Tuesday, August 07, 2007

How do you homeschool?

Scheduling, classical education, unschooling, getting the kids to help with chores, how to be "mom" and "teacher" at the same time, special needs, teaching an advanced child, how to teach the tough subjects, teaching high school, teaching with babies and preschoolers in the house, budgeting for homeschool supplies, notebooking, etc., etc., etc...

I try to homeschool as simply as possible. Since my oldest is only going into 4th grade, we only spend a 2-3 hours a day on academics. I am eclectic in my approach, but loosely follow a classical, Charlotte Mason approach. I will discuss more about our curriculum on Friday.

Managers of Their Homes by Terri Maxwell has been a big help in scheduling our day. While we are not on a strict schedule, it works like a compass to help keep us on track throughout our day.

My children each have their own chores (except the baby). They are responsible for keeping their room tidy, the kitchen clean, emptying the trash on Sundays & Wednesdays and the bathroom on Saturdays, as well as keeping the school room and living rooms picked up. My daughters are also learning to make some simple meals and do their own laundry.

Last year, my boys (then 3 & 4) would play in their room with their toys, or if I really needed to, I would pull out the blocks or Legos for them to play with for a change of pace in the living room while the girls and I worked on their school work. I also had some crayons, coloring books and a couple of simple workbooks for the boys to work on when they insisted on doing school. It actually worked out very nicely and we had few "bumps" with this system.

I usually get my homeschool budget from our tax refund and any books that I am able to sell. It is not very high, but I love the challenge of trying to find the books that I need for as cheaply as possible. My sister in KY has been a big help this year, as she scours used books stores, sales etc and has picked up a lot of books for me from .10 - $2, this has helped me supplement and fill out our curriculum.

One thing that I have learned, is that I am "Mom" first and then teacher. If I am unable to train my children in the basics of life, then being their teacher will be a lot more difficult.

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