Friday, April 17, 2015

Learning to be Consistent in my Homeschool

I am the worst person in the world when it comes to consistency. Always have been.

  • I start a weight loss or exercise program and I quit. 
  • Never kept a boyfriend long before Mr. Kerrie (20 years in with the dude this summer so I'm pretty sure it's going to work out). 
  • Never kept a job too long either. 
  • Can't keep up a household routine as far as keeping things organized and clean.
  • SUCH a challenge for me to stay on the kids to keep up with homeschooling or to stick with a plan. That's why I started doing virtual school last fall and it has helped me but has not cured my inconsistency issue.
So here are some things I'm working on as I try to get better as a homeschooling mama. I have got to get my stuff together since Samuel will be doing kindergarten in the fall, which makes a total of 5 kids homeschooling under my care AT THE SAME TIME! Also, I had Eva doing kindergarten this year and I'm thinking she could blow through some first grade stuff this summer and hit second grade this fall with our virtual school since she turns 8 in December. (this is not a matter of me pushing her -- I technically have all my kids a year "behind" from the start so they can take their time -- more a matter of she is smart as a whip, especially in math, and I want to get her where she CAN be).

**I am not trying to be consistent because I think I SHOULD be but because I know I HAVE TO BE or else nothing would get done EVER, and I want my kids to have learning opportunities every day. Trust me, we get PLENTY of play and friend and field trip and travel and screen time in!
  1. See those cards in the picture above? Those are sight word cards that came with Callie's virtual school program and I kind of let them rot for months. Last week I counted out 20 cards at a time and put each set of 20 into a snack-sized Ziploc baggie with the date on each baggie. If we miss a day we do two the next day. It works because Callie knows we are doing it DAILY, even on weekends. It's a manageable number for her to do. I put them where I can see them so I can catch her and have her do a few at a time or all at once.
  2. I keep a spiral notebook where I write down each kid's name on one page for each day. So like I put Joel's name at the top of a page with the date. I turn the page and put Michael's name with the date. This way each kid gets a full page so I can track what I WANT to do versus what we REALLY did. I can transfer things from day to day depending on what comes up. I just try to get a set amount of stuff done each week so I see some sort of progress. If I slack for one day, I slack for weeks, people. And it's not like the kids are BEGGING to homeschool. They are thrilled when I don't bug them to do anything!
  3. As much as I try to resist it, every week I print out 7 daily calendar pages. I fill in what I know is happening, like plans we have. I fill in work time in the mornings from about 7-9. Then 9-noon is homeschooling, which also sometimes includes some chores and maybe even a recess time with the neighbors. Then the rest of the day could explode but we at least get SOMETHING done. That's the plan anyway!
  4. I have to fight the urge to be too laid back with my homeschooling. I am not homeschooling each kid for 7 hours per day, but homeschooling 4 kids over a period of 3 hours is about all I can usually fit in because we get busy after lunchtime. It is hard for me to be at peace with the concept of "slow and steady wins the race" but I have to be. I can't cram a year's worth of knowledge into my kids' heads in one month so we can then play the other 11 months of the year. A tiny bit every day is what gets it done. Some is enjoyable to them, some is harder to grasp, but we have different ways to teach different subjects and are blessed to have those resources!
How are you conquering your faults as a homeschool parent? I'd love to talk to you!

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