Sunday, April 29, 2012

10 practical things every homeschooling mom should know!

Picture from web

This past weekend I attended the National Christian Home Educators Conference.    I look forward to the conference every year because I can hear speakers from around the country present some awesome workshops about a variety of different topics related homeschooling.  

I always keep an open mind when listening to a speaker…knowing that every family is different…every child learns differently…what works for one family, might be a total disaster for another.  There is NO right or wrong answer.   

So as you read my blog over the next week or two (not sure how many posts I will have), please keep in mind that these are just my notes for the workshops I attended…with a few of my own random thoughts thrown in.  

I am chewing on A LOT of new ideas.  Will I accept ALL of these ideas into our family, probably not, but I got to tell you, if you home school, or are planning on homeschooling…this is a must go to conference.  Such encouragement.  I can’t wait to start the new school year with some fresh ideas…oh wait…we are still in session…can’t wait to start this week with a whole new set of ideas!! 

Oh and the 4 different rooms and various hallways jammed packed with homeschooling vendors is also a plus!!  I love seeing what is out there as far as curriculum and fun home educating ideas!

Oh and another Oh…spending time with fellow homeschooling mama’s and bouncing off ideas with each other…priceless!

The first workshop I will be telling you about was presented by Dawn Hudson.  She was home schooled during her sophomore-senior year in high school and has homeschooled her kiddos who are know in middle school and high school.  It was titled:

10 Practical Things Every Homeschooler Should Know!

1.Train your children in helpful training patterns before you start school. 

 She recommends starting at least a few weeks to a month prior to starting school to focus in on a few behavioral issues….when they are young.  There is nothing like having 4 different kids, who don’t obey.  She recommends tying your obedience training to a few different Bible verses and reminding your children why they are to obey you.

The first thing she suggest that you work on is “first time obedience”.  Doing something the first time that mom/dad tell you to.  Not the 2nd or 3rd

A verse to go along with this training pattern is:

Ephesians  6:1  Children obey your parents for in the Lord this is right!

The second thing she suggests that you work on is no whining or complaining…from the kids…or mom!

The Bible verse that goes along with this is:

Philippians 2:14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing.….so you may shine like a star in the heavens.

The third thing she suggested that you work on with your kids is the “interrupt rule”.  When a child needs you, but you are working with another child or busy, she suggested having the child put their hand on your shoulder, and you put your hand on their hand to acknowledge that you realize they need something.

The Bible verse that goes along with this is:

 1 Corinthians  13:4-5:  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

She gave several ideas of using charts, marble jars, and different activities rewarding the kids for good behavior and taking away marbles/tickets whatever you choose to use, when you have to repeat something.

2.  Make a schedule listing all of your responsibilities and chores

Responsibilities include all of our your outside activities as well as in the home activities.

3.  Plan a 4 day school week with a fun and chore day on Friday.

Fun days could include belonging to a co-op, doing a field trip, or simply making up school work if someone is sick or behind. 

4. Start school slowly, gradually adding in subjects.

    Make the first day fun.  Don’t do every single subject on the first day or even the first week. 

5.  Set a beginning and ending time for school.

   This helps when scheduling outside appointments and to help keep yourself focused. 

6.  School time is sacred.

She recommends turning off your e-mail, phones, and not scheduling anything that would distract from school during your school hours.  I have a problem with reading e-mails during school time…and when people call during school it drives me crazy.  I am doing better with not answering the phone and sending it to voicemail, but I need to better. 

7.  Have realistic expectations.

 Know their strengths and weaknesses and work with them.  She gave an example of her daughter who can’t sit still.  She has to be moving at all times…so she has her daughter hold something to fidget with…rock in a rocking chair…sit on a bouncy ball…and she learns just fine these ways.  She did note, that there are times when she has to sit still like at church…and they have practiced this at home as well.

8.  Don't compare your homeschool to others.

This is dangerous.  As I said in my intro all homeschools are different.  Don’t overwhelm yourself by what others do.  It is ok, to take bits and pieces of what you like about others’ homeschools, but she cautions about trying to keep up the Jones’ homeschool family.

9.  Plan positive reinforcements and consequences ahead of time.
Post your expectations....if you do this..this is what happens

10.  Schedule time for mom and dad.
She suggested having a daily quiet time.  Even if you don’t have nappers, require that all of the kids have an hour of two of quiet alone work/play time.

Have bi- monthly dates.  This one is tough for us.  I realized today, after a failed attempt at a lunch date, that my husband and I haven’t been out anywhere together without the kids in at least 7 months.  Kind of sad.  I guess we went to a Christmas party…but we were with his employees…so not sure that counts.  Just hard when you add up a sitter, the cost of dinner, and then if you we do something else like go to a movie it could easily be around $100 for one night out.  Just easier  (and cheaper) to take the whole family out.  One of these days we will get a date or be alone with each other out in public…it might just be a while.

So…that is my summary of one of the workshops that I attended.  Stay tuned for others sometime this week!

You can view my review of last years conference:  HERE!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting! I was sad to miss the conference, but it's nice to hear some info from it! Looking forward to more posts! This list was very helpful. Especially since this is my first year homeschooling, I've really struggled with number 8. This is a great reminder.