getting organized

If there’s one thing you need when you’re homeschooling, trying to maintain the household, get everyone to their activities on time, cook dinner, and still take care of yourself, it’s organization!   For so many homeschool families, it’s all about the organization.

For many, this means using a schedule to keep track of family events, the kids’ extracurricular activities, and dentist appointments.   Schoolwork can also be kept track of this way, and it often works well to give kids a list of tasks to be completed each day, both schoolwork and chores.  Let them cross each item off as it is completed, and make sure you check behind them, especially at first while they’re getting used to the system.  Positive reinforcement will make your family more likely to stick to the schedule.

You’ll need to sit down and think about what kinds of things you need to include on your family’s schedule, and how detailed you want it to be.  Generally, you should include anything with a deadline, and anything that needs to be accomplished in incremental steps, to ensure progress is made.   For example, if you want to finish the 2nd grade math book by the end of the year, divide the number of lessons by the number of days you have left, and allocate a certain time of the day to complete the necessary lessons.

Don’t go overboard, but do use the concept of scheduling to help you meet your goals.  Homeschoolers are busy people, and scheduling properly helps to accomplish everything that needs to get done.

Homeschooling – the first year

Whether your kids have gone to school somewhere else, or you’re starting to homeschool from the very beginning, adjusting to a homeschooling lifestyle does take some time.   It’s often said that the first year of homeschooling is the most challenging and difficult.

It helps if your kids are happy about being homeschooled.  Younger kids are often more accepting about homeschooling, perhaps because they haven’t experienced much of the public school environment yet.  If you’re pulling your kids out of public school because of substandard academics, you might meet some resistance from them over missing their friends.  A lot varies with the kids and your individual situation.

Choosing a homeschool curriculum for your family may take some research.  Quite often, whatever a family starts homeschooling with has changed by the end of that first year.  The process of trial and error means that what you thought would work well for your kids somehow didn’t live up to your expectations.  Luckily, there are so many different types and formats of curricula out there, with a little patience you’re sure to find something right for you.

It’s also worth mentioning that homeschooling affects the whole family because it really isn’t just a choice of schools, but a way of life.