The Homeschool Day

With lots of patience.  I use an acronym that I read on a blog post once (I can’t find the author now) called A.R.T.

A.R.T.

A=Attitude, R=Relationship, T=Teaching

I always refer to this at the beginning of each day.  A good attitude will carry us through many a trials in our life and I REALLY want to instill in my children that anything in life can be handled if we have a good attitude.

Thus, if we have a good attitude we can have good relationships with other people.  In turn, we can learn from one another.  I not only teach my children but I learn from them as well.  We both need to come to the “table” with a good attitude so our relationship can flourish while teaching and learning can be accomplished.

Ok, you say…but I need help in the teaching part.  How do I teach?

My answer is Workboxes.  workbox2You can Youtube the term and many videos will pop up of how different people have incorporated them into their homeschool routine.  Here’s how I did it for my children in elementary school.

I purchased a plastic half file box from Staples with a lid that holds pencils, erasers, etc. and has a handle.  I put file folders of paperwork along with books for the children to complete their assignments for the week.  That’s it.  About half of the work the children complete on their own and the other half they need my assistance.

When they moved into middle school their workboxes became roller backpacks.

Media

There are good reasons to use media sources in the course of your child’s education.  One is that children today respond well to media of all types.  In presenting a lesson you may see the glaze come over your student’s eyes, but as soon as you pop in a video he seems to perk up.  Here are a few media choices that we like in our homeschool.

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As you can see.  We have a mix of things.  Usually media is good for videos, and videos lend themselves wonderfully towards science and history.

If your student is a gamer, I lean towards allowing my children to play games for reinforcement in math.hoodamath

 

YouTube

Here are a few videos to get you started in YouTube.  We LOVE YouTube.  So many times I have turned to it for a quick lesson on ANYTHING!  History, Science, Math, Geography…you name it.  Just make sure you watch along with your child.  You never know what they will click on after the video is done.

Good Books for You

The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had by Susan Wise Bauer

Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson

 

Record Keeping

Homeschool Tracker is a computer database that I use to plan, assign and grade my students’ school work.  This computer program helps me keep on track with assignments and plan upcoming lessons.  Each week I give my children their Assignment List, which shows what assignments they need to complete on a daily basis.  All assignments are included on the list.  They know up-front what is expected of them each day.

We all know life happens, and it can happen more often in homeschooling.  This computer program has really helped me keep a focus for my children on what their “job” is each day.

Excel Spreadsheet:  Homeschool Excel Records

Paper:  Write down each subject/assignment/concept taught/grade or time spent.  You can write down anything from reading and writing to movies or activities your child participates in.

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education,” Mark Twain.

 

Working Parents

Working parents can homeschool their children too.  The reason that it is feasible is because homeschool takes less time.  The days where you attend school six hours and then come home to do three more hours of homework are gone.  When your child completes his homeschool work…he/she is done!  No homework.  Also, you don’t have to “educate” your child between the hours of 8-3 Monday thru Friday.  Homeschooling can be done at night and on weekends.

Difficult Child

I have one of those!  As parents, we never really know why the child thinks the way they do.  We can get close, but we can’t be 100% sure.  When you homeschool you have a much better chance to really get to know your child.  You see how they interact with others, how they approach problems, their solutions to those problems and hear their myriad of questions throughout the day.  The trick is to figure out how you two can work together to achieve the same goal…home education.  I will never say it’s an easy task, but it is a simple one.

I told my challenging child the other day when we were reviewing his workbox at the end of the day.  “If you can get along with me, who you love to argue with, you can get along with anyone.”  We had a bit of a chuckle and moved on to finish the box.

Tests

I don’t need any standardized tests.  I interact with my child each day.  I know my children are progressing when they can read books, do math equations and understand concepts they couldn’t before.

Socializing

What is school for…to socialize or to learn? Homeschool children socialize with a variety of people ranging from babies to adults.  They live in society, not locked up at home or at school.  Socialization is really a non-issue.

Multiple Children

No worries! Reading and math are usually tailored to the individual child but science and history can be taught as a family. Just give the older student more challenging work like an extra book to read or a paper to write. The middle age children can narrate the lesson back to you and do some writing while the younger children can listen and draw a picture of the lesson. Remember, observing is a great teacher just by itself too.

Anyone can homeschool.  The most important thing you really need is PATIENCE.  And lots of it.

Life As School

There are many opportunities to teach your children just by living life.  Here are some examples of how I have used life as “school.”

Vocabulary: On our way to a snow ski resort and we start talking about ascending and descending because of our drive into the mountains.

Science:  While we are snow skiing it is fresh snow so our skis keep sticking and we slow down.  (more friction)  On a subsequent visit, the snow is icy and our skis slip quite a bit. (less friction)

Geography:  At the dinner table we are talking about a trip our cousins are taking.  We look on the world map that I have glued to our table top to find where they are going.

History:  We watch a video talking about WWI and WWII.  My child wants to know when the wars begin and end so he looks at the timeline we have on the wall for his answer.

Math:  We need to purchase bulk pasta but only have a certain amount of money.  We weigh the food and figure out if we can pay for it with the money we have.

Math:  We have a disagreement which cereal is cheaper, the one in the box on sale or the one in the bag for regular price.

So you see, life can include many “school” lessons that don’t feel like school.

Tips & Tricks

Living Math

I love living math.  Learning math concepts through a story is just wonderful.  And you tend to remember it!  Visit LivingMath.net you get more ideas on how to implement this in your homeschool.

Horrible Histories

Available on YouTube, these short and funny videos are chalk full of history.  Our favorites are the reports by Bob Hale.  He seems to be able to fit 100 years of history into 3 minutes and you laugh all the way through.  Just search Horrible Histories Bob Hale and you should find it.

Greathall Productions

Jim Weiss records some of the best audio stories ever. My kids are always captivated by his voice. Even on the road to the grocery store we can learn history through listening to his stories.

Practical Homeschooling Magazine

This magazine always has some interesting articles and helpful hints.

Legal Issues

LEGAL HELP?? – HSLDA.org

 

Treasury of Illustrated Classics

Here are a few question/answer sheets that I created for my homeschool.  There may be a few misspellings along the way, but keep in mind this is the work of a busy homeschooling mom, and I did what I could with limited time.  At least it will get you started with your children reading the classics.

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