On Thursday I started a series of homeschool planning tips. (If you missed it, you can read it HERE.) Today I'll share a few more tidbits that make planning for a new year stress-free and enjoyable.
1. Know your children.
Just because Easy Grammar worked for Little Man in 2nd grade, doesn't mean that it will work for Little One when she starts school. Each child is a perfectly unique gift from God. Know each child's strengths and weaknesses. Pray for wisdom in your teaching and decision making. Then make it your goal, as their mom and teacher, to play to their strengths while gently working on their weaknesses.
The ages and interests of your children play a huge role in homeschooling. I have a son who loves to do math problems but hates to write (*sigh*). My oldest daughter thinks that a day spent writing and reading is a day well-spent, and if she never had to do math again... well, you get the idea. I've had to do a lot of research and trial and error to find things that work for both of them (and the fact that my lovely neighbor is a math whiz helps a lot too!).
2. Know your limits.
I love teaching my children at home but that does NOT mean that I want teaching to take 8 hours a day. For me, a program that would take that much time would be stressful. A stressed-out momma is not an effective momma.
If you are a "plan as you go" kind of homeschooling momma, a highly scripted and structured curriculum may not be a good fit. However, if the thought of writing a year's worth of lesson plans make you want to scream, that same highly scripted set will work wonderfully for you.
3. Know your goals.
If you haven't yet, come up with a vision statement about your homeschool. It doesn't have to be flowery and grandiose - unless you want it to be! - just make sure it defines your family's goals for your children's education.
Having a stated goal will be very helpful on those trying days when you may ask "Why am I doing this again?"
Ours is simple. We want our children to develop a love of learning and to become wise adults who love God with all of their hearts. A natural outpouring of this goal is to ask ourselves:
1. How will this workbook, curriculum etc. help our children to cultivate a love of learning?
2. How does this (fill-in-the-blank) line up with what we believe?
3. How will this work for our children?
4. Budget your time.
Figure out how much of your time and attention each child needs. (Your kindergartner will need a lot of hands-on attention, but your middle schooler may need a lot of time for questions...)
Also keep in mind how much time and attention each child wants. (My Little Man wants me to sit with him as he does his work, while Precious Girl hates it when I "hover"...) Again, knowing your children makes you a more effective mom.
Having a game plan will keep everyone happy!
Tomorrow I will share some tips on keeping your plans from enslaving you...
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These Five Of Mine...
The Better Mom