"I want to homeschool my kids, but I can't find the time!" is something we hear from many parents. We know it's not easy balancing work and homeschooling your kids, but with these 5 strategies you'll be able to do both!
1. Consider your work schedule
- Do you have set hours? If so, make sure that the kids are homeschooled at similar times. You will be surprised at how much can be done at home in way less time than in traditional schools.
-Do you have a flexible schedule? Then work your children's homeschool times into when they are at their best. Do they always get cranky in the afternoon? Then let's not use that time for repetitive worksheets. Maybe that is free time or nap time.
The main thing is that your child is now learning at home no matter what you are doing. The trick is to take the opportunities when they present themselves to use teachable moments. This can be made to fit around your work schedule. You need to find a balance of the types of learning that works for your family. We will discuss these more in depth in just a minute.
2. Get your kids involved in the process by researching and choosing subjects to study together.
This is the most crucial step to long term success as a family in this homeschooling journey you are embarking on. The way that we have talked with our kids is that they are now partners in their education. We emphasize how critically important they are to their own educational success. Your family unit is a team that can rely on each other and capitalize on the strengths of each member to help those in need. If possible, split the load of teaching your kids between the adults in the household to utilize the different knowledge and passions. This is also a great time to involve grandparents that may have skills your kids want to learn. Do you have a great cook, car buff, woodworker, golfer, crocheter, or any other skill you can think of that might interest your kids in your close family or friends that you can lean on or utilize?
This is a great way to get them involved in the process and excited about learning. It also can be less intimidating for older children who are knowledgeable themselves. For example, if your daughter loves science then it would be best to research subjects like astronomy or chemistry so that they have an idea of what they want to study more deeply in their homeschooling days ahead!
They will end up being better at understanding their own needs as well when you involve them in this decision making process. They might find something that isn't interesting enough or too challenging.
Explore with them until you both agree on the perfect balance of topics from art history over physics and everything else in between - not just math and reading comprehension skills! This is a great time to explain any after school activities or non traditional learning things like field trips, lessons, nature hikes can not be done if they don't have their work done by the time that you have your own work done or a work break.
3. Make sure you have enough time for teaching, grading, and other activities like field trips or science experiments
.- Give yourself enough hours in the day for you to do your work. Especially if you are homeschooling, it is important that parents make time and space on their agenda for school. It is crucial that you actually time the different activities and stick to them. If you shortchange your work or your child, then you can not be your best self for either of them and it can be easy to take the frustration out on someone that doesn't deserve it. Setting aside time for yourself as well as just you and your partner is important to ensure you maintain your fulfillment.
- Have all of the materials ready before starting a class or teaching session so that there's no confusion about what needs to be done when they're finished with their lesson plan. Remember: kids don't have patience either! Keep things going by being prepared ahead of time - whether this means having everything out or already graded from last week's assignment, these little steps will save everyone stress later on.
4.Set up an area for schoolwork in your home where no one else can disturb you
- Create an area for your kids. There needs to be plenty of space to spread out all the homework, projects, etc that need to be done. Make sure you have enough desk or table space that can accommodate everything they'll need for their schoolwork including notebooks and pencils. Install floor lamps if necessary - this will keep them from getting headaches by squinting in too dim lighting while trying to focus on the small print of some textbooks (as well as protect their eyesight).
Maintaining this routine and stability of one area to work on their schoolwork is important to get the bulk of the lessons done
5.. Find support from other homeschooling families and organizations online or in person
Facebook groups are a great way to find homeschooling families and resources for them in your local area.
- Homeschool groups on Facebook are an easy way for parents to connect, share information and advice. There's a group out there that will be perfect for you! So take some time to find the right one before jumping in - post your needs or interests and see what other families recommend. Join this page: "The Homeschool Family Guide"
- There is also organizations of homeschoolers around the world who aim at providing resources and support to new homeschooling families, such as The Organization of Parents Assisting Schools At Home (OPSAA) which was formed in 1990 by Canadian home educators with the goal of supporting each other through monthly meetings across Canada.
It is hard to do this all alone. Do not be hard on yourself and expect you to do everything perfect. If you want to take some burden off your plate you can always supplement your homeschool curriculum with online classes like the ones we offer here at Trammell Classes. We offer core curriculum classes like Saxon Math, Full Kindergarten Curriculum and Preschool Curriculum classes that only take between 45-80 minutes a day online. We also offer supplemental classes like Role Playing dungeons and dragons style classes, creative writing, book clubs, video game social clubs and much more.
We would love to help you in any way we can on your educating at home journey. Check out our classes below.
Co-Founder and Instructor for Trammell Classes