Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tips For Successful Homeschooling

With the start of a new semester upon us soon I find myself turning my mind back once again to lesson plans and schedules and routines. Sometimes we just need a reminder about what's really important, especially during the long winter months that lie ahead when burnout tends to happen more easily.

Thanks to a dear friend, Negin, for posting these tips on the Five in a Row message boards. I truly believe and agree with everything listed here and wanted to share this list with everyone. I know I'll be returning to read over this list again and again...

1. Pray with your children every day before you start schooling (or have one of them pray).

2. Try to keep a consistency to your days. If you are not consistent, you will have more whining and complaining.

3. Keep your sense of humor and apply it often during schooling.

4. Remember that this isn't a sprint - it's a marathon. If a child doesn't "get" something right away, don't panic. Sometimes it takes a while - tomorrow is another day. If something just isn't working at all, take a little time off from it, and try again later.

5. Try very hard not to compare yourself to other homeschooling moms . Remember: Comparison is the death of contentment. When you compare, you'll almost always sell yourself short and make yourself feel badly.

6. Delight in your children and remember to really listen to them when they are sharing with you. This is actually very difficult to do sometimes.

7. Although you should take advantage of teachable moments that come up during ordinary life, try not to make everything sound like "school". You don't want your kids rolling their eyes and sighing every time you open your mouth. It's OK to just be Mom sometimes instead of Teacher/Mom.

8. Do not allow your children to treat you with disrespect or to disobey you without consequence. If you are too relaxed about this, you will be hard pressed to keep your schooling from becoming a power struggle and a very stressful experience. From the beginning, establish a firm, loving grip on your kids' behavior and attitudes. It is up to you to train your kids to recognize and respect your authority as their parent and their teacher.

9. Even if you didn't like Math in school, or despised History, do your very best not to let those negative attitudes show in your words, body language or tone of voice. Your kids will surely pick up on it, and might "catch" it from you. Do your best to be positive and enthusiastic about what you are studying.

10. If things are just going badly and everyone is out of sorts - take the day off school and deal with whatever it is that is stressing you or the kids out. Maybe you all just need a park day, or you need to spend some time straightening the house, or going to a good museum. Or just rent a great movie that perhaps has something to do with World history.

1 comment:

CB said...

Those are great reminders. I'm glad you posted them. I must have missed reading them on the forum.

By the way, your blog is really nice looking! You're definitely more computer savvy than I am!