When I was first thinking about starting Homeschool my head was SPINNING! Could I do it? Would I go crazy? Would I know how to teach?
My sweet friend, Janice, sent me this great email with tips that I wanted to pass along to you first time homeschoolers like me!
First tip – on how your days may go – your homeschool does NOT have to resemble “school” at home. Structure is great (and yes, I know we both need that detailed timeline of how each hour is going) but sometimes you will HAVE to throw that out the window, as long as the kids don’t know! lol Surprise them, and go somewhere like the Nature Center or library.
Second tip – throw in fun stuff for them to look forward too even if you don’t think they will respond since it’s at home. Give out stickers, have a PJ day, snow days are a MUST even if you are at home, and party days.
My kids love our at home Fall party of apple bobbing and other games. Since we do the homeschool swim lessons as the Y on Tues I always let that day be PJ day (and to avoid all the extra clothing changes) and they look forward to it big time.
Throw in a mid-day dance party just to break up the time. And let Destiny be a teacher once in awhile. Say Tylan needs more help with a particular subject then give Destiny the job of overseeing something with Avery like reading or math stuff. The teacher almost always learns more than the student.
Third tip – use Netflix and YouTube for educational shows like Bill Nye the Science Guy, discussing Gods plan for creation, vs. evolution, Liberty Kids, Discovery Channel segments and more. You can almost always find something that goes along with what you are learning in the text, and the kids will probably enjoy the “movie” time.
Fourth Tip – because I have so many, haha – have a rewards jar or points or board bucks with prizes they can earn for good behavior, manners, getting work done, etc.
Last year we had Board Bucks where I just put their total on the board of what they earned (once earned it could not be taken away).
At the end of the month or whenever you decide, weekly, they could turn in their board bucks for prizes: Lunch date, redbox movie of their choice, misc basket. (Ever find tons of little toys not played with for a long time? throw them in this secret basket)
They can also roll their money over to the next month to learn to save for something bigger.
My kids all ended up saving their board bucks for the ENTIRE year because the end prize was a hotel sleepover with friends or $50 cash. So glad they all took the $50 cash! Any kind of reward system is good, especially if you put it on a bar graph or anything else that makes it educational and fun.
Thanks, Janice!!!! I hope this blesses and encourages you like it did me! It made me excited to homeschool and make it a fun, positive experience for all of us.
What works for me, what works for Janice, is not necessarily going to work perfectly for you. Find YOUR family’s version of the parts that appeal to you. Take the parts that you love, mold it and make it YOU.
Thank you to all the precious friends in my life who held my hand throughout the process of deciding to homeschool! You know who you are, and you know how many hours/days/years it took. HA!
This is by far the best decision we have made for our family, and we are enjoying our lives so much more now without the hustle and bustle of school meetings, answering to the clock as we come and go, or the dreaded hours of homework and study each night. We have taken back our evenings and life is good!