Life learning & rewarding games

My daughter loves rhyming games so I manipulated the situation and use it as a spelling tool. I used it with Hannah as a game to earn points. I start with the word like frog she comes up with a rhyming word and if she can spell it as well she gets a point. Her choice was dog, she spelled it correctly and got a point. Any lesson that you do can turn into a game with a reward system. Make it fun, be clever, engage with your child. The joys of homeschool is that it’s not a chore it’s fun. Remember this homework is always a great way to teach your children. Towels need folding, great lesson, dinner needs cooking, another lesson. learning stuff in school is all about stuff you’ll use in real life so let’s teach your kids stuff that they will actually need in life, plus they learn and housework gets done everyone wins.

Streaming learning tools

I know this might sound a little crazy, but with all the different streaming apps that we have I thought that there was bound to be something useful to me. Netflix has some very educational shows aimed at all age groups of kids. My 4-year-old loves Mother goose club, this show is all about singing songs and teaching preschool basics. I absolutely love this show. It is all the songs that my mom grew up singing to me and now I  find myself singing to my own kids so the familiarity is so much fun for her. Keep in mind it is one of those shows where you will be doing laundry and suddenly find yourself singing the continuous loop of preschool songs, with all joking aside this is really great content towards the preschool to kindergarten age group. My older daughter loves the beloved miss Frizzle from the magic school bus. If you’re looking for a different way to engage your kids try out the Netflix streaming app, your paying for it anyways, But remember this, sitting and watching with your kids is always a key in learning and is so much more fun for them as well, because let’s be real watching anything with someone else is way more enjoyable. Happy teaching everyone.

Change it up

Today I had more success with my preschooler than my first grader. My older daughter was having a bad morning and was just not feeling school, well you know sometimes you just don’t feel like getting out of bed and you call in sick, but you really just need a break. Remember it is ok to do that. My four-year old wanted to do some school work and I took the opportunity to work one on one with her while I had the chance. It wasn’t much maybe wrote some letters or letter recognition and using the dry erase board to draw shapes, one of her favorite things to do. And she worked only for about 20 minutes, and that was fine, we covered some things while having fun at the same time. Sometimes working with only one child at a time and changing it up can be very beneficial to that child with getting your full attention, which most kids want anyway. So change-up learning habits with your kids and see what happens, it may work or not but always worth trying.

 

Days off Matter

Taking days off are always useful, not every week is the same and the great thing about creating your own home school schedule, is that you choose when it is time to take a break. Even though that working hard is great, My stepdad used to always tell me work smarter not harder. Sometimes even taking a simple movie day will mix things up. We tend to work around my husband’s work schedule. Making it easy to make a well prepared subject lineup as well. Everyday is a little different as well. But taking some down time and recharging in the middle of the week is always nice.

 

Dont’ overthink their education

There are plenty of days when I wonder if my daughters are on cue with what is expected of them, but then I start to remember that both my girls started walking and talking at different ages. All of your kids will pick up different things at defferent times. I am that parent who can care less what statiistics say. I am pretty sure those are based on the average kids, whatever that means. Who gets to actually decide if your kids are on the right track, that is now your job. As their parents teach them based what is comfortable for both of you. They will let you know. My youngest daughter is only four and most days she doesn’t want anything to do with school and that is ok, but every now and than she will say “mommy help me write my name. My other child will tell me she wants to read today instead of math, and that is ok too. Even if you have a rigourous schedule in place, sometimes mixing up your monday’s and thursday’s won’t hurt. If learning becomes to much of a job for your child, dim it down and only focus on two subjects that day instead of four. Remember kids are not ready for full time jobs yet, feel it out their moods and flow with the punches, or as dad says call an audible.

Relax and recoupe

Time managment

Lets’s talk managing time. I have a lot to do most days. I have to not only make sure I not only have the school schedule in place with the girls but also make sure that I am still caring for the house. Between laundry, dishes, and cooking meals throughout the day, I have to vacuum, and deal with a fussy four-year old. I feel the best way to get everything done is to spilt it into two halves. The first half of the morning consists of breakfast, dressing the kids and starting a load in the washing machine or dishwasher. About this time it is time to start the first two hours of school. Around two hours of school in the morning, I found to be enough for their little brains. Than I let them have screen time, and while they are consumed, I finish up the loads that I had started earlier this morning. Setting a daily routine is a must. It makes the house flow alot easier. After lunch I finish up with the last two hours of school and I let them choose the subjects. Giving your child the reins with help them feel more grown up and ultimately have a more enjoyable time. I can’t say it enough routine, routine ,routine.

 

 

 

Starting with a curriculum

When I made the decision to choose home school, I was so lost in how to start. I made the worst mistake ever and was comparing where I was to other mom’s who have been veterans. They had all of the curriculum chosen and everything was organized and color coded. Let me tell you this is a huge no no. Let me tell you why, I did it. Have you ever looked at an arts and crafts on pinterest and it looks like something you could master for sure than your final product looks nothing like the picture, same thing here. I thought I was large and in charge. I bought school supplies, picked up some books and flashcards from walmart. I was ready, so so wrong. The key is to pace yourself and learn as you go. I know I just sounded like a bad country song, but it is so true. Only you and your child will be able to feel out the materials you are ready for.

I can give you some materials that I have come across that helped guide me to start. I found these books called 180 days of…. my daughter is in first grade so those are the ones we are currently using. They allow you to make sure that you have your child in school 180 days of the year. They again were a great guide. Try them, they could work for you. https://amzn.to/2KZcYti. They offer nearly every subject you need to start out and provide. Good luck  and happy learning

Some days are harder

Some days are harder than others. This morning it was very hard to wake my daughter, even though she was physically out of her bed, I’m pretty sure she left her brain there. As I brought her to the table to start on our planned work for the day, she struggled to wake up. So I picked her up and set her on the table, where she continused to curl in a ball and sleep. I decided that forcing her to sit and work in a chair would only make things worse. Que mom’s next plan. ” Ok Hannah I will let you stay on the table if you write these words her on page 3. She started laughing and agreed. Victory for mom once again! Sometimes on the harder days you have to work with what you got. Remember they are kids and are not ready to have pressure on them yet. We worked for an hour and she slowly fell into the rhythm of habit. We took a light day, no harm no foul. The last thing any parent needs is a crabby child. Work with what you got.

Public versus Homeschool

I as well as my husband both attended public schools our whole childhood, when it  became my daughter’s turn to start school, I hesitated. My daughter already had a slow to speak deficit. She was five years old and still speaking only a few words. I started working with her at home instead of enrolling her. In Tn she isn’t required to start until she is six anyhow. She was not quite on que with not only her speech but she also was lacking social and motor skills. I knew that it would only be wrong for me to send her to the wolves of school. As I started working with her at home she started to blossom. she could now hold a pencil and write, she was learning her letters, colors, and was gaining self-confidence everyday. I couldn’t believe it. The dark side to this story is I had plenty of negative feedback with family as to why I would choose to not send her to school. And even if the proof was in the pudding, they couldn’t wrap their heads around home school. With the endless negativity I caved for my sanity and sent her to school. She had missed the first nine weeks of school and it was told to me that she was behind. The school system tried everything with her, or so they said. After a couple of months went by my husband and I were called into a meeting and were told she would not graduate kindergarten. That was not going to happen. We than again pulled her out of school and gave home school one last shot. We signed up with a local umbrella school, chose a curriculum, and she and I worked one on one the rest of the year. She has not only caught up with her peers but had graduated kindergarten and is now doing very well in 1st grade. School systems is only for a way for a child to get lost in the mix.