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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Catching Up


How does time fly! Since we have updated nearly 4 years ago, we are still homeschooling, moved to Idaho, and tried multiple styles and changed blogging sites. I have not liked the other forums and after losing information I have come back to Blogger :)

I could complain about the ways I wish I had never left and I would have extensive content... buuuuut if we focused on every set back how would we ever succeed?

That being said, it's a great segway into the topic I was wanting to post on a blog for a while...

What to do when you lose track of your homeschooling? 

It's happened to all of us at one time or another... make a schedule up and it falls to the wayside.  It's okay and there is no reason to beat yourself up or feel inadequate. We all feel that way sometimes but remember that tomorrow is a new day and has new opportunities.

Since you are here though, I would like to share a few things I have learned along the way...

  1. Always have a back-up plan: The joy of homeschooling comes with a few luxuries - the main one being that you don't have to worry about the education of 20 kids. If you find yourself off your schedule with one or a few kids though, it's not such an overwhelming event. It's good to take  the time to write down a back up list of things to do. I personally keep my back up list in my planning book on the last page. On those days when the little one is extra fussy or I hear a long sigh before I start a lesson I'll question whether it is a valid sign or simple burn out. If it is either of the two I check my back up list. On my list for this quarter (I do my planning in 3 month intervals) I write 5-10 options for rainy or blow off days. They include things like take a river walk and pick weeds and flowers for plant press, visit the nursery for some new seeds and plants, go to the aquarium... As we do these events I cross them off and so on and so on. If I don't use all of the ideas, they are there for the next quarter! 
  2. Don't plan too far in advance: I keep my planner up to date for about 3 months in advance. I have tried both a year and 6 months, but this is what works for us. You may find you can do 1 month or even weekly. It's easier to plan smaller intervals as you can change it up as need. I advise those that are just starting out to plan on a monthly or weekly basis. 
  3. Forgive yourself: I have heard of so many homeschooling moms and dads that beat themselves up over getting behind. If you are totally slacking or you find you can't keep up with the curriculum, being mean to yourself isn't going to help. You may want to think about a new style or why it is you fall behind in order to rectify the situation. Be critical of the problem not the people. 
  4. Quit playing catch-up: Once you fall behind you may feel the need to try to get caught up but this process puts stress on your kids and rarely is an effective way for them to learn. Find areas where you can combine learning or consider pushing back the school year if you take summers off. Add more days to your calendar year rather than more stress to the overall process of homeschooling. 
  5. Use co-ops: Just because you are a home educator doesn't mean that you need to do all of the work yourself! Explore homeschool groups in your area and get involved. Work with other parents - it's a healthy and happy option for you and the kids. 
So, there you have it!

I really am glad to be back!

Now, I'm off to practice my own advice! 

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