Saturday, November 10, 2012

This Sounds Like a Lot of Work!

I know this all sounds overwhelming, but God wouldn't tell you to do something you are not capable of. 

I would begin with one subject (probably life skills or Bible). Just do that subject for a few weeks; then add one or two more every two to four weeks until you feel comfortable with what you are having the children do. 

As children get used to the work they should work faster. 

Today, one subject may take you and hour, but in a month, they may be doing the same amount of work in 30-40 minutes.

If you begin to feel overwhelmed and exausted, back off a bit. Cut out a subject for a while, lesson the work in a couple of subjects, of switch it around (being doing lots of History? Do a bunch of nature walks instead for a while).

With each child, I go through a stage when they don’t want to do their work so they dawdle. I have them do a little math lesson; They take the number of hours in the day and subtract; 
  • chores, 
  • mealtime, 
  • and the time I think they should get their school work done in. 
What is left is their playtime. I let them know that if they take longer then they need to do their work (chores or school) it comes out of their playtime, so it is in their best interest to work as fast as possible. 
Of course, inaccurate or sloppy work has to be redone, taking even more of their play time. 
I try to remind them they are only hurting themselves by taking more time than needed. I don’t take it personally. It is their problem.

If they are consistently having trouble getting things done, I try to figure out if I am assigning too much, have not done enough ground work for them to be able to do this themselves, either in skills or habits, or if something else is wrong out side of the child’s attitude. 

For example, when my oldest was having trouble getting her math done when she was little, I determined she just needed to learn to concentrate better. When she was older and had what looked like the same problem, I discovered this time it was because of a misfit between the curriculum and her personality. Simply switching books solved the problem. 

I do know of one child whose mother taught him to not do his work by getting frustrated and “talking him through it” if he sat and stared for long enough (she was actually doing his work for him). 

Don’t be afraid to experiment if you need too, but don’t be afraid to be tough when necessary, either.

Do remember that what I have listed here is eight (Ummm, 20) years of homeschooling. Though I do most everything, I don’t do everything all the time. We may do 50-75% of what I have listed at any one time and switch some things around every few months. This keeps us from getting bored or burned out (and honestly, I switch curricula and methods every once in a while because I am bored. It's OK. No curriculum is complete; none is perfect, and Mom's enthusiasm is what spurs the most learning, not miracle book writers. So switching it around gets some of the best of each.)

Just do the best you can, when you can. If it doesn’t feel right try to find out why and fix it a little bit at a time.

Homeschooling is not a stir fry. It is not “dump it all in, stir it around and you are done.” 

It is a stew in a crockpot. It is “begin your base and cook awhile. Add a little of this and cook a while. Add a little of that and cook awhile.” 

It is a Life Style, not an event.

”And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

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