Are you suffering from homeschool fatigue? Would you like to improve your homeschool experience?
Here are seven habits that have helped me and my children stay focused when the year starts feeling long.
My day goes much smoother when I have easy access to lesson plans and a system for collecting, grading, and organizing paperwork for the next day. I set aside a specific time in the evening or morning to do the necessary correcting and filing of paperwork. This has kept me from literally drowning in a sea of school papers.
Morning prayer and Bible time (and a cup of tea!) are a must to help me set my attitude for the day.
I have recently switched to a time block schedule where each activity/school subject is given a specific time block. This new schedule system has helped my family to get motivated, to make time for extra-curricular activities, and to use our time realistically.
I do use mulit-tasking while homeschooling. In a “traditional” classroom, the teacher is constantly walking away from one student to help another. Each student is expected to stay on task and to attempt to problem-solve on his own. Multi-tasking mindless activities such as folding laundry or painting my nails keeps me on top of household chores while also fostering independence in my children. (Not that painting my nails is a household chore.)
On the flip side, balancing the checkbook, answering e-mails, or getting on facebook while homeschooling only seems to waste time and increases frustration levels for both me and my kids. My children immediately recognize when I am distracted and lose focus themselves.
Think what would happen in a traditional classroom if a teacher answered her phone and proceeded to talk for thirty minutes. Enough said.
Rather than encouraging your child to learn a new skill, try learning one with him. Children should see by our example that they can learn at any time of life. It is good for them to see us struggle with learning, make mistakes, and overcome obstacles right beside them. So, buy two violins, make a commitment to study a second language together, or enroll with your child in karate lessons.
Often I can become exhausted and frustrated with homeschooling. At times, I need to step back from the never ending spelling lists and multiplication flashcards and remember why I chose to homeschool in the first place.
Homeschooling is one of many options for educating children. Every family’s circumstances are unique and will change from year to year. Don’t be afraid to revisit your options as you seek to do what is best for each member of your family.
If you feel that homeschooling is still the best choice for your family right now, pray that God would change your heart to enjoy educating your children once again. Choosing to have a positive attitude about homeschooling may be the most important change you can make.