For many new homeschool families, it is hard to understand how homeschool will look or feel. It is similar to bringing your first newborn home. You can read all the books and listen to all the advice, but you don’t understand fully until that baby has been home for a few nights.
Many new families’ first attempt at homeschooling often looks much like school at home. Parents take their childhood experiences in a classroom and try to duplicate it in their home. I can vaguely remember trying to incorporate pledges to flags each morning with my first student, and I think I actually set a time schedule for each subject!
Schools are a valuable resource for ideas, but our homeschool does not have to be as formal or structured as a school. Here are some thoughts to consider as you plan to organize your homeschool days:
- Start with Your Why
If you haven’t read my posts on this subject of your “Why”, then stop and read them now (or as soon as possible). When you know why you’re homeschooling, then you have a picture of what you want to accomplish.
How does your Why translate to each day? If patriotism is part of your Why, then you will want to start each day with the Pledge of Allegiance. If spiritual growth is a part of your Why, then you will want to incorporate a time for Bible reading and prayer each day. If family time is important, then you will want to make sure to have activities planned that bring everyone together to learn.
- Do Things Purposefully
Schools have strict schedules and annoying bells for a purpose…to keep lots of people and children in the right place. Teachers have classroom rules to keep order and provide a healthy learning environment.
So, as you think about your schedule, think about purpose. I purposefully require math and English to be done first, because I want the basic academics completed every day. Whenever your children ask the question why they have to do something, let your answer have thought and show genuine concern – not just the standard “Because I said so!”
- Keep Your Students Engaged & Motivated
Many times schools are set up to keep everyone focused together. All the students usually sit facing one direction. But as a student, some of my favorite teachers were the ones who got us in a circle on the floor or who allowed us to be creative in our presentations. These teachers also had creative and expressive personalities.
Be creative with where and how your school day happens. I know moms who let their young boys do math work sitting under a table that has become a hideout for the day. Some even have students recite multiplication tables as they jump rope!
You don’t have to worry about order and discipline like a classroom teacher. So, break out of the box and engage your students in a different way!
Homeschooling can be so much fun! Even as I write this post, I am inspired to change things up a bit. Be a little crazy. Shake up the norm.
Our homeschool days definitely don’t look or feel like school at home, but I desire our time to be overflowing with motivation to learn and purpose-filled activities that lead us to our Why.
Let’s Chat: What elements of school do you incorporate or plan to incorporate in your homeschool days? What elements of school would not work for your home? Click here to share your comments.
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