Homeschooling can seem like an impossible task when you add in the fact that you have boys and two of them are three years old. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to give up your dream of having your kids learn at home. Here are some tips to Boys and a Dog homemaking homeschooling tips for busy folks when you have boys and a dog (and don’t forget the dogs).
Add more structure
One of my favorite homemaking tips for busy families is to add more structure into your children’s days. Adding structure helps kids understand what they are supposed to be doing on a daily basis, allowing you as a parent, or an adult in charge of supervising them, more free time. Having homeschooling help will make keeping up with these responsibilities easier for everyone involved. If you find that your children are resistant to extra homeschooling or organizational tasks, there is no need to panic; it just means that you need a little more time working with them.
This tip is ideal for busy parents that are not experienced homeschoolers, but it is also good for experienced homeschooling families. Homeschooling children all day can be a long task, especially when you have other children in your home that need your attention or if you are working outside of the home during school hours. Adding structure helps you keep up with homeschooling requirements while letting your children know what they should be doing with their time. Instead of fighting with them every day over whether or not they should be doing an extra lesson, adding more structure gives everyone more free time and more peace of mind knowing that things are being taken care of.
Even if you’re one of those all-natural parents who believes that school should be a place where kids learn using hands-on, experiential methods rather than sitting at desks with flashcards, I’d still suggest mixing up your teaching styles. Students get bored when they are taught in one way for too long; it’s important to switch things up now and then. If your son struggles with math, for example, try meeting with him once a week or every other week at his favorite pizza place (where he can eat free) so he can discuss math problems over pepperoni slices. If your daughter has trouble reading, take her on an outing—like a trip to see her favorite band play live or perhaps a stroll through local museums.
If you don’t have children, it might be tempting to think that your homeschooling should be free of messes. While I understand that concept, I believe that kids need a place where they can learn how to take care of a messy environment. If you never let them get their hands dirty, they won’t know how to clean up after themselves when guests come over or you want them to entertain themselves for a few hours while you’re out with friends. This also teaches discipline: Just because something is messy doesn’t mean it needs cleaned up—just like homework assignments sometimes don’t need completing until tomorrow!
Use multiple methods to teach
Homeschooling should be about individual learning. One-size-fits-all approaches rarely work in life, so why would you try it with homeschooling? Take a look at your child’s personality, interests, and needs. Is he an auditory learner who will do well with lectures? Does she learn better through hands-on experiences? Find out what method works best for your child and use it. Don’t force all of your children into one style of learning—it could just leave them feeling like they’re not good enough or never doing things right.
Prioritize your time
Kids have a way of taking over your life when you let them. That’s why it’s important to prioritize time with your children, teaching them while they’re young. If you wait until they’re older and in school, it can be harder—in some cases even impossible—to teach them what you feel is important. Of course, it’s always ideal to have help with parenting, but many families cannot afford childcare or live too far away from extended family for help with childcare. These are reasons why homeschooling is so popular with busy families. It allows kids more individualized attention from their parents during those early years when learning at home is best for them, so that by age 7 or 8 they can begin attending school each day.
Explore resources online
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to homeschooling. There are thousands of homeschool resources online, including curricula you can use for a variety of grade levels, teacher-created lesson plans that are ready-to-go, parent forums where you can swap tips with other moms or dads, virtual classrooms that allow your kids to learn from home in a group setting (for as little as $10 per month), supplemental programs, enrichment activities—the list goes on. Browse around before choosing a program or creating your own curriculum; I’ve never met an organization that could meet every child’s needs exactly.
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