In review of the past five years we have spent homeschooling... I have gathered up a few morsels of advice from many different sources. Probably half of these originated with someone other than me... but they are all true... and all of them need repeating (especially to those who might not have heard them before). Below is a great list you can keep on your fridge in case you need a little clarity or a kick in the bo-hunkus. I hope you all have a super year homeschooling (or whatever it is you are doing: being a mom, a wife, a grandma, a friend - or even a dad!).
Sprittibee's Favorite Homeschool Advice
40 tips that I would share with any homeschool friend (newbie or old-hat alike)
- If you are doing it on your own strength, you are going to fail (don’t forget to pray hard).
- Ignore what other people are doing. Do your own thing.
- SCHEDULE time off and me-time each day/week/semester.
- Really work at it (nothing comes without effort).
- Talent is overrated. There are very few prodigies. So what if your Johnny can’t make a stick figure. Not many people are just BORN knowing how to do things. You should still TEACH Johnny HOW to draw. If he hates it, at least he tried it. Same goes for you and homeschooling. Just because you didn't get a teaching degree doesn't mean you aren't capable of teaching.
- Maintain adult contact. Do not be a hermit. You MUST have support (from people older than your kids). Your kids need friends, too.
- Curriculum won’t ensure success. God + You + the Child = Success. Curriculum is just a tool. You can do just as good of a job with free stuff and the library as you can with the most expensive curriculums on the market.
- Everyone has one subject they hate. Get your husband or a tutor to help. Sign the kids up for classes. Don’t let “ALGEBRA” stop you from homeschooling.
- Creativity can not make up for DRIVE. A kid who WANTS to draw and puts out the effort will far SURPASS a child with “natural born talent” who is lazy. SKILLS are worked for. Talents that are not used DRY UP. Practice really does make perfect.
- It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Who cares if your grandmother’s sister hates that you homeschool. Are your kids happy? Are you happy? Then what’s your problem?
- Bake cookies for your librarian. Get to know her. When you get charged 40$ in late fees, you may be glad you did!
- You are the parent. What you say goes.
- Don’t compare your kids or their grades to anyone else’s kids or their grades. Don't compare them to their siblings, either.
- Passion is a God-given gift. Feed it. If your child is fascinated by volcanoes, buy them books on volcanoes. One day, they will be interested in something else. You never know just what you are helping God to shape in them.
- It doesn’t hurt to color in the lines, but it also doesn’t hurt to draw your own lines. Don’t look down on someone else because they like to school inside the box.
- Everyone needs to learn how to type and use a computer. No more living in the dark ages. Sorry, mom.
- You CAN do this.
- Advice is not a mandate. Read what you can and take it all with a grain of salt. See what works best for you and do THAT.
- Find your own groove.
- Homeschool from the heart.
- Hang up your children’s artwork.
- Really listen to your children and get to know them.
- Understand that there will be bad days. MANY OF THEM.
- Set your own schedule. Then STICK to it.
- You do NOT have to finish every worksheet in the book.
- Keep records. One day you’ll wish you had them.
- Make sure your kids know you are proud of them. Even if they are struggling.
- Try to include dad as much as possible.
- Have awards ceremonies. Show your kids off to the grandparents. Make them feel appreciated.
- Success breeds more success. Keep the challenges at a doable level and watch the kids blossom in confidence.
- Knowing what is expected of you helps you stay on track. Give the kids a set schedule and a list of assignments. Use a chore chart. Be consistent.
- Call your homeschool buddy who is having a hard year. You may be what keeps her from giving up.
- Rewards are what everyone is after. You don’t work for free, so why should your kids? Give them a reward for hard work: Time off, sleepovers, screen time, free time, visits with friends, money or their favorite dinner.
- Co-ops and field trips are great… but don’t over-schedule yourself. Have your goals in mind before you say yes to any activity outside of the home.
- Plan ahead. Nothing will get done if you don’t.
- It is OK to change course in the middle of the year.
- You have my permission to take off the month of December instead of the month of June. In fact, you can take off any time of year you want. It is YOUR homeschool. You set the calendar.
- READ. TO. YOUR. KIDS. Read in front of your kids. Read, read, read!
- If you go to the conventions, spend more time in the lectures than at the vendor tables. You need the pep talks. Even if you think you don’t. You also don’t need to buy a ton of THINGS that will collect dust once you get them home.
- Have fun. Take pictures and make memories. One day you’ll be able to look back at a job well done and a beautiful lifetime’s worth of wonder that you got to share with your babies.
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