Tuesday, 4 June 2013

End of the Year Thoughts About Home Schooling

We have just finished our school year. This was my first year to completely home school both boys from the beginning to the end of the school year. We had a wonderful year and I LOVED that I did not have to plan lessons around meetings and travel days. This year also had some new challenges. I had a 3/4 year old who felt that she had to be part of school too. I also had a baby who needed my attention. I love schedules, and this year I felt that I would find one that would work and then the baby's schedule would change. I felt like I was the queen of juggling schedules.
Home schooling is definitely a challenge, and I like to remind people that I do not home school because it is easy. Here is some lessons that I have learned this year.

1. God gave my kids to me and He gives me the wisdom of what is best for my little people!
I love to read and get new ideas. However, half way through the school year I started feeling very discouraged because I was not "super mom!" I did not home school for free, I did not have a ton of home made activities for the kids to do, and I did not have time to blog everyday about how great our home life was. Through prayer and Bible reading the Lord reminded me that all I had to do was seek and follow Him. I may not do our school the way some one else does, but I do my best for my little ones and that is the best thing I can do for all of us.
2. A schedule is a good thing, but flexibility is a great thing!
I love a schedule, I love keeping a schedule, and I DO NOT like being off schedule. However, I did learn that with 4 kids and all of them needing different things at different times it is okay to bend the schedule. Our schedule was our guideline for our day, but it was okay if grandparents wanted to SKYPE in the middle of our reading time. (with a 16 hour time difference you can not be too picky about when you talk to family!)
3. Never try to do house work while trying to teach.
According to Mythbusters, moms are very successful at multitasking, and they are right. But, I also felt like I was not being the best teacher when I would try to fold laundry while listening to someone read! If you are a mom and can clean the toilet and teach academics at the same time you are my hero!
4. I had to be organized.
I love order, bet you could not tell!! I plan 6 weeks ahead and 1 week ahead. Our days flowed a lot better when I knew and understood what I was teaching and what they were going to learn. It helped to know what I would need for projects a few weeks ahead so I could plan it with shopping trips and our budget. The kids and I function a whole lot better with order in our lives. You can ask my kids "What is your mom's favorite verse?" and they will tell you "1Co 14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order." We keep our books, art supplies, pencils, papers, and homework in order and that makes me very happy!
5. Have fun!
For me, home schooling is the only option right now so I decided that we are going to have fun. If I do not have fun, the kids are not going to have fun. That is not to say we do not have bad days, but on the whole we make school fun.

I am not an authority on home schooling. I just wanted to share what I have learned this year. You may or may not agree with me, and that is fine. This is just to encourage any one who is on the same home schooling journey with me.
If you home school, what is the best advice you have or have received?
I thought this was fun!!

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