Thursday, December 3, 2015

5 Steps to Win at Homeschool

  1. Start with a kiss and end with a hug. And there's a bunch of stuff in the middle too. Setting up a routine will absolutely help your kids adjust to a homeschool environment, but the first step to a routine is setting up just a few basic guidelines and sticking to them for several days. Add more as you get good at the first few. See more on how and why I set up my homeschool routine here. 
  2. Learn to love your Sneaky Snackers. I'm all about independent kids and for me that begins with feeding themselves. I have two drawers filled with individually wrapped snacks and the disposable napkins, bowls, plates and utensils are all on the bottom shelves so the kids help themselves. Yes, they sometimes make a mess, but it's easier to clean up all at one time than to prepare every individual a snack and then clean up after them! Let them snack at will.
  3. Let it go, let it go. Yes, every homeschooling tip site will tell you the same thing on this one, that you shouldn't stress about the mess! But that's easier said than done. If you're a homeschooling parent, chances are you're doing more than one full-time job. (More on that here.)  Make a list of all of the jobs you usually take care of in your home and prioritize them in the order of which are the most important for YOU to do. In other words, if you love vacuuming. If that is totally your thing. Don't give it up. But if you loathe your laundry - outsource it. If your first reaction is that you can't afford to outsource, than seriously reconsider that thought. What are those last-on-your-list chores costing you in stress, inconvenience and time with your most important job - educating your children? 
  4. Let your children in on your plans. In my experience, children are more more willing to work with you if they know EXACTLY how the day will play out and what their expectations from you will be. Laying it out will help you both stay focused.
  5. Don't get distracted. YOU! Yes, you! Okay, I mean me.  If your 6 year old is busy with a project, your 4 year old is building, your 2 year old is coloring and your 6 month old is sleeping this is NOT the time to begin a new load of laundry. Stay focused on the kids. Remember how we're not doing every single job in your home? If you get distracted the moment your child hits a bump or completes their task and you're not here, they'll be off getting distracted themselves. Show them you care and stay tuned in. If you're doing this right, your homeschool is only going to last a couple more hours anyway and you'll have all afternoon or evening to do chores. 

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