This is my second year homeschooling. Last year I was homeschooling my 13 year old and 6 year old daughters. I also had a 2 year old boy who turned 3. I didn’t do that much schooling with him but I had to keep him busy. Well this year I am homeschooling a 14, 6, 4, and 3 year old. I had to figure out how to be organized and fast. Now I use to be a public school teacher but homeschooling is so different. So I began reorganizing myself and my brain around how to homeschool 4 kids.
Here are some tips that have helped our first week to go by so smoothly:
1. Schedule – we do so much better when everyone has a schedule that they have to follow. On this blog is show you how I run each day with a schedule. http://www.homeschoolingwomenofgod.com/homeschool/resources/
2. Lesson Plans – writing out my lesson plans helps. I have noticed that some of the kids work through certain areas of school faster than others. Having two weeks of school planned out at a time, has helped me to figure out what to do next, if my kids finish something early. http://www.homeschoolingwomenofgod.com/homeschool/resources/
3. I have play boxes that they can get out. There is everything from puzzles, to alphabet stamps, stickers, crafts,coloring books, playdough, etc. Put things in boxes that work for you and your kids. I know some parents playdough would be too messy during school time. Maybe you have older kids. You could have flash cards, games, fun puzzle books, etc. This helps to keep play time or any down time a little more constructive. It also helps keep them focused on school.
4. When it starts to get crazy, put on some music. I notice that when I have soothing music on, my kids all seem to relax. You could even spray a little lavender in the room to calm everyone down.
5. If one of your kids is really struggling in a certain subject area, I let them try something else for awhile, then come back to the subject that they had a hard time with. I did this with my 14 year old today. She just couldn’t understand her math lesson. So we did science instead. Then went back to math. She was able to calm down and figure out what she was doing wrong.
6. When all else falls, just call it a day. It is ok if you stop homeschooling on a day that everyone is fighting, grumpy, or when you are ready to pull your hair out. Now you shouldn’t do this all the time. Then the kids will be grumpy just to get out of school. You know your kids and yourself. Do not push yourself so hard that you blow. It’s not worth it. A well rounded child comes from patience, peace and stability.
Remember your kids are only young once. We all have bad days, but lets make sure that there are a lot more good days than bad days.