushion. Whether its daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly, just make sure you have some plan set up. Don't leave your school schedule up in the air and as a guessing game for your children. 

2. Be flexible
Speaking about schedules--have one. And when creating a schedule be flexible. I personally have a rough draft of what has to get done in the day but not necessarily when because plans change as things come up during the day. So don't beat yourself up if everything is not running according to schedule. Give grace and receive grace. 

3. Be flexible x2
Along with scheduling flexibility, remember to be flexible in your curriculum choices. You know that super duper curriculum you bought and thought it was going to revolutionize your homeschooling? It didn't! Face it, it is not working. For your sake and that of your children, switch gears now. Don't force it to work just so as to not lose your money.  Maybe the curriculum works but just not for now. Put it away and maybe at another season it will work.  Or maybe it was not a right fit for your family altogether,  so selling it would be better to recoup some of the money.  The bottom line, if something isn't working, change it up.   

4. Take breaks
Along with your double flexibility, add breaks. Everyone should get routine breaks to rest and refresh. It is a great way to evaluate what's working and what isn't. Avoid the burnout and take a break. 

5. Listen
During those breaks, it is a great time to talk but more importantly listen to your children. What's working for them? How are they handling the tougher material? What are their favorite subjects and why? What are they  interested in learning?  What are they hoping to accomplish this year?  How can you help them in any way? Regular evaluations are essential.

I hope these quick tips provided some encouragement for you today and please be sure to chime in and share what helps things to run smoothly in your homeschooling.

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May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14