I am so excited to begin our Homeschooling Tips from A to Z series. I know this series will be beneficial for new homeschool parents as well as parents that are considering starting homeschooling.
As usual, feel free to leave me a comment. I always love hearing from my readers, and if you think of a tip that begins with our letter of the week, please let me know.
Homeschooling Tip #1: Adaptability
I spend a lot of time during the summer months preparing for the coming school year. I love calendars and organizers, and I love setting goals for me and my children for the coming year.
Unfortunately, when I get to the end of the school year, most of my well-thought-out plans didn’t get done.
We either ran out of time, lost interest, changed curriculum, had an emergency, got sick, or something else unexpected happened that we had to deal with.
It’s ok to have the best plans, but please don’t feel bad if you can’t meet them all. Life happens, and you have to give yourself grace that you are doing the best you can.
Nobody says in order for you to be a successful homeschooling parent that your child has to know everything and be perfect at it all. That’s ridiculous.
Plan for changes. Leave space during your week for things that inevitably will come up. You’ll thank me later.
Homeschooling Tip #2: Affection
There were many days when my kids got frustrated. Sometimes some concepts are just more difficult than others to grasp.
It’s so easy for kids to just want to give up. Many tears were shed over math problems and spelling words, but as a homeschooling parent I learned that these difficult times were some of the best times for me to show my kids affection, to just hold them tight and to encourage them.
Because of those difficult times, we really had wonderful times when my kids finally grasped the concepts that once had been so difficult.
So, keep in mind that your affection for your child is so encouraging to them on their bad days.
Homeschooling Tip #3: Awards
Everybody loves to be recognized for doing something well. Our kids, doing school work at home, are no different.
I have found that before the school year begins, create or purchase some simple awards. There’s a ton of different things you can give rewards for, and you’ll know best what to choose depending on your kids.
I would recommend giving awards in the areas of school subjects, behaviors, or character traits that need a little improvement. Recognition to a little wiggle-worm for sitting still and listening to the lesson will stick and impact him for the future.
Some awards can be simple signs that you can hang on the refrigerator, others can just be stickers, or ink stamps that are stamped at the top of a page. You may be able to just use simple objects like colorful beads on a string to award the number of math problems correct in a lesson. Anything you can think of that your child will receive, reinforces, encourages, and recognizes the best efforts of our kids.
Homeschooling Tip #4: A-ha Moments
There’s many things I love about homeschooling, and one of them is when that A-ha moment occurs.
You see your child struggling, you’ve racked your brain, your friends, and the internet for any new teaching ideas for a subject, and then one day, “A-Ha!” by George, he’s got it!
It’s a wonderful moment! Be on the lookout for it and savor the moment. Make it a big deal!
Homeschool Tip #5: Availability
One of the goals I’ve always had for my kids is for them to be more independent with their school work.
I’ve wanted my kids to be able to read the directions to an assignment and understand what they were being asked to do. I’ve also wanted them to be able to follow other teachers’ lesson instructions on DVD’s and online, and be able to comprehend what the teacher was saying.
With even the best kids that listen well, read well, and are diligent with their school work, kids are still going to have questions. Homeschool parents need to be available to answer those questions.
It is so easy as your kids get older, and they are able to stay by themselves, to run a quick errand, while they are doing school, or to get involved in a to-do item that requires your complete concentration. I know that when I’ve not been available to answer a question, that most of the time the question is either skipped or you get an “I don’t know” answer written in.
It’s easy for the kids to just skip over the hard stuff, but being available and close by will help your kids in the long run.
Homeschooling Tip #6: A Learning Atmosphere
I love setting up our school room for school. We’ve got individual desks and a large conference desk in our basement that we use. We also have plenty of cupboard space and a shelf where we store art supplies.
We have one window where we can see outside, but for the most part, we are free from outside distractions.
There is plenty of light and space to move around.
Our spare refrigerator is down there, and it helps to keep our snacks and drinks close by so we don’t always have to run upstairs to get something.
Having a good learning atmosphere is so helpful. It helps you and the kids get into a routine, and it also helps keep them engaged, motivated, and organized.
If we had our school supplies, books, and experiments all over the house, I’d be frustrated. I like to be able to say on Friday afternoons, “Ok, clean off your desks, put all your books and papers away, it’s officially the weekend.”
I hope that you have found these tips helpful. Once again, if you can think of another homeschool tip that starts with the letter A, please let me know.
More A to Z series by Homeschooling Bloggers
There’s a lot of wonderful homeschool bloggers on the internet, and some of them are participating in these weekly A to Z blog articles.
They are writing on all sorts of topics and ideas, so I would encourage you to click on the link below and take a look!