Homeschool: Not Falling Behind

Will your kids “fall behind” if you do not follow a strict schedule in homeschool?

     My dentist asked me a question he thought I could just nod “yes” to while I could not reply. He said, “I would not be able to do that, because I would not be disciplined enough to stick to a schedule, and you have to stick to a schedule, or they’d fall behind, right?”

     I thought it was interesting what he thought of as a given. He thought it a given that if we as homeschool moms are not able to stick to a strict, public school like schedule in our homeschool, that everyone learning here, would “fall behind” for sure.

     I have home educated my kids for 3.5 years and, having met over 300 homeschool moms, and have never known of a homeschool family, not using public charter school programs, who follows a strict schedule. In fact, from talking to the ones I have met, most, I see, do more unschooling style than school-at-home style. Yet, even then, official affidavit (legal) homeschooling vs. public schooling statistics show that homeschoolers who take tests do better on the tests than public schoolers, if you figure averages for both sides.

Homeschool Domination
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   In short, no schedule is necessary for success in home educating a child. I do not follow a schedule. I do like making schedules on my iPad. Doing it serves the purpose of helping me see how much time I actually have in each month and week. It helps me to block out proper amounts of time for teaching what I wish to teach, because, with time, I have learned how long things take. After doing it, I do not obey it. I just use ut ti put into my brain, what I have time to teach this week and this month, realistically. This way, I can focus on my goals and on where my kids need to improve, knowing that we cannot fit the impossible into our day.

     For example, this summer I am focusing on each child’s greatest weakness or needs in our homeschool. I am sure most public schooling moms do the same. Perhaps they see that their child needs to read more, so they focus on reading. Perhaps they see that their child is just rude and disobedient, so they will focus on the behavior issues and relationship this summer. Maybe the child wishes he or she had more time for science, so the focus will be science field trips this summer. I do this in our homeschool. 

     Even then, I do not follow a schedule. I do not say, “8:00 Learning Item 1, 9:00 Learning Item 2.” How do I do it, with no specific time or schedule? Whenever I feel like it, I work on this with this child. Whenever I feel like it, I work on that, with the next child. There are some days we just relax. Some days, we do a lot of housework. Most days currently, in the evenings, we are almost constantly at a ball game. You can say for sure one of our focuses now is sports. It is just time for that now. One of the things we do a lot of now is gardening and yard work. I bet a lot of people do a lot of that now.

     Do we even get to enjoy summer? Yup! The difference is, we also get to really enjoy the fall, the winter and the spring, while publilc schooling families only have one season to really enjoy life. It makes me sad seeing people having to stuff every happiness and joy into 3 months in one season of the year. 

     This is what I mean. In the fall when the public schoolers are sitting in a classroom for the majority of the day, my kids still get to go enjoy the outdoors a lot during the day, and not just in short bursts at a recess time. This is when the weather is cooler. It is just right outside. The fall leaves get to be enjoyed more. In this past winter, we spent a lot of time working in the garden in January and February. We had no snow stick on the ground until about April. It was a crazy year. We got to enjoy this bonus season which was a little like fall and a little like spring, more hours of the day. It was nice to have it.

    I hope thinking that you are not a disciplined, schedule-driven person, would not keep you from home educating your kids! Please, try it! ADD and ADHD moms can do it, too!

New Homeschool Routine For January 2015!

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Jeff said, “They only get 10 minutes of one on one time per day?” I said, “That is not all of the one on one time they get in a day. When they need help with Life School workbook, math, or discover the scriptures, they get one on one, but that is usually 2 minutes for this one, then 2 for that one, when they say, ‘I need help’ or when I check their work.”

Lest any forget, they get a ratio of 6 kids to one teacher (mom) all day long. That’s better than 25 kids to one teacher! When they have a question, it gets answered. Everyone’s every question gets answered almost every time. When they need help with their work, they wait in line behind one or two siblings for a couple minutes per sibling, then they get their one on one attention and help.

That is not even to mention that my 2nd grader can get help from my 5th grader or from my 7th grader if I am momentarily busy. My 5th grade son can get help from his 7th grade sister. Sometimes, my 7th grader can get help from my 5th grader (especially in Science, but, sometimes, he remembers some math things better than she does, and he reminds her). My kindergarten sin can learn how to read from 3 older siblings, when they read aloud to him. My 7th grade daughter makes teaching preschool and kindergarten one of her free time hobbies, which is wonderful and very helpful! She even uses the standards I have written up and in a book for each individual child, and asks me about teaching methods. I love that she is so willing to help in that way!

In case you are wondering, Life School teaches all subjects except dance and math, I believe. DTS is Discover the Scriptures,

I am excited for this, so I hope this works!

Peace out!

Writing, Reading, Spelling and Math

I have decided we need to focus more on Spelling and Math in our home education. I think they are so important. I am not going to go into detail about which kids are behind their grade levels, or where I want them to be, but I am going to tell you that I have made yet another new schedule, one which includes more reading, writing, spelling and math than did the previous one. 

I am really hyped up about it and so are the kids. My kids have known they needed to work on these subjects more. We just haven’t, because I have tried to fit in every single thing I want them to learn before they are adults, into each homeschool year, which is just not possible.

I really DO want my kids to know how to be an adult. I am just slowing it down. They can’t know it all now. We are not superhuman and cannot fit more into a day than other people can. I have to humble myself and focus on the small things, in order that I may get big results over time.

For now, these are our focuses. One thing I like about homeschooling is how flexible it is. It wasn’t until my kids made me lose my patience, go outside and read the newspaper on the back porch for 5 minutes to “cool off” my anger and re-gain a heavenly perspective, while reading it, that it dawned on me, TODAY IS SEPTEMBER 11th. WHY AM I NOT MAKING THIS A DAY OF REMEMBRANCE? I went inside and had a new plan. Today would be PATRIOT DAY in our home. I asked the kids what September 11th was. They were clueless. This was unacceptable. My plans for the lessons of the day went in the trash, so to speak, and we watched things about September 11th. No child of mine would be unknowledgeable about this day. Not while I am in charge.

I tell you this because I don’t want you to think that because we are going to focus more on Writing, Reading, Spelling and Math, that we do only those, or that we can’t just grab any day we want to, and do something completely off of the regular plan that day. I do have the other subjects in my schedule plan, and I do allow us to do unscheduled, impromptu things, as needed. I have added more time to the subjects mentioned here, though, and I think that is needful now.

If my children were having a hard time with these subjects in public school, the teacher would not change the plan, or the schedule, or the curriculum, for my child. I can, though, and that is a beautiful thing about homeschooling!