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Monday, August 5, 2013

Homeschool Questions Answered

We are gearing up for a new school year. It can be overwhelming, but the excitement that comes along with it is energizing. After a long summer break I am ready to get back into a routine. The unplanned days of summer are nice, but they can become boring. Everyone is ready to get back on a routine. To jump back into activities. Boy Scouts, Football, Cheerleading, Gymnastics, American Heritage Girls... We will start back August 19th.

As the boxes of new curriculum start arriving, it's hard to stop the kids from wanting to do work. They are so ready to jump in and use their new supplies. It happens every year. I won't lie. I'm excited too. I love all the shiny new supplies. Especially when those supplies happen to come from the Target $1 section. They make the cutest stuff! 

I am always asked questions about homeschooling. So I figured I'd answer a few of them right here in this post! This will be our 3rd year homeschooling. While I'm not expert, I feel like we have learned a few things along our journey that are worthy enough to share. 

Q: How do you keep your home chores done, errands run, etc.?

A: This is probably the hardest thing about homeschooling to me. Juggling everything. What works best for me is a schedule. This year I plan to wake up an hour before the kids. That way I can have some me time, coffee, and get a start on some chores. Like laundry. Yay! What could be more fun then waking up early to do laundry? Once the kids wake up at 8am, and have breakfast they must complete their morning chores before we start school at 9 o'clock.They are 7, 5, and 4 yeas old and all help with chores. They must make sure their rooms are clean, beds made, teeth brushed, and they are dressed. In the afternoon while I'm making lunch, I'll move the laundry from the washer to dryer and do a quick tidy. After school I'll finish the laundry and anything else that needs to be done. Also my husband is a HUGE help. We divide up certain chores. He usually completes his chores after the kids go to bed. Now errands I try to schedule in the afternoon. We are usually done with school around 2pm. If it has to be done during the day, then I just do it. We can make up whatever school we missed on another day. This year we plan on doing our main subjects Monday-Thursday. Fridays will be an easy day with just extra curricular activities like music and art. If we need to make up missed work we can always do it on Fridays. But just because I have a schedule and a plan don't think that I don't fall behind. There has been plenty of weekends where we have stayed home and have had an extreme home make over. Which means I told everyone we weren't doing anything until this house got straightened back up! :) This usually happens after parties, or during the holidays. Consistency is the biggest key to keeping up with everything. If I miss one day I can tell the difference. Also as the kids are getting older I can see how much easier it is going to be. Every little bit they can do for themselves makes it easier on me. Soon they will be able to do a lot more of the chores. Like dishes and laundry. I cannot wait for that day! 

Oh and one more thing. I stay on them like a hawk about putting things away. If I do not say anything in an hour it can look like a tornado hit our house. Their rule is they have to put away whatever they take out and we try to stick to only one toy at a time rule. Now sometimes we break that, b/c they need multiple toys to play with something. But if the toy is not being used and is left on the floor I confiscate it. Really makes them think twice about leaving stuff out. 

They love to work in the kitchen and are even learning to make breakfast and lunch on their own. 
Which is a huge help! 

Q: How do you handle teaching the older ones with the lil one around?

A: Again this goes back to a schedule. I schedule everyone's subjects in order so that normally only one child at a time will need my help. I am on hand at all times to answer questions though, if any of the children need me. The only way I could get anything done with the older school kids is to make sure the little ones are occupied. We start the morning out with group activities. Bible, Calendar, and Memory. Then they split up into individual activities. I make sure that 2 of the children are working on subjects they can do alone, while I work one on one with the 3rd child. When they change subjects, I work with the next child that needs me. I'm either holding the baby Micah, or he is playing by himself. In his playpen, entertainer, snacking in his highchair, or crawling around. Really whatever keeps him occupied. He is on a 2 nap a day schedule too which helps. When Micah and Callie go down for their nap in the afternoon is when I will work one on one with the older 2 on the harder subjects that require more attention. Right now because of his nap schedule Micah will only be awake for 1-2 hours of school. So it's pretty easy to keep him occupied. It helps that he is the most laid back calm baby ever too.  

Q: Are you worried your children won't be socialized?

A: This is probably the most asked question. And no, I'm not worried. My kids are very outgoing just like me. They talk to anyone, and make friends where ever they go. Between Boy Scouts, Soccer, Basketball, Gymnastics, American Heritage Girls, Church, Moms Group, 2 Homeschool Co-ops, and more, we spend more time then I'd like socializing. There are outgoing kids and shy kids that homeschool. Just like they are outgoing kids and shy kids who go to public school. I think it has to do a lot with what you expose your children too. The reason we homeschool is so we can make sure they are exposed to as many positive influences as we can. I do not want them to feel the peer pressures of regular school. I want them to be confident in themselves and their choices and not depend on other people's feelings to know their self worth.

 A brave mom at our homeschool co-op proving to the kids that you can flip a cup of water over and it won't spill out. 

Q: How long do you plan on homeschooling?

A: I hope to homeschool them through high school. We take it one year at a time though. So if homeschooling wasn't the best option for our family then we wouldn't continue it. Currently, it is the best decision we ever made for our family.

I'll be back soon to show how we organize all our homeschooling supplies. And to everyone who has been waiting for another bow tutorial video your in luck! I haven't made bows in a while. My girls are not really into wearing them anymore. But my cousin is having a baby girl, so guess who is going to make her some pretty little bows?!?! I'll post on the blog once the video is up. 

Good luck to everyone starting back at school soon! Homeschool, public, or private. Are you all ready?? 

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