Holy crap. I'm going to screw up my children forever.
They're never going to learn to read, they'll never be able to do simple math, much less calculus.
They're going to never have friends, be bullied in college, if they even make it into college. They're going to never find a spouse unless they're equally out-casta-able.
They won't get into college. They won't be able to do any of those stupid standardized tests. I'll be that "mother" you know, the one that everyone says "oh she homeschools -- yeah right -- that's just her excuse to stay home and do nothing."
They won't ever understand a single thing they're learning. I won't ever be able to cover enough. I'm dooming my children to failure. Not just academically, but in every freakin' stinkin' blinkin' area of their miserable little lives. All because I'm homeschooling them. What a selfish beast I am.
Have you ever felt this way?
It's so easy to beat ourselves up as homeschoolin' mamas.
Homeschooling isn't easy. It's overwhelming, there's so much freakin' information out there that it can just swallow you whole. It doesn't matter where you are on the homeschooling spectrum it is so easy to fall into this thinking. The thinking that we'll never be good enough, never do enough, and 100% kill our children's future. That the only thing we'll teach them is to swear and pick their boogers and eat them.
Heck, I can't even get one of my kids to wipe their bum properly. I probably shouldn't be teaching them at all.
Okay okay, you got me. Two of my kids can't wipe properly.
We don't know who to turn to. Who to trust. Whose opinion to chuck.
I can hear you now, "but there are so many wonderful resources out there, surely you can find something!"
Yes there is, and you know what? The majority of the homeschool resources out there are amazing. They really are. It just can be so much.
I want reality. Don't you?
I don't want pretty perfect pictures and pretty perfect lives displayed. That just ignites the flame of guilt and I'm-not-enough inside my tiny Grinch heart. I don't think guilt and keeping up with perfection (perceived perfection) is ever a good motivator. In fact, it's a horrible motivator. It's the opposite of motivation.
It's a buzz kill. A life-wrecker. A joy stealer. A fear-inducing-beast-master that needs to be slain with a chain made out of spiky rusty nails so that if the cuts don't kill it the tetanus will.
How do you kill this joy-stealing-beast?
You turn to someone who is real. Who is honest. Who is encouraging, motivating, and has been there, and yes, done that (*cringe* please pardon the cliche).
I have just the two women for you.
No exaggeration. Seriously.
They have just written this sweet little book: 60 Homeschooling Tips From 60 Years: Inspiring Tips and Ideas From Two Veteran Homeschoolers *
They have 15 children, if you count them all in one group, and have been homeschooling for a combined total of, you're right, 60 years.
60 years people! That's a long time. I have only been alive for, just barely, 32 years. That's not even homeschooling years alive. Just alive and converting oxygen into carbon dioxide. And eating.
If you need someone to turn to, these are the women to turn to (besides me, of course). They are authors, curriculum creators, wives, mothers, and more. They rock.
I've just recently read this book and let me tell you, it was perfect.
Let me count the ways:
- Short and sweet
- Easy to digest bite-sized tips
- Kicks your tush into gear
- Inspiring quotes sprinkled throughout (I've shown 2 examples)
- Many topics that are on the HSin' Mama's brain
- You can put it into action immediately
- Affordable ($5!)
I can't just pick which is my favorite thing that I love about it. I pulled out my notebook on my second run-through to pick out some of my favorite tips to share with y'all. Um... I think I skipped maybe 4 tips, and that was only because I was already doing those tips.
Talk about a miracle! See, I can do something good!
Since I don't want to break laws and share with you all my favorite tips, let me show you how I've been using this book with some easy examples. I'm an example person. You can't just tell me to do something, I need to see it in action first before I feel comfortable doing it myself. Therefore, I'm going to pretend you're exactly like me, down to the stretch marks and cavity-filled teeth. You're welcome.
Scan the Table of Contents. Each tip is spelled out for you, so you don't have to guess what it's about. This makes for a good read through and easy to hone in on areas that need your attention first.
Pick the tip that jumps out to you the most.
This one will be difficult because so many of them will. Just pick one for now. You will have plenty of time to go back and pick more (See #1 and #2 above).
Read it. Duh.
Read it, but have your notebook and favorite writing utensil handy.
Take notes. Write down what they said that stuck out to you, but go beyond that. Write the thoughts and impressions that popped in your head. Does this sound like something little Johnny would benefit from? Did some idea on how to implement this pop into your mind? Did you get a vision of how life would be if this was in action? Anything and everything.
Read through your notes real quick. Highlight what stood out to you the most. Star it, underline it, whatever will grab your attention.
It's time to put it into action. How are you going to do that? They do tell you how to do that in the book. Which is perfect: that takes away using up those few brain cells we have left.
Now I'll go through the steps for you with a few tips that I loved and implemented right away.
My notes were as follows:
- Independent work lists
- Order of importance
- check list
- in sections
- include extras
- have time it needs to be turned in by
I starred order of importance, include extras, and time to turn in by.
How I implemented it:
I have now flipped our daily schedule so that we are working on group work together in the morning, then I have typed up a simple check list (I'll cutesy it up after some list experimentation) of what I require from each child. I have drawn pictures for my Kindergartner next to the words.
I've included extra items I wouldn't have thought of that I thought of by reading some other tips. Tip #58 was one of my favorites for that. Hint: it includes time for your littles
It is due by 5, or before they can do anything fun.
As tip #22 says No School = No Fun. I've been enforcing this policy from the beginning, but they put it so succinctly that I now quote this to the children when one of them decides to test me.
Tip #16 is another tip I'll walk you through
- efficient in school day
- have 2 - 3 individual tutoring sessions per week
- have in-depth work for them to do between sessions
This was mind-blowing to me. They go through and explain how they implement it and when. What a great way to make sure we focus in on their trouble subjects, they get extra work on it with just me, plus they have extra work to cover on their individual work lists.
Bonus: I get to spend extra time talking to them in a different setting and can really see some special moments happening here.
How I'm implementing this:
I've looked at our calendar, and have cut back on time I don't think was well-spent and have inserted time slots for each kid. I created a rudimentary schedule next to my desk to show the kids when their session is. Once we figure out our preferred schedule I may print it out all nice. Or I'll just leave it on the post-it. I mean, who really cares what it looks like? Perfectionism is a great procrastinator.
Note: this does not replace individualized teaching - it's in addition to.
I could go through all 60 tips with you in this manner, but I think Donna and Kathie might strangle me. Plus, I'm sure you're shouting, "I get it, I get it! I'll get it! I'll get it!"
Did I mention it's only $5? 5 dollars for a wealth of information? Wealth as in a cornucopia, a veritable feast, a lavish banquet.
As a blogger I see so many many courses and ebooks from people with far less than 60 years of experience in their fields charging far more. Far far more. I'm just sayin', it's a great deal.
It doesn't matter which method of homeschooling you use: Unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies, TJed, Classical, Traditional, Waldorf, etc you can use this book. These tips apply to all homeschooling families. Even families that aren't quite on the homeschooling bandwagon yet.
I've got 2 giveaways to tell you about! TWO!
They've given me two copies of this brilliant book to giveaway to you. Entering is super super simple.
To celebrate their book release they are hosting a giveaway at The Character Corner for $300 worth of homeschooling goodies. It's a sweet giveaway, my friends.
Grab your chance to win the book here:
Then head over here to enter for your chance to win the goodies!
Hey! What are you doing? Get your copy of the book here!
*Full disclosure: I was given a copy of 60 Homeschooling Tips From 60 Years in exchange for an honest review. My opinion and all the other stuff included in this post is 100% my own and not influenced in any way by the authors. If you buy this wonderful book with a link I've provided, I'll get a tiny percentage of sale price. The good news for you? It doesn't affect your cost at all, plus you'll be helping your favorite Rochelle in all the world buy some new shiny pencils. Or maybe even a stack of printer paper. *