This is a post from Nicole Crone of Children are a Blessing
Since we are a large homeschooling family, we currently have students ranging from Pre-K to High School. For a mom, this can seem overwhelming at times! When we had only one student, I sometimes found it difficult to accomplish everything that I had set out to do. After ten years of experience, I’ve discovered a few time savers that have helped our family immensely while schooling. I would love to share a few of our strategies today with the understanding that no two homeschools look alike, and that is okay! If we choose to homeschool, let’s encourage each other to teach our children to the glory of God, no matter what our methods may look like.
These are some things that my family does which I find to be helpful!
- Combine when you can. Two of my daughters are only one year apart, and I find it helpful to combine their work whenever possible. I’ve combined these two for spelling, science, and history in the past. This year they are both completing Algebra I simultaneously. I also combine three of my children for Bible, history, literature, and science using a My Father’s World core and Apologia science.
- Change curriculum when something isn’t working for you. Financially, sometimes this is easier said than done! Usually we try to stick it out for an entire year, but sometimes, curriculum doesn’t work well with my kiddos no matter how hard I try. I’ve had to give up several Language Arts over the years after only a few months of use because the material just didn’t click. Buying new material was worth the heartache and tears that some of my children experienced daily.
- Don’t sweat the preschool years. We normally do not formally school during the preschool years since children learn so much through play! However, this year we are using Heart of Dakota with our four-year-old. That was going wonderfully until my older kids began their My Father’s World cores. My four-year-old loves to sit in with the bigger kids, and complains about doing “baby” school now! We are taking a break from Heart of Dakota, and I plan on picking it up when the bigger kids are on breaks since I love it’s gentle format.
- Don’t be afraid to allow your children to work independently at times. There have been seasons of life where we utilized computer-based programs for essentially our entire homeschool. If that is what works for your children, then go with it! Personally for us, I found that my kiddos would get off task rather easily using this method. My older girls do still complete math on the computer, and during our school day I have one long session of reading/explaining, and then I assign work to my children to complete on their own. The younger ones must stay close by so I know that they are staying on task.
- Homeschool year round. This can be very freeing for the homeschooling family! It is much easier to take breaks using this method, and I’m not as stressed that each child must learn new concepts at a quick pace. I’m also a contributor at www.yearroundhomeschooling.com, and you can read my Year Round Homeschooling Story here.
Do you have any tips that would be encouraging to those who are beginning to homeschool? Please share!