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It’s the little things…

Top Ten Ideas for Keeping your Homeschool Simple…

  1. Grab a notebook and pencil… instead of running around the school room in pursuit of the “perfect” supplies… There are days when we school out of the house and I struggle to pack all the necessary books… but wouldn’t it just be easier to grab paper and pencils once in a while? I’m not saying forgo curriculum, but in order to decrease some unnecessary stress, we all have days when simplicity of materials would be a complete blessing!
  2. Don’t create “school at home”… If we wanted to send our kids to school, we would have. Homeschooling is a lifestyle if done properly. Time spent on creating rows of desks in front of a chalk board is wasted time. There are days when we educate in our pajamas on the sofa and the quality of learning is never jeopardized by doing so. When kids are comfortable and happy they are poised to soak up even more!
  3. Have a place for everything… When everything has a home it’s easy to call out clean up requests while cooking dinner. If the kids don’t know where the pencils live and I ask them to put them away there is usually a melt down, but if they have a special box all their own, generally the kids love to help out with clean up.
  4. Technology used smartly is a life saver… While it shouldn’t be the main event, tech devices can be wonderful learning tools. I keep a set of learning DVD’s on hand for days when I get busy. I like to do science and history this way. There are even days when I ask the 1st grader to go sit and try to read a Minecraft chapter book. He can’t read it word for word, but doesn’t mind doing a treasure hunt for words he does know.
  5. QUIZLET.com… This one website is probably the most useful learning tool from grades 3 through college! The best thing about it is that if you’re using popular curriculum it’s very likely that the set of information you’re looking for has already been entered many times by other homeschool moms! Work done for you! Basically, this is a study tool for vocabulary or any set of information you’re trying to memorize. It also works on most mobile phones so it’s portable!
  6. READ together… Books cover so many subjects if read aloud. I remember certain moments from my childhood simply because a book was read aloud to me. This one event can cover history, science, math, reading, writing, spelling, and more! Plus, there is no better quality time spent between parent and child!
  7. Library Card… Reading together leads me to this next one… I can get wrapped around the axle with all those alluring homeschool curriculum catalogs! But what we all really need to do is spend time browsing the brightly colored children’s picture books once a week. This can be for any age too! You could even have a high school aged child choose science themed picture books for the elementary siblings with the intent to read them aloud together! Sibling bonding time!
  8. Go for a walk in the woods and DRAW… There isn’t much more simple than that! Pick one very interesting thing like a flower you’ve never noticed before or a ladybug and draw it in detail by really inspecting it. Then when you get home either google or youtube it for more research! Write anything you learned.  You’ll find that the more often that you do this little activity, the more meaningful it becomes. By the end of a year you’ll have quite a notebook too!
  9. Create a simple filing system over the summer… All the materials you will need are one crate per child, hanging files, and a pen. Label files for each subject you plan to study this school year and hang them in the crate- one crate per child. As the year progresses, place paperwork where they go so the end of year shuffle is very easy. Then over the summer after the school year sort what papers will be saved as representation of the entire school year and make a new hanging file labeled “1st grade”. Use the same crate all the way through elementary school. You’ll have three crates per child by the time they graduate… no more, no less… easy peasy… 🙂
  10. Always have a Planner!!!
Jennifer Claire on Email
Jennifer Claire
Curriculum Author at Log Cabin Schoolhouse
Engineer, Homeschool Mom, and creator of Algebra Club. Blogging is one of my current passions along with writing a novel that I hope to publish someday soon. Do hard things always.