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13 Tips For Homeschool Success: The Secrets to Healthy and Happy Children
As the number of homeschoolers continues to grow each year, a growing number are choosing this lifestyle for their children in order to shield them from the dangers that plague our education system.
With 55 million students impacted by school closures due to coronavirus outbreaks across America and counting, there is no better time than now for parents who want more control over how their child’s education progresses.
In 2020 many school districts were also forced into at home learning with the COVID 19 pandemic on the rise. My wife and I chose to homeschool our children during that time because of the ever changing situation.
In this post you will learn 13 Tips for Homeschool Success that have worked wonders for us during that time and still to this day.
How do I Survive Homeschooling?
You can survive homeschooling by making a plan that fits your family. Come up with a schedule that suits each of your children, make a designated area for schooling in your home and remember that you do not have to be traditional school. Also, remember to breathe.
How do you Prepare Yourself for Homeschooling?
You can prepare yourself for homeschooling by first doing your research into local laws concerning homeschooling, local resources, other homeschool parents and groups. The research will help you lay the foundation of what curriculum to use based off of real people’s experience and then you can start planning your schedule and more. Once you have all of the necessary foundation pieces, you can set up a homeschool station in your home and get started.
What are the Problems with Homeschooling?
The most common problem with homeschooling is creating order and structure in your home to promote learning which can directly effect the motivation for your children to get their work done. You have to set some clear boundaries to differentiate school hours from home hours so that you and your children can stay focused.
Struggling to create order and structure in your home learning environment? Is it all becoming too overwhelming for you, with no end-in sight? Do not panic! This is the perfect time to make a routine. It will take some effort on your part but once established it becomes much easier than constantly struggling through life as an adult without one.
It can be difficult to stay organized when homeschooling children at any age or grade level due their various levels of competency and interests which may change often over the course of weeks or even days depending upon what they are doing outside school hours.
However, there are ways that parents can ensure success by establishing routines around each child’s needs whether starting from scratch (with younger learners) or assessing
Create a Homeschool Classroom Area
Homeschooling can be a wonderful experience. Living and learning under the same roof, however, can lead to disorganization and chaos—not such an ideal environment for fostering happy students or parents!
One of the best ways to make sure your children are able to finish their studies with ease is by keeping things organized in a designated space. Fulfilling this task also helps you maintain sanity, as it will be easier for you to locate necessary materials and books.
Designating one place where they keep supplies could mean that kids stay put when doing work at various locations around the house rather than bringing everything back each time–which can lead them missing some vital item.
After finishing up all schoolwork, ensure that these items return home quickly so everyone has an easy-to-find starting spot!
You can post a printed copy of your schedule at their homeschool station for them to check throughout the day. This will help them stay on track with their tasks for the day or week.
Keeping track of all the deadlines can be stressful, but by knowing literally everything in advance it will help your team members focus more efficiently throughout the workday for maximum output.
Create and Follow a Schedule
Homeschooling brings a whole new level of freedom and creativity to children’s education, but without structure it can be easy for kids to fall off track.
In order to keep your child on the right path, use that daily schedule that you created in the previous tip to give you focus and direction each day.
You’ll always have some flexibility with this type of plan – just make sure there is still enough time for spontaneity!
How do I Create a Homeschool Schedule?
Here are a couple tips for making an effective schedule:
Color-coding your tasks by type can help you quickly see what’s on tap for the day. This is helpful because it allows adults and children alike to better manage their time, especially when they’re just starting out with a schedule.
If you have multiple children like we do, use a column or row to track each child through multiple daily schedules and note when kids are working together on projects or coming together for things like meals and other activities.
These types of diagrams illustrate a workflow and roles through rows and columns. Using an entire row or column per child makes it easy to see who is working on a particular project, when schedules are aligned, or when there is a scheduling conflict.
|Time||5th Grader||3rd Grader||10th Grader||8th Grader|
|8:30 – 9:30||Reading||Reading||Math||Math|
|9:30 – 10:30||Math||Math||Life Skills||Computer|
|10:30 – 11:30||Science||Science||Computer||English|
|11:30 – 12:15||Lunch||Lunch||Lunch||Lunch|
|12:15 – 12:30||Music||Music||Business||Science|
|12:30 – 1:00||Spanish||Social Studies||Test Prep||Business|
Obviously, this type of chart can be customized more or less based on your needs or schedule. I usually color code my for each child so that they can easily recognize what their current activity is and what they have next.
I also will group them by color when they are working on the same project or lesson.
Making a simple flowchart to help kids move through their day is an excellent technique for teaching organization. A good way of doing this would be by focusing on the tasks that need to get done and not how long it takes them.
The basic idea is to pick a system that works for your family. Your plan can be as detailed as you would like. The most important thing is having some a structure that helps your student(s) stay focused and accomplish their goals.
Plan The School Year Ahead of Time
Write down your goals and the steps you need to take in order to achieve them. Look at what time of year it is, then see which month would be best for each goal – December might not be a good time if you’re trying to eat healthier as well!
You should also plan out big projects with multiple tasks on separate sheets so that all members can help track progress.
There are tons of ways to map your lessons and goals including:
- Organization Charts
- Goal maps
Visualizing your plans can help you stay organized, see at a glance how much progress has been made on any given day and plan for the future.
Plan Your Learning Goals Together
Homeschooling is a great opportunity for you and your children to have a say in their education. Goals are an important part of that process, because they show you what is possible when students have a vision for where they want to go with learning outcomes in mind.
When goals come into play, it’s easier for educators to create stimulating curriculum tailored specifically towards each student’s individual needs- which makes home schooling more effective than traditional school settings!
As the parent/teacher, outline some key learning objectives for your child ahead of time and then sit down with them to really get their input. The first step is outlining what you want from a lesson plan: are there any state or national requirements?
What do you think will be most beneficial in terms of personal education philosophy as well as age and abilities? Once these broad goals have been outlined, it’s best to take this opportunity to talk face-to-face with your children about how they feel about the subject matter.
Work together to set long term, medium-term and short-term learning goals with your child. This is also a great opportunity for you to teach them how to use the SMART formula (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timebound).
Learning Isn’t Only For the Classroom
There’s no better way to make sure that you’re a well-rounded student than by learning about what goes on outside the classroom.
One of the best parts of homeschooling is being able to get out and explore, learn something new, or try your hand at something entirely different without having any other obligations weighing down upon you as they would in a traditional school setting.
The opportunities for exploration are endless when it comes to finding ways not just limit yourself!
- Play board games.
- Practice cooking.
- Teach household skills like laundry, cleaning or simple budgeting.
- Write letters, emails to friends and family.
- Visit local businesses.
- Go to the farmer’s market.
- Go to the library
- Teach basic car knowledge
- Teach Safety
We love taking the kids on field trips but any trip out of the house can be a lesson. I personally love taking the kids grocery shopping as they love to help with the groceries but it gives us an opportunity to teach them about real life situations.
It is a perfect time to teach them about money and the cost of different things and more.
Remember to take time each day for creative endeavors, such as playing with friends or trying new skills. These activities will help you grow and learn in many different ways. Incorporating some of these experiences into your homeschooling environment is a great way to provide well-rounded curricula that are fun and engaging!
Freedom from Constraints
One of them is that you can set your own boundaries and decide what works best for your children’s learning style, needs, etc. Every student is different in the way that they learn.
Some students are visual learners, some are not and this isn’t always taken into consideration in public school settings. The public school system has a multitude of students to teach and that can sometimes cause certain things to be missed.
*This is not the case with every school district.
In homeschooling you have to ability to choose how things are done and they can be tailored to each of your kids. For example, we have a 5th grader who does excellent one on one or in the homeschool setting but struggles in a traditional classroom.
We can give her the proper one on one that she needs and still not interrupt the our other children’s school time by simply tailoring her work to her needs.
Learning is a Family Activity
Share your excitement for teaching with them. Consider the interests of everyone in the family and lean into that!
Do you have a subject or activity that all members of your family enjoys? Many families are close because they’ve spent time doing activities together, so use this to bring people closer together–especially when it comes to those younger years.
For example, you could incorporate one of the following:
- Read together.
- Try an interesting hobby or learn a new skill.
- Make crafts.
- Be a tourist in your own town.
- Go fishing.
- Take a family hike.
- Visit a museum, parks or historical sites.
- Go camping
- Grow a garden
There are countless ways to make learning more enjoyable and memorable for the whole family. Take a trip to your local zoo or aquarium, cook together at home, create grocery lists with everyone in mind – there’s something here that will appeal to just about everybody!
Duolingo is an app where you can learn new languages together as well; download it today and start having fun while expanding your knowledge of Spanish (or any other language).
Work Together With Others
There are many homeschooling communities, both near and far. Remember that you’re not alone in this endeavor of raising a child to be an educated individual.
You’ll find support from fellow parents who understand these struggles firsthand through online or local groups for homeschoolers like yourself!
Connect with other families to share resources and make the schooling process easier on everyone involved while also enriching your children’s experience further by collaborating outside of the home environment as well!
Use Technology in Your Lesson Plans
Technology is definitely a powerful tool to have in our lives. It can take away some of the stress and frustration when you solve problems that arise with ease knowing everything from how-to videos, articles, or tutorials are a tap away on our devices!
However there should be limits set in place for technology usage because as much as it can help us stay organized and connected; we need time offline too.
I used a computer based curriculum this year which was great until I realized my students couldn’t do any work if they had issues with their device such as not being able to charge it (we had a incident with a laptop charger cord getting cut by a chair, I know) and then of course just like me sometimes forgetting to charge devices so often during the school year!
We have tons of books on Kindle but without chargers, how useful is that? Here is the tablet that works great with Kindle – here is the one that we use and love.
Plan Meals and Snacks
The first few weeks of homeschooling after a summer vacation can be tough on everyone. To avoid disrupting learning flow, it’s important to minimize disruptions by planning and preparing meals ahead in advance.
Encourage your children to collaborate with you during meal times for younger kids or when they’re old enough – this will help make the day go faster!
Take Breaks When you Need them
The beauty of homeschooling is that you make your own schedule and work at your own pace. If frustration has set in, take a break! It’s totally OK to revisit lessons when you’re feeling more like teaching and learning
For those of you who are returning to the classroom after a summer break or mid-year vacation, don’t be afraid to ease back into your full curriculum.
Consider starting with just one or two subjects the first week and then add another subject each week as you ramp up so that both yourself and your child can gradually acclimate themselves again in school environment while rebuilding natural routines together.
When it comes to schooling, there is no one-size-fits all approach. That’s why homeschooling doesn’t have to mirror the structure and set up of public schools. Don’t be afraid to try new things when it comes to your homeschooling adventure.
Listen not only for what works best for you but also pay attention closely if something isn’t working well enough or at all in order find a better solution that will work out more favorably.
What is a typical homeschool day like?
The typical homeschool day isn’t much different from that of a child that goes to public school in that they get up, get dressed and eat breakfast before heading off to school. The typical homeschool day will consist of between 2-6 hours of learning based on some type of curriculum which still allows the children and parents to accomplish their normal projects. We usually homeschool in the morning and finish just before lunch with the occasional day running over to the afternoon.
How many hours a day should I homeschool my children?
The amount of hours you should homeschool your child is dependent on a few factors such as the age of the child, any learning difficulties your child may have and even your personal schedule. The typical homeschool child does school for 3-6 hours. However it is completely possible for your child to only do homeschool for 2-4 hours.
What supplies do you need for homeschooling?
The supplies that you will need for homeschooling will consist of some type of curriculum whether you have purchased it, got from a homeschooling co-op or group or made your own. You will also need other materials such as paper, pencils, pens, project materials throughout the year and even electronic devices. The supplies that you will need will ultimately depend on the curriculum you go with, the amount of additional learning you plan on and more.
If you like this article 13 Tips For Homeschool Success, then check out our other articles for more practical tips.
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