The question this week for the Virtual Curriculum Fair is "How?" How do I pull it all together? How do I do what I do? How does anything get done around here?
To say that homeschooling is hard would be an understatement. It's a lot of work. It's a lot of time. It's a lot of clutter and mess and wear and tear on my house. Is it harder than sending kids to school? I doubt it. Every family has difficulties with educating their children. It doesn't seem to matter where or how those children are educated~ difficulties exist.
We make educating our children at home work by having clear guidelines of what we expect from the kids, and following a schedule that allows them to meet those expectations. It's obviously not going to work if I expect them to finish their math by lunch time, but we spend the morning running errands. I have created goals for them and then made it impossible for them to reach those goals.
We also re-evaluate often and are flexible in our expectations. Isaac was struggling with a phonics program that James breezed through. Instead of push the program, we got another program that Isaac could excel at. Teaching three kids two different history topics was confusing and time-consuming. So one child changed subjects for the year and now they are all studying the same historical time period.
My kids do better with heavy academics in the morning (math, phonics, spelling, reading, writing, etc.), having a long break, and then tackling additional material in the late afternoon (science, history, music, art, etc). Following this schedule for their sake, instead of utilizing nap times like I intended, makes them school better.
There are a million ways that we make homeschooling work for our family. The little things that work today may not be the same things that work tomorrow. We take things as they come and try to work within the situation, instead of against it. Homeschooling works well now, but five years from now we may have found something that works better. I'm okay with that. My goal is to do what is best for the kids. Right now that thing is homeschooling. Later it'll probably be different. So be it.
Disclaimer: I wrote about these things because I wanted to, and I received nothing but personal satisfaction for my efforts.