My Top Homeschool Hacks…
From a Mama of 10 Kids!
It doesn’t take a genius to homeschool your children. But it will take a tremendous amount of time on your knees in prayer, a very strong cup of coffee, and a lot of grit.
As a new homeschool mom, many years ago, I would simply sit and listen…glean as much knowledge from those who had gone before me. I would read anything I could get my hands on about learning styles, the psychology of children, and so much more. But there is nothing like the view from the trenches of a homeschool day to put your preconceived educational philosophies to the test.
Since many of you have recently joined the ranks of the homeschool movement I thought I would share some of my Homeschool Hacks.
1. Educate Yourself. Read as many books on homeschool as you possible can handle. Watch Youtube videos, talk with other moms, and read my blog (I had to say it!).
2. Ditch formal preschool and kindergarten. Before you think I am crazy please consider some of the major studies that have been done over the years.
“In addition to our basic research at Standford and the University of Colorado Medical School, we analyzed over 8000 studies of children’s senses, brain, cognition, socialization, etc., and are certain that no replicable evidence exists for rushing children into formal study at home or school before the age of 8.”
Taken from The Moore Formula
I am not advocating that you let your little ones sit in front of the TV or video games all day. But rather spend time reading daily, learning math skills with cooking, and science outside exploring in nature. Learning comes natural to our little ones.
3. Stick to the Basics. Your main focus should be reading, writing, and arithmetic. If they can do those three things well they will succeed at anything. I love teaching history and science and all the fun things too. But if the day is crazy we stick with the basics.
Need math help? https://www.raisingourtribe.org/post/ctcmath-is-a-life-saver
4. Learn Together. One of the many reasons we homeschool is to spend time together as a family. We group subjects like bible, history and science together as much as possible. If you have multiple high school students have them all take the same science together. It doesn’t matter which year they take biology…and doing the labs together are so much more fun!
Don't forget your man! https://www.raisingourtribe.org/post/crazy-little-thing-called-marriage
5. Tidbits of Time. I educate our children in block sessions. I tried for many years to have detailed schedules. I failed miserably! Now I block larger periods of time to allow us not to feel rushed. I find that my children learn better and retain more if we spend quality time in that study. For example, I do history only twice per week. With a longer time frame we can read aloud, work on some mapping, and even create a project. Little ones tend to learn in shorter time spurts. Sometimes it’s better to get a good 20 minutes of math in our day than to struggle trying to complete an entire lesson.
6. If Nothing Else: If nothing else gets done during my day I always try to do bible and prayer. If my kids know His Word and know how to pray they can conquer mountains.
Love, love, love this! https://www.raisingourtribe.org/post/a-moral-compass
7. Create an Atmosphere: While working on art we listen to Mozart. While learning about countries and cultures we listened to all sorts of music while we did chores or on our way to soccer. Currently, we are doing a unit study on weather. So today I had my phone playing a thunderstorm while I read about storms. I turned off the lights and lit a candle. Last year, as we studied the stars, we listened to the theme of Star Wars. Let your imagination go wild!
8. Mini Whiteboards. I use these for everything! Each of my younger kids use them daily while practicing spelling words and math facts.
9. Learning Games. I find that my younger kids love games. Allowing them to play an educational game gives me some much needed quiet time to help another child. It’s worth the investment!
10. Movies: I spend time researching good movies, documentaries and short videos that would enhance our topic of learning.
11. Home Economics Day: Pencil in on your calendar specific days that you gather the troops and learn some basic life skills…like cleaning the toilet!
12. No Time Wasted: We use our car time (traveling to piano lessons, soccer practice, etc) to listen to audio books.
13. Take School Outside: We love to take our books outside and learn around the picnic table, read on the porch swing, or discuss history while taking a walk. Enjoy the beautiful weather!
14. Meal Plan…and get a crock pot! I plan a monthly meal plan that is flexible. I keep it simple and try to include my older kids into the cooking process. By planning ahead it’s just one less thing I have to think about in my day.
One of our favorites: https://www.raisingourtribe.org/post/my-go-to-large-family-meal
15. Prayer. Begin your day in prayer. Pray throughout the day. And end your day in family prayer. Never stop praying for your children…no matter what. Just keep praying!
Now take a deep breathe. Stay calm and homeschool on!