Home Schooling Starting The Year Right
May 22, 2012 Home Schooling
With books in hand, it is time to begin home schooling. Some families like to follow the same structure of a traditional school system and start education their children in the fall as the start of the new education year. Other families like to start in January and work through until December, with breaks off here and there as they need them.
No matter what you decide to do, choose one option and then stick with it. One of the perks of home schooling may be that you can take a week off here and there, but you really should focus on your child's education most of the time. Plan to take the same time off each year. This structure is important.
It is just as important to give yourself, and your child, a break from school at least one day a week. Some families practice home schooling six days per week, others do so only five. Again, select the type of education model that is right for your child and your lifestyle, keeping consistency the most important term.
Now that you are getting back to schooling, it is time to get organized and get the education going. Some parents begin to be a bit overwhelmed and even apprehensive during the first few weeks of school because there is so much to do and there is little comfortable schedule to fall back on. Nevertheless, there are several things you can do to set the tone for the year and to start the year off on the right foot.
In this article, we give you several ways that you can start the year off right, and make it easier for all that are involved.
Perhaps the biggest aspect to tackle is organization. Your entire home should be organized, which means that you will have a place designed specifically for home schooling. This will help you to stay focused. Remember, with everyone home more often, and everyone so active with schooling, things can get messy quickly.
Here are some tips to help you to get organized so that home schooling can be the focus.
- Get rid of any junk in the home, especially in the areas where you will home school. If you do not need it, it is just cluttering up your home. Get rid of it so that you have plenty of room for all of the curriculum and school supplies you will need room for.
- Laundry and household chores often get left to the side since home schooling is the focus of most at home parents. It can be helpful to get a schedule going that allows you to tackle all of your at home jobs successful but also allows you to keep your days focused on home schooling. You can set up a laundry area that allows you to keep clothing organized. Try to give everyone in the family assigned chores so that not everything is falling on your shoulders.
- Be sure that everything in your home as its own home. Where does mail go? Where do plates go compared with dishes? Where are toys stored? Where will home schooling supplies be located? Anything that is just laying around is going to get lost or it is going to get in the way, which may be just as bad!
- Incorporate a cleaning chart and assign tasks to each person in the family. You will want to find out what things people are good at so that they can focus on those aspects. The most successful home schooling families are those that have an organized and clean home. Why is this connection there? Simply, it is because an organized home is an organized mind.
- Keep big jobs for those days when you have extra time, or a spouse has a day off. This way, you are not worried about scrubbing windows and handling math work.
It is also important to realize that if you home school, it will be hard to keep up with everything always. In other words, be a bit more forgiving of the mess. What you may find is that it is a lot easier to focus on a quality education if your home is in good condition but it does not have to be perfect.
Home Schooling Area
Now that your home is organized, it is next important to focus on your home schooling area. This should be done as part of the startup process and then maintained! Do not let this area be good for anything other than home schooling, if that is possible to do. That way, everything is right where it needs to be.
If you do not have enough space to have an office or a desk specifically for your home schooling child, be sure to have at least one location where everything can be stored. Try to have the same spot be the location where all books and materials are kept so that it is very easy to find as you need to.
Here are some more tips for organizing this area.
- Have a box that has a lid on it that is used to store items like pens and crayons. In a separate box have craft supplies. This keeps them at arm’s reach but all organized and put away so that you do not have to worry about them.
- If your child has a lot of papers, use binders to organize them. Be sure to keep subjects as separate as possible to keep the focus on a single area. Also, be sure that if there are a lot of separate items, each one should be stored in a specific location.
- There should be an area for you to store your lesson plans, the curriculum guides and your grading records. This way, you can easily keep things organized but also it allows you to have your own items separate from those of your Childs.
- Keep all books, reference material and even a computer (if you will be allowing them) in this area.
- Keep up after it all! Be sure that after every lesson, things get put away. Again, establishing a plan here is incredibly important.
These steps can help you to set up an area within your home that is easily organized and well outfitted for education. Usually you can find decent sales during the early fall or late summer months. Buy extra if you have space for them and store them for when you will need them at other times of the year.
Setting UP A Schedule
The location is set up and your home is organized, now, focus a bit on the schedule. While you may think that the schedule is all about home schooling, it should be all about home management. The best way to stay organized is to make home schooling part of your overall schedule. Day in and day out, you will know what to do, as will your child, and when to do it. This will help to strengthen your home schooling success in both the short and the long term.
A plan for the school year is important. Take some time now if you have not done so to write down your goals for the year. What do you hope to accomplish with your child? Next, break up the school year into quarters, so that you can track their progress towards their goals every few weeks. Quarters should have goals too, which can help you to stay on track throughout the year.
Now that you have an ideal of what your schedule is like, do incorporate your curriculum into that. In other words, focus on how your curriculum will work within the schedule you have set. Most curriculums that you will purchase will help you to cover this, in a step by step fashion.
If you have questions, get answers at this point. Get an overall idea of what how you should be using your curriculum