I’m just going to start out with the fact that some of this is going to seem like you are complicating your homeschool instead of simplifying it. This is a long term simplification. You’ll spend 2-3 weeks of time preparing for an entire year. But the result is during the year I very rarely have to get anything copied, I spend no time planning and we accomplish a lot. I make up for the hours spent during the summer by re-couping months of time during the year.
Change Your Attitude
I approach homeschooling like a job, well really more of a vocation.I have a friend who works miracles with her kids who are a mix of Special Ed & GT kids. Each year I was astounded to learn what she had accomplished. She did not brag about her accomplishments I basically went fishing for them and then I finally asked her “What was her secret?” She informed me she treated homeschooling like her vocation and not a hobby.
So I had to change my attitude about educating our children, I’ve had a job and my performance and output were much higher then what I was doing at home, to that point. In order to train up well educated young citizens we needed a change. So what that meant to our homeschool is that I get up earlier then I want to be awake to exercise, pray and prepare for the day. I have a daily agenda and a weekly schedule that we consistently follow. Now, mind you I am not the servant to the plan, I am it’s master.
Plans help to keep me accountable to reach our goals and help me to avoid little distractions that derail us. This allows me to let my children nurture their sudden deep interest in a topic, take random field trips or cancel a school day because I know exactly where we are in each subject (and where we need to be), where there is time in our day/week, and can therefore formulate contingency plans.
Budget for your Homeschool
We actually have a budget for our homeschool. Yep, we automatically deposit a certain amount of money into a homeschool checking account. That is my annual school budget for field trips, science experiments etc. This amount has varied from $3($15 a month) to$8 per ($40 per month) per student per month . Additionally, we allocate money from our tax return to purchase new books each year.
This one step has removed a lot of stress from my homeschool. I am never searching for money it is either in the account or it isn’t. It has also allowed us to do some really fun things that I might not have done without pre-allocated homeschool funds.
Set Goals –
Although in Texas we are not required to take standardized tests we do and this gives me a measurable goal to shoot for. Additionally, I have set goals of children knowing their math tables, memorizing dates, writing a certain number of papers. This is really a personal thing and you’ll want to set goals that reflect the goals your family has for homeschooling. However, I can say that regardless of what your personal goals for your’re homeschool are if you do not have any goals you have no idea where you are leading them. Make short term goals that are more tangible. Then when you meet or surpass them enjoy the moment!
Prepare for the school year
By prepare I just mean make a plan during the summer. And create a to-do list and get as much done as possible before school starts, like our PS counterparts. I do as much copying as I can before the first day of school so when a kid needs something I can just hand it to them vs. running over to the printer making a copy while all 5 of them get completely off task. Here are some of the things I do to prepare for the school year:
- print Mystery of History (MOH) Timeline pieces
- print & copy MOH Coloring sheets
- print & copy MOH Notebook pages
- print & copy Science Experiment pages
- Made Saxon Copies
- Made Apologia Copies
- Print online class agendas
- Print Co-op agendas
- Make individual assignment sheets
- Make Curriculum Sheets
- Set up science binders
- Set up General Study binders
My list went on and on… But you get the idea take care of these things before schools starts and it will free up your mind & time during the school year to plan field trips & look for cool videos to supplement your teaching or to relax and have a coffee with a friend.
Friends this is not a sprint it’s a marathon we have to be ready for the long haul!
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God…” Hebrews 12:1-2
Have you read day 1 of the 5 days series Series on Simplifying your Homeschool yet?
- Simplify Curriculum
- Simplify Homeschool Planning
- Simplify Homeschool Meals
- Simplify the Homeschool Week
- Simplify your Homeschool Day