Homeschool Tips & Tricks

  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!

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  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 Smile  Surprise them, and go somewhere like the Nature Center or library.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  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! Smile 

  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!

Hugs, T

homeschool tips and tricks

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7 thoughts on “Homeschool Tips & Tricks

  1. Even tho I have been homeschooling for about 4 yrs, now I really found some of these tips helpful!:) Thanks!!!
    I have really been trying to help myself to understand that we don’t have to be like a school room. That is part of the reason for homeschooling right?! And, it is ok if you need to take a week OR two to learn something. Rushing thru is not going to make them learn. And, I have been learning that they WILL learn when THEY are ready. Little Ray is learning to read and I was so worried because he is 6 almost 7 and his cousins that are all his age can read and he still really had no interest in it. But, I just went really slow and this week he is READING!!!!! We are sooo excited. He is THRU.THE.ROOF!!!!!:)
    Thanks for the tips. I am going to start adding some of these to our day is some form.
    love and {{hugs}}

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  3. Hi! I have been reading your blog for awhile now… don’t remember how I found it? Anyways, I really love the faith-filled content and am especially excited you are homeschooling now as I homeschool our children as well. This is my second year at it and I’m afraid it’s not going as well as last year did. We’re doing 1st grade with my 7 year old and kindergarten with my 5 year old (I also have a 3 year old to make things really interesting!). Today I realized I am way too overwhelmed so something needs to change. I can’t keep up with the house, schoolwork, taking care of myself, etc. I was not a nice mommy today and I feel terrible for letting the stress show up in the way I treated my kids. 😦 So all this to say, I’m curious if you think MFW would work for us to combine my first grader and kindergartner. I looked at their catalog and saw how they show the Family Learning Cycle starting at 3rd grade so wasn’t sure if I should wait until later. And how would my youngest (being 3 now) ever fit into the picture or would she always be behind them doing her own thing? Sorry for the long message, you’ve got to be super busy… just asking God today where to go from here as it can’t continue like this. I’m sure when my husband gets home tonight and sees the house he’ll wonder if a tornado came through 🙂 I’m usually so organized and on top of things (type A personality) so all this is so dis-heartening for me. Thank you for the blog posts that have been so encouraging 🙂

    • I am so glad you have been encouraged! YES, I think MFW would be an excellent fit. The 3 year old would have 2 years to just listen and play hands on games in the classroom, and would probably love doing the badges and crafts!!!!!
      Call the MWF reps and spend some time on the phone, they are WONDERFUL, and who helped me set up our schooling curriculum. They suggested we combine as many grades as possible. I think you will find one phone call to help take care of your questions. 🙂 They have some great curriculum for grades K-2 that they could do together. By the time your little one caught up, you could have him participate like my littles do, in all the fun activities, passport stamping and map learning that the older grades are doing in Exploring Countries and Cultures.
      You can do this and STILL have a life. We are nearly done by noon most days, with Science for the big kids, and Spelling for Destiny to do while the littles nap and read books. And we do not do school on Fridays, since MFW if set up on a 4 day week with a heavy Monday. SO doable. I still have time to make supper, blog, tidy the house, check emails, today I even got to read a book in my favorite chair by the fireplace. The kids laid on the floor and read too. I cannot IMAGINE what life would be like, if I was teaching 5-7 separate subjects to our children. I think we’d be in this classroom all day!!!!!

  4. Awesome! I will definitely give MFW a call and see what they’d suggest. I believe homeschooling is right for us I just need to tweak things some to make it flow better. Your school room looks so fun, like it truly inspires learning. Thank you very much for your reply!

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