Did you have a tear slip slowly down your cheek too? Yeah, I know. It's the last day of the top 10 tips for homeschooling a large, and awesome, family.
Either you're crying with sorrow that it's over, or you're crying with joy because it's over (and now you can get to work... not that you were suffering, right?).
The tips were so hard to put in order of importance. In a week, they could change. However, these last two tips were the ones I needed most to go from stressed and overwhelmed to feeling like a homeschooling supermom.
I'm even wearing my Wonder Woman T-shirt today to prove it.
Your plan is set, that picture in your head is almost 100% clear. You ask yourself, "what will the day-to-day be like, though?"
Set your daily and weekly schedule to fit your personality and lifestyle.
This is best done by picking the scheduling method that suits you and gleaning from excellent examples, without copying.
Set time schedule
You wake up and are ready at the same time, reading is always at 10 AM, lunch is always at 12:30, etc.
Robinson curriculum is similar to this. You read 2 hours a day, math 2 hours a day, and writing 1 hour a day. Without fail. It's encouraged to do this bright and early in the morning and be done at lunch.
Routine is that you do certain things in an order, but you don't care what time you do it at. reading could be at 9:23, lunch at 11:45, and history could have gone on for a lot longer than normal.
Your school times are in chunks of time. You do your core subjects (3 R's) in the AM block, have lunch at a set time, and then do your other subjects after lunch.
When we were using Konos (unit studies) this is what we did. The 3 R's in the morning, and then our Unit Studies in the afternoon. I later switched it to Unit Studies in the morning and then the 3 R's in the afternoon because I was more consistent with them this way.
This is fairly new to me, but it's a different thing each week. Basically, you have a small set schedule and you have goals for each day and you allow those to dictate where you're going and what you do that day. It's got boundaries, yet it's completely flexible.
In her book, Plan to Be Flexible, Alicia goes much much more in-depth and she might be unhappy with me for not explaining it well. Don't punch me!
This book really resonated with me, her story and mine seem so similar and her pains are mine. She's got it figured out and I don't. This is a book I'm going to have to read twice and take better notes in to figure it all out.
This is where you list out all the curricula you use, how frequently you need to use it and then you put it in a rotating order. You can have it for a whole week, month, or quarter. So you go down the list and check off each as you complete them and move to the next item.
- Science 12x/quarter
- Art 6x/quarter
- History 12x/quarter
- Music 10x/quarter
You'd make your list: science, art, history, music, science, history, music, science, art, history, music, etc
You'd go science, and when you were done, you'd move to art, then history. This is so that if you do history and it takes all day Monday, it didn't ruin any plans, you will just do music on Tuesday and continue from there. You may do lots that day, or you may do one. This just helps you keep on track without feeling the burden of being "behind." There's no such thing.
I'll explain this one more another day. :)
In the end, you pick one of these, or any other you've heard of, that meshes well with your personality. As much as I wish I could live by a set time schedule, I immediately feel trapped and stifled and crazy.
You can do a combination of the two. We'll be doing a routine/loop schedule this year. As I read more of rhythm based homeschooling I'll move over to that.
Weekly Homeschool Planner -- I've been using this planner since the beginning of time. It's fantastic!
Family Homeschool Planner 2015-2016 -- I just found this one via the Omnibus sale, and I absolutely love it! I love all the extras it has.
It's so easy to let things get in our way or self-sabotage our greatest efforts and plans. Your mental mindset is the final piece. Be reasonable, yet firm, with yourself and your family. Create support, accountability, and a backup plan.
Be realistic, but don't be milquetoast. If something's not working, figure out why. Maybe it's YOU (or your child) that needs a reset or encouragement.
Set expectations for yourself, not unreasonable ones though. Decide what you expect out of yourself and what you expect from your children. Do not budge.
Tweak when necessary, change after evaluation, and let go of impossible standards.
[Tweet "Tweak when needed, change after eval, and let go of imposs standards. #homeschool"]
When you set expectations that doesn't mean that you need to be super homeschooling mom. That doesn't mean your children are all going to win the Nobel Peace Prize. This also doesn't mean you have to do what Suzie at Iamthebesthomeschoolmomintheworldandyoullnevermatchme.com is doing.
Let go of days that just didn't go how you wanted or planned or expected. Count all the victories, no matter how small. They do count. If something isn't working out, figure out how to make it work for you, not you working for it.
Be consistent. Push even on those days that are killing you. Push a little more before you call a "day off" of homeschooling.
Those days are good to have, just don't let it become a pattern or that automatic backup plan. Have other strategies in place first.
Find someone to reach out to for you to be held accountable. This is helpful during those times when homeschooling is the last thing you want to do that day.
Tip #2: Routine + schedule + rhythm
Tip #1: Expectations + Flexibility + Persistence
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You have got this!
What has been the most helpful tip for you?