Heart of the Matter is hosting a meme every Friday, and this week’s is all about "Homeschool Tips and Tricks". Here are the things I try and remember for myself:
- Schedule your day in blocks of time rather than in ½ hour lesson slots. We use the following blocks: Relationship time (family/God), Responsibilities, Academics, Talents.
Within each block I have lightly held expectations of what we cover (like a to-do list) In our Relationship time covers things like personal devotions, Family Bible study, Family Time. Responsibilities covers household chores and life skills training. Academics covers both the study skills of Reading, Writing and Math but also the pursuit of General Knowledge. Talents Time encouraged personal creativity which is as unique as each individual child.
I face my day knowing that learning happens regardless of what happens, and often my planned lessons don’t happen. Read more with, Life Messes with my Routine
- Let your children be children – let them have plenty of play time, down time, doing nothing time, yet be assured a lot is going on in their brains and development at these times. Maybe this is the hardest for us to do ‘cause we are not in control but when children have free time they learn how to apply all that we have been teaching them from character issues, leadership skills, thinking skills, people skills and understanding themselves. Their brains also take this time to chew over the facts and figures that it has been absorbing, it finds links and connections which in the long run helps memory and application. Read more about the Benefits of Play
- Keep lesson prep to a minimum. Tips to make this work
- Find curriculum written by homeschoolers, for homeschoolers with minimum prep required
- Encourage independent learning so as your children get older they need less of your input and your prep time is spent on your younger more dependent learners. Read more about the Development of an Independent Learner
- Use Reading, Researching, Recording and Responding as a method of learning. Using Books as the main source of learning puts the learning process into the children’s hands. Read more on Basic Skills and Thinking Skills.
- Spend time preparing lessons that are priority for your family – for us this is Bible Study and Character education
- Identify weaknesses in your family and spend time in preparation to help that particular student
- Talk to your kids – you will be surprised at how much you will learn about your children and how much they will learn from you if you sit down and have a chat! Homeschooling is all about Discipling our children, passing on the things that are important in our heart to the hearts of our children. This doesn’t come from teaching a lesson, this comes from spending time, being honest and talking. Don’t let any of the “homeschool stuff” in your life take over the most important thing – to build a relationship with each of your children.
It has been great reading from fellow homechoolers who have participated in this meme, gleaning from their years of experience. So far I have been encouraged to:
* Use my crockpot
* A tip to make maps more user friendly – I’m especially thinking about read aloud time
* I enjoyed seeing Grandparentsinvolved in the kids education
* To start the day with Praise music – We often do this, play worship music while we start our day.
To read many more go visit The Heart of the Matter Friday Meme.