Tag Archives: homeschooling

Four Ways to Celebrate NOT Back to School Day

Four  Ways to Celebrate NOT  going Back to School

As a homeschooler, do you ever feel like sometimes your kids miss out on school time milestones? For example, around the first day of school pictures take over your Facebook feed, and everyone shows how excited their kids are to be going “back to school”.

Our first year homeschooling I felt that my kids were missing out, and promised myself that the next year, I would do something different. This feeling led to us celebrating NOT  back to school day.

Having a not back to school tradition gives the kids something to look forward too. It lets them see that there are things we can do, because we are not going back to school. IT has become a celebration, a way for us to celebrate the freedom homeschooling.

Here are four ways you can celebrate NOT going back to school!

 

  1. Plan a park play date!  This is how we celebrate NOT going back to school. On the first day of public school in our district, we meet our homeschool group at a local park. We spend the day there, playing games, sliding, and basketball, whatever the kids want to do.
  2. Go out for breakfast! On the first day of public school make plans to go out for breakfast. Sit and watch the school buses go by and enjoy the freedom of not having to start school at a set time.
  3. Plan a field trip! Field trips are a huge bonus of homeschooling, as many public schools are ditching them due to budget cuts.
  4. Have a jammie day! Spend the day in your jammies, watch movies, eat popcorn, play a board game. The choice is yours!

These are just a few ways that you can start a NOT back to school tradition in your homeschool. For us NOT back to school day has become one of our favorite homeschooling traditions.

Do you celebrate NOT going back to school? If not consider planning something to celebrate the freedom homeschool offers next school year.

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Four ways to Simplify Your Homeschool

Four ways to simplify your homeschool

A new homeschool year is just around the corner, and chances are you are busy planning. You may be feeling overwhelmed, and wondering how in the world you are going to get it “all” done. I know, I have been there! With three kids, in three different grades I had to do something to make our homeschool days a little easier. So, I simplified. And, you can too!

Here are four ways to simplify your homeschool:

  1. Combine Subjects: Even if you do have children in different grades, there are subjects you can teach together. Science, Bible, History, Art, are all examples of subjects that can be combined. These subjects can be combined using unit studies, curriculum like Apologia, God’s Design for Science, Mystery of History, My Fathers World, Heart of Dakota, or another similar curriculum. When you combine subjects you are able to teach just ONE time. This saves you time and maybe a bit of your sanity ;)
  2. Go Independent: One of the BEST changes we made in our homeschool was when I backed off. Yes, that’s right; I let my children learn more independently. This was HUGE. It gave them responsibility, and allowed me the break I needed to focus more on my preschooler. There are many curriculum companies out there that allow children to work on their subjects independently. Rod and Staff, Christian Light Education, Easy Peasy, Teaching Textbooks, AOP Lifepac, and many others offer curriculum that allows children to work independently in a variety of different subjects.
  3. Relax!: I have been homeschooling for over 5 years, and one thing I have realized is that no matter how “bad” I think the school year has been, my kids have learned. A lot. As homeschool moms we are often so hard on ourselves and run ourselves ragged to ensure our kids aren’t “behind”. When in reality, we really just need to relax! School will happen, our kids will learn, and stressing about it really does NO good.
  4. Stay Home: You know when I am the most stressed? When I have spent the week running my kids to all their different “socialization” opportunities. This takes time away from school, and adds to my overall stress level. My recommendation? Stay home! At least 1-2 days each week. Field trips are great, but three in one week? Not necessary! Co-op classes are awesome! But, those combined with piano, and soccer, and scouts? Not so much…. Minimize the activities and stay home a few days. Believe me. You won’t regret it!

How do you simplify your homeschool?

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Making Time for Your Marriage While Homeschooling

Making time for your marriage

 

No one will deny the fact that homeschooling is a full time job.  However, it is also not our only job. We have to keep up with our homes, parent our children, work at our churches, outside activities, our paid jobs, and still have time for our spouse. This can all take a toll on our homes and our marriages.

One of the most important relationships you will ever have is with your spouse. Homeschooling does not trump this. Making time for your marriage while homeschooling is important, and something that must be done.  How can you do this?

  1. Schedule Date Nights: Date nights are important and there are tons of inexpensive options out there. If childcare is a problem offer to swap childcare with a friend once a month. Or, put the kids to be early one night and order pizza and a movie.
  2. Get up Earlier: If your spouse leaves for bed while you are still asleep try to change this. Even if it is just once or twice a week. Get up with your spouse and have time together before they leave for work. Even 15 minutes of alone time without children can mean a lot.
  3. Go to Bed at The Same Time: Does one of you stay up later than the other? Make a commitment to go to bed at the the same time at least 2 nights a week.
  4. Get Creative: See if you spouse will help you grade papers in the evening and talk about the kids, or what happened in your day. Do dishes together, sit with your spouse while they work on the car, go grocery shopping together. Find ways to spend time together that you may not usually do. Get creative and see what happens!

Marriage is hard work, and is a relationship that needs nurturing. The only way to do this is by making time for each other. In the rush, rush, rush mentality of today’s society this can be hard. However, you must make the choice to make time for your marriage. Homeschooling is just one of the many jobs that you have; make sure it is not the only one you are completing.

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

 

 

Homeschooling through a Layoff

Homeschooling through a layoff

At some point in your homeschool career you are bound to deal with job changes or losses. We have had this happen to us, twice. The first time I was devastated and threw all learning out the door for the 6 weeks my husband was home. At the end of the school year we had barely put a dent in our school books and I realized I had made a big mistakes. So, the second time, I knew that I could not do that again.

Homeschooling through a layoff can be tricky. After all, you are not used to having your spouse home during the day, and your routine is going to be out of whack. However, it is important that you keep “trucking” on during the layoff. Why? Here are three reasons why.

Routine is important. It is important to your kids, and it is important to your homeschool. After the intial shock of the layoff has passed, jump back into the books. If your husband is home, have him help with homeschooling. Put him in charge of a subject he may enjoy, or split the kids up and let him take the younger ones, while you focus on the older ones. Keeping your routine will help your family keep your mind off of the layoff.

It will help provide stability. Kids pick up on things and they know it is not “normal” for your spouse to be home during the day. They are probably picking up on concerns and stressors within the home, and may be worried. Continuing homeschooling through the layoff provides them with extra stability. They will know that something is still “normal”, and that all is well within their home.

Keeps your homeschooling on track. There is nothing works than getting to summer break and realizing you are 2 months “behind”. Believe me! The year we took 6 weeks off my oldest was only in preschool, so I didn’t feel obligated to run through summer, but now that my kids are older there is no way I could ditch the books for that long and not be behind. Continuing homeschooling through a layoff will ensure that you are on task all year.

Now, there is  nothing wrong with taking an impromptu day or week off when your spouse first loses their job. But, the important thing is to keep going once that initial shock or first few days are over. This will help you keep your routine, provide stability for your children and ensure that you are on track with homeschooling!

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings.  She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Setting and Keeping Homeschool Goals

Setting and Keeping Homeschool Goals

 

As the 2014-2015 school year ends, it is a great time to take a look at the goals we have set for ourselves and our children. Homeschool goals are important to have because they help keep you and your kids on task for the year. It also helps you see at a glance how far each child has progressed, and what areas you may need to work on.

Now, I am not one who plans far ahead. However, I do set a few goals each year for each child. Here is an example of what some of our goals may be:

Child 1 Child 2 Child 3
Master long division Complete 30 speed drills in a minute Learn primary colors and basic shapes
Learn basic computer skills Start cursive handwriting Begin tracing name

 

How do I Set Goals?

Setting goals does not have to be hard or serious. Sit down, make a list of what you think your child needs to know and what you want to teach. This is really simple the first few years. But can get complicated once your child gets older.

If you are not sure what goals to set for your children take a look at the standards in your state. These will give you an idea as to what the other children in your state are learning. You can find this by simply typing in “State standards for…..” and then search by grade.

Pinterest also is a great resource for finding basic information about grade levels, what a child needs to know, etc. Another great resource and one of the books I recommend EVERY homeschool parent own is Rebecca Rupp’s Learning Year by Year. This book breaks down basic information that children should know each year and includes resources to help you teach it. I typically set around 10 goals for each child.

How do I Keep Goals?

After I have set the goals I have for my children, I put them on paper or on a spreadsheet. I   then come back every few months and mark of those we have mastered. This lets me know where we are, and what I need to focus on. I can also add new goals as I see fit.

If you have a hard time finding time to work on certain skills set aside a day just to focus on one goal. We did this with one of mine who had a horrible time learning to tie her shoes. We worked on it for about an hour until she completely mastered it. But, I had to mark off other items on the list and focus on just THAT goal.

 

Setting and keeping goals in your homeschool should be a priority for most families. You will know what to work on, what your children have learned, and where you need to go after a goal is met. Goals can help keep you and your kids accountable!

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings.   She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

Setting and Keeping Homeschool Goals

As the 2014-2015 school year ends, it is a great time to take a look at the goals we have set for ourselves and our children. Homeschool goals are important to have because they help keep you and your kids on task for the year. It also helps you see at a glance how far each child has progressed, and what areas you may need to work on.

Now, I am not one who plans far ahead. However, I do set a few goals each year for each child. Here is an example of what some of our goals may be:

Child 1 Child 2 Child 3
Master long division Complete 30 speed drills in a minute Learn primary colors and basic shapes
Learn basic computer skills Start cursive handwriting Begin tracing name

 

How do I Set Goals?

Setting goals does not have to be hard or serious. Sit down, make a list of what you think your child needs to know and what you want to teach. This is really simple the first few years. But can get complicated once your child gets older.

If you are not sure what goals to set for your children take a look at the standards in your state. These will give you an idea as to what the other children in your state are learning. You can find this by simply typing in “State standards for…..” and then search by grade.

Pinterest also is a great resource for finding basic information about grade levels, what a child needs to know, etc. Another great resource and one of the books I recommend EVERY homeschool parent own is Rebecca Rupp’s Learning Year by Year. This book breaks down basic information that children should know each year and includes resources to help you teach it. I typically set around 10 goals for each child.

How do I Keep Goals?

After I have set the goals I have for my children, I put them on paper or on a spreadsheet. I   then come back every few months and mark of those we have mastered. This lets me know where we are, and what I need to focus on. I can also add new goals as I see fit.

If you have a hard time finding time to work on certain skills set aside a day just to focus on one goal. We did this with one of mine who had a horrible time learning to tie her shoes. We worked on it for about an hour until she completely mastered it. But, I had to mark off other items on the list and focus on just THAT goal.

Setting and keeping goals in your homeschool should be a priority for most families. You will know what to work on, what your children have learned, and where you need to go after a goal is met. Goals can help keep you and your kids accountable!

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings.   She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.