Here is my own personal “Ten ways to simplify homeschooling” to myself:
Create the Environment – It should be nurturing, loving, peaceful, fun, and fostering a love for learning where all that dwell therein are obedient to God and authority. To be successful, you must have order and control in the home. Attitudes, heart issues, and Spiritual growth are far more important than Algebra. If a child has a heart for learning and a desire to please the Lord and has character. Nothing can stop him from fulfilling his God-given destiny.
Be Self-Disciplined. Have a schedule and routine, but be realistic and flexible. There will be interruptions – just get back on task ASAP. Have a specific bedtime and a specific time to get up. Let your schedule be your boss and “swallow your frog” first thing in the morning!
Remember Less is Best! Re-evaluate your current possessions often and purge what is no longer loved or useful. Don’t equate “stuff” with wealth. Too much “stuff”, even good stuff, quickly becomes a burden so think twice about bringing any item into your home. It will all pass away one day anyway.
Prayerfully Make Goals and Plans – for each of your children. Consider Spiritual, Physical, and Educational goals. Review them often and make sure your daily habits are in line with your goals.
Simplify Housework! Require each member pick up after himself. Have several quick “tidy times” throughout your day. Don’t be a slave to perfection. Let housework be a family activity. Teach and train your children in the domestic arts. The initial investment and hard work will yield great dividends! 🙂
Forget the Public Education Model – You are more of a tutor than teacher. 30 minutes of reading in a classroom of students isn’t equal to 30 minutes of reading one on one with your student. If you are excited about the subject, so will your students. Use whatever works and is enjoyable. Just because the book is finished doesn’t mean any true learning took place.
Limit distractions and outside activities. Go counterculture and stay home! Prayerfully select only the best activities and allow your children to be children with ample free time! Limit time-stealers (computer, TV, etc.).
Have a Place for Everything! No more wasting 1/2 a day searching for a math book!
A Children’s file cabinet with file folders for papers for each child
A yearly portfolio scrapbook for each child for special works of art, keepsakes, etc.,
(3-ring binder with protective sleeves)
An art supply cabinet
A shelf for math manipulatives
A Sue Patrick-inspired workbox drawer unit
A cubbie (aka stacked milk crates) for each child for current schoolbooks
A personal bulletin board (or bulletin board space) per child
Tame the 3 Beasts: Meals, Laundry, and Dishes
Laundry – Aim for 3 loads a day M-Thursday
Keep only the things the kids actually wear
Give every child a mesh lingerie bag for dirty socks – toss in washer.
No more missing socks!
Meals – Menu Planning & Crock pots!
Dishes – Paper plates, wash as you go, wash after every meal!
Don’t sweat the small stuff – it’s all small stuff. Don’t be “guilted” into using mainstream programs. Follow God for your family. Don’t get so bogged down in trying to please everyone else that you miss the fun. Do the fun stuff that you’ve always wanted to do but were afraid to because it wasn’t “real” school.
Have Fun! Have a great year!