Help me! I’m Overwhelmed With My Homeschool Day
Dear Homeschool Mom,
Feeling overwhelmed is a natural feeling when you are homeschooling. True story is that I get overwhelmed with my homeschooling and the fact that I was a teacher for many years had little bearing on the effectiveness of my homeschool. I had two children looking to me to supply them with something that I realized was not necessarily for me to be providing. They were different ages and grade levels with different interests and learning styles. They required different things from me and they wanted it instantaneously. I realized early on that there were a few things I learned early on about having some sense of “control:” in my homeschool.
- A schedule may not be the best thing for my family
- A schedule may be the best thing for my family
- Flexibility is key
- Listening to my children was key to helping make our homeschool work after all it was for them not for me
- Combining subjects and not being concerned about specific grade levels or what other folks were doing was great
- I cannot homeschool with other families
- Being selective with what we did during our homeschool journey was important, that is the importance of guarding our time was obvious, but not after I had spent a crazy amount of time and money building a homeschool co-op from scratch while homeschooling. Note to self: #crazy
- Be mindful to crash the chatterboxes. Ignore that which does not serve you.
9. Teaching children who are multi-aged is possible: An example of something I do with my children is: give them freedom to work on what they want to work on at their own pace and let me know when they need help. If I am with the other child, they can make note of what they want to ask and wait for me to get to them.
There’s good news to share with you about homeschool scheduling. The good news is that if you are a homeschool mom who thrives on structure and has children who thrive on structured learning times, then this is for you. The other good news is that successful scheduling can happen for you! Like most things in our lives, you will need to plan your schedule and give it time to work.
Scheduling your homeschool can be as easy as you make it or desire it to be. The trick is understanding that you do not need for your school to function like a traditional school (which is why I do not care for the word home”school”) because anyone who has done it knows that it can be a vast contrast from a traditional brick and mortar school system. With that in mind, these are a few things to guide you with your homeschool scheduling.
You do not need to teach numerous concepts within a day though you can still get through a number of subject areas within a week or even a month.
Monday: Math & History
Tuesday: Geography & Grammar & Math
Wednesday: Community Classes (I.e. library, museum or co-op)
Thursday: Spelling & Art & History
Friday: Health & Math & Grammar
*Note: Reading and writing are interdisciplinary and engrained within the entire learning process. If you would like to incorporate separate learning times for specific writing and reading instruction then by all means do what you find to be best for your children. The other point that I have heard many families share is that they do not conduct formal spelling lessons. There are programs we have used and friends have suggested such as All About Spelling, Logic of English (Spelling Rules) and formal grade level spelling workbooks have all found their way into our home.
Project Based Learning: Homeschool families who embrace and practice project based learning have found that this method to be helpful in helping address multiple content areas and provides leverage for children in the area of planning, reflecting and presenting information. Project based learning is so cool because like I think all home education should do, it gives children voice and choice.
Thematic Units: There are many themes for each month of the year and if you check out things that happened this day in history, you can find a theme for every single day!
February is one of the most popular months but besides that, you are able to create themes based upon your children interests. I always suggest going that route or selecting something that your family and children are totally interested in learning more about.
Self-Directed Education: Democratic “School” of thought: Children are able to moderate and do what drives them, what they are passionate about and what speaks to their heart.
Children are leaders and decision makers, inquirers, thinkers they are also:
- Open minded
Creative Freedom- Have fun with your planning! Think of doing things that your children would most likely not be able to do anywhere else. Wear costumes, write family plays, perform the plays, pitch a family business to friends and You are free to have as much fun as you’d like in planning and in teaching. You and your children are learning together.
Relax: One thing my homeschool mom friends often remind me of is that I am only “behind” if I think that I am. The reality is that homeschooling is so flexible that I can actually complete school work in the evenings, on the weekends.
By far, scheduling is one of those homeschooling subjects that families either love or hate, but no matter what you decide to do, it’s awesome to just work with the rhythm of your family and do what comes naturally for you and your children.
Did this episode resonate with you? What do you do for scheduling? What has worked, what hasn’t? Let me know.
Reach out on social media @dearhomeschoolmom or at dearhomeschoolmom.com
As always, embrace the process and celebrate the journey. Happy homeschooling