You thought Homeschooling was for your family, but gosh, this wrangling and teaching and cuddling and cooking and cleaning of all these kids at the same time is terrifying.
What in the heck are you to do? Give up? Throw in the towel? Never! ...but, wow.
It's okay. I get it. You're right, you don't have to give up. That voice that tells you there's gotta be a way, after all you see tons of Homeschooling families pulling it off and they look sane, happy, and they're all educated. They can't all be superhuman!
They're not. They're just the same as you, and as me.
Check out my next two tips to get you on your way to be just as joyful, calm, sane, and intelligent.
So many large Homeschooling families have little ones running around. Those precious little ones can (and will) derail your daily homeschool schedule and plans in an instant.
Implementing plans and backup plans will ensure all of your children continue to learn even on the worst days.
Schedule the bulk of your activities when your youngsters are at their happiest and most agreeable times. As well as during their nap times.
You can't rely on nap times all the time.
Many kids start to outgrow nap times before you're ready, or they won't go to sleep at the time you have planned, or at all.
For instance, my youngest little guy (1 years old) seems to be happiest early in the morning and then right after dinner. Between those times it's always a guess. Sometimes he's cranky (3 teeth are breaking through right now) and sometimes he's giggly. Sometimes he wants his nap at his regular time and sometimes he decides he needs his nap an hour ahead of his usual time.
[Tweet "Plan your #homeschool times around your baby's happiest times of the day"]
I plan our mom-is-needed school time around those happy times when he's happiest playing by himself with some toys, pulling out all the wipes, or exploring the kitchen drawers.
When he needs me to pay attention to him I have the kids doing the bulk of their independent work, or other items on their daily checklists. He gets lots of mommy playtime, cuddling, and food.
Use your checklists to have older kids rotate school time and sibling time. There are times when I need to help The Animal on his reading and he needs quiet. We go downstairs to the couch and the older kids are working. One is reading to Sweet Cheeks or coloring with her. The other older kid is playing with The Baby.
As I mentioned yesterday, each child has on their daily checklist to spend time with the younger two. It is a tremendous help to me.
Have activities, easy ones, ready for the youngsters. Set guidelines for the older little ones. My Sweet Cheeks is 3.5 and she can handle guidelines where my 1 year old will just drool on my face.
Make the activities simple, easy to put together, and in a location that is easy to access. I would suggest setting rules that these are for school time only in order to keep them from growing uninterested in that set as quick.
Fun activities for babies to preschoolers
- Basic Shapes For Beginners
- A-Z Toddler and Preschool Curriculum
- God's Little Explorers
- Encompass Preschool Curriculum
Homeschooling families can get overrun with their long lists of things to coordinate.
They don't implement them because they're too overwhelmed to think about it or where to start. Putting systems in place is a profitable strategy because it saves time, energy, and brain cells.
We can't start losing more than we already have! ;)
Set up a system for your chores. Have chore rotations, each child in charge of a chore appropriate for their age. They can do more than you realize.
Here are the chores we have our kids do:
- Dishes: hand washing, dishwasher, putting away (started at about age 6/7)
- Laundry: sorting, wash, dry, fold, and put away (starting at age 3)
- Trash: collecting, taking out, picking up trash in the house (age 3+)
- Sweep and mop (age 5+)
- Vacuum (age 5/6+)
- Counters, table (4+)
- Bathrooms (7+)
- Make beds (2+)
- Toys, books, clutter, rooms (2+)
Set up buckets or baskets for each chore containing the supplies they need for each chore (if anything is required) and put a checklist in each chore bucket. If the chore doesn't require a bucket, have a place for checklist for that chore.
This is what you'll use to say these things need to be done correctly for this chore to be checked off. You can inspect with that checklist in hand, or have them inspect themselves.
If you want chores done a specific time each day, set up a schedule. You can set up a time of day you'd like it done in (AM, after lunch, PM) otherwise just say it needs to be done today.
Set up systems for meals.
Organize your school area to provide a place for everything and systems for your school days. Prepare every needful thing. Set aside a weekend to do major prep work, a time slot for each week, and a few minutes each day to prep for the next day.
Have shelfs, baskets, areas, pouches, folders, and bulletin boards and more dedicated to specific school work, tools, resources, and activities. Set up areas for the kids to have access their work and supplies and any other learning activity you'd like them to do independently.
This doesn't mean spend your lifetime doing this or a lifetime worth of money to do it. Do what you can with what you have and do it in the time you have.
The more you can do ahead of time setting up the systems that work for your family the better prepared you'll be when life hits you or you're all just having one of those days.
This MP3 is great at helping you organize your home for some peace!
#6 Have definite plans and back up plans for your littles.
#5 Get organized with systems and prepare as much as you can.
Today's tips require a bit more work than the previous four. You didn't think you'd get out of working did you? Nah, I knew you were realistic.
Working today will save you tomorrow. So long as you don't overdo it and try to do it all in one day. Make sure you get help from your family.
Tomorrow's Homeschooling tips are some of my favorite! See you then.