Gearing Up for School



Looks like it’s that time again. In spite of the fact that it is the dead heat of summer, you can’t miss the school supplies sales in the stores and the shut down of the local swimming pool. I wish summer lasted a little longer!

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Begin with the End in Mind

lovetosave1Ever feel like you are bumbling around amidst a three-ring circus in your attempts to homeschool? There is nothing like a new baby to restore a teacher/mother’s humility in the face of her own inadequacies! For our homeschool, this chaos repeats itself every few years with the advent of a precious new “student.” I have homeschooled in my robe nursing my baby while I have tried to teach math, correct papers and read stories:
“Mom, can’t you hold the book still? I can’t see the pictures.”
“Sorry, honey, the baby needs to be rocked.”

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Setting Up a Family Schedule


Some of my kids at Arches National Park

As much as I hate to be confined to a schedule, I have to admit that it is very liberating to the whole family to know what to expect. If I don’t follow a schedule, life goes somewhat like this: get up late, work on something that is high priority (in my nightgown), get waylaid on a long phone call while the kids wreck havoc, fix breakfast when the complaining gets too loud, get dressed because it’s too late to exercise now, try to pull homeschool together late and unorganized, fix a quick (rather than nutritious) lunch when the complaining gets too loud (about 2:00 p.m.), feel discouraged because I’m so far behind, etc. Get the picture? It is a downward spiral because you get to bed late because you are so far behind on fixing dinner, and so you are off to a worse start the next day.

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The "1/3 Plan" for Kids

onethird_plan_smallWhen I first began homeschooling many years ago, I heard an elderly educator give her “One Third Plan” for how to plan a child’s day. I was intrigued!

Once I took my children out of public school into homeschooling, I really wondered what I was supposed to be doing with them all day long. I wanted with all my heart to raise them right and to teach them what they would need to be happy, faithful, upright people who benefited the world in which they lived. I couldn’t keep them busy in homeschool from dawn to dusk, but I didn’t want them free playing all the time either. I thought long and hard about it, so when I heard the “One Third Plan”, I was all ears!

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Adrift on a Sea of “To-Do’s”?


When we have little ones in our home, or are homeschooling our children, it can feel like we don’t have much time to call our own. Sometimes I feel like a ship adrift, being tossed around on the waves of all the things I have to do. I can’t ever get to the end, no matter how frantically I paddle. Have you ever felt this way?

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Simplify Your Homeschool: Subject of the Day


Ammon at Mesa Verde

Does homeschooling feel overwhelming to you? So many subjects to teach . . . so many different age levels . . . such a frantic rush to get it all in?

If you are feeling this way, you may want to try the “Subject of the Day”. This plan is simply to choose one subject per day of the school week. I like to alternate fun subjects with more intense subjects, ending with a social activity or field trip on Friday. Plan it however you like, but post it on your fridge or wall, so that everyone has a sense of order.

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Worn Out from Teaching


I have been homeschooling for four years, most of which have been enjoyable. I have four children, 14 months to 11 years old. This year the children complained of mother’s “grumpies” and not having the one-on-one time they were used to before the baby. Lately, rather than being a joy, the day seems more of a struggle to get everything done (school work, practice, etc) around the baby’s schedule.

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Study Schedule


Ammon does his math

As homeschoolers, when do find or make the time to study?

Having a study schedule helps immeasurably  when you are writing up assignments and determining what work needs to be done.  Get a piece of paper and jot out what works for your family. Then post it on the wall and try to adjust it until you get it just right. Knowing what to expect helps everyone off to a good start each day.

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