Back to School Ready?

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in Homeschool Helps | 0 comments

Back to School Ready?

It’s back-to-school time! If you’re starting this week, next, or even next month here are a few tips to be back to school ready!
back to school ready

BACK TO SCHOOL READY

Clean Space. Do yourself a huge favor and clean up your work space before you start work! If that’s a desk, table, bookshelf, or something else … get organized. Signed up for sports? Put a plastic bin in your trunk and throw all the equipment in there. Don’t start day one behind the clean up eight ball.

Calendars. If you set alarms on your phone, google calendar, or print one – get your calendars ready. If it’s for the day, week, or month have them out and ready to roll! Print your lesson plans too! Looking for free ones? Check out our post: Free Lesson Plans.

Fill the Pantry. Hungry children are a bummer, but an empty pantry is a complete kill joy. I even pull out snacks in the morning and put them in our EasyLunchBox coolers. My boys know when it’s “snack time”, so they just go to their color cooler and pull out one of the snacks.  Some days I put out a fruit tray early and they can snack without stopping lessons to ask for food.

Get Rest. If I sound like a broken record, good! Rest is so very important for a happy home. For moms, growing students, and every one involved – get a good night’s sleep. Do not start bedtimes the day before school starts. Get in the habit a few days before so there are no dragging unhappy faces the first day. Wondering about bedtimes? Read our post: Homeschool Bedtimes.

Set Goals. In the beginning I was just happy to finish a homeschool year. But as we creep up on high school I realize we have so much more potential than to just army crawl our way across the finish line. Sit down with your children and ask what they hope to accomplish. What do they want to learn. Where do they want to field trip, etc. Within reason of course – try to incorporate some of their ideas into your homeschool. It will definitely give them something to look forward to this year. It will also help you to say NO to all those other things that pop up and steal your time.

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Homeschool Bedtime

Posted by on Jul 25, 2016 in Parenting | 0 comments

Homeschool Bedtime

Since we homeschool we are asked many different parenting questions. Recently I was in a deep conversation with a friend. She was telling me how hard it was to get her children up in the morning for school.

“Well, you don’t know, but it’s hard to drag them out of bed. Then we rush to throw breakfast at them as we run out the door” she explained.

We don’t have to catch a bus or beat the first period bell, so she assumed my boys stay up late and wake up late.  She was shocked to learn my boys went to bed earlier than her public school boys. When is a good homeschool bedtime?

homeschool bedtime
As with almost everything … bedtime falls into the category of WWBFY. What Works Best For You.

* If your children are miserable when they wake up – make them go to bed earlier.
* If your children have a hard time falling asleep even after a long day of activity – let them stay up longer.
* If your children are not exhausted by the end of the day – get them active to do something that will make them tired.

Yes we homeschool, but my boys are expected to get up out of bed! We do not stay home so they can be lazy. We homeschool, but college is not forgiving. Jobs and bosses are not lenient toward laziness. I want to raise strong men of character, not happy nappers.

Of course, if we travel or stay out late I allow my children to sleep-in and get rest. Even if they want to be cool and brag about a midnight bedtime, growing teenage boys need rest. Allowing your children to stay up later, sleep in longer, and neglecting responsibility is not a healthy option. It will eventually catch up.

I am a wife. I want to have quiet time with my husband without the interruption of children.  We have a rule that children are to be in bed with their lights out at least an hour before I go to bed myself. I like a nice quiet house before I turn off lights and go to bed myself.

If you are looking to find the perfect bedtime try out different times. Keep in mind the daily activity and the attitude of how each child wakes up in the morning. Adjust little one’s bedtime by 15 minutes and older children by 30 minutes.

Need help creating Healthy Bedtime Habits, check out my post at The Marathon Mom!

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Embrace Art

Posted by on Jul 10, 2016 in Homeschool Helps | 0 comments

Embrace Art

Aside from PE, art is probably the most neglected homeschool subject. It’s easy to ignore “art”.

Art is messy. Art requires time. Art can be intimidating if you are not an artist. You might be able to fake a science experiment, but bad art is a dead giveaway of something gone wrong.

embrace art

5 ideas that might just help you embrace art

1. Your children know you are not related to Michelangelo, and they do not expect you to decorate the next great ceiling. Let’s be honest, their art lesson isn’t about your ability (or lack of). Allow your children the opportunity to feel free to create. When I stopped feeling pressure to create something amazing to be “the example” and just let my boys enjoy art time – we all felt a million times better about art. I became a student with them.

2. Try different art media. One of my boys hates chalk pastels. The other hates watercolors. You might not like paper mache. Don’t do it! Give your children a chance to try out different paints, materials, projects, and then see which is liked best. You do not have to force them to use something they do not enjoy.

3. Open your mind about “art”. For the longest time “art” meant painting. When I realized art actually means: something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings. Do not pigeon-hole art to mean painting. Whatever your children create with their imagination and skill that is beautiful or expresses an idea — that’s art.

4. Raise up a generation of cleaners. I do not mind doing anything creative as long as we all work together to clean up! Many hands make a big job small. No one leaves the table before all the supplies are washed and put away. Art time is far less of a monster burden when I am not the only one scrubbing glitter off the table.

5. If creativity does not come naturally, grab a craft book and get inspired. Once a month I take my son to the library and check out a book on crafts. We flip through the book and write down the projects he wants to complete. We write out our supply list, set a budget, and hit the craft store together. This way we are definitely working on life skills and not just something gaudy to send to Grandma.

Hopefully we all can start embracing art and give our children the opportunity to create beauty. It might not be beautiful to us, but that is the greatest thing about art! It’s is so unique and different to everyone. If only math were that forgiving.

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