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Now that you have your books and lesson plans ready, what next?
You’ve told your children that you will be homeschooling and they are excited. You picture your children working diligently on their lessons while you work with one child, the other is working independently making homeschooling sound like the perfect solution to your schooling needs. In reality, there’s no way the first grader will sit down for more than 10 minutes and your fourth grader cries each time you bring out the math book and refuses to do any of it. Not really the picture perfect homeschool you had in mind.
Like anything else, homeschooling is work and it will take some time for both you and your children to adjust.
Set a schedule
Most children will thrive when they know what is expected of them. You must begin a set routine. It is also a good idea to have some kind of schedule that children can follow. In the early years, you can create a picture schedule for chores and for school subjects.
Something like this would work great:
For older children, a chart or table can be created with boxes to be checked off would be sufficient. Once the child knows what needs to be completed it won’t look so daunting like a never ending list of subjects.
Begin with one or two subjects, then add another one each couple of days so that the child is not overwhelmed and also gets use to working with you as a teacher.
Take a lot of breaks
Once the child has finished a subject, let them go outside and run around. They will come back ready to do more seatwork. In the early years you will hear complaints about how their hands hurt while they write. If they need help, have them dictate their answers while you do the writing.
Who says you have to do your writing with a pencil and paper. Pull out the white board and do your math lesson with a dry erase marker. Let them do their copywork on there with different coloured markers. You could also use a small chalk board as well.
Motivate the student
I won’t say bribe them but find what interests them and reward them after they’ve completed their work for the day. There is no TV, computer, or video games here until all school work is completed. Perhaps it’s an m&m or stickers, find what works for your child.
Give yourself time
You are transition to a new role as their teacher, they may fight it, and you need to give family time to adjust to this new role and family dynamic. Things won’t always be perfect, there will be resistance but your job is to push through it and find new ways and methods of teaching and curriculum that will work for your family. The first year is always the trial and error time period where you just have to test what will work with your family.
Stay tuned as I add more posts to my Ultimate List of Homeschooling Questions.