When I first started to homeschool 31 years ago, I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to begin. I pictured a cozy little school room with happy kids who worked with good attitudes, while the younger siblings played quietly nearby. Expectations met with reality rather quickly, and I didn’t exactly have what I would call a good homeschool week!
Because of my unrealistic expectations, the first BAD DAY threw me into discouragement, and led to a bad homeschool week. I wondered if I could REALLY do this homeschooling thing. Had I chosen the wrong curriculum, or was I just not qualified to do this?
After homeschooling for a few months, I realized that bad days are just part of the package. Often those bad days were because the kids were fighting, being disobedient, or just lazy in their school work. I had to take time to do some character training, and address the heart issues that were causing those behaviors.
But I also realized that sometimes I was the one to blame for the bad day, which then led to a bad week. I found there were things that I could do to have better days and better weeks.
Here are 7 secrets to a good homeschool week:
1. Keep your spirit right.
Our attitude determines much of how our days go! Our kids pick up on our attitude as well.
I have found that things go MUCH better when I make sure that I have allowed God to “renew a right spirit in me.” This one thing will make a HUGE difference in how your week goes!
Make sure you spend time with the Lord before you start you day. If you are at a season where you can’t get up before the kids, you can still pray before hopping out of of bed, or while preparing breakfast.
Having a Bible time with the kids at the beginning of the day is another way to get your attitude in tune for the day. Praying with the kids and reading God’s Word together helps you to have the right spirit.
2. Get things organized.
Schedule a time during the weekend to get things ready for the next week of school. Get the needed materials all together in one place.
My worst days have been the ones where I was scrambling to find worksheets, answer keys, or other things that were needed for the kids to get their work done.
Taking the time to organize your school plans, supplies, and time may mean the difference between you surviving as a homemaker or calling it quits.
3. Have self-discipline.
When I discipline myself to not waste time on Facebook, Pinterest, or my email, I find that we are able to accomplish our daily and weekly goals more easily. The worst days were the ones where I allowed myself to get sucked into browsing Facebook, lost track of the time, and got off to a late start.
Set a specific time for your social media, and discipline yourself to stick to those times. Keep the computer and cell phone off during school time.
4. Don’t get frustrated when you have to stop what you are doing to correct or discipline one of the kids.
It’s easy to get so focused on crossing things off the list, and getting things done, that we forget that correcting and training the kids is a big part of our teaching. It’s an opportunity to take our kids to God’s Word and show them what He says about their behavior. Training the heart is more important than getting the academics done.
5. Have a routine or schedule for everyone.
When the kids know what to expect daily, and are used to the routine, it helps so much with attitudes. They aren’t as likely to have a bad attitude about having to do schoolwork at a certain time, or do their chores, when they know it’s the same thing every day.
Kids function better with a routine to guide their days.
6. Remember your priorities.
It is important to remind yourself often of what God says is important.
In II Peter 1:5 it clearly gives us our priorities. First faith, then virtue (character), and then the academics.
We need to point our kids to God’s Word and build their faith, then train them in Godly character, and THEN focus on the academics.
When you start your day with these priorities in place, you will find your days are more peaceful and productive.
7. Don’t let academics come before relationship.
It’s easy to have a run in with a child over difficulty in academics. It’s important not to let that cause friction or frustration in your relationship.
If your child is struggling with a subject, the important thing isn’t that they “get it,” but rather that you keep the relationships strong and secure. That may mean taking a break from that subject or concept for awhile, and picking it up again later.
Keeping the relationship with your child right, trumps any academic success.
What are your secrets to a successful week in your homeschool?
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If you have found yourself wishing you had a veteran homeschooler to mentor you, or a person that you could get lots of advice from that has ‘done the stuff’ for three (or six!) decades, look no further! Sixty Homeschooling Tips From Sixty Years, gives sixty pieces of advice from two veteran homeschooling moms.