Encourage your children to set their own goals for the school year. By honoring their ideas you create an unpressured learning environment and your child will be self-motivated.
Ask your kids to make their own homeschool schedule. This can work for all types of homeschoolers, whether they use a curriculum, or not, or something in between. Let the kids know when you are available to facilitate (if they need help with finding resources, being read to, etc.) and they can schedule their own work time. Even though I try to unschool, having a little structure to the day feels good and when the kids are part of the planning they stick to it.
Get fit. An energetic parent can get everything done that needs to be done, and still have some extra energy to do what they want to do. And a fun fitness plan can provide that little extra. There are hundreds of kinds of fitness you can fit in,just choose what you love to do and get started.
Homeschool Yourself! Create your own study-at-home program. What is it you’ve always wanted to learn? Astronomy? Herbalism? Music? Having an interesting challenge for yourself will help model a homeschool structure, or lack thereof, which is helpful when homeschooling kids that attended some school. Put your education in your own hands, the kids will follow. Since being home with the kids I have re-taught myself piano and completed at holistic nutrition program.
Pamper Yourself. A nurtured parent will be better able to sustain the gargantuan amount of patience that is required of homeschoolers. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a weekend without the kids in a resort spa. For most of us this is not a possability. But for no cost to you it’s possible to have time for a quick nap, a long bath or a walk in the woods. Check out this link for other ideas: Self Care On the Cheap.
Make It Fun. Learning games rock. Find your favorite board or card games and get started playing to learn. My favorite is cribbage – there is tons of counting and adding here. Most traditional games are full of learning opportunities – just don’t tell the kids! If competitiveness is an issue, have your children make up their own games with the pieces of a board game. Or check out “Family Pastimes”a company that makes cool yet non-competitive board games. Peggy Kaye has several books out there chalk full of learning games she created over her teaching career.
Reach Out.Creating Your Homeschool Communityby reaching out to meet other homeschoolers is not hard. You will find them at the grocery store, the park or the library. Having other homeschoolers to connect with, talk to and play with will make homeschooling more fun and rewarding.
Lower Your Standards. I have allowed my standards for a clean house to drop a few notches. Our kids are home all day, not just messing up the house, but doing their ‘work’. I like to let them feel at home and comfortable spreading out. I have made peace with the fact that one hour after I vacuum the house, chances are high that the floor is already dirty. It’s OK.
Journal or Blog. Writing helps because it feels good to put your innermost thoughts down, it helps organize your thoughts, and it’s a good way to model writing behavior for your kids.
Honor Your Inner Rebel. Admit it – homeschoolers are a minority. In the U.S. only about 3% of families homeschool. It takes a rebel to take on this huge responsibility with no pay, no benefits, no recognition and often no support. Revel in your inner Rebel-hood!