Now in my third year of homeschooling, I’ve discovered that you shouldn’t be afraid of changing homeschooling routines. We’ve almost finished first term in Victoria and already I’ve made multiple changes to our homeschool routine. This year was a new challenge for me as my second (& youngest) child started school. Although not overly worried about how to work them together, I did want to make a rough timetable to give myself an idea of what I was covering and when.
I decided I needed to spend at least one hour as “one on one” time with my youngest. Whilst this was happening, I had planned for my eldest (Grade 2) to complete some work by herself. This worked really well – for the first week!!! Then different things caused our homeschooling plans to go astray. My youngest just didn’t want to school, my eldest kept getting distracted, relatives came to stay, my children got sick – the list goes on!!!
Finally this week we are back on track, but again I have been changing homeschooling routines for us. I’ve found that the time I spent with my youngest just wasn’t enough. We’ve also integrated some online learning with Studyladder this year. My eldest is capable of using this online learning system by herself, but I’ve found that my youngest needs me sit with her. I’ve also discovered that I am able to set a lot more tasks in our general homeschool curriculum for my eldest to work at alone, therefore allowing me to allocate more time to my youngest. So I now have allocated at least 1 1/2 hours with my youngest as “one-on-one”. This is working much better and the stress levels in our daily routine have dramatically reduced.
Taking Advantage Of Concentration Spans
The one thing I have always maintained this year is that the time I spend with my youngest is always first thing in the morning. She is still young, and if I wait until later in the morning, her ability to concentrate certainly wanes. She is still free to participate in our joint activities later during the school day, but the specific subjects of reading & math I know are being covered when she is best able to concentrate.
Working With Set Time-Frames
I did start with set time-frames for working with each child, but I have also quickly become a lot more flexible with these. Sometimes this may mean that our school day runs for longer than usual, but if that means that my children are enjoying their school then it is all for the best. As a homeschooling mother, this is certainly something I’ve had to adjust to. My working life was often ruled by time-frames and set work times, and I’m definitely someone who likes routines, so the ability to be flexible in our homeschool has been something I’ve had to learn.
Homeschooling parents need not be concerned if they seem to be changing homeschooling routines. I know that as the year progresses I will probably change this schedule again. That is just one of the bonuses that homeschooling your children offers. The ability to be flexible in your learning and adapt to the changing needs of your children is a must.
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