Homeschooling? I Got This.
I’ll never forget how my Facebook feed lit up with moms proudly displaying their home-school setups. Thrown into the role of teacher, we eagerly dove in. If you find yourself going into week four with that fresh enthusiasm smelling a bit stale, you’re not alone. In this post, I’ll share quick unconventional homeschooling tips that are saving our sanity and keeping everyone productive.
Unconventional Homeschooling Tip #1
When this all started, I had past and present teachers that worked with my 6-year old stress the importance of sticking to a schedule. It makes perfect sense, but the reality is that by the middle of week two, that sound advice became stressful for us.
What I do instead is break the day into three parts; morning, mid-day, and late-day. I don’t block off specific times for specific tasks or subjects. I set a general idea of what I want to accomplish in each chunk of the day. Perhaps I aim for 30% or 50% of their work done in the morning.
I can then tackle my business in the middle of the day while they’re playing outside. When they come inside and complete their work in that mid to late-day time slot (similar to when we’d typically do homework), I can help them and get dinner started.
Factors Determining How I Structure the Homeschooling Day
Much of how I decide this has to do with three factors. The first is the weather. I make sure that if the weather is a mixed bag, they catch it when it’s nice enough to get out. They need that release, fresh air, and sun more than anything.
The second factor in how I structure the day is the kid’s attitudes. When we begin doing some work in the morning, I can tell how I’ll need to distribute the work. If their enthusiasm is high in the morning, I push a bit further (never letting it get to the point that they’re whining or stressed out).
If 75% of the work our school sends via packets gets done in the morning, that’s a sweet deal. When there’s a lot of resistance, I may send them outside or encourage them to play upstairs for the morning. In that situation, I break the work down into smaller bits throughout the day, do half, or skip the day entirely.
Yes, if this happens, we take Saturday or Sunday to catch up casually. No stress. With such a dramatic change, I’m less worried about instilling discipline, and more concerned about preserving their emotional health and love of learning.
The third factor in how I structure the day is my work. As a writer, personal coach, and content creator, my days are relatively flexible. However, as a solopreneur, it’s all on me. If I don’t handle an email, writing a post, working on my next book, managing students enrolled in my courses; it won’t get done.
I do things like batch-record videos (I just change my shirt lol), batch- write, and have days dedicated to a specific action (such as creating Pinterest pins as it’s a huge source of blog traffic).
Unconventional Homeschooling Tip #2
I understand that in school they don’t have a say in what subjects they do first, second, and so on. However, at home, I let them decide what topic we’ll do first. Not being in school with friends and teachers, not seeing our family is stressful.
If you read my post Helping Children Through Crisis one of the most critical factors in times of uncertainty is giving children a sense of control. As small as it seems, choosing which subject to begin with, which books they can read, offering a choice between reading with headphones online, or reading a book to you, is significant. Whenever you can provide your children with a choice, do so.
Unconventional Homeschooling Tip #3
In the wise words of the Joker, “Why so serious”? Consider why you may be feeling so tense about how homeschooling is going. Do you hold a false truth that learning can’t be fun? Perhaps you’re frustrated with trying to explain something to your kids that you need clarification on? You’re not alone!
What we’re all seeing is how much teachers miss our children. Our teachers have offered to work with our kids on the laptop if I have a particularly busy workday. They also encourage s to have them go over anything the kids or parents don’t understand. Take advantage! If there’s anything that makes you feel tense, reach out to the teacher and ask for help. They want to do it. They love our children and don’t want them or you to suffer.
Remember, our children respond to our emotions and vibes. Mindset is the name of this game. Leading the homeschooling challenge is easier when you lead with self-awareness. Much of what I recommend in this post boils down to self-awareness and intuition. What works for one family may backfire for another. You know your family best.
Do you plan on implementing any of these unconventional homeschooling tips? Are you already using any of these tips? Do you have other unconventional homeschooling tips to help us out? Let me know how your adventures in homeschooling are going!