Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How Private Schools Groomed Me





PRIVATE SCHOOL BENEFITS
That I use in HOMESCHOOL

Even though I was the product of a teenage mom's single parent home, my mother scraped together enough money to send my brother and I to private school.

MY LOVE AND HATE WITH PRIVATE SCHOOL

I started private school when I was in Kindergarden. It was a small Catholic school across the street from my house.

I was an 'average' student that had a tendency to be talkative, social, and somewhat of a day dreamer.

In those days private school meant you worked harder, had discipline and you learned about God.

I loved my private school up through 8th grade. A lot of my cousins attended the school with me and it really felt like an extension of family. The nun's house was walking distance from the school.

I also believe that the Nuns were the only Caucasian people in my entire neighborhood, lol!

I LOVED being with other kids that were all being 'groomed' to do great things. To work harder than they thought possible, and to be kept in line from bullying or misbehaving by a tightly managed school environment - or - they got the 'boot' and were kicked out of the school.

I HATED that all the things above didn't work for my sons. Neither of my boys thrived in a PRIVATE SCHOOL environment.

WHAT I TOOK FROM MY TIME AT PRIVATE SCHOOL
and USED IN MY HOMESCHOOL

The rigor! Going to private school and being pushed beyond my boundaries with a lot of challenging work, and homework - MADE COLLEGE A BREEZE!

Even though by today's standards, I would have been pinned with possible attention and hyper problems, the fact that in Private School My Peers Worked Hard, it made me want to work hard.

Also, having so much work, I tended to be FORCED to FOCUS.

So, I started slowly grooming my kids in that manner.

Things I replicated from my private school experience:

1) We started homeschooling slowly with focus on remediation of skills
2) Each week I added more subjects, 'but noted to my kids to tell me if it was TOO MUCH'
3) Took away too much idle time. My youngest would destroy things, not on purpose, but because he was 'bored' he'd start to try to 'find' things to do.
4) I asked my kids what their interest was and filled their time with interest focused curriculums that they love.
5) Create an environment of learning and discovery.
6) Challenge them to 'THINK BIGGER' and research, plan, and create a PATH to their BIGGER
7) Practice the 'SKILL' of testing

PEER GROUPS are another strong area that homeschooling allows me to filter. They have friends that LIKE the same things they LIKE. But I also PUSH them to try things they never imagined. And you know what - 7 times out of 10, they end up loving the experience.

BENEFITS I HAVE WITNESSED

My kids adjusted EXTREMELY well to college material. They actually think that COLLEGE IS EASIER because they had a heavier course load and more deliverables during either HOMESCHOOL or their time at PRIVATE SCHOOL.

TIME MANAGEMENT and organization is a skill you learn when you have a LOT to accomplish. and my kids had many classes and projects to manage.

COMMUNICATION skills in writing and oral communication is much more advanced for their age because I make it easy for them to talk about their challenges with a subject, their schedule, or even challenge a grade I've given them. These are skills they needed when being a 'young' college student.

WRITING and COMPUTATION skills benefited since their curriculum always relied heavily on writing and computation.

THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX is something I instituted in my homeschool that WAS NOT in PRIVATE school. However, me being in a 'box' made me REALLY creative about how to get out and around the box, lol!  So, I always made my kids approach things in a scientific method approach to a plan A, plan B and plan C.



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Week 2 and there is More Work To be Done


Week 2 and 3 was full of Exciting Discoveries

My Tiger Lilly drew this for me and I had it put on Canvas, then hung it on one of our main walls in the living room. She was so excited and happy with my surprise.

Not a Good Week

Well this week we had only two mini-meltdowns. I knew it would come. Just exhausting dealing with them.

Speed Racer's Week: 

Blended Middle School/High Schooler 12 yrs old


Challenges this Week
Well, we are trying a hand at having Tiger Lilly validate Speed Racer's daytime online independent work. She get's paid to do this job.

However, she did well at making sure he was engaged, but she noted that he didn't finish 25% of his planned work because she started him later than 10am.

Therefore, Speed Racer has to finish up his independent work over the weekend. Which means for him - Saturday school.

Meltdown

Another night were my little guy stays up WAY TOO LATE and doesn't want to wake up. He gave his sister a hard way to go on Monday, and it didn't get any better with me.

No out right tantrums or freak outs, but some smacking of teeth, tossing around books on the table in a loud manner and prolonging school by an hour (which we don't have since we are supposed to be done by 10pm!)

So, with a few nights of this, I locked up cellphone and game controllers until he focused and finished his work.

Mommy had to reign in the irritation at the fact that to finish the work he wanted to listen to music, hum and tap his pen - all to annoy me further.

So that meant school didn't end until 11:45pm two nights this week. Yeah, I could've ended early, but I want to be consistent with this child or he would act out every single night for school to end early.

Planning Forward:
He will have four Landry Academy classes that start at 7am and 10am four days a week. He plans to do the homework for those classes weekly. We will have to figure it out as these have priority over his online independent classes.

SPEED RACER's WEEK

(10 am-12pm) Daily Independent
Study.com
Psychology and Sociology he failed to pass the chapter test in Sociology with a passing grade. So he will review the chapter and have to do the test again on Saturday.

Macro Econ and Information Systems were finished without issue although he did write down questions that he asked Tiger Lilly and his dad about.

Physics he loves this class since he figures he can use it towards getting his Pilot's license one day.

(1pm-2pm) Daily Independent

Membean thankfully he is now on level 2 as far as word understanding and usage goes.
Geometry (Teaching Textbooks) takes him about 30 minutes
Speed Reading & Comprehension with Ace Reader he is really doing well with this. He told me he liked it better than the workbook reading and comprehension

(2-3pm) Mon and Wed with Tiger Lilly tutoring him

Java Homeschool he finished his first program with help from his sister.

(3pm-4:30pm) Daily

Tiger Lilly was telling him what he needed to code while reading it from her phone.


Geometry AbekaAcademy he had two quizzes and passed with A's. Taking this with TT Geometry follow up is working out well for him. He likes getting it from two different perspectives.

Copy work his cursive and print writing has come a long way!

Sequential Spelling He is getting all of his words right. I am thinking of moving him up, but we will see.

(5pm) Martial Arts  or Soccer
He has 1.5 hours of one of these a day. Saturday, he has other activities.

(6:15-6:30pm) 2 days a week
3-minute devotional for guys Bible Devotionals he actually loved spending the one on one time with his dad doing this.

(6:30-7:15pm) Dinner

(7:15pm-7:30pm) 2 days a week
Math Drill he is still having challenges with decimals. The adding and multiplying of them. So, he is taking about 8 minutes to finish his drill sheets and only getting 60% of it correct.

(7:30pm - 9:30pm) 5 days week
Chemistry with Abeka he passed all of his test so far with A's.

(9:30pm-10:30pm) 3 or 2 days a week 
English Literature and American Literature this he says has a lot of overlap, so he happens to do well on test in both classes. He doesn't like reading the classical stuff though so I got movies.

PE Is done 6 days a week. He is in Civilian Airforce Program (or CAP), Young Eagles, martial arts and Soccer.


Weekend Plans: Saturday 9am to 12 pm: CAP or Young Eagles (where he actually flies an airplane!). Finish up any excess homework. Attend Church youth group. Sunday is church, cleaning and the beach.

Tiger Lilly's Week: High Schooler /Dual Enrolled 15 yrs old

Tiger Lilly and Rose had an Impromtu Paint Night

Tiger Lilly is still on her 'light' schedule since she has until the end of August for the college courses.

Challenges: The homeschoolprogramming class was a bit outdated with the requested software download. So she spent the week working on finding the right plugin for her application.

Also, she told me her brother drove her crazy.


11am-12pm - 3 days a week
Software Development class She is correcting her draft Trade Analysis paper on game development frameworks.

12pm-1pm - 5 days a week
See the Light Art Class finally she is getting to the drawing of people. That is one of the areas she isn't as confident in her art.

1pm-2pm - 5 days a week
Homeschool Programming Android Programming it's coming along well. She is learning some things that she didn't learn in her college course since that course was more rushed.

2pm-3pm - 3 days a week
Calculus with Saxon & Dive and CTCMath Oh this is a challenge for her! She does like the CTCMath version and explainations better than with Dive.

5pm-6:30pm - 3 days a week
Soccer she is starting to loosen up. However, on Friday we are starting her with a new Martial arts that she is fussing about attending stating she has too much physical exercise already with soccer and going to the gym with her dad. I reminded her that she has to have 1.5 hrs of exercise a week and doing something different each day will be best for her.

7pm-8pm - 1 day a week
Japanese with 1.5 hr tutoring is going well. I am looking for an in person training class though.

8pm-9pm - 2 days a week
3-minute Devotional for Girls she likes it and it gives her and I a reason to discuss tough issues.

WORKING PARENT's LOG


Meals Okay, the freezer meals are coming to an end and I have to do it again. Prepping is my least favorite part of the process.

Cleaning. Hubby hung the door on my oldest daughter's room and she was ecstatic but not happy that he decided to do it at 12am in the morning...

Work & Life Balance. My schedule is back to normal. BUT now I have to drop off my 2 older kids in the morning to their jobs and pick up one. So my schedule is all over the place as my husband and I flip flop drop offs until the older kids save enough for new cars.

Lesson Planning. Coming along well. I wanted to do two weeks worth, but didn't get around to it.

Rest. You'd think I'd get more sleep. However, my husband likes going to the movies - late, at night, and during the week when it is discounted. So, one late night at the movies, another late night with him putting in a door meant two 5 hours nights of hardly any sleep. The rest of the week I was up to 6 to 7 hours.

Marriage Check Up. Still having fun together by riding to pick up kids or going to the movie. This week got ahead of us though and we didn't have much 'chatting' time.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Our First 2016 Trial Week of School


This week is the second full week of our schedule. However, in between, we went camping over the weekend.

My two youngest kiddos, aka, students decided they would put up the tents and set up all the camping site.


They had a bit of fun with the set up.

OUR WEEK OF SCHOOL
Cha-Cha-Changes

Well, I had to change around Speed Racer's schedule. Realized (1) the Abeka Physics was WAY too intensive (2) that we only really had 3 to 4 evening hours of one on one time to get various subjects done, if he was going to do his PE classes like dance, soccer and martial arts.

For Tiger Lilly, she is reviewing and learning homeschool Calculus using both CTCMath and Saxon, but still says she wants some help. Therefore, I'm on the hunt for a tutor. She also wanted me to add back her ART curriculum since she didn't finish it. 

Positive Observations

My son has MATURED greatly and is a wonderful independent learner. Tiger Lilly loves teaching her brother and assisting him with his work.

I never would have thought my Speed Racer could calm down and be focused (even though he has to listen to music while he works or even stands up while typing). 

There are still some classes I have to be involved in (the Abeka classes for administering Quizzes or Test) and the follow up review of his Study.com, math drills and Vocabulary and Spelling I still check.

KEEPING THEM FOCUSED

Means I lock up the cellphones, the game controllers and tablets until their work is done, done, done. It's worked very well.

Timer - yes, I still use one. We set it 5 minutes before end of task time and it keeps everyone on focus.

If work isn't finished by the time the timer goes on, it becomes 'homework' for my child to do on Saturday.

Workboxes are helpful yet another year. They finish their work and when I am done doing whatever I need to do around the house, I go and check their progress. However, it's not as much needed for validation of the online work as that gets emailed to me.

Speed Racer's Week: 

Blended Middle School/High Schooler 12 yrs old


Mon - Friday
He does his Study.com classes on his own. On days he has a test (which is only 1 every week) he has a longer class.

(10 am-12pm) Daily Independent
Study.com
Psychology and Sociology are his favorites. He tends to actually watch the entire 5 to 7 min videos and wiz through the quizzes.

Macro Econ and Information Systems takes him longer to complete the quizzes and he prefers to read these lessons.

Physics was a course that he originally had in AbekaAcademy.com but he told me it was way too much math and work for him to be interested. He requested to move it to a Study.com class. Since then it's been working out great and he enjoys it.

(1pm-2pm) Daily Independent

Membean he does 20 mins of Vocabulary
Geometry (Teaching Textbooks) takes him about 30 minutes
Ace Reader is his speed reading and comprehension online class he finished in 10 min

(2-3pm) Mon and Wed with Tiger Lilly tutoring him

Java Homeschool Programming takes him 30 min to 60 min depending on task

(3pm-4:30pm) Daily

Then Mom or Dad are available to give him Quizzes and Test
Geometry AbekaAcademy takes him about 45 min to 60 min to watch video, take notes, do homework.

Copy work takes 10 minutes he's doing Great Quotes & Writing in Cursive

Sequential Spelling takes 20 minutes for him to do, he is at Level 5 and gets most all correct

(5pm) Martial Arts  or Soccer
He loves going to his sports since he gets to play with his friends. This year my husband isn't coaching but the team is pretty big for soccer. His Martial arts class has a few other homeschoolers there he plays with.

(6:15-6:30pm) 2 days a week
3-minute devotional for guys Bible Devotionals administered by Dad and Big Brother and he prefers his brother, but his brother is long winded with discussion times, lol!

(6:30-7:15pm) Dinner

(7:15pm-7:30pm) 2 days a week
Math Drill sheet are done and cover addition, subtraction, fractions, long division, exponents and are only supposed to take a few minutes but I give him 15 mins.

(7:30pm - 9:30pm) 5 days week
Chemistry he is taking with Abeka and so far likes it and is doing well at it.

(9:30pm-10:30pm) 3 or 2 days a week 
English Literature and American Literature he is taking with Abeka on alternating days.

Tiger Lilly's Week: High Schooler /Dual Enrolled 15 yrs old

She decided she didn't want to take the Digipen schedule after seeing how intensive the course was for homework.

Mon - Friday
Her schedule is still on the 'lighter' side since her college classes don't start until 8/22. However, here are her days.

11am-12pm - 3 days a week
Software Development class I had her do a Trade Analysis of Game design frameworks she can use in the development of her games. She enjoyed it and got the draft to me after two days of working on it.
12pm-1pm - 5 days a week
See the Light Art Class she gets to practice her drawing and it pushes her beyond her comfort zone. She is doing this instead of the Animation class.

1pm-2pm - 5 days a week
Homeschool Programming Android Programming takes her about 30 minutes to an hour

2pm-3pm - 3 days a week
Calculus with Saxon & Dive and CTCMath is a bit difficult for her. She is doing C work and requested a tutor.

6pm-7:30pm - 3 days a week
She goes to the gym with her dad and on Friday's she is 'trying' out martial arts at a new school.

7pm-8pm - 1 day a week
Japanese with 1.5 hr tutoring on Tuesdays. She spends the rest of the week practicing it on us.

8pm-9pm - 2 days a week
3-minute Devotional for Girls has been changed to just 2 days a week and she enjoyed the lesson, likes saying the prayers.

WORKING PARENT's LOG


Meals Love, love, love the Airfry. My daughter is able to make dinner before I get home. Also, the freezer meal prep worked well since my oldest son now helps prep. So basically, I only have to do dinner 3 days a week. Hubs doesn't do it at all.

Cleaning. Well we had more of a 'pass the buck' chore chart going on. It was requested I change the days of the week that the older kids do the kitchen. Hum.....

Work & Life Balance. I had to work late this week for 3 days. Ugh, I was so tired. However, my kids were very independent in doing their work.

Lesson Planning. It didn't get done until 11pm on Sunday night. Not my best, but we did go camping this weekend.

Rest. I am getting 5 to 6 hours on the days I had to work late. When we went camping, I got no darn sleep.

Marriage Check Up. We were supposed to go to the movies. Well, that fell through, but we promised to do it this weekend. The only problem is my hubs is a night owl who likes to go to the midnight movies when we have to wake up and go to work the next day. Needless to say, we argue about this and sometimes I give in, other times he does.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Curriculum Choices & Schedule for New School Year

IT's TIME


CURRICULUM for 2016/2017 School Year

This school year, my youngest homeschooler, Speed Racer is doing a combined 9th - 11th grade curriculum as next year we plan to focus totally on CLEPs (if he is willing to do it).

DAILY SCHEDULE FOR WORKING PARENTS

Note: My husband and I flip flop our schedule and our older children do also so that someone is usually home with the two kids that are homeschooling.

ORGANIZATION
We use Sue Patrick's WORKBOX System (we've augmented it a bit).

Mon - Friday
07:00 am: Kids start online Landry 1 hr class (3 days a week)
08:30 am: Kids eat breakfast take shower

09:30 am: Kids start other online work
01:00 pm: Kids eat lunch, check in with mom, dad or older siblings
02:00 pm: Kids continue with book work and Video Courses
04:30 pm: Kids get ready for sports
05:30 pm: Kids go to sports activities (Fall: Soccer, Martial Arts, Dance)
07:00 pm: Kids eat dinner with family
08:00 pm: Kids finish up written work
10:00 pm: Kids relax
01:00 am: Kids go to bed.

Saturday afternoon
9am: Clean up house
7pm: Finish any work not completed during the week. Tutoring if needed. Review if needed.

Sunday:
Off day


*Yes, our kids stay up late and have a long day. However, they take lots of breaks between completion of work and sometimes nap if they want*

SPEED RACER's Week
12 yrs 
Blended High School

Type of School Year: Block schedule (8 week segments)
Duration: Aug 1st - May 31st
Breaks: 2 days in September, 10 days in November, 10 days in December, 2 days in January, 5 days in April.


Electives: Aeronautics, Computer Science, Game Science


Independent Online Work:
Speed Racer completes this work during the day independently without parental supervision. However, each online course allows me to check his progress. Each is interactive with videos and quizzes or test after the lessons.

I found a sale on Study.com for $379 for 1 year of online study at HomeschoolBuyerco-op.org
Study.com shows a 5 min video on a topic within a subject and the student does a quiz after each topic and a test online after each chapter in the topic.

MacroEcon (Study.com)-10 min
Psychology (Study.com)-10 min
Sociology (Study.com)-10 min
Information Tech (Study.com)-10 min
Physics (Study.com)-20 min
Java Programming (Homeschool Programmer)-60 min with Tutor 1 times a week
Vocabulary (Membean)-25 min
Speed Reading (ACE Reader)-10 min
Basic Math Review (CTCMath.com/CK12.org/Teaching Textbooks or Worksheets)-25 min

Traditional Course
Speed Racer will do these with parental involvement or with a private tutor supervising and checking work.


Geometry (AbekaAcademy.com DVDs / Teaching Textbooks for Math Lab) - 1 hr daily
English Lit (AbekaAcademy.com DVDs & teacher support) - 1 hr daily 3 days a week
American Lit (AbekaAcademy.com DVDs & teacher support) - 1 hr daily 3 days a week
Chemistry (AbekaAcademy.com DVDs & teacher support) - 1 hr daily 3 days a week


Online Classes:
These classes have a teacher who administers homework, keeps grades and live teaches the class.

(LandryAcademy)
Spanish - 1 hr daily/ 3 days a week
Algebra 1 (Saxon) - 1 hr daily/ 5 days a week

Writing ER - 1 hr daily/ 2 days a week
Python Programming - 1 hr daily/ 2 days a week


Homeschool Filler Courses - 2nd Semester
These classes I use when he finished his major curriculum and he needs to brush up skills

Inspirational Quotes CopyWork
Sequential Spelling
Wordly Wise

His Interest he wants to pursue study on:
Indian American History (movie based)
Black Achievements (movie based)
CAP Program sponsored Aeronautics
Video Game Science (attending seminars, game conventions, game jams)
3-minute devotional for guys (Bible Devotionals administered by Dad and Big Brother)


TIGER LILLY 
15 yrs 
High School & Dual College Enrolled 
Finished 27 College Credits towards Information Systems & Computer Science Degree

Tiger Lilly is now in her Sophomore year of college in Information Systems and Computer Science. She still has a few homeschooling classes to take, but they are all based on her passionate interest in Game Development.


Type of School Year: College Semesters (8 week semesters) Homeschool courses: year around
Daily Classes: Some classes are only 2 to 3 times a week
Duration: Aug 1st - May 31st
Breaks: 2 days in September, 10 days in November, 10 days in December, 2 days in January, 5 days in April.
Electives: Japanese, Video Game Design (build mobile app), Software Development, Animation, Bible study


Homeschool Courses:
These classes she selected to work on in addition to her college classes. These are topics she is passionate about.

Japanese (online tutor and in person 12 week class) - 1 hr daily/ 3 days a week
Video Game Development (Android Development) - 1 hr daily/ 3 days a week
Bible Devotional Series
Software Development (Mom built curriculum) - 1 hr daily/ 1 days a week
Animation (Digipen) - 1 hr daily/ 3 days a week
3-minute Devotional for Girls (Bible administered by Mom and Big Sister) - 1 hr daily/ 3 days a week

Dual College Courses:
She loves how short and compact her course times are with University of Maryland, University College. However, she doesn't like the lack of tutor support for Math and Computer Science classes. So I will have to hire a tutor for her Calculus and for Concepts & Apps of Info Tech classes.

08/22/16 - 10/16/16
Relatnl Dtbs Concepts & Apps
Elements of Nutrition
Advanced Technical Writing  

09/12/16 - 11/06/16
Concepts & Apps of Info Tech
 
10/24/16 - 11/20/16
Introduction to Research

10/24/16 - 12/18/16
Calculus I


WORKING PARENT's LOG


Meals I just got an Airfry and I love the thing. I am using it to make meals on 'my night'. Also, we started the month off with prepping 20 meals! So we just thaw and cook. I instituted a chore chart with everyone but my husband cooking a day of the week. So stay tuned.

Cleaning. A new chore chart hit the scene here. My older kids have to be retrained to participate in cleaning. It's a struggle, but everyone is on board.

Work & Life Balance. I really found a great job. I love it. I have a lot of flexibility and can work from home a day or two a week and flex my schedule (that I do often). My husband's job doesn't allow him to work from home anymore, he transferred to a new customer and now has to be physically at work. But he has a flexible schedule.

Lesson Planning. I started off with a bang - and realized I had too much stuff on his schedule. Speed Racer and I took off courses for him to start in Block Session 2 based on his interest.

Rest. I am getting more than ever before. The kids are pretty independent now with their work.

Marriage Check Up. Date night is a hard sell right now with all the running around we've been doing with the kids. So we settled for a 'night in' and sent the kids out to the movies (the great part of having older kids to drive the younger ones around).

Monday, July 25, 2016

Why students should take Primary Math til 12th Grade




ADD - SUBTRACT MULTIPLY - FRACTIONS - DECIMALS - LONG DIVIDE - EXPONENTS & WORD PROBLEMS

I started to notice with my oldest son, that once he started taking Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus he'd forgotten the 'instant recall' of Middle School Math facts.
He was in Traditional School and therefore, just because he got passing grades on advanced math facts, I didn't think he needed any recall on core math facts - UNTIL he took his SAT PREP class and I realized it took him 3 times longer to do fractions and Decimals division than when he was in middle school.

WHY DO YOU NEED TO KEEP PRACTICING MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH FACTS?

Because they show up constantly in advanced math (BUT STUDENTS USE CALCULATORS) and start to forget the math facts.

They need to know how to complete these problems for (1) SATs (2) COLLEGE ENTRY EXAMS (3) Some JOBs (4) Military Exam (5) JUST BECAUSE

MAKE SURE - you reinforce this by having them 'write' their answers when they are re-learning it. Then use interactive math programs like IXL, CTCMath, CK12 or others that are free online to further practice and master facts.

Also (1) Have Student Write the 'RULES' for solving certain types of problems. - FRACTIONS, DECIMALS, WORD PROBLEMS and EXPONENTS were where we needed to do this the most.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?

When your kid takes advanced math, (1) Give them a Daily Drill on each of the Math Facts above. (2) Do a periodic testing to see which math skill they've forgotten (3) Make BASIC MATH a core curriculum that follows your student until they start College

MY CURRENT EXPERIENCE.

My kids had the most difficult time remembering the RULES for FRACTIONS, DECIMALS and EXPONENTS - all which are needed for Algebra. But when they don't use it - they lose it.

However, I still needed to keep their fast recall of ADDITION, SUBTRACTION, MULTIPLICATION and DIVISION so that they didn't waste as much time pondering over facts they new backwards and forth in Elementary and Middle School.

MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER FORGOT her CALCULATOR when she took the SAT. And you know what? She scored a higher score in MATH than her brother because she still had instant recall of the basic math facts and it made those types of problems easier for her.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Organize For the New Homeschool Year

Do It Now



One of the ONLY ways that I am able to pull off HOMESCHOOLING and WORKING without screaming to the rafters about how STRESSFUL it is - is by ORGANIZING things way in advance

I do realize that I am a bit Type - A and possibly would've been diagnosed with being hyper, scatterbrained, and unfocused. But I have learned to re-focus myself and my home.

THINGS TO PLAN and SET UP BEFORE THE SCHOOL YEAR

A space for school: Even though my kids roam the house with their laptops to do work, I do have a DESIGNATED spot for each of them. I use that spot or space to get them to refocus, get some accountability, or to review a topic with them.

Since we have limited space - we use a PORTABLE DESK that we break down when it's time for dinner. They also have a rolling drawer set that is our WORKBOXES where their books and work mainly reside.

A space for books: Our school materials are in two bookshelves. Each kid has their materials for school on their own shelves, in their rolling workbox drawer set, and materials on their shelves.

A laptop: We had to buy one for each of the kids, especially, since one was taking Robotics and the other was doing Computer Programming.

A DVD Player: We have some DVD based curriculum that worked well for us. Therefore each child has their own DVD player and earphones.

Meal Planning: Freezer prepping meals is my secret weapon. Great for a working and homeschooling parent and easy to get the kids cooking. This is another area I try to plan way in advance. There are tons of meal planning templates and plans online. I use those to build our meals for the school year.

Meal Prep Time: We schedule in family meal prep time for Sunday's. My secret weapon is Freezer Prep meals. Here's a great blog post that helps me a lot.

Cleaning Schedule: I create the chore chart for the school year, which typically include 'maintenance' cleaning during the week and 'deep' cleaning on Saturday afternoons or evenings.

Field Trip Planning: I take a moment to review their curriculum and then build our monthly field trips around what they are learning.

Curriculum Planning: This takes me several weeks of research and evaluation of what worked previously and what didn't.

Weekly Lesson Schedule: I put together the first two weeks of school on a daily schedule sheet for each child.

Parent Break Times: Yes, I schedule in when my husband and I relieve each other from 'homeschooling' duties to have time to relax.

Date Nights: I do this in advance in case I have to hire a babysitter or ask one of my older kids to watch their siblings.

AFTER IT's ALL PLANNED - SHARE IT WITH THE MASSES

Sharing this with your kids and spouse is a great way to get everyone's buy-in and help. I do a walk thru with the family the week before we start school, even if they grumble about it, they appreciate it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

How To Pace Yourself So Burnout No More






I hear it all the time from my homeschooling momma's not so much from the dad's because they keep it to themselves, and from my working momma's

I am BURNED OUT or I am STRESSED OUT

It's because they forget one simple thing. SCHEDULE your time in.


HOMESCHOOLING WITHOUT BURNOUT

This is something that I have to take extra time to consider. As a working mom, I sometimes try to 'over' compensate for not being home all the time with my kids, that taking time out for myself seems selfish.

However, with the freedom of homeschooling and a supportive spouse, I can make sure I get my time in. I also schedule in my husband's personal time with me alone without the kids.


THE SCHEDULE is where IT BEGINS


I do Weekly planning for the kids. I plan out their day and their subject.

I also PLAN IN MOM TIME and have the kids trained to do self absorbed activities during that time. I only give myself 1 hour every other day.

Example:
Mon/Wed/Friday = 1 hr of my time to spend having a nap
Mon/Wed/Friday = 1 hr of my kids doing online interactive learning / playing a video game or doing something fun during their 1 hr break

Sat = Marraige time. My husband and I go on a 'date night' or have a 'movie night with food and snacks in our room or basement'. The kids know not to bother us during that time.

TRAIN YOUR KIDS TO RESPECT YOUR TIME

My kids respect that they have to give mom time. We have a TIMER set up that marks my time and over the years, they have come to learn to respect it. I give them a *Gift* when they do.

TAKE ON AN OUT OF THE HOUSE HOBBY or PART TIME JOB YOUR LOVE

I get out of the house one time a month for a Meetup.com event to either paint or work with other authors.

My girlfriend is a SAHM and found a part-time job as a Cake Decorator. She loves the work and the people at her job that she said it makes making money fun, gives her a get out the house card, and funds some of her kids school materials.

STAYCATIONs

Also, since I love to write, I do STAYCATIONS. I wake up two hours earlier than everyone on the weekend and go out on my backyard, sit at my table and start to write as the sun comes up.

It's a wonderful time alone for reflection, reading and quiet.

WHAT TO DO NOW?

Make a place in your home that is your 'spot'. Create and schedule in your time alone to refresh. Give your spouse the same courtesy. My husband gets to rest, watch TV, walk outside as soon as he gets home from work since I am usually already in the house. I get my time in the night time after dinner when he is ready to take over instruction for the kids.

For our Weekend date nights, we try to get a babysitter and usually switch off with our friends.