Thursday, September 5, 2013

So, homeschooling is easy, right?

For those of you new to homeschooling, it can be quite a challenge.  Especially if you don't have anyone to talk to about it.  When we first started, Mariah kicked and screamed.  She wanted nothing at all to do with learning.  Once she realized that she wasn't flunking everything we did, she started to get into the routine and actually liked it.  Our biggest problem is that she doesn't want to do anything that takes more than a few minutes of hard work.  We have battled over that for a couple of years now.

I have finally come to the conclusion that this is NOT school at home.  It is home school.  We have her room set up with a computer and a large table.  I took an old dining room table that sits 8 people and painted the top with chalkboard paint.  She likes lists.  She likes to cross things off as they are done.  So, every morning I write out a list of what she needs to do that day on her table.  It looks something like this:

  1. Get dressed, brush your teeth, brush your hair, fold up your blankets.  (Mariah has chosen not to have a bed for now.  Instead, she sleeps on a pile of blankets laid out on the floor.
  2. Eat breakfast.
  3. Do 1 video & 1 worksheet in A+Tutorsoft.
  4. 15 minute break
  5. Do 2nd video & worksheet
  6. 15 minute break
  7. Do 3rd video & worksheet
  8. Lunch
  9. Read 1 chapter in Mia & the Mix
  10. 15 minute break
  11. Do the next town in
  12. 15 minute break
  13. Subject of your choice (writing, spelling, science, etc)
I have found that frequent breaks throughout the day make for fewer tears along the way and better concentration in the long run.  

This works for Mariah.  It may not work for your child.  The point is, you need to find a system that works best for you.  Mariah likes to sit outside to do whatever work she can.  She takes her snack & drink out onto the patio and does her work.  When she reads, she sits in the corner on top of her blankets.  She has her favorite dolls and stuffed animals sitting in chairs, pillows, etc. in a circle around her and reads out loud to them.  She makes a list of the words she has trouble with and we use those for vocabulary.  

I make it as comfortable and as fun as I can.  If we've had a good week and she's made progress in everything, then we take Fridays for arts & crafts.  Mariah LOVES artwork and we use the set of Mike's Inspiration Station videos.  The best part is that I do as many of her subjects as I can along with her.  We do artwork together.  We sign together along with the Signing Times videos.  Some books we read together.  Sometimes, we take our 'classroom' and go to Panera for coffee, hot chocolate, and a muffin (her favorite is the carrot cake muffin).  

Homeschooling is your world.  Do with it what you want!  Then come here and talk about it.  I love sharing ideas & tips and getting new ones from people I talk with!

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